JAZZ NOTES

Jazz Notes Player Highlights: Utah Rookies In 2023-24 Season

May 8, 2024, 4:00 PM

Taylor Hendricks #0 and Keyonte George #3 of the Utah Jazz rookies...

Taylor Hendricks #0 and Keyonte George #3 of the Utah Jazz (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Following the February 8 trade deadline, the Utah Jazz turned to its young players to lead the team. Let’s take a look at the three Jazz rookies seasons.

On the Jazz Notes podcast, Ben Anderson and Chandler Holt continued the process of highlighting Jazz players’ seasons.

Following the best veterans, we took a look at the rooks.

Jazz Notes Podcast Player Highlights: Utah Rookies

After the Jazz started 26-26, it was clear that the team wasn’t ready to compete for anything in the postseason.

The front office decided to trade away some key rotation pieces and hand the keys over to the young core. This led to an increased role for Keyonte George and consistent rotation minutes for Taylor Hendricks and Brice Sensabaugh.

Keyonte George

Season stats: 13.0 points, 2.8 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 39.1 FG%, 33.4 3P%, 75 games played

George was the Jazz’s top rookie last season averaging 13.0 points and 4.4 assists, but struggled with his shot at times connecting on 39 percent of his field goals and 33 percent of his three-point shots.

The 16th overall pick played his best basketball in March averaging 14.9 points and 5.4 assists while shooting an efficient 43 percent from the floor and 42 percent from three, but saw his numbers dip to close the season.

When multiple Jazzmen went down with late-season injuries, George climbed up opposing teams’ scouting reports and that pressure was felt by the young guard.

The Jazz will need George to cut down on his turnovers which climbed to 3.7 per game over his final 21 outings, and improve his shooting which was hot-and-cold from game to game.

Regardless, George had a very promising rookie campaign and should be a lock for an All-Rookie team.

RELATED: Keyonte George’s Top Five Plays From 2023-2024 Rookie Season

Taylor Hendricks

Season stats: 7.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 45.0 FG%, 37.9 3P%, 40 games played

Hendricks flashed some shot creation off the dribble as a rookie but did most of his damage as a spot-up shooter and by getting easy baskets on offensive rebounds.

Hendricks appeared in only 40 games for the Jazz but averaged 7.3 points and 4.6 rebounds while shooting a promising 45 percent from the floor and 38 percent from three.

His effect was mostly felt on the defensive end. It felt like Hendricks would come up with a big block or momentum-swinging steal at least once per game.

He averaged 0.7 steals and 0.8 blocks per game. Hendricks could get both of those averages to 1.5 or higher in the coming seasons and solidify himself as an elite defensive player. No one in the NBA reached those marks this season.

Although Hendricks has the most room to improve on the offensive end, Utah wants the 20-year-old forward to hone in on his defensive game.

“While [his] creativity is important, I don’t think it’s as important as his physical strength, his defensive technique, and his shooting fundamentals,” said head coach Will Hardy.

Brice Sensabaugh

Season stats: 7.5 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 39.0 FG%, 29.6 3P%, 32 games played

Perhaps the biggest wild card among the Jazz rookies was Sensabaugh who was largely an afterthought after being selected with the third-to-final pick of the first round, but showed intriguing potential late in the season.

Though his 29 percent from deep doesn’t reflect it, Sensabaugh flashed potential as a dangerous three-point shooter who could also create shots for himself in the halfcourt.

Sensabaugh leaves a lot to be desired in the defense and playmaking departments but he still managed to fill up the stat sheet on occasion. He finished with 5 or more assists and 7 or more rebounds in multiple games.

It was unclear what his future would look like going into this season. But as he got opportunities, he proved that he can be an impact rotation player.

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The Jazz Notes podcast, hosted by Ben Anderson and Chandler Holt, keeps you up-to-date with Utah Jazz news from on and off the court every week. Check back on Tuesday afternoons for the latest episode!

Are you on Threads yet? Let’s connect, give us a follow @kslsports

Chandler Holt is a co-host for the Jazz Notes podcast and a Digital Sports Producer for KSLSports.com, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerHoltKSL or on Threads @chandlerho1t.

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Jazz Notes Player Highlights: Utah Rookies In 2023-24 Season