One game after Ekpe Udoh had the most impressive outing of his rookie season, Warriors coach Keith Smart finally got around to offering the frontcourt player equally impressive comments. Smart said Udoh, just 29 games into his career, is becoming the team's best perimeter defender and already might be the Warriors' top back-to-the-basket scorer. "He's developing so fast because he is doing such a rapid job of being a student," Smart said. "He's getting into better shape. He didn't have the summer league or the preseason to get his body into NBA shape. Now he's starting to get there." Udoh scored a personal-high 16 points on 8-for-12 shooting at Phoenix on Thursday, and he tied his career high with seven rebounds in 30 minutes. He followed that with a scoreless game, grabbing four rebounds in 27 minutes in the Warriors' 100-94 victory against Oklahoma City on Sunday. The 6-foot-10 23-year-old played mostly a face-up game in college, but he quickly has adjusted to show good patience and skill on the low block. He has a good feel for knowing when to absorb a defender's contact and when to change directions in the post. "He's doing everything we're asking," Smart said. "In practice (Saturday), he went several times to the offensive glass and tapped it out to get us more opportunities. He hadn't done that all year, so maybe he's going to develop into being pretty good at that, too."
Smart lauds improving Udoh
San Francisco Chronicle | Feb 14