Quin Snyder could be just the coach Wenyen Gabriel needs

LEXINGTON, KY - NOVEMBER 20: Wenyen Gabriel
LEXINGTON, KY - NOVEMBER 20: Wenyen Gabriel /

Wenyen Gabriel has been invited to participate in a pre-draft workout for the Utah Jazz. Is Quin Snyder just the coach that Gabriel needs?

Wenyen Gabriel has been invited to participate in a pre-draft workout this weekend. Though he wasn’t invited to the NBA Draft Combine like his teammates, Gabriel is free to participate in pre-draft workouts with NBA teams. Saturday he’ll work out for the Utah Jazz. Is Quin Snyder just the coach Gabriel is looking for?

Okay, this is no sleight against John Calipari, but even he says that “this program isn’t for everybody.” We’ve seen over the years, even as recently as the 2016-17 season, that some players just aren’t built to succeed at Kentucky.

After the 2016-17 season, both Isaiah Briscoe and Issac Humphries decided to pursue a career away from UK. Neither player was likely to make an NBA roster, but they decided it was in their best interest to leave the University of Kentucky. Wenyen Gabriel may be having similar thoughts.

Besides Jarred Vanderbilt, Gabriel was perhaps the most perplexing of the UK players who declared for the NBA Draft. How can a player, who’s averaged fewer than 6 points per game at a school like Kentucky, think he’s ready for the NBA?

I’m not criticizing, I’m just pointing out the obvious. Gabriel is not currently an NBA prospect. There’s a reason he wasn’t invited to the combine.

Is Snyder the right fit for Gabriel?

That being said, his visit with the Utah Jazz organization this weekend is very intriguing. Jazz coach Quin Snyder, like Celtics coach Brad Stevens, is a former college coach. Snyder coached at Missouri and was an assistant at Duke.

Snyder has been very successful since coming to Utah. He’s compiled a record of 177-151, and took the Jazz on an unexpected run to the Western Conference semifinals.

Snyder was also the D-League Coach of the Year in 2009 for the Austin Toros, so he knows how to develop talent.

In no way do I see the Utah Jazz using a draft choice on Wenyen Gabriel. But, if Gabriel keeps his name in the hat, I could see him latching on to a Summer League team, before being relegated to the G-League.

Wenyen Gabriel is not yet an NBA player. However, he has potential to be a great ‘Three-and-D’ player in the NBA. While I still feel that another year at UK is his best choice, maybe some time in the G-League or overseas will be Gabriel’s best bet.