Cameron Wells has watched from afar as two All-Southern Conference guards with whom he did battle made it in the NBA.
Stephen Curry is a three-year NBA veteran and a rising (though injury-plagued) star with Golden State after three unforgettable years at Davidson. Andrew Goudelock just finished his rookie year with the Lakers after they made him a second-round pick in the 2011 draft out of College of Charleston.
Wells, himself an All-SoCon guard and the leading scorer in Citadel basketball history, admits that he looks at Curry and Goudelock and thinks, “Why not me?”
“They do give me confidence,” said Wells, who played 22 minutes and scored 11 points in his debut with the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA Summer League on Monday night. “Especially what Goudelock has done. I came in with him in the SoCon, and we went at it for four years.
“I was happy for him, and it also gave me some hope that I can make it, too. I’m cheering for him and I hope I can get there, too.”
Wells, a 6-1 guard, hit 4 of 5 shots and made his only 3-point try in Monday’s 76-68 win over New Orleans. He added four rebounds and an assist with a plus/minus rating of +15.
The opportunity with the Bucks is Wells’ best chance since he left The Citadel with 2,049 career points after the 2010-11 season.
Wells was undrafted and spent his first pro season in Holland, where he averaged 14.3 points and 3.6 assists while playing 36.3 minutes per game in all 36 of his team’s games.
His Zwolle team also included former Furman star Amu Saaka, and Wells said the league was a cut above the college ball he played in the SoCon.
“It was a pretty good level of ball,” said the Texas native. “When I first got there, it was a learning process. I was used to being far away from home at The Citadel, so that was not a problem. But learning the language and the culture, it was a big adjustment when I got there.”
The season abroad helped him improve as a player, he said.
“Just as far as learning the game a little bit more, learning more about the pick-and-roll and other things,” he said. “You have to adjust to different defenses, and I’ve been working on my shot, so I feel like I have improved.”
Milwaukee’s Summer League roster also includes former South Carolina guard Tarence Kinsey and forward John Henson of North Carolina, the No. 14 pick in this year’s draft.
The Bucks will play four more Summer League games in Las Vegas.
“No pressure,” Wells said. “I just try to see it as basketball. It started off being run for me, and I want to keep it that way. I’ll just play as hard as I can, compete, and the rest will take care of itself.”
Citadel coach Chuck Driesell, who coached Wells during his senior season, said he has a chance to stick.
“I am not surprised this came about, as Cameron is an excellent player and in the right situation can play at the highest level,” Driesell said. “I believe the Bucks will be pleasantly surprised at Cameron’s skill level and toughness. On top of that, he is an exceptional person and would make a great addition to any roster.”