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News » BUCKS NOTES Ready to lend pointers Ridnour says he'll help tutor Jennings

BUCKS NOTES Ready to lend pointers Ridnour says he'll help tutor Jennings

BUCKS NOTES  Ready to lend pointers  Ridnour says he'll help tutor Jennings By TOM ENLUND

Ever wonder what it's like to be the starting point guard on a National Basketball Association team only to have your team draft another point guard in the first round of the college draft?

Just ask veteran Luke Ridnour of the Milwaukee Bucks .

Ridnour started in 50 of the 72 games in which he played for the Bucks last season but he was hampered by injuries and the Bucks decided to bolster the point guard spot by taking Brandon Jennings with the 10th pick of last June's draft.

Such is life in the NBA said Ridnour who is entering his seventh season in the league.

"That's just the NBA," said Ridnour at the team's media day on Monday. "That's what happens. I'm excited to be able to help him get better in any way I can and push him. The biggest thing for all of us is to make the team better. That's what we have to focus on instead of individually. We all have to play individually but it's about the team.

"It's something that you just look at as something to make our team better and whatever you can do, you do."

Ridnour averaged 9.6 points, 5.1 assists and a career-high tying 3.0 rebounds last season.

In only two of his six pro seasons did Ridnour consistently come off the bench but he now faces that prospect with Jennings on the team. Coach Scott Skiles has said that Jennings will have to earn the starting job since it is not just going to be handed to him and Ridnour, for his part, said he will fill whatever role is asked of him.

"Like I said, I just want to focus on the team and making the team better," said Ridnour. "For not just me, but for everyone. There are a lot of good players at a lot of positions on this team. We have to all put the team first and think about that."

A new look: The Bucks have 19 players on their training camp roster but only eight were on the team last season. So Michael Redd's response was not really surprising when he was asked about his impressions of the roster.

"New," said Redd.

"The first thing that comes to mind is new. I'm going to miss my guys - Charlie (Villanueva), Ramon (Sessions) and R.J. (Richard Jefferson) but at the same time, we have a whole new crew.

"So I'm going to embrace them and see what we can do."

Bell seeks consistency: In the last two training camps, veteran guard Charlie Bell had been distracted by any number of things - a messy free agency, injuries and conditioning problems.

Such is not the case this year.

"My thing this year is consistency," he said. "Going out every night and playing hard. It was tough the last couple years with different things that kind of happened off the court. One thing I worked on all summer long was to come into camp in the best shape of my career. I feel like I've done that so I've got a little confidence in that area.

"So I'm going to go out there and play hard and give the team every thing I've got even though I know some nights I'm probably going to play 30 minutes and some nights 10."

A youthful veteran: Forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute is entering his second season in the league but in a way, he already feels like a veteran of sorts. Let's just say he's much more at ease with his surroundings than he was last year.

"No question," he said. "I went through it once already so I know what's coming. That really helps. I feel a little like a veteran on the team now since a lot of guys here are kind of new so it makes me feel like a veteran because people are asking questions of me.

"It's good. I feel comfortable."

Setting goals: After spending what he thought was a productive off-season with the Bucks summer team, forward Joe Alexander has set goals for himself in his second season in the league. Nothing he cares to share, though.

"You have to set personal goals or else you're just kind of out here floating in the wind," he said. "And you don't have any direction."

Copyright 2009, Journal Sentinel Inc. All rights reserved. (Note: This notice does not apply to those news items already copyrighted and received through wire services or other media.)

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Added: September 30, 2009


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