The MAAC season isn't far away, but the NBA aspirations of two of the conference's better former players of recent vintage are over for now.
Rider's 6-foot-6 swingman Ryan Thompson and Siena's 6-3 guard Kenny Hasbrouck, were among final cuts by the Utah Jazz and Miami Heat, respectively, this past week.
Thompson played in five preseason games, got one start and averaged 2.6 points and 0.8 rebounds in an average of nine minutes per contest.
The Rider standout, who graduated in 2010, is leaning toward staying with the Jazz organization by playing the its Utah Flash developmental league affiliate, according to a published source.
"I'm used to it out here," Thompson told the Trentonian recently. "I havent' made a final decision, but I talked to my agent. I'm going to stay out here and work out, and we'll go from there."
Thompson was one of four players waived before this past Thursday's practice, reducing the number of players in the Jazz's camp from 17 to the league-mandated 13.
Thompson, a two-time first-team all-MAAC selection who finished fourth on the Broncs' career scoring list, said that he was weighing his options and could end up with another NBA team. But he decided his best option may be with the Utah organization, which could call him up in the event of an injury or another roster move.
Jazz coach Jerry Sloan told the Deseret News earlier Thursday that he had been impressed with Thompson.
"If you'd been here and seen those guys (Thompson, and the three others involved in the team's final cuts0 practice every day and the work that they put in and then you watch them play when they got in the games, they didn't fade away," Sloan said. "They kept playing hard. They kept working hard. Hopefully they get a chance to play again."
Hasbrouck, who was with the Heat for a portion of last season but never appeared in a regular-season game, was cut by the team this past Wednesday.
"I'm not really surprised," Hasbrouck told the Albany Times Union.
Hasbrouck played in five preseason games for the Heat, averaging 4.6 points, 3.0 assists and 1.4 rebounds in 24.1 minutes per contest.
Hasbrouck started one preseason game, playing 41 minutes and shooting 1-for-11 from the field with five turnovers and seven assists in a 90-76 loss to the Hornets.
In the exhibition season, Hasbrouck made just nine of 41 shots from the field, including 1-of-15 from three-point territory.
"You know, of course I was frustrated when I first found out," Hasbrouck said. "There were things that happened in games and practices ... so, I knew it was coming. This is a business and it's all about money."
Hasbrouck said he hasn't given up on the NBA. He said there are teams (although he did not reveal which ones) that have shown some interest. He also said there could be a deal to play overseas.
For the immediate future, though, he said he is coming to the New York's Capital Region.
"Basically, it's my new home," said Hasbrouck. "I've been there so often and I have really gotten accustomed to Albany. I want to see some of my former (Siena) teammates and some old faces."
Before leaving the Heat practice facility, Hasbrouck said he was given encouragement by the coaching staff and the Heat players.
"He (Heat coach Eric Spoelstra) said I have the capabilities to play in the NBA," Hasbrouck said. "He thanked me for the time I gave him. Everyone told me to keep my head up and that's what I am going to do."