The Motor City Cruise spoke with the media about their expectations for the upcoming G-League 2023-24 season.
Why It Matters For the Motor City Cruise
The Motor City Cruise hosted Media Day today at the Detroit Pistons Performance Center in preparation for their 2023-24 season. Some of the players, coaches, and members of the front office made themselves available for questions on how they feel about their NBA G-League team.
After missing a postseason berth last season, the Cruise are coming in motivated with familiar faces returning to the team's core. The current roster features two-way players Jared Rhoden, Stanley Umude, and Malcolm Cazalon who each have suited up for the Pistons this season. Returning as key contributors for the Cruise are Buddy Boeheim, David Nwaba, and Ryan Turell.
New additions to the Cruise this season include Tosan Evbuomwan, Treveon Graham, Jontay Porter, Zavier Simpson, and Chandler Vaudrin. Additions were even made through the draft for the Cruise with their 2023 third-round draft pick Robert Johnson at No. 61 overall. The roster even found additions through the team's open gym tryout for Sterling Manley, DeMarco Dickerson, and Malique Jacobs.
Notable Quotes From Media Day
Guys that have competitive edge. Zavier Simpson is a guy who fits that to a tee. You feel it when you watch him, he controls the game, he controls the tempo, he's really the quarterback of the floor and we're so lucky to have a guy like that. I think the competitiveness, the drive, the willingness to pull guys with them and not just do it for themselves is a huge trait.“Cruise General Manager Ben Carloni on what he looks for in a player he wants to add to the team
The support from this organization, the Pistons and the city of Detroit has been awesome. I'm really fortunate to be here and really fortuante to have Ben (Carloni) and Max (Unger) and everybody involved with their support. It's a new experience for me, I've been to many cities coast to coast. It's a unique experience for me and I'm really looking forward to working with this group.”Cruise Head Coach Jamelle McMillan on the reception while transitioning as the new coach
The biggeset thing for me is trying to be dominant on both sides of the ball. Showcasing that I can be an elite defender and someone who takes on the task of guarding the best player every game. As well as still maintaining and being consistent offensively. That's what I really want to take on the task of being a two-way player.“Cruise forward Jared Rhoden on what he wants to improve on most this upcoming season
It's funny because I'm older than some of those guys. But Isaiah Stewart for sure, he brings great stability to the team. He makes sure everyone is good on and off the court. I think he's a player I look up to in his journey and how he improves his game. Obviously Cade (Cunningham) is a great leader for us. He makes sure our mindset is the same going in. We have a collective mindset and culture that we're trying to build. I think it's important we have those two guys leading us.”Cruise guard Stanley Umude on his influences during his time with the Pistons
I've really appreciated my time in Detroit. I think there's a lot of good restaurants which is big for me, I'm a big food guy. And then the culture of Detroit basketball, the fans, how much it means to everyone here show it's a great sports city. I like the cold weather too so I really like it here.”Cruise forward Buddy Boeheim on what his time in Detroit has been like
I love coach McMillan. You can tell he's definitely a coach who has played the game. He has understanding of being in the player's shoes and coach's shoes. He brings intensity every single day. You can tell he really thinks he should be out there like a player. It's good though because it gets everybody energized. When your head coach is working hard, how can you not play hard for him? He's a very disciplined and detailed coach. It's only been the first few days but I like him already.”Cruise guard Zavier Simpson on the first few days learning under new head coach Jamelle McMillan
Everybody's goal in the G-League is to get better and to learn. Players, coaches, staff, everybody has something they can get better at and the G is a great place to do it. Jamelle has been in four or five different organizations. Having someone like him as a resource even to ask a dumb question, being able to bounce questions off of him is a great thing.”Assistant GM Max Unger on having new members on staff being helpful to his development