By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
Brian Alexander didn’t have to watch the tryout session very long to know Daryl Wilson would become a member of his Tupelo Rock-N-Rollers professional basketball team.
Wilson, 36, “was outperforming 22- and 23-year-olds,” said Tupelo’s coach. “We knew the talent was there.”
Wilson, the shooting star of Mississippi State’s 1996 Final Four team, has not let his coach or teammates down.
Through six games this season, he leads the team in scoring (20 ppg) and is averaging 35-plus minutes per contest for the World Basketball Association Exposure League team.
Wilson hopes to parlay a successful summer season into a winter contract in the European pro leagues, where he’s played since leaving MSU.
“I wanted to play this summer and get some stats,” said the 6-foot-1 guard. “Teams can see that I can still play. If my body holds up, I’m OK. Right now, it feels pretty good.”
Wilson played the 2007 season in Italy then missed last year with some nagging leg injuries.
Alexander, an assistant coach for Itawamba Community College outside the summer league, believes Wilson has another good year or two remaining.
“Several coaches and scouts have seen him play and more have called,” he said. “He’s going to get a look somewhere.”
Wilson’s stamina was a question mark earlier in the season, but his legs are coming back, the coach noted.
“He played 37 minutes in Friday’s game and 41 minutes Saturday,” Alexander said. “He’s got good legs, not like a normal 36-year-old trying to go out on the court and play again.”
Wilson does admit that his recovery time isn’t what it used to be.
“When you’re younger it takes one or two days to recover. Now, the nick and knack injuries stay a couple of days longer,” he said, then laughed. “But, I love and look forward to playing the game.
“When you have a high basketball IQ it makes it a lot easier.”
Wilson’s biggest asset remains his ability to shoot from the perimeter. He averaged 18 points per game during his three seasons for the Bulldogs.
“That’s a God-give talent that I have, one that I can still do,” he said.
Alexander’s certainly amazed at how well Wilson can burn a net.
“He can still make shots,” he said. “That can equalize a lot of things.”
Wilson’s also taken the leadership role with his much younger teammates.
“Not only has he produced, but he’s been our leader,” Alexander said. “His attitude is tremendous and he works well with the younger guys.
“He’s the perfect player to coach at this level.”