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BUCKS BEAT: Jennings pulls his weight

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Brandon Jennings was one of the lightest players in the NBA last season as a rookie.

He'll be one of the lightest players again this season.

The Milwaukee Bucks' lithe guard said he weighs around 165 pounds - which is essentially what he was last season.

While some NBA teams insist their young players should try to gain weight to help them better cope with a long, physically-demanding season, the Bucks aren't one of them.

"Totally overrated," Bucks coach Scott Skiles said of supposed undersized players needing to put on weight. "We're not a big weight-conscious team.

"We're concerned about body fat. Body fat is what slows guys down. Brandon's body fat is low."

Jennings started all 82 regular-season games and then seven more postseason games against the Atlanta Hawks. Despite being the smallest player on the court in the vast majority of those games, Jennings seldom encountered any major problems against more ruggedly-built players.

Like his coach, Jennings doesn't seem the least bit concerned by his featherweight-type frame.

"The weight, it'll come over time," the 21-year-old Jennings said. "I like my quickness and doing that (adding weight) might take away some of my quickness.

"Right now, I like where I'm at."

Skiles does, too. While his young point guard's physique hasn't changed from a year ago, Skiles nevertheless noticed a dramatic change with Jennings.

"There's no comparison to where he was a year ago," Skiles said of Jennnings, who was the 10th overall draft pick in the 2009 NBA draft. "Brandon is light years ahead of where he was after three days of camp compared to three days of camp last year.

"He's played in the NBA and he knows what is expected of him and the type of intensity he needs to bring to have success."

- Jennings has expanded and upgraded his stable of cars.

After driving a Ford Edge during his rookie season, Jennings has since purchased a 2010 Chevrolet Camaro.

"It's a two-seater," said Jennings, who then quipped. "Now I don't have to give everybody rides."

Jennings also has a third car, a Cadillac Escalade, which he drives as part of an agreement with a local car dealership.

- Earlier this week, Bucks officials and Dan Fegan, the agent for Erick Dampier, were working on setting up a potential visit to Milwaukee for Dampier.

But those plans have apparently been scrapped and it's unclear whether the Bucks are still in the hunt for the veteran free-agent center. The 35-year-old Dampier started 47 games last season for Dallas, averaging 6 points and 7.3 rebounds.

Miami, Houston and Toronto have also shown interest in Dampier.

The Bucks are in the market for a quality back-up center to Andrew Bogut, although they agreed to terms Wednesday with veteran free-agent power forward-center Brian Skinner. Skinner's contract isn't guaranteed.

- Former Wisconsin assistant coach Ray McCallum and former Marquette assistant coach Dwayne Stephens have been among several coaches who have observed Bucks' practices in recent days.

McCallum is now the head coach at the University of Detroit Mercy. McCallum guided the Titans to a 20-13 record last season and figures to have an even better program after his son, Ray Jr. signed a national letter of intent with Detroit in April.

Ray Jr., a 6-1 point guard, was considered one of the top recruits in the nation.

Stephens is in his eighth year as an assistant coach at Michigan State, one of the college basketball's elite programs.


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