SALT LAKE CITY -- Although he didn't suit up for Wednesday's game, newest Jazzman Jerel McNeal was all smiles following the team's shootaround earlier in the day.
The Jazz inked McNeal, 25, to a 10-day contract.
The 6-foot-2, 200 pound guard from Marquette averaged 18.1 points and 5.5 assists in 44 games - 36 of them starts - with the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA Development League.
"For me it's just really exciting, just humbling, to be able to be come from where I just came from and today be in an NBA locker room," he said. "It means a lot to me."
McNeal said he knows quite a bit about the Jazz because one of his college teammates, Wesley Matthews, is a former Jazzman.
Matthews and McNeal played together at Marquette. The two have remained close.
"I talked to him at least once or twice a week," McNeal said.
"I got a chance to talk to him earlier this morning," he added. "Right after I got done doing all the paperwork (on his contract with the Jazz). Just the type of guy he is, he seemed very excited for me and just happy for me that I was getting an opportunity to showcase my skills."
McNeal is the second player the Jazz have signed to a 10-day contract this season. Earlier they signed Travis Leslie, whose contract was not picked up for a second stint.
The Jazz are using the last spot on their roster to evaluate players whom they feel might be worth signing next season or beyond. Essentially, players like McNeal and Leslie are getting a tryout and the team gets a chance to see how they conduct themselves on and off the court.
With seven free agents on the roster, Utah will have some spots available next season.
McNeal played four seasons at Marquette (2005-2009) and has been in training camp with Toronto (2012), Houston (2010) and the L.A. Clippers (2009). He had a 10-day contract with the Hornets from March of 2011, but did not appear in a game.
Jazz 103, Suns 88
BEST PLAY: Randy Foye goes up and fires a picture-perfect 3-pointer from the corner as the first-half buzzer sounds. It's good and Jazz take a 53-44 lead into the break.
BEST LINE: Gordon Hayward finished with 25 points on 9-for-16 shooting. He went 3-for-6 behind the 3-point line and added five rebounds and six assists.
KEY STAT: The Jazz opened the fourth quarter on a 17-2 run, squashing whatever confidence the Suns had before then.
MARCH MADNESS: According to the person running it, Jazz TV announcer Craig Bolerjak is leading the team's NCAA Tournament bracket pool. A Kansas native, Bolerjak reportedly went heavy on in-state schools and benefited greatly from Wichita State's surprise entry into the Sweet 16.
In other words, blind luck was involved.
MILESTONE: Wednesday was the 14th anniversary of the 1999 game vs. the L.A. Clippers in which Jazz Hall of Famers Karl Malone and John Stockton were each held under 10 points. Before then, the last time the two were kept below double digits was Nov. 21, 1987.
INJURY REPORT: Center Enes Kanter suffered a nasty-looking dislocated left shoulder in the first quarter and was unable to return. He will have an MRI taken today. Guard Randy Foye (gastric distress) and forward Marvin Williams (right heel bursitis) missed shootaround on Wednesday. Each man played in the game. ... The Suns went without forward Channing Frye (heart condition) and center Marcin Gortat (right foot).
UP NEXT: The Jazz will visit the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday then return home to play host to the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday.