Kenner League Day 10 in Review: Final Four Reunion, Nate's in a sling and Otto goes off

So last weekend wasn't a great weekend to take off from Kenner League; my respected fellow recapper called last weekends the Saturday evening Tombs game the best he's seen in the last two years, as Jeff Green suited up opposite the young'uns, Mikael Hopkins exploded for 20+ points, and Jason Clark also had a scoring outburst as he dropped over 20 both days.

But it's Kenner League and best not to dwell on the past, so let's continue on to, as best as I can figure, Day 10. (And make sure to follow all the Kenner Action live this afternoon on the CASUAL TWITTER FEED.

 

Hollis Thompson and Team Turner versus The Tombs ft. Greg Monroe.

 

The Saturday 2:40 match up was easily the highlight of the afternoon, but, as we approach the height of vacation season, the crowd wasn't as formidable as we've seen. The Tombs started out sluggish, unable to repeat their fantastic performance last week. Hollis made it his sole mission to get to the hoop and on one of the opening possessions he froze Otto Porter with a pump fake and took the ball baseline and drew a foul at the hoop. It wasn't until Greg Monroe arrived, who in perfect ringer fashion didn't appear form the locker room until ten minutes into the game, that the Tombs were able to maintain a lead, bringing it into the half 29-24. Whittington has a strong first half, scoring eight points on 2/2 from three, but most impressive was the rapport Otto had with Monroe – those two look like they see the floor on a different plane than anyone else. Otto ran the pick and roll with Greg 

and found him perfect on the roll for an enormous dunk and then Greg multiple times found a cutting Otto for lay-ins. For how little they've played together, if they have ever played together before, they looked ridiculously in sync.

 

More Otto after the jump

 

 

To open the second half, there was the best stretch I've seen form Hollis this summer, scoring almost consequentially four times at the basket, twice of drives past Porter, with impressive finishes – including his trademark drive where he takes the long strides towards the hoop then shifts his upper body awkwardly to make space for a hanging lay-up. But just as it looked like Hollis might take back the game, Otto responded – he helped force Hollis into a traveling turnover on a full court press and while Hollis still got inside the arc, Otto never let him get an open lane to the hoop. And then Otto reeled off the most impressive stretch we've seen in Kenner League, scoring 11 straight points and essentially ending the game. An easy dunk set off a sequence of two short jumpers, two lay-ups and a few free throws where Otto was gliding wherever he liked. And while he missed his final three shots, it was a special, as far as summer league goes.

 

The two other places where Otto separates himself are on the press and with his overall consistency. Team Turner is notorious for it's full court press, but whenever Otto got the ball, Tombs inevitably broke it (aside from one carry call along the sideline). A few times when Whittington flashed to the middle to help, he showed his handle is more likely to break down in traffic as he turned the ball over. And consistency – Otto is constantly exerting some pressure on the flow of the game. Defensively tipping balls, bringing the ball up the floor, having the offense run through him – it seems like he's always in the center of what's happening. All of the other freshmen (and nearly all other Georgetown players this season) just disappear for stretches. After a solid first half for Whittington, I didn't have him down for a shot in the second half – same for Adams. Even the assertive Jabril Trawick, who his usual fearless self despite being noticeably hobbled with a toe injury, was quiet for long stretches despite scoring a respectable 14 points (mostly from some hot outside shooting). Tyler Adams had some aggressive moves inside, but didn't come up with anything to show for it (0 baskets) and Mikael Hopkins definitely didn't replicate his monster week and mostly deferred to Monroe inside.

 

For any tempo-free stats fans out there, I tracked the Tombs possessions to try and get better sense for how they were playing. Keeping in mind the 22 minute running clock half, here's my crude impersonation of the far smarter folk at Hoya Prospectus:

 

 

Poss. Tombs Opp. Ortg Drtg

1st 28 29 27 103 96

2nd  29 36 37 124 127

Total 57 65 61 114 107

 

The Clydes Georgetown Glory Years ft. Jeff Green, Jonathan Wallace, Tyler Crawford and Greg Monroe (again) vs. Higher Level

 

The big question surrounding this game was whether Roy Hibbert would play. Big Roy walked in about half an hour before the game and ducked into the depths of McDonough, leaving the faithful in hopes of reuniting the vital core of the Final Four run. Alas, Roy decided to watch from the sidelines as his comrades went to "battle" against a Higher Level team that only had four players until two more finally showed up 15 minutes after the game was supposed to start. The other big news was that Roy wasn't the only Hoya on the sidelines – Nate Lubick was in street clothes and sling on a his right arm. Surprisingly, Clyde's could have really used him. The All-Stars did little resembling rebounding, though it was a joy to again watch Jonathan Wallace's high, arching threes splash in the net. But despite some crafty moves by Monroe down low against an over-matched opponent, higher level kept hanging around until suddenly there was only 30 seconds left and the Clydes were down three. Both Jonathan Wallace and Jeff Green missed threes and that essentially sealed the game. The loan current Hoya, Aaron Bowen, did what he's done for all of Kenner League (without the missed long range shots) he barely crept into double digits but didn't score on anything other than a lay-up or dunk. He closed out the first half with a nice juke and drive from the top of the key and executed a lovely back door cut (I believe from former Georgetown NCAA hero Nate Burton), but that was about the extent of his impact.

 

DCX with Henry Sims and Markel Starks versus Moses Abraham and Hoop Magic 

 

This was my final game of the evening (again opting for food over the known quantity of Jason Clark), and it contained and interesting matchup between Moses and Sims. If you could concentrate all their combined skills into a single player, he'd be pretty damn good. As it stands, we saw the opposite type of play from each. Moses was able to take it right into the body of Henry and draw fouls or score. Moses helped himself by running the floor, but missed a few chippies – as a girl next to me advised big Moses, "Dunk the ball!!" Henry, for his part didn't work very hard to post up Moses, instead trying to find room where he could face up, getting on the board with a nice 10 footer and starting the game 3-3. Markel looked like an upperclassman on Saturday, he was in total control of the game and was looking to get other involved. He made a number of nice shuffle passes and kick outs to teammates for good looks.

 

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