Last night was my first chance to catch some Kenner League action this year, so I drove to Georgetown after work to take in the games. On my way to campus I stopped at Thunder Burger on M Street for dinner where I had a quality Bison Burger, but unfortunately forgot to document. I got to campus in time to catch the first game which was supposed to feature Aaron Bowen and the Emery Heights Elite vs. Premier Athlete. However, in true Kenner League fashion, fans were instead treated to Beyond Belief (George Mason Players) vs. Town Tavern (American University players) and also featured what is probably a Kenner first - an All-White starting lineup!
Luckily The Tombs game which was scheduled as the nightcap went off without a hitch. Sitting in an crowd that included former Hoya and current Detroit Piston Greg Monroe, this was my first chance to get to see some of the freshman play and get a first glimpse of Otto Porter since the reports of him tearing it up at the summer camp circuit.
Breakdown and Stats after the Jump
The game itself was a back and forth affair. The Tombs started off great, taking an early double digit lead, but ended up down two at half due to a 20-5 run by their opponent On Point and the fact that the scorekeepers decided not to count The Tombs' last basket of the half (a follow up dunk by Brandon Bolden) despite it coming with about 40 seconds left in the half. In the second half The Tombs steadily took control, as Otto and D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera kicked it in to high gear and started pouring in the points. The Tombs won 71-65.
Otto Porter: 23pts (9-19 47.4% from the field; 0-2 from 3; 5-6 from the line), 14 rebounds (5 offensive), 1 block, 2 assists, 4 turnovers, 1 Foul
Otto's first game back since all the hype he received from the Kevin Durrant and Lebron James skill academies was honestly a little disappointing, but that's the danger of expectations. If I hadn't seen all those tweets suggesting he'd be an All-American, I doubt I would've been disappointed. Especially not with 23pts and 14 rebounds. Otto's shot was not falling in the first half and his shooting percentage was much lower than where it ended up which was actually quite respectable. His game looked very similar to last year: still has a nose for the ball and still does most of his damage from the midrange. He was definitely trying to be more aggressive which is a very good thing. However he wasn't really able to take anyone off the dribble (despite trying), nor was he hitting his shots from distance. All in all a very good performance, but my expectations were too high and skewed my view of his game.
D'Vauntes Smith Rivera: 29pts (10-19 52.6% from the field; 2-6 from 3; 7-9 from the line), 5 rebounds (3 offensive), 1 steal, 2 assists, 5 turnovers
This was my first glimpse of DSR. He wowed everyone in his debut last week and turned in another impressive performance today. All the reports are true he's a power guard in the mold of Austin Freeman. He can bowl his way to the hoop and knock down mid-range jumpers. He's not yet the sniper from deep that Austin was, but he's still solid in that area as well. He's also very good from the charity stripe. Like Otto, DSR turned it up in the second half scoring 20 of his points after the break. He didn't record an assist until the second half though, and only had two for the game. His handle is decent enough to play some point, but I'm not sure he has the mentality. Or at least he did not show it yesterday. Was not really looking to make plays or get others involved. He also fades away unnecessarily at times during his mid-range pull up jumpers. He'll definitely contribute and provide scoring off the bench.
Brandon Bolden: 8pts (3-9 33.3% from the field; 0-1 from 3; 2-9 from the line), 10 rebounds (3 offensive), 2 steals, 3 blocks, 2 turnovers, 2 fouls
Put simply, he's a project. He has the tools, but it doesn't seem like he's had much instruction. He's active which is a good thing, and goes after blocks and rebounds, however he didn't appear to have any concept of how to play positional defense. He had two actual nice post moves on the offensive end but one of those came after the whistle had blown. He needs to get much stronger to be effective on either end of the floor. But again expectations skew your impression. He certainly was not as bad as many people feared. I think he can be a very solid player after a year or two of tutelage by the staff.
John Caprio: 0pts (0-1 0% from the field), 2 rebounds (1 offensive), 1 steal, 1 block, 3 turnovers, 3 fouls
Was not involved that much in the game at all.
David Allen: 5pts (2-4 from the field; 1-3 from 3) 3 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 assist, 2 fouls
Georgetown's newest walk-on, Allen started the game strong sinking a three pointer and then making a quick drive to the hoop past his defender finishing with a nifty up and under layup. After that though he dissapeared a bit and didn't make much of a contribution.
Bradley Hayes: DNP
Hayes, who was in a walking boot last week, has shed the boot. However, last night he was spotted with his knee wrapped, so it doesn't appear he will be taking the floor for The Tombs this weekend.
Stephen Domingo: DNP
Georgetown's newest nugget, Domingo was in attendance last night and will likely have to officially graduate from high school before he can start playing with the big boys.
July 14, 2012 - Saturday
12:00pm TREE & THE TOP BOYS VS THE CLYDE’S
1:20pm TOWN TAVERN VS A.WASH ASSOCIATES
2:40pm HOOP MAGIC VS THE TOMBS
4:00pm PREMIER ATHLETE VS HIGHER LEVEL
5:20pm BEYOND BELIEF VS TEAM TAKEOVER
Georgetown's two most experienced players, rising junior Markel Starks (Washington, D.C./Georgetown Prep) and rising junior forward Nate Lubick (Southborough, Mass./St. Mark's) will play for Clyde's.
Rising sophomore Otto Porter (Sikeston, Mo./Scott County Central) and rising junior John Caprio (North Caldwell, N.J./Seton Hall Prep) will lead The Tombs, playing alongside three incoming Georgetown freshmen - Brandon Bolden (Sumter, S.C./QEA), Bradley Hayes (Jacksonville, Fla./Sandalwood) and D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera (Mouth of Wilson, Va./Oak Hill Academy).
Rising sophomores Jabril Trawick (Philadelphia, Pa./Abington Friends) and Greg Whittington (Columbia, Md./Oakland Mills) will play for DCX.
Mikael Hopkins (Hyattsville, Md./DeMatha), a rising sophomore center, will play for Team Takeover, while redshirt sophomore Aaron Bowen (Jacksonville, Fla./QEA) will play for Emery Heights Elite and junior center Moses Ayegba (Kano, Nigeria/Progressive Christian [Md.]) will play for Hoop Magic.