Markel Starks has looked good in Kenner League action. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
My second day of the 2012 Kenner League season presented my first glimpse at Markel Starks and Nate Lubick, two starters who will be critical to Georgetown's success in the 2012-2013 season. Starks and Lubick's Clyde's team did not face the stiffest competition, as 'Tree and the Top Boys' eventually mustered a 5-man roster about a half hour after the first game was supposed to start, comprised of former Georgetown stars Nat Burton and Tyler Crawford, and awful terrible horrendous Syracuse product Lawrence Moten. Incredulously, Moten wasn't booed every time he touched the ball, but that likely had more to do with the sparse crowd at the early game, which resembled the size of crowds that Moten was likely used to playing in Uzbekistan. Clyde's won in a laugher behind strong showings from both Nate and Markel.
Recaps, Player Stats and Evaluations after the Jump
After a throwaway game between something called 'Town Tavern' against an even worse 'A. Wash Associates', The Tombs took to the court. At this point in the early Kenner season, The Tombs are rather short-handed in terms of scoring options. With Bradley Hayes sidelined with what has been rumored to be an MCL strain and Stephen Domingo unable to join the squad until he's cleared to play, they need D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera and Otto Porter to score a ton of points in order for them to win. Luckily so far this summer they've delivered. The Tombs eeked out a win over a Hoop Magic team compossed mostly of GW players. The best two players on the other team were Villanova Transfer Isaiah Armwood and Ian Hummer from Princeton. The Tombs could really use Hayes (allegedly will play later in Kenner League) and Domingo (unlikely to play in Kenner) to join the team because Otto and DSR are going to have to score 20+ every game for the Tombs to have a shot. At this writing it is unclear why Moses did not play for Hoop Magic, and he apparently missed an earlier Hoop Magic game even though he was spotted in the gym yesterday.
Markel Starks: 18 pts (7/16 43.75% from the field; 2/6 from 3; 2/2 from the line), 6 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal, 2 turnovers, 1 foul:
I really liked what I saw from my first glimpse of Markel yesterday. He dominated at times in last years Kenner League, but he never had a lot of assists. Today he was distributing the ball beautifully and finding open shots for teammates. He's really quick and is able to get into the lane at will but now he's picking his spots better and has a better understanding of when to kick it out and when to take it himself.
Nate Lubick: 18 pts (9/15 60% from the field; 0/2 from 3), 12 rebounds(4 offensive), 1 assist 1 turnover, 1 foul
Nate also looked quite impressive in his 2012 Kenner League debut. The first thing that was noticeable was that he has slimmed down a little making him more mobile and hopefully able to jump higher and quicker. The second obvious thing was that he's reduced the awkward hitch in his shot. It's much more fluid, he doesn't have as big of a pronounced disconnect between the jump and the shot like he used to. The nice thing was in game he didn't rely on this jump shot. Rather he used a number of different post moves to score around the hoop for the most part. I'm optimistic we'll see a much better Nate Lubick this year.
Otto Porter: 26 pts (11/19 57.9% from the field; 0/1 from 3; 4/9 from the line), 17 rebounds (3 offensive), 3 steals, 2 blocks, 2 turnovers, 2 fouls
Despite a similar stat line from Otto this performance was much more impressive. Otto was able to create his own chances off the bounce and was hitting his shot at a much higher consistency today. He also stepped up in the clutch with a game saving block and the game winning free throws. The only real knock on his game today was his inconsistency from the stripe.
D'Vauntes Smith Rivera: 26 pts(9/19 47.4% from the field; 1/3 from 3; 7/9 from the line), 2 offensive rebounds, 3 steals, 4 assists, 4 turnovers, 4 fouls
DSR continued to impress. However, it's not just his point total that's impressive as I said above his team needs him to score that many points every time out if they hope to win. It's how he gets those points that's impressive. He has the ability to take over games (at least at the Kenner League Level). At one point he scored 7 straight points to retake the lead. He also did a better job distributing the ball today.
Brandon Bolden: 12 pts (6/11 54.5% from the field), 7 rebounds (4 offensive), 1 steal, 2 blocks, 1 assist, 3 fouls
Nice game from Bolden. He's very active on both ends of the court going for rebounds and tips at the rim. He even showed a couple of decent post moves today. He's raw, but probably not so far behind that he needs a redshirt year for him to ever be serviceable. Needs to alternate between the cafeteria and the weight room. I definitely see what the staff likes about him.
John Caprio: 3 pts (1/5 20% from the field; 1/2 from the line) 4 rebounds (1 offensive), 1 steal, 1 assist, 1 turnover, 1 foul
Had a couple of ugly airballs, not much worth mentioning.
David Allen: 2 pts (2/2 from the line), 1 offensive rebound, 1 turnover
White Chocolate was all but invisible.
Today I'll get my first glimpses of Jabril Trawick, Greg Whittington, and Mikael Hopkins. These three will all play important roles this season. Of those three I'm most interested in seeing Hopkins because right now Georgetown's biggest question mark is at center as someone desperately needs to fill the void left by Henry Sims.
July 15, 2012 - Sunday
12:00pm TREE & THE TOP BOYS VS DCX
1:20pm CANT BE STOP VS HOOP MAGIC
2:40pm TEAM TAKEOVER VS THE CLYDE’S
4:00pm EMERY HEIGHTS ELITE VS THE TOMBS
5:20pm A.WASH ASSOCIATES VS BEYOND BELIEF
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.