Kenner League Recap: July 12, 2014

Some celebrities in the crowd today:

-From the 1984 national championship squad - Reggie Williams (presumably to watch his son Riyan play) and Michael Graham.

-Trey Mourning’s mom

REGGIE CAMERON: 10 pts, 3-7 2pt, 1-7 3pt, 1-2 FT, 12 reb (5 off), 1 asst, 2 TO

-Reggie really struggled running the court today. He seemed winded and frustrated the entire game, and struggled even more than usual to move laterally on D. I would guess that he was feeling under the weather, or perhaps had some kind of minor leg injury.

-He is so much better shooting wide open 3’s off kick outs than he is shooting 3s that are contested or off the dribble.

-Credit to Reggie for hauling in 12 boards today, even though he seemed to be struggling physically. Most of Reggie’s boards look like they are not too challenging - he rarely seems to get boards out of his area. But he is getting a good share of them so far this summer - he is getting to the right spots to pull in the rebounds.

DAVID ALLEN: 7 pts, 2-3 2pt, 1-3 3pt, 2 asst, 1 TO

Nothing special to note from Allen today. He played solid, fairly mistake free ball. He looks OK as a point guard at the Kenner level. He is pretty good at beating his man off the dribble, but if he gets challenged in the lane, he can get caught up with nowhere to go with the ball pretty easily.

LJ PEAK: 31 pts, 10-14 2pt, 0-3 3pt, 11-14 ft, 7 rebs (4 off), 3 asst, 2 st, 1 bl, 2 TO

-Well, that was fun! Peak attacked the rim from the opening tip, going to the basket whenever he had a sliver of space. He finished or was fouled almost every time. If he has a head of steam when he hits midcourt, look out, he is pretty unstoppable - at least at this level of play!

-Had a nice 360 when he cherry picked a bit and got a long pass from Jeff Green (yes, that Jeff Green and more on him below).

-Also some good passes in transition, including two sweet lobs for dunks in the closing minutes of the game vs. pressing defense

-Fell asleep on one inbounds play and got beat on a lob to the rim

-Had a few nice cuts and finishes in half court sets

-Passed well when he drove the lane and faced good help D

-Hit his foul shots. Does not get a lot of rotation, but has the right amount of arc and the ball comes down softly despite the lack of spin. My guess is that he is probably a pretty streaky shooter. Most guys who don't get a lot of rotation are more "feel" shooters than "mechanics" shooters, and can tend to be a bit streakier

-None of his three pointers were very close to going in. At this point, he is far, far better moving towards the basket than shooting from outside

-His effectiveness attacking the hoop today cannot be overstated - it looked like his senior year high school highlight tapes. He has a quick, long first step, good athleticism, good length and strength, and feel for how to finish. Hard to say how this will translate against better competition. But it is pretty hard not to be excited after watching Peak today. JTIII is going to have to let Peak play aggressively - otherwise he would be wasting Peak’s greatest strength. It will be interesting to see if JTIII is comfortable with allowing Peak to attack this aggressively in real games.

ISAAC COPELAND: 7pts, 2-9 2pt, 1-2 3pt, 7 reb (1 off), 3 asst, 1 st, 2 bl, 6 TO

-Played better than this line looks. Had quite a few good shots (both jumpers and drives) that just did not go down. Also could have had more assists - teammates failed to finish a number of good chances created by Isaac’s passing.

-Handled the ball real well in transition. Comfortable taking off up court with a defensive rebound, and can dribble around defenders followed by good passes

-Hustles consistently. Had one excellent steal hustling back on a transition opportunity for the other team.

-Struggled a bit staying in front of his man on D. Got beat off the dribble a number of times - usually because his man muscled past him, but also got beat on quickness once or twice.

-Had multiple turnovers when inbounding the ball underneath his own basket after a score by the other team - when the defense pressed. He did not look at all comfortable in these situations, and threw the ball away about 3 times.

DSR: 27 pts, 4-9 2pt, 4-7 3pt, 7-8 FT, 5 reb, 5 asst, 1st

-He always piles up the points. Had only about 7 in the first half, but then started attacking more and hitting some 3s in the second half.

-Mo Creek beat him badly with a crossover dribble/step back 3 from the top of the circle. Not a criticism of DSR - it was a really sweet move by Creek

-He did not wear a T-shirt under his jersey today, and he looked to me to be roughly the same weight as last year. Last week I had said that he looked like he might have been a few pounds heavier. But it must have been the t-shirt - I apologize for my apparently erroneous assessment yesterday.

-He tried two "Nova special" moves - the pump fake on the jumper, get the defender in the air, then throw your body at the defender to try to draw a foul. he got the call once, did not get it the second time

-Good kick out passes to open shooters from the lane. He like to penetrate, then reverse pivot. Sometimes this frees him up for his trademark turnaround jumper in the lane. But when the pivot does not get him open, he passes out to an open shooter. Not as aesthetically pleasing as the pure drive and quick stuff quicker guards do, but a really good use of his unique skill set. DSR is a very, very smart player. He knows what he can and cannot do, and you can see him refining his game by using this understanding of his game.

-Along those lines - consistently looked to post up the smaller guy guarding him. But his teammates could not make good passes to him in the post. So he started clearing out his teammates, then backing down his smaller defender himself to get good looks out of the post.

-Had two great steals in the final minute of a close game, one of which he converted into a basket. Just another fine all around game from DSR today

5 pts, 1-5 2pt, 1-4 3pt, 6 reb (1 off), 3 bl

-Mourning really works hard at setting picks for high ball screens. Very good mechanics - even though his is thin, he sets a real wide base, and holds his position well. Then he either rolls or pops with good timing and spacing. He has been quite well coached on this - wonder who is responsible for that!

-Struggled badly on D defending hayes in the post. Hayes was just way too strong for him, and was able to set up real deep all day. Mourning has to front more if he is getting overpowered in the post like this. he tried to 3/4 hayes a few times, but his feet/hands are not really quick enough to do this well

-He looks like he can be a decent 3 point shooter - but he has to be wide open because he has a slow wind-up release. He bends his knees pretty deeply on his 3, which creates a real slow release.

-I know these comments sound mostly negative. But on the whole, Mourning has been pretty impressive for a walk-on. He definitely looks like he belongs on the court. He is just a beat/step slow in much of what he does. Some of that is a lack of quickness, but a lot of it is a matter of adjusting to the speed of the game. He has a chance to improve quite a bit as the game slows down for him, because he knows where to be on the court on both ends, and has enough offensive skill to at least not be a detriment.

-Also: Trey wins best street clothes contest so far this summer, with a series of cool soccer jerseys

24 pts, 12-19 2 pt, 0-4 FT, 11 reb (3 off), 3 bl, 1 TO

-Wow! Hard not to get excited about his game today. But remember, he was covered largely by Mourning, who really struggled with Hayes’ strength/size

-That being said, really impressive game for bradley. he worked hard every possession get real deep position in the post, and got off strong jump hooks repeatedly. He hit these shots with both hands - looked more comfortable with right hand, but the lefty jump hook was solid.

-Also hit two very nice turnaround jumpers from the left side, turning to his left. One from about 7 feet, one from about 12 feet.

-Also finished well off offensive boards and dump off passes. He looked like a legitimate offensive center today. Teams that do not have tall, strong post defenders are going to have to double him when he gets the ball in the post if he can play like this consistently. But teams will front him more if he shows he can score in the post consistently, and it will be interesting to see how he adjusts to that.

-Did a nice job getting out to contest two corner threes - one in transition, one in half court

-Had a bit block of DSR at the rim in the final 25 seconds of a tight game, followed by a dunk to finish a press break.

-the only negative today - foul shooting. I don’t think he has hit a foul shot yet this summer. His foul shooting was pretty good in limited attempts last year. While he gets good rotation ("rotation on his shot" is one of my drinking game overused phrases!), his shot is super flat.

3 pts, 1-3 3pt, 0-2 ft, 3 reb, 1 asst, 1 st, 2 to

-Finally got to play a little bit today, but hard to take much from his game. He is definitely comfortable shooting the 3, and he hustles. But he never really got into the flow of the game today

-wWlliams ended up covering former maryland big man james Gist (a very strong, athletic guy) a few times on switches - and the results were not pretty for Rian!

9pts, 2-6 2pt, 1-3 3pt, 2-4 ft, 7 reb, 3 asst, 2 st, 1 bl, 4 TO

-I’ll try to track stats on Hoya alums when they play this summer. Sometimes this is hard if there are a lot of current hoyas playing in the same game with an alum.

-Typical kenner game for NBA jeff. Never pushes too hard, then tries a couple of explosive attack moves that remind you which guy on the court is a world class athlete. Did not finish any of the explosion moves today

-Fired up some out of rhythm threes/jumpers, did not hit them

-It is always exciting when you see that Jeff is suiting up to play in a Kenner game. But the end result is usually a bit disappointing. Jeff is not looking to score 30 points on a bunch of college kids, his ego does not need that, and he does not need to risk getting hurt by attacking the rim a lot against guys who would have their day made by blocking Jeff Green’s dunk attempt. Looks to set up others, knock down a few long threes, and give the crowd one or two highlight dunks.

Note: no Aaron Bowen present for DCX today

OTTO PORTER: no, he did not play in Kenner, he was playing in Vegas with the Wizard summer league team. But I had to note that he put up 25 points (11-14, with 7 boards and a few assists), and by all accounts was great. Now that Ariza is a Rocket and Webster is hurt - hopefully Otto will be in good position to shut up all the Bill Simmons/Tony Kornheiser types of the world who are calling him a huge bust. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy both Simmons and Tony - but the were pretty relentless in ripping on Otto this year - which I saw of course as being quite unfair. So Otto began the "I’ll show Simmons and Kornheiser" tour today:

That’s it for Saturday - with Clyde’s and Takeover not playing, a bit of a lean day for Hoya participation. But the Peak and Hayes games were really impressive and exciting Everyone plays tomorrow!!

Stay Casual, my friends.

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