A recap of Saturday's Kenner League action:
ISAAC COPELAND: 13 pts, 5-8 2pt 0-4 3pt, 3-4 FT, 11 reb (4 off), 4 asst, 2 st, 3 TO
-Copeland has a really nice, complete game. He can do just about anything you would want a good player to do: rebound, handle the ball, pass, shoot from outside, attack off the dribble, jump out of the gym, play team D, play on ball D, etc. He has plenty of room to grow in all areas, but you can see the basic building blocks for success in just about every aspect of his game. It may well take some time for him to really hit his stride. But he is not real far away, and as he gains experience, he is likely to be very, very good
-A bit more aggressive offensively today, looking for his shot more, but not forcing anything
-He did air ball a wide open 3 - his 3 point shot is probably the aspect of his game that needs the most work. His form is good, he probably will become a solid 3 pt. shooter with time.
-Had a number of pretty exciting dunks: a follow up rebound dunk, and a strong finish on a lob dunk.
-Has good transition defense instincts. A number of times this summer he has come flying from behind a fast break to zip into a passing lane and intercept a pass, then start a break the other way
-Got stripped in the post by a help defender
LJ PEAK: 36 pts, 10-15 2pt, 0-4 3pt, 13-15 FT, 2 reb, 1 asst, 1 bl, 1 TO
-I don’t know if Peak’s performance this summer is the best of any JTIII era player in the Kenner League - but I can’t imagine that anyone else has been any more fun to watch! Peak was in full aggression mode today. Took the opening tip right to the basket for a hoop. Then did the same thing 30 seconds later.
-Hit only one or two jumpers today, and no threes. Everything was from drives to the basket. He is not going to be able to get to the basket this easily in real games. Note my effort to maintain some degree of cynical realism! It actually is not hard to imagine a more delusional world where Peak can pull off his Kenner/senior year of high school act in real college games. But he is going to have to be able to hit some jumpers consistently to maximize his space for driving, especially against the zone defenses that teams are probably going to have to play against us much of the time when Peak is in the game.
-Peak was so aggressive today that at times, he was already moving towards the basket before actually catching the pass. This move is really fun to watch, not something I have seen a lot of players do.
-His ability to finish through contact is impressive. He takes a lot of bumps around the basket, but still scores most of the time, often drawing the foul as well
-My favorite play of the day: He picked up a loose ball near the defensive baseline, and went coast to coast - finishing with a contested running bank shot. As soon as he started moving downcourt with the loose ball, you just knew he was going to score. LJ is going to really strike some fear into opponents whenever he gets the ball in the open court with a head of steam.
-Impressive defensive play: fell for a Scotty Reynolds style pump fake on a jump shot. But when the shooter tried to lean into him to draw the foul - Peak not only avoided the foul, he blocked the shot! He has a very quick second jump. He can be a little inattentive with his off ball D at times right now, but he has all the tools to be an excellent defender with experience.
-Very quick going to his left - seems to get by his man at will in this direction
-Punctuated his great game with a power dunk in transition over a defender
-Note, however, that even with a great game from Peak and a solid game from Copeland - the Tombs still lost, and never really got closer than about 6 points for most of the game. Not Peak or Copeland’s fault at all, but it felt kind of odd. I looked up at the scoreboard midway through the second half, and was really surprised that Tombs was down by double digits - given how well Copeland and Peak were playing.
BRADLEY HAYES: 13 pts, 5-9 2pt, 3-4 FT, 13 reb (5 off), 1 bl, 1 TO
-Posted up well. Got deep position, made good moves into the lane for RH jump hooks. Only hit one or two, but all were good shots. Did get stripped once by a help defender on this move.
-Had a real nice offensive board/Jump hook conversion on the follow up
-Set quite a few nice screens, setting up baskets for teammates
-Was matched up with Julian Vaughn for much of the game, and pretty much held his own on both ends. Vaughn has lost quite a bit of weight since his hoya days.
AARON BOWEN: 16 pts, 5-9 2pt, 2-3 3pt, 0-2 FT, 2 reb,, 4 asst, 1 st, 1 to
-Looked good on his 3 pt shot today. One on a one-dribble pull up, another from the corner
-Had a real nice back door pass to hayes won a cut through the lane
-Threw two nice lob passes for dunks. Bowen has passed the ball surprisingly well both last summer and this summer. He has not displayed this part of his game much in real games, but he has pretty good court vision, and is definitely unselfish.
-Almost had a great lob dunk - the pass was a little too high. He got up to the ball, but had to try to throw down a blind reverse. He almost pulled it off, but not quite.
-Great anticipation on a sideline steal - grabbed the ball on the run, flew down the wing to finish over a defender at the rim. Very smart, pretty, athletic play. It is the kind of play you always envision bowen making when we play pressure D. With Bowen, Peak, Copeland, Trawick, Campbell, and Hopkins - we have more really athletic guys than we have had in the past. I expect that we’ll see more pressure defense to try to get these kind of easy baskets off turnovers.
-Another great play for bowen: Came off a Hayes pick in the foul line area, took one dribble through the lane, and threw down a strong two hand dunk. Very, very explosive move.
-Blew past copeland in transition for a layup
-Bowen has played real well in his last two games. I think we’ll be real glad he stuck around for a 5th year. Even with all the strong freshmen, I think Bowen will still be a valuable asset this season.
PAUL WHITE: 12 pts, 5-14 2 pt, 0-2 3 pt, 2-2 FT, 10 reb (3 off), 1 asst, 1 st, 2 TO
-Got beat defensively twice in the early going. His man outran him downcourt for a basket, and he got muscled under the basket by a smaller, stronger player for another.
-His Nowitzki style one leg shot, with the other leg extended in front to create space to shoot - is very nice. He hit two of these today, and I think this is going to be a trademark shot for white
-Showed good help defense, flying over to block a a shot (foul was called on primary defender on the play, white’s block was clean)
-Quietly piles up rebounds every game, both offensively and defensively
-Outside shot is still off. missed a whole bunch of jumpers today. Hit one or two, but just does not look real comfortable with his shot right now. His foul shot looks so much better than his pull up/3 point jumper right now. As I have noted before, he was a great pull up midrange jump shooter in high school this past year, so I think he should start hitting these consistently at some point.
-Likes to take his man off the bounce from the top of the key - very good at using a long, low first step to get past his defender.
TRE CAMPBELL: 20 pts, 5-6 2 pt, 2-8 3pt, 4-4 FT 2 reb (1 0ff), 1 asst, 2 TO
-Another real nice game for campbell. Very in control today. Missed a lot of 3s, but they were all good shots.
-Had a pullup 3, and a nice one dribble pull up from about 16 feet. His shot has looked better as the summer has progressed
-Did force one drive, resulting in an easy rejection in the lane
AUSTIN FREEMAN: 7 pts, 2-3 2 pt, 1-2 3 pt, 5 reb (1 off), 7 asst, 1 st, 2 TO
-Nice to see Austin in action. He pretty much deferred to the young guys, looking more to set up others than for his own shot. Had a lot of nice passes, especially in the first half.
DSR: 11 pts, 3-10 2 pt, 1-8 3pt, 2-2 FT, 4 reb, 9 asst, 2 st, 1 bl, 3 TO
-Sporting a new look today: black headband (casual marketing opportunity?), and he played most of the game with his mouthguard hanging out of his mouth - even when the ball was in play. The mouthguard thing was kind of odd.
-Really looked like a point guard for long stretches today. Found open men on the wings and under the basket (usually off a double team) throughout the game.
-The other team was trapping the ball a lot, especially when DSR had the ball. It seemed like they wanted to get the ball out of his hands. DSR did not turn it over much, but he also did not create a lot of good scoring opportunities out of beating the trap until he did so a few times late in the game.
-Outside shot was off today. All the shots were good looks, and he was not missing by much. But he only got a few jumpers to go today.
-Weird end to this game. DSR’s team (A Wash) was up 8 with about 30 seconds left. The other team hit a three, then A Wash had a bad turnover under pressure. Another quick 3, cuts the lead to 2 with 10 seconds left. On the inbounds after the basket - DSR slips as he is coming towards the pass, going to the ground. The pass zips past a fallen DSR, and goes right to an opposing player standing all by himself under his own basket, who converts the wide open layup at the buzzer to send the game to OT. A Wash seemed pretty stunned by this turn of events, and got whipped in the OT. If this was a real game, it would have been a terrible gut punch kind of loss that we would be talking about forever. Nice to get these kind of losses out of the way in the summer!
-Defended Marcus Thornton (real good offensive player) regularly today, did a solid job staying in front of him
TREY MOURNING: 7 pts, 2-7 2pt, 1-4 3pt, 7 reb (2 off), 1 asst.
-Early in the game he was looking for his jump shot, and he hit three jumpers early. But then he kind of disappeared from the offense for most of the rest of the game, until taking a few 3s in OT as A Wash. was trying to come back.
-Had a good offensive board, followed by a really good pass to a cutter at the rim (drew foul). Also threw a good back door pass to a cutter
-Beaten badly off the dribble a few times - feet are not quick defensively
-Missed a couple of contested shots at the rim - one he really should have hit. Made a good move to go under hoop to use rim to protect ball, but missed the lefty finish
-Had a good block on a marcus thornton scoop drive attempt.
RIYAN WILLIAMS: I was in and out during his game - it seemed to me that he hardly played at all, and i did not track any stats for him
TRAWICK, HOPKINS, CAMERON, ALLEN: the game between their two teams ended up as a forfeit, because Team Takeover was a no show (except for Trawick and Hopkins)
-SUNDAY SCHEDULE - games were originally scheduled to start at 3pm, but they announced on saturday that the games would start at 1pm.
-Greg Whittington: again stopped by for a visit.
-John Caprio was also in town for a visit
-Real big crowd for the Tombs game. Hoya Hoop Club sponsored a BBQ in the McDonough parking lot before the games that drew a good crowd - great idea, people really seemed to enjoy it. And the BBQ definitely boosted attendance at the Tombs game.