Kenner League Recap: July 27, 2014

A recap of Sunday's Kenner league action:

ISAAC COPELAND: 13 pts, 5-11 2 pt, 1-3 3 pt, 3 reb (1 off), 3 asst, 1 st, 2 TO

-Most exciting play was a dunk of a backcourt steal

-Had a nice end to end drive. Copeland continues to show a nice handle in transition

-Had a good transition pass to LJ for an easy basket

-Copeland always plays within the flow of the game. He will probably be more assertive as he gains experience, but he does look for good opportunities to assert himself offensively.

LJ PEAK: 13 pts, 5-11 2 pt, 0-2 3pt, 3-3 FT, 3 reb (1 off), 9 asst, 2 TO

-The lower point total is not any indication of a poor game for peak. He pretty much played point guard today, and did a good job. Henry Sims and Julian Vaughn played for the Tombs, and they dominated the game (see details below).

-In the first half, Sims/Vaughn were dominating the defensive boards and firing outlet passes to Peak near midcourt. Peak would then immediately find a man streaking downcourt for a bunch of fast break baskets, including a lob dunk from mid court to Vaughn for a dunk

-Also hit vaughn streaking through the lane from mid court followed by a dunk. It was a great pass - Peak showed good vision to see the angle of the pass and deliver it perfectly

-Peak was aggressive in his passing, the same way in which he is so often aggressive off the dribble. That is just his mindset, and it is wonderful to see him doing this in the passing game as well as when he is driving to the basket.

-Failed to convert a few early attack moves to the basket that he has usually been finishing this summer

-Did have one spectacular shot - a running bank shot off one foot from about 7 feet, plus the foul

-In the second half, with a big lead, Peak mostly dumped the ball in to Henry in the post, and the offense ran from there. This was the best attack plan for the Tombs, as none of the defenders could handle Henry down low.

HENRY SIMS: 18 pts, 8-13 2 pt, 2-2 FT, 11 reb (2 off), 1 asst, 2 st, 1 bl, 3 TO

-Lots of boards, and he showed the entire array of post moves: jump hooks, turnaround jumper, drop step up and under, etc.

-Henry really played well for the Sixers down the stretch last year, and you can see that he has continued to work hard to refine his game and body (thicker and stronger). It looks like Hnery is building a really nice NBA career. It will be interesting to see what kind of playing time he gets with Philly now that Noel is playing; and moving forward, when Embiid is ready to play next year. Hopefully he’ll get enough court time this year to establish his value for another team in the future, as he is probably good enough to deserve minutes that he will be unlikely to get if he remains behind Noel and Embiid.

JULIAN VAUGHN: 22 pts, 9-11 2pt, 4-6 FT, 18 reb (8 off), 3 asst, 1 st, 1 bl

-The best game I have ever seen Vaughn play! He had a bunch of transition dunks (usually from Peak), and owned the boards on both ends. Has lost quite a bit of weight from his Hoya days, allowing him to run the court and explode from a standing start very effectively. I think Julian has been playing in Europe, and he is clearly working hard to establish a professional career

-Vaughn was often matched up against Akil Mitchell - just graduated from UVA, a real good college player. Vaughn pretty much dominated him, making his performance even more impressive.

-Note: the dominance of Vaughn and Sims is a good reminder that well you can draw some meaningful conclusions from Kenner play, it is also true that sometimes fairly average talents can have dominant runs in this kind of summer league. That is not meant to minimize the talents of Sims and Vaughn. But just like Gus Gilchrist - a tall, athletic, skilled big man who plays hard will often fair extremely well in the Kenner league.

BRADLEY HAYES: 9 pts, 4-7 2pt, 1-2 FT, 14 reb (2 off), 1 asst, 1 to

-Had a few really nice bounce passes to cutters in the lane. Established good low post position regularly against an Lincoln Park team that played very small. Got stripped by the help defender a few times, but also threw these good passes out of the double teams.

-Had two possessions in a row where he pulled down offensive boards and followed right up for hoops

-Controlled the defensive boards with his big height advantage.

-Most noticeable play: doubled in the corner about 15 feet away, he split the defenders and dribbled to the basket - but missed the easy layup under minimal defensive challenge at the basket

-I have to take a minute to talk about the Lincoln Park team that DCX (Hayes and Bowen) played today. They are led by Dele Ojo of Pfeiffer college, and are a group of unknown guys from small schools. they are almost all smaller, fast guys who play at 100 mph all the time, and never saw a 3 they did not like. Ojo is listed at 6’, 160. I would guess he is at least 2 inches shorter. He is 31, and plays like a veteran - all over the court running, shooting, grabbing offensive boards, directing his teammates and keeping the team energy/focus up. Lincoln Park plays like the Phoenix Suns of the Kenner league - they put up 53 points in the first half of both games this weekend, blitzing teams right off the court with fast breaks and a barrage of 3 point shots. They are a lot of fun to watch. And they are also another reminder of the limitations of making judgments from Kenner play. Ojo was pretty much as spectacular as Peak this weekend, and he is a journeyman who never got a sniff at the NBA - he is a DC circuit legend, having been MVP of the Goodman league in the past. Again, no critique of Ojo, he plays super hard and smart, and is really talented. But he is miles from being an NBA level talent, yet can be a dominant Kenner league player.

15 pts, 5-9 2 pt, 1-5 3 pt, 2-2 FT, 5 reb (4 off), 2 asst, 1 st, 5 TO

-Missed most of his threes, including an almost-airball to start the game

-Did not do much in the first half, but settled in and played better in the second half

-Kind of shared the PG duties with Mo Creek, as DCX did not have any natural point guards. He ended up driving the ball to the basket pretty frequently, but 3 or 4 times he got caught in the air with nowhere to pass the ball, resulting in turnovers.

-Hit a baseline pull up jumper from about 10 feet. He continues to look better on these mid range pull-ups than he does when he has his feet set from 3.

-Best move of the day: quick crossover to beat his man, one dribble into the lane, flew up for a power two hand dunk. Had a very similar move on saturday. His athleticism and length is a tremendous strength, and hopefully he can pick his spots to use it effectively this year.

PAUL WHITE: 13 pts, 6-11 2pt, 0-3 3 pt 1-1 FT, 6 reb (4 off), 2 asst, 1 st, 2 TO

-Drew a textbook charge on Marcus Thornton

-Struggled when guarded by Patricio Garino (GW). Garino is a big, strong, athletic guy - he was just too much for white. He could not beat him off the dribble, could not back him down - pretty much stymied offensively, especially in first half

-Played better in the second half, more focused and aggressive.

-Had no defensive boards until late in the game. he was struggling defending the rim as the only tall player for Clydes, getting pushed around by stronger players.

-Had a nice offensive board followed by a basket on which he fought through three defenders

-Still not connecting much on his jump shots

19 pts, 4-12 2 pt, 3-8 3 pt, 2-2 FT, 2 reb, 1 asst, 2 st, 4 to

-Hit White with a good pass in transition

-Got beat off the dribble badly a few times, but by good players - Marcus Thornton, pe’shon howard (Maryland and USC player)

-Took a few too many threes early in possessions, before making much attempt to initiate an offensive set

-Looks good on his pull up jumper - under control, hits a good % of them

-Had one real rough play - 2 on 1 in transition, it looked like a pretty obvious situation in which to pass for an easy basket. But he kept the ball, challenged the defender for a strongly contested shot, and missed badly

-Scored most of his points on jumpers, was not finishing around the rim on his drives

-That all sounds pretty negative, which is not fair - Campbell played a solid game, but his team really fell apart at the end of the game. The other team outscored Clyde’s by about 20 points in the final 7 or 8 minutes, for a 100-72 final.

DSR: 23 pts, 3-5 2pt, 5-8 3 pt, 2-2 FT, 7 reb (1 off), 8 asst, 3 TO

-No headband or mouthguard hanging out of his mouth today!

-Really played a point guard role until late in the game - not much scoring until late, he was looking much more to set up teammates, and piled up a good number of assists. He is starting to look more like a PG in his play. He does not make spectacular passes, but sees open shooters both on the wings and underneath. Makes the kind of sound, simple passes that keep an offense moving

-The downside - he sometimes fails to look to attack the lane when he is in more of a PG mode. DSR’s greatest talent is getting into the lane and hitting his variety of pull up jumpers/floaters and drawing fouls. With time, he should find the balance between setting up others and generating his own shots

-Got hot from outside towards the end of the first half. Had been missing a lot of jumpers the last few weeks, but he found his range today and started knocking down 3s

-Struggled defensively on the ball - was beaten repeatedly by Tre kelly. Kelly is a real good offensive guard who played at the U. of South Carolina, and DSR could not stay in front of him at all in the first half. He switched defensive assignments in the second half - matching up more with Jabril, who he also struggled with. Jabril went at him real aggressively, finishing through contact and drawing a lot of fouls. Not a good defensive day for DSR.

0 pts, 0-2 2 pt, 0-1 3 pt, 1 reb, 1 TO

-Missed an easy layup off a nice DSR pass early in game

-Had a few nice passes setting up scoring opportunities. Sees the court well as a passer, and overall knows where to be on the court. But he is just overmatched physically right now. Not quick or strong enough

23 pts, 5-10 2 pt, 1-2 3pt, 10-11 FT, 11 reb (3 off), 1 asst, 3 TO

-A bit passive (for Jabril) in first half, as Tre Kelly dominated the offense for Takeover. But he really went to the hoop hard in the second half - finishing through contact and drawing a bunch of fouls

-Very strong on the boards today. Jabril does not always pull in a lot of rebounds, but today he really went hard at the defensive boards. He was aggressive overall - knocking people over, ending up on the floor himself after drawing contact on drives.

-Not too many jump shots today. But his foul shot looked really good - he was very loose and comfortable at the line.

-Did hit a big 3 late in the game when his defender backed off to protect against the drive. Hitting these kind of 3s is important to his offensive game. If defenders need to play him tight to stop the 3, he’ll be very effective driving to the basket.


-Took Mourning off the dribble twice in a row early in the game. Finished one of these drives with a very nice running LH hook shot in the lane ("Hooker in the lane", for all the Chvotkin fans!)

-He went right at Mourning every time they matched up offensively - post ups, face ups, etc. Mikael really overpowered Mourning at both ends of the court all game.

-Had a good coast to coast drive - pulled down the board, dribbled the length of the court, finished with a nice scoop layup. He likes to do this (or try to) almost every game in the summer. We probably don’t want to see him trying this move too often during real games!

-Had one block that should obviously have been called goaltending

-Did a nice job drawing fouls on baseline drives

-Hopkins is such a good athlete, and brings some really good qualities. But his natural instinct when he touches the ball on offense is almost always to try to create a shot for himself. He is going to be the 5th best offensive option on the court most of the time this year - so we really don’t want him doing too much shot creation. But I don’t think it is in his hoops DNA to just play a complementary role on offense - I think he is likely to continue to use up a lot of offensive possessions, with a lot less efficiency than his teammates.

did not play for his team today


-FRIDAY NIGHT: there are 2 games on Friday night starting at 8:30pm. I won’t be at these games, so no recap

-NEXT SATURDAY AND SUNDAY: final regular season games start at 3:30 on Saturday (4 games). First round of playoffs start at 3:30 on Sunday (this is different from published schedule) - 4 games

-SPECIAL GUEST: on Sunday was former Washington Times Hoya beat writer Barker Davis. Barker and his son came down from Philly for the day to catch the games. Barker did a great job covering the Hoyas, far better than any of the other beat writers in recent years. His Hoya coverage is definitely missed.

Stay Casual, my friends.