Kenner League recap for Saturday, July 7th:
Antwan Walker: 10 pts, 5-8 2pt, 0-5 3pt, 11 Reb (4 off), 1 asst, 1 bl, 4 TO
-Passed well today. Had two or three really clever looks to teammates around the basket.
-Tried to take his man off the dribble more than last summer. Had some success with a crossover, going to his left. He got by his man a few times, but could not really do much once he encountered traffic near the rim. Plus he still turns the ball over too often when trying to dribble in any kind of traffic.
-Rebounded well. Had one very strong offense board, which he followed up with a nice finish - flipping the ball back over his head.
-Did not look good on his 3s today. Most of them were off the dribble, outside the rhythm of the offense, and none came particularly close to going in.
Greg Malinowski: 20 pts, 2-10 2 pt, 4-5 ft, 4-6 3pt, 4 3g, 1 asst, 2 st, 2 TO
-Greg can definitely shoot the 3. Quick release, does not need a whole lot of space to get his shot off.
-Best on catch/shoot 3s, but also hit one tougher three off a dribble handoff
-Was able to get into the lane off the dribble a few times, but unable to finish any of the mid range floaters that resulted. Did draw one foul. Also had the ball stolen multiple times when he tried to take defenders off the dribble.
-Looks like he can contribute as a spot up shooter, but we probably don’t want him trying to create much for himself off the dribble.
Omer Yurtseven: 2 pts, 1-8 2pt, 0-2 3pt, 9 reb (5 off), 2 asst, 3 bl, 3 TO
-Got pushed around a bit inside on both ends of the court. Had a few blocks, but did not play with much force on D.
-Had some opportunities close to the hoop, but could not finish
-In warmups - his 15 foot jump shot looked great. Perfect form and rotation. But in the game, when he had to shoot more quickly - his mechanics broke down somewhat, he missed the shots, and none were particularly close. Seems to strain to shoot from 3, even in warmups
-Best talent today looked to be passing. Threw a nice swing pass to an open shooter, threw some good post passes to cutters. Seems to have some real passing vision
-Good outlet passer after defensive boards. Always looks up court for a guard/wing to start a fast break. He could be good at kicking the transition game into action after defensive boards.
-Beat defender off the dribble on a hard closeout, then threw a nice pass to an open shooter.
-On the whole, Omer was a bit disappointing today. I expected him to look more polished/effective offensively against the middling big man competition he faced in this game - nowhere near what he’ll face in the big east.
Jahvon Blair 23 pts, 5-6 2 pt, 1-3 ft, 4-11 3pt, 6 reb (1 off), 3 asst, 2 st
-Picked up where he left off last season, firing up shots at every opportunity. But also passed the ball well, and had no turnovers.
-Blair just knows now to score. Hits floaters, is able to finish at the rim even on a lot of contested shots.
Josh LeBlanc: 6 pts, 1-4 2pt, 4-6 ft, 0-2 3pt, 5 reb (4 off), 1 asst, 2 st, 3 bl
-Moves well on defense, gets into good help position.
-Looked even shorter than I thought, no more than an inch or two taller than Mosely.
-Long arms, good leap, and good timing make him effective contesting shots as a help defender
-Very raw offensive game. Almost no rotation on his shot, not great at putting the ball on the floor. Will probably score most of his points in transition/on dump down passes and followups at the rim
-Caught a pass at full speed in transition and finished - provided a nice glimpse of the kind of stuff he will hopefully be able to do consistently as he develops.
Jagan Mosely: 3 pts, 0-5 2pt, 1-1 3pt, 2 reb, 3 asst, 1 bl
-Kind of quiet today. Did not shoot much. Hit his only 3, but could not finish through traffic around the rim
-Threw some nice passes in transition for assists.
Jamorko Pickett: 10 pts, 2-10 2pt, 2-5 3 pt, 4 reb (1 off), 3 TO
-Focused on attacking off the dribble. Was able to get to the rim a few times, but only finished once
-His one finish was fun - attacked basket for a dunk off a ball fake from about 17 feet out. Did not dribble - it was probably an uncalled travel, but it was fun
-Not quite strong or explosive enough yet to finish when he gets into the lane off the dribble.
Trey Mourning: 22 pts, 9-12 2pt, 1-2 ft, 1-2 3pt, 7 reb (1 off), 2 asst, 2 TO
-Very solid game from Trey. Offensively, he has a good feel for where to move and cut in order to free himself up for passes that lead to good shots at the rim.
-But I still worry that shots he can finish in Kenner will be much tougher for him against bigger, more athletic defenders in the BE
-Trey clearly has a good feel for the game on both ends, and he has good scoring skills. Could be in the mix at the 4/backup 5 because he plays smart. But his limited explosiveness gives him a lower ceiling that better athletes like LeBlanc and Walker - who are not as skilled as Trey, but can perhaps impact the game more at the BE level because of their athleticism.
James Akinjo: 19 pts, 7-14 2pt, 2-5 ft, 1-8 3pt, 3 reb (1 off), 5 asst, 2 st, 3 TO
-Akino is clearly the real deal. He came out ready to play, and was in Anthony Cowan’s (maryland Jr. point guard, a solid Big 10 starter) jock the entire game.
-Very solid defender. Aggressive attitude, moves his feet well, stays low. Physical, but was not called for too many penalties.
-Very strong ball handler. Not super quick, but can us skill and strength to get by his man. Finished well around basket. Hit one spectacular baseline drive, snaking through a few defenders, under the basket, to finish on the other side of the rim. The kind of hoop that we have not seen at Georgetown for a long time!
-Finished over Mourning for a +1. His ability to finish in traffic/over size was impressive, as he has to be around 6’ tall.
-Probably not a ‘pure’ point guard, as he definitely looks for his shot. But also looks for open men, and threw a number of really nice Pick and Roll passes - classic stuff like a bounce pass to the roll man leading to a layup, along with more basic drive/kick stuff to shooters at the perimeter.
-Had a few steals while pressuring Cowan in the backcourt
-He clearly takes a lot of pride in his defense, and his intensity impacts the entire team.
-If there is one negative today - outside shooting. Did not shoot well from the line. He and Mac are both going to draw lots of fouls, they have to hit their foul shots. He also fired up too many off the dribble 3s that were a bit out of the rhythm of the offense. His shot can be a little flat, and he can create better shots than off the dribble 3s. Unless the shot clock is running down, he should be looking to attack off the dribble or move the ball with passing rather than jacking up these kind of 3s. He’ll make them sometimes, but this is not the strength of his game, and he can get us better shots than these.
Mac McClung: 18 pts, 6-15 2 pt, 6-9 ft, 0-3 3pt, 2 reb (1 off), 6 asst, 2 st
-Most impressive thing is he played within himself. Had a few spectacular hoops, but did not try to force the spectacular. Played smart basketball
-Does tend to leak out when a shot goes up, rather than digging down for defensive boards. That can be a sound strategy at times, given his finishing ability. But against good teams that balance the floor, he will need to hit the defensive boards harder
-When you see him up close - he is built like a strong safety. Muscular, thick in the legs and chest, broad shoulders. He looks extremely strong, and you can see it in the way he can absorb contact without getting knocked off balance when he drives
-My favorite play of the game - he beat his man and got into the lane; absorbed some contact but powered through to finish with his left hand and draw the foul. This kind of play is, in my mind, what makes him uniquely valuable, far more than the dunks. Not many guards would have been able to handle this contact and still finish, especially with their off hand
-Plays with the same kind of energy and aggressiveness as Akinjo. They look for each other - Akinjo threw him a few lobs; some worked, some didn’t. But they clearly are developing a feel for each others’ games.
-Passed the ball well. Definitely not a ball hog, he looks for open men. Had one flashy behind the back pass that led to a layup
-Forced some jump shots. Like Akinjo - he can get these shots off any time he wants, but they are not good shots. Needs to be patient and run offense to look for better shots unless the shot clock is running out.
Jessie Govan: 24 pts, 5-9 2pt, 8-8 ft, 2-4 3pt, 11 reb (3 off), 2 bl, 1 TO
-Really solid game, did everything well. Looked very comfortable and confident, did not make any noticeable mistakes
-Hard to judge D in these games sometimes, but he was not getting beat by guards on the perimeter (in switches) and at the rim the way he often has been in the past. We’ll have to see how his defense is developing against better competition in real games, but the fact that he was fundamentally solid to day is encouraging. advantage) at this point in their careers. Thomas is a good, versatile offensive player. He can take most big men off the dribble, and he did not burn Jessie on this kind of move today. Thomas has a consistent mid range jumper, and he often puts up big numbers in Kenner games. Jessie handled him well today. But Thomas has to be 33 or so, so Jessie does have a significant athletic, size, and age advantage.
-I think Jessie will have a very solid year. He was very good offensively/rebounding last year, and he looks ready to build on that as a senior
-Hit a tough turnaround baseline jumper
-Ran the court hard to finish a lob dunk
Grayson Carter: 5 pts, 1-1 2pt, 1-3 3pt, 3 reb,
-Did not play much, probably less than 1/3 of the game.
-He had good form on his 3 ball, and got it off quickly
-Hard to say much else, based on his limited playing time.
Kaleb Johnson: 24 pts, 9-19 2pt, 6-8 ft, 0-3 3pt, 9 reb (5 off), 1 asst, 1 st, 2 TO
-Almost all of Kaleb’s points came on drives to the hoop going left, with space to work with(usually in transition) - his bread and butter move. But he also got to the rim through some degree of traffic a few times - he often gets stripped when he tries this, so it was good to see him have some success driving through traffic today. Also drew a few fouls.
-But his offensive game is still limited. Missed all his threes, and really has just the one "drive left" move. As we saw in BE play last year, that kind of limited game can really get shut down against BE caliber defenders.
-Had a great steal - got right up on Frank Howard (Syracuse point guard) near mid court, stole the ball as he went to the ground, and immediately called a TO before he traveled or lost the ball out of bounds. Aggressive, heads up hustle play.
-Kaleb’s role this year is the hardest thing for me to project at this point. He defends well and hustles, but can be so limited offensively. He played a lot last year, but this year we have LeBlanc’s physical talent/potential, Malinowski’s shooting, the freshman guards perhaps pushing Blair/Mosely to some time in a potential 3 guard look, and walker’s athleticism all potentially challenging Kaleb’s playing time. I could see him getting 25 minutes a game, and I could see him getting just token playing time. Too many variables at play to make any kind of meaningful prediction at this point.
Additional note: Rodney Pryor played with Jessie and Muresan (who hardly played, so I did not track his minimal stats). He can still light it up in Kenner play, he went for about 25 today.