Kenner League returned to McDonough Arena on Saturday after a two-year hiatus. The league features nearly all of the 2022-2023 Georgetown basketball roster along with other top-level DMV basketball talent from Villanova, Connecticut, Maryland, Rutgers, and others. As two desperately deprived basketball fans, we decided to spend 6+ hours at McDonough over the past two days and write out our first-weekend impressions of the Hoyas.
Kenner league is so funny. The crowd is going to be players friends and families and then the absolute sickos of georgetown basketball fans— Austin Barish (@AustinBarish) July 1, 2022
Kenner League hasn’t released box scores so most of our analysis is based on a combination of the eye test and some notable highlights and unofficial stats that we wrote down between whistles. Feel free to overreact to it as much as you please, we certainly will.
Note: We missed the A. Wash Associates game on Sunday with Dante Harris and Bradley Ezewiro but were told that Ezewiro was very impressive with an unofficial 27 points including shooting 4/6 from 3.
Bradley Ezewiro is a pleasant surprise today, has 19 points & 4 three’s so far ..still 21 minutes left in game— Dre (@DCSportsDre) July 3, 2022
Denver Anglin (Freshman, G): Anglin is one of the players we most looked forward to seeing play in the Kenner League. Heralded as one of the best shooters in the incoming freshman class, Anglin lived up to his billing shooting 4/9 from deep including several off the dribble. Anglin looked very comfortable on the floor; you would not have known he was an incoming freshman from how he played. He was very composed, with few careless mistakes or erroneous shots, and was able to capitalize on several second-chance baskets off his own misses. Anglin was able to flash his athleticism with a two-handed dunk off an assist from fellow freshman D’ante Bass. He also grabbed a few steals and drew a charge. In the final seconds of the game, Anglin helped seal a victory for Higher Level with two clutch free throws and a block on a last-chance three. If Anglin can continue to operate at such a high level, he should be able to command minutes early into his Georgetown career despite a crowded guard room. His ability to both shoot and create for himself is a rare skill set that should serve him well in his time on the Hilltop.
D’ante Bass (Freshman, F): Bass also made his Kenner League debut on Sunday. He definitely looked like a freshman early in the game with a few poor turnovers but grew more comfortable in the second half. He was able to utilize his absurd athleticism several times both on the boards and on defense. It is rare that a rebound can command a gasp but one of Bass’s several offensive rebounds, in which he skyed over an opponent to grab the ball with one hand, managed to make jaws drop. Bass also contributed to the ongoing theme of almost-posters but was unable to finish. He did a great job creating good looks for himself at the basket but missed a couple of layups; however, his ability to drive the lane looked promising. As a distributor, Bass has some work to do but was able to find his teammates, including Anglin, for a few solid assists. While he still has lots of room to develop, Bass has tools you cannot teach as an athlete and flashed impressive potential on both ends of the court.
Wayne Bristol (Junior, G/F): Howard transfer Bristol made his unofficial Georgetown debut this weekend after joining the Hoyas last spring. Bristol did not appear in his game on Sunday but we were able to catch his Saturday performance. It took him a few minutes to get going but Bristol looked solid. He was able to make a few highlight baskets including an and-1 and a nice three. While his performance was not spectacular, Bristol did the right things without any glaring mistakes. At 6’6”, Bristol looked like he could comfortably play the two or the three this season.
Jay Heath (Junior, G): Heath, coming to the Hilltop after stints with Boston College and Arizona State, looked like the whole package in his Sunday game. He was lights out from three, knocking down 6/12 attempts and converting on some tricky pullups and stepbacks. According to our count, he finished with 31 points. He also impressed as a distributor, serving as his team’s primary ball-handler for much of the game and finding Malcolm Wilson off of the opening tip for a lay-in. His rebounding was impressive as well and he used his work on the glass to lead his team in transition. Heath even tried a huge dunk and nearly managed to put it through. If he is able to secure a transfer waiver, Heath seems ready to start for the Hoyas.
Jay Heath is putting on an absolute SHOW right now at the @KennerLeague. Getting whatever he wants on the offensive end.— Raymond Lyons (@hoopsrealist) July 3, 2022
Brandon Murray (Sophomore, G): Murray, the crown jewel of Georgetown’s massive transfer class, played in two of the games we attended this weekend. Unfortunately, Murray was poked in the eye on a rebound early in the second game and never returned; from what we saw, the injury seemed relatively minor. In his full performance, Murray shined. He was clearly the best player on the floor and played like he knew that too. He hit some difficult threes and pull-up jumpers and was able to get to the hoop, finishing a few tough layups including an and-one. In a tie game with less than a minute remaining, Murray attempted to put fellow Hoya Ryan Mutombo on a poster, just missing a tomahawk dunk in transition. Had he finished the dunk, it would have been SportsCenter worthy. The almost-slam capped off a 15-point comeback led by Murray and Spears and the Tombs won the game in overtime.
Ryan Mutombo (Sophomore, C): Mutombo didn’t have his best performance on Saturday. He was the tallest player on the court but didn’t seem to take advantage of his height advantage, trying to fade away instead of going up strong against smaller big men. He did manage some good defensive plays and hit a three from the top of the key. Mutombo will look to knock off the rust next weekend and he should be in play for heavy backup center minutes next year.
Jordan Riley (Sophomore, G): After missing most of his freshman season with a shoulder injury, it was great to see Riley back on the floor. Despite coming off the bench, Riley looked like On Point’s best player (of the game at least). We have known that Riley can jump through the roof since before he ever stepped foot on the Hilltop but his effortless bounce is especially remarkable to see in person. In a more casual environment with far more transition play and little set action, Riley’s athleticism was on display. He was able to send several shots off the backboard on defense and grabbed a ridiculous close-out block on a three. On offense, Riley was similarly impressive knocking down some pull-up jumpers and getting into the lane. Many had high hopes for Riley entering last season but we were not able to get a full picture of what he could do. His performance on Saturday, particularly on the defensive end where Georgetown has struggled, was very encouraging for his sophomore year.
Jordan Riley with the pin block today (via kennerleague/IG) pic.twitter.com/fm3uAFha1M— Hilltop Hoops (@HilltopHoops_) July 2, 2022
Primo Spears (Sophomore, PG): Spears comes to the Hilltop from Duquesne, where he led the Dukes in scoring as a freshman point guard. He played for The Tombs with Murray on Saturday and Sunday. Spears stood out as one of the fastest players on the court and looked to penetrate on most of his possessions. His finishing around the rim wasn’t great, but he managed to draw some fouls, and step back for some mid-range jumpers. His best work was as a distributor, driving and kicking to open shooters. At one point, he got the crowd going with a great crossover to lose his man but couldn’t knock down the three-pointer. He was very active on the defensive end with a few steals and very quick feet. In general, Spears seems ready to compete for point guard minutes this season.
Qudus Wahab (Senior, C): Wahab picked up right where he left off for the Hoyas in his Saturday game, looking just like his freshman self. He dominated the paint with TONS of blocks, a putback dunk, and a few of his patented turnaround baby hooks. Wahab still looked a little lost whenever he was asked to come out to the perimeter but his ability to pass out of the double team seems to have improved and he looks like a lock to start for the Hoyas at center this year. We were only at Kenner for Wahab’s Saturday game but heard that he hit a three and made some solid passes on Sunday.
Malcolm Wilson (Senior, C): Wilson didn’t stand out too much offensively in his Sunday game but looked solid on the defensive end. He moved his feet well on the perimeter and earned lots of blocks inside. Wilson did have his moments offensively with a nice catch and finish on a feed from Heath in the first minute and some big dunks but he did lose the ball in the post a few times. On the final possession of the game, he hustled for two offensive rebounds. In all, he looked like the most agile of the big men.