It’s time for Kenner League grades! Round two!! I was going to post these earlier, but Kenner came through with full box scores from weeks one and two, which was pretty great, so I held off. The stats below are per-game stats through games played. And the grades for the Georgetown Hoyas players are my general assessment of how each guy played this past weekend. The comments are pretty much whatever I thought about.
Before we get into it, a brief note about the “but it’s Kenner” agenda that has been going around. Yes, it’s Kenner. And yes, the Kenner competition and style of play are nowhere near the level that guys will be expected to play at during the season. And sure, it’s probably a bad way to evaluate or predict how a player will be come November. That is all true. I would also say that if you are the person who is saying, “But you said he was great in Kenner” after a stinker performance against Seton Hall in December, I am not sure I can really help you. Yes, Kenner is imperfect and largely meaningless. But it’s also fun! And guys are trying things and working on stuff and mostly playing horrendous basketball, but hey, they are playing. And if they are playing, let us make wild and irresponsibly rash judgments about who is making All-Big East. It’s so much more fun that way, and maybe, just maybe, there is a small nugget of truth in what we’re seeing. And if not, what harm has been done? When the team is .500 through the first 10 games, no one will think about how we were lied to in Kenner! But if they are steamrolling through the BE field on the backs of Rowan’s triple-doubles and Wayne’s 22 PPG with monster dunks, you can say, “I knew it because Kenner!” And no one will tell you you’re wrong, even though you are.
Alright then, here we go! Also, no grades next week.
Ismael Massoud - B+
THRU 3 GAMES: 15.6 PPG, 41% FG, 30% 3PT, 51% eFG, 8.6 RPG (1.3 OFF), 2.3 APG, .6 SPG, .6 BPG, 1.3 TPG
Ish was better than the first weekend. He only played one game, but he shot it a lot better overall. He put his foot down a bit in the second half and rattled off a couple of threes in a row, a few from very deep. He definitely has that ability, and he is going to absolutely work as a pick-and-pop option. Since last weekend, I have been racking my brain trying to figure out who he reminds me of, and it finally clicked for me: Kyle Anderson, aka Slow-Mo. You’re probably thinking, “Hey! That’s great, he’s just like one of the better 6th men in the NBA.” Well…slow your roll, Slow-Mo stans! He plays a lot like Anderson, playing extremely slowly and deliberately. He looks like Anderson a lot when he is surveying the floor and makes a move. He’s about the same size, 6’9 and has a lot of the same mannerisms. His shot also reminds me of Anderson, though I think Ish has a better (and slightly quicker) shot. Anderson is much better in general (obviously, as he is an NBA player) but particularly around the basket. He’s also, and this is crucial, a gigantic exception of a basketball player. He has succeeded because of but also in spite of his unique slow play style. He almost lulls defenders to sleep before somehow ending up basket side of them or finding an open man. There are not many players like Anderson, and it’s a tough way to make a living. Ish plays the same type of slow, methodical pace, and it can be effective, but I’ll be interested to see how it works with this team. I think a lot depends on how he’s used
Dontrez Styles - C
THRU 2 GAMES: 12 PPG, 35% FG, 25% 3PT, 41% eFG, 8.5 RPG (1.5 OFF), 1.5 APG, 1.5 TPG
I like Styles. He’s a good fundamental basketball player. I would pump the brakes a bit, as I think he has a ways to go to contribute. Consistency is his biggest challenge right now, at least in Kenner. He had a couple of flashes and then was largely in the background. This was a major characteristic of players from the previous regime. It’s also something that largely contrasts with the other Hoyas Coach Cooley has brought in, who are much more active and are able to enforce their will on the game. Based on the two games I’ve seen from him, I am not really sure what Styles is yet. And that’s OK! He’s got good athleticism and a decent-looking shot. In my opinion, he is more of a long-term piece, which counts for precisely nothing.
Wayne Bristol - A+
THRU 2 GAMES: 22 PPG, 50% FG, 44% 3PT, 62 eFG%, 2 RPG (.5 OFF), 1 APG, .5 SPG, 1 TPG
I feel like I say this in every Kenner post: I know it’s Kenner. I know it’s meaningless. I know it doesn’t translate. BUT…Wayne looks like an entirely different dude. He is playing with a confidence that is really refreshing. He’s absolutely everywhere, making literally everything, and he tried several times this weekend to end lives on massive dunks. He has looked, frankly, great and easily the best of the Hoyas (yes, even Rowan). If he can play at the same level against much better competition, he will be an all-BE caliber guy. Can you set that expectation based on 2 Kenner League games? Absolutely not! But it’s fun to think about, isn’t it? His combination of strong on-ball defense and his new-found confidence on the offense end would catapult him into a starting spot IMO. It’s fun to watch him play right now, I suggest doing it.
Drew McKenna - INC
THRU 4 GAMES: 12.2 PPG, 40% FG, 22% 3PT, 42% eFG%, 7 RPG (1.5 OFF), 1 APG, .6 BPG, 2.75 TPG
I could only see a half of one of Drew’s two games this weekend. From reports and the little I saw, he looked better during weekend one and had trouble getting into the games. He’s playing on a team with a lot of guys who are…ahem, let’s say, ball-dominant, so it’s sort of slim pickings for him out there. Seriously, he’s like the 7th of 5 options when he’s on the floor. It’s frustrating to watch, I can only imagine how frustrating it is for Drew. I still like his game. I think he has good fundamentals and a good feel. He’s got a ways to go, and I think his path to seeing the floor this year is largely on the glass. He also needs to be able to defend on the perimeter, which is a concern.
Jay Heath - P
THRU 3 GAMES: 13 PPG, 44% FG, 23% 3PT, 50% eFG, 2.6 RPG (.6 OFF), 3.6 APG, 1 SPG, 1 TPG
Jay has officially reached the “nothing left to prove” stage of his Kenner career. Much like the giants who came before him, Kaleb Johnson, Jessie Govan, Juggy Blair, and Donald Carey, we’ve seen enough of Jay in Kenner. He’s cracked it. Nothing he can do, good or bad, will change my opinion of him or thoughts about his game. The biggest question for him this year is can he be the guy to go get a bucket? I genuinely do not know. And I don’t think Kenner is going to tell us.
Rowan Brumbaugh - B+
THRU 4 GAMES: 19.75 PPG, 58% FG, 59% 3PT, 69% eFG, 6 RPG (.75 OFF), 5 APG, 2.75 SPG, 3.5 TPG
Rowan was better in week one but was still pretty good. On Saturday, he had a particularly tough matchup against Wayne Bristol and Dontrez Styles. He found himself specifically matched up with former Va Tech standout, 2nd round pick, and current overseas pro Eric Green. And Green went AT him. It took Rowan a bit to get into the game, but he was in it once he did. He finished with 16 and 5 on 40% shooting from the floor and from 3. He had too many turnovers, which is something to watch but may just be related to Kenner-looseness. His ability to manipulate the defense remains excellent. On Sunday, I had him on early triple-double watch. He had like 6 rebounds in the first 10 minutes or something. Ultimately he finished with 23 and 9 but only 4 assists, with, I’d say a conservative estimate, 15 would-be assists that were botched by teammates. I’ve put my stake in the ground. Give Rowan the keys - I think I like Jay off the bench anyway. Can he defend at a high-enough level? Dunno, but the offense will run with him on the floor. And he also takes really smart, well-timed shots, as evidenced by his 59% from three so far.
Akok Akok - A-
THRU 2 GAMES: 11.5 PPG, 44% FG, 42% 3PT, 50% eFG, 9.5 RPG (2 OFF), 1 BPG, 1.5 TPG
Do not, under any circumstances, try to see Akok play on a Sunday. Akok does not play on Sundays; at least, he hasn’t so far this summer, and I vaguely think he didnt last summer. Regardless, he was effective in his one game on Saturday. He looks fairly comfortable in the pick-and-roll with Rowan, and my conspiracy theory is that the staff put these two together for Kenner because they wanted to get Rowan reps with the only-for-sure starter. I still would like to see more offensive creation from him, but that may not be in the cards. He had a nice drive and finished with a spin and layup. Something I don’t remember being a part of his game. He was also more eager to shoot, which I deeply encourage.
Supreme Cook - NO GRADE
THRU 2 GAMES: 19.5 PPG, 55% FG, 58% eFG, 11 RPG (7.5 OFF), 1 APG, .5 BPG, 1 TPG
I did not see Supreme play this weekend. By all accounts, he played well. Despite his 6’9 size, he is the only 5 on the roster, besides Ryan and maybe Drew Fielder, who has not played yet this Summer. I think it’s time to start getting used to the idea of Supreme starting at the Center position. And frankly, I don’t think it’s a horrible option. As I mentioned last week, he plays insanely hard, is super active and will defend like a machine. He will get boards and find hustle points of put-backs. You’re going to love him if your expectations are calibrated correctly.
Ryan Mutombo - INC
THRU ½ a GAME: 13 PPG, 67% FG, 67% eFG, 11 RPG (5 OFF), 1 APG, 2 BPG, 2 TPG
Great to see Ryan in his first Kenner League action of the Summer. Horrible to see him leave shortly into the second half with what looked like a knee issue. He came up limping (I didn’t see why) and immediately took himself out. He had some ice on his left knee before sitting in the stands for a while. It does not seem to be anything serious, but it was a bummer not to get more of a game from him. When he was in, he was bigger than everyone. Like, a lot bigger. He used that well. He did some of the typical Ryan things of finishing some nice ones off of post moves and then also giving the ball away in rather frustrating ways. If I am really searching, it looks to me that his quickness was SLIGHTLY better. He at least seemed to be working on the defensive end. He got blown by when he got switched, but it seemed not as bad as we’ve seen. The big question is can Ryan be an acceptable option for a team that is literally begging for centers? The jury is still very much out.
Donovan Grant - B
THRU 3 GAMES: 11.6 PPG, 39% FG, 44% 3PT, 53% eFG, 10.6 RPG (3.3 OFF) 1.6 APG, 2.6 SPG, .6 TPG
Donovan Grant has now played 3 games, and Kenner is officially a nice piece. I have absolutely no idea whether he can translate to high-major, Big East-level competition, but he’s a good fundamental player. He rebounds, he runs, he jump stops, he catches and works out of the triple-threat, and he shoots well. He does a lot of unspectacular but good basketball things.