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Kenner League Recap: Sunday, July 2nd

Below is the recap of Kenner League action from Sunday, July 2nd, 2023:

Drew McKenna: 16 pts, 3-5 2 pt, 7-8 FT, 1-4 3pt, 3 reb (1 off) 1 asst, 3 TO

-He plays well off the ball. He is always moving on the perimeter as the ball moves, in response to how the D is moving. He looks for an open spot at the three point line to make himself available for a kick out pass.

-He also looks for opportunities to cut into open space in the lane. He times these cuts well

-The problem in these Kenner League games - his teammates are usually not looking to pass the ball very much! There were many times throughout the game when he was open on a cut or open for a 3 because of his off ball movement, but his teammates either shot, or kept dribbling while trying to create a shot for themselves. Hopefully in real games his teammates will be find him for more of these opportunities - especially if he plays with a good point guard (see notes on Brumbaugh below)

-He does a good job of using his body to create space/protect the ball. He is fairly thin, but he is able to convert around the basket/draw fouls by using his body well. He also knows how to use his shoulder to give his defender a little nudge that creates space for a mid range jumper

-Drew’s on ball D can be a bit rough. He was beaten cleanly off the dribble at least three times. His feet are not especially quick.

Donovan Grant:

-I did not track all of Grant’s stats because I did to know what he looked like - so I did not recognize he was playing until he hit his first basket and the PA announcer said his name.

-He hit two threes, and his form looked solid. He has a quick release.

-He plays very hard. Grant was on the floor for every loose ball that was anywhere near him.

-Had a big hustle steal at a key point late in the game - sprinted back to break up a 2-on-1 break

Ismael Massoud: 13 pts, 3-6 2 pt, 1-2 FT, 2-8 3PT, 5 reb (1 off), 1 asst, 1 bl, 1 TO)

-All his jump shots look good, but he just has not been hitting them too often this weekend

-He is always looking to position himself on the perimeter for a kick out pass, and he is ready to shoot the three if he has any space at all to get it off

-My sense from watching him last season and in these games is that there will be some games where his shot is not falling that he won’t have a lot of impact. But there will be some days when he is hot, and he’ll hit a bunch of threes. The good thing is that his overall game is competent - he won’t kill you when the threes are not falling (like Kaiden Rice did!) because he is not an awful defender, and he doesn’t force up bad shots. He also seems to be able to convert in transition pretty well. He moves smoothly, and uses his length to take the ball to the rim effectively.

Supreme Cook: 16 pts, 6-10 2 pt, 4-7 FT, 10 reb (5 off), 1 asst

-He was pretty impressive today. Plays very hard on both ends. Always scrapping and hustling. Talks a lot on D, playing a kind of quarterback role in calling out picks, etc.

-He is not going to provide a lot of rim protection. He is definitely no taller than 6’9 and he is not an explosive leaper. But he knows where to be, has a strong lower body, and boxes out consistently.

-Got switched onto Massoud on the perimeter on one possession. he got down deep in his stance, butt low and on his toes, moving his feet. Massoud is not great at beating guys off the dribble, but Cook was very intense in giving full effort to keep Ish in front of him. When Massoud passed the ball away, Cook clapped his hands quickly to celebrate his successful defensive effort It was good to see him giving this kind of effort even in a loosely played summer league game.

-Very effective scoring at the rim. Knows all the tricks - how to use his body to create space, how to use the rim to protect the ball, use of pump fakes, etc. He does not get much lift, but his combination of strength, craftiness, and touch makes him an effective finisher - even in a crowd of defenders. But we’ll have to see how well this holds up against bigger, more athletic Big East defenders. He scored well in his two games against major conference teams last year (one game vs. Xavier, one vs. maybe Wake Forest?).

-His foul shooting mechanics are solid, but the shot is just a little flat. Gets very good rotation. All his foul shots look like they have a chance to go win, but I could see why he shot around 60% from the line at Fairfield

-Overall: Cook gave a very positive first impression. He will clearly have limitations, and there will be matchups against bigger, better athletes where he’ll be at a disadvantage. But in this game he looked like a guy who will always give you everything he has, and force his opponents to deal with his high effort level every minute he is on the court. We have not had enough players with this kind of playing attitude in recent years!

Rowan Brumbaugh: 16 pts, 5-6 2 pt, 2-4 3 pt, 1 reb, 7 asst, 1 st, 3 TO

-I left with about two minutes left to play, so I might have missed a few stats at the end of the game

-I generally try to get less excited about Kenner performances with each passing year, because while they do provide some sense of how a player will perform in real games, Kenner games are still a limited predictor of real game success. That said, Brumbaugh was very, very impressive in this one.

-He plays aggressively - always looking to attack off the dribble or with a productive pass. Plays at a high tempo - races the ball up court at every opportunity.

-Threw a perfect lob pass from just inside half court for a transition dunk

-Very skilled in the pick/roll. Gets low and comes around the screen hard, looking to attack the lane or to find an open teammate if a help defender blocks his drive

-Very solid shot mechanics. Every open catch/shoot three he takes looks like it is going in. He did miss one of these types of shots, but just barely.

-His team was a little flat in the first half. Luka Garza and Amar Alobegovic (you may remember him as a bench player at St. Johns in the mid-2010s) were on his team, and Garza struggled with a few missed shots in close and some odd officiating (one guy kept calling him for travels that looked questionable). But Brumbaugh got them rolling after halftime, Garza got going, and a tie game turned into a 27 point lead in about 12 minutes of (running time) play.

-Brumbaugh did it all. Lots of good passes creating easy shots, a few open jumpers, a few transition finishes. there is no other way to put it - he was great in the second half.

-One highlight play: he want to the floor to complete a steal near half court. He was sitting on the floor facing his own basket, but saw Garza sprinting past him with a clear path to the basket. He threw a no look, backwards pass from the floor over his head to Garza for an easy dunk

-Hard to assess his D - no obvious issues, but in this game the opponent offense was focused almost solely on two big men when they were competitive in the first half. In the second half, Brumbaugh’s team just overwhelmed the opponent in every way

-Again, I don’t want to be overly optimistic based on one weekend of Kenner games. But it does seem clear that Brumbaugh is a true point guard who also has solid scoring ability. Maybe he won’t be our starting point guard simply because Cooley chooses to start the season playing veteran guards. But I think Brumbaugh has the potential to be our best classic point guard in a long time. the kind of player who can be the engine of an offense built on ball/player movement.

In case you missed it, HERE is the recap for Saturday, July 1st