More DX Nike Hoop Summit Coverage
-Ivan Rabb Interview
-Nike Hoop Summit Shooting Drills: Skal Labissiere
-Nike Hoop Summit Shooting Drills: Tai Wynyard
-Team USA Scrimmage One Recap
-Cheick Diallo Interview
-Tai Wynyard Interview
-One on One Drills: Skal Labissiere vs Thon Maker
-Federico Mussini Interview
-2015 Nike Hoop Summit: International Practice: Day Three
-USA Practice Day One
-Skal Labissiere Interview
-Ben Simmons Interview
-International Practice Recap Days One and Two
-World Select Team Measurements and Analysis
-2015 Nike Hoop Summit International Roster Breakdown
The World Team was coming off a tough loss in their secret scrimmage the night before on Nike's campus, where the group was soundly defeated by a collection of current and former Division one players mostly made up from Portland State. Jamal Murray was hampered with an injury and didn't participate much, and the guard play of the World Team, considered the weakest link of the group, reportedly had a difficult time with the physicality of the older players.
Zhou Qi participated in his first practice since suffering a mildly sprain in his ankle on Monday. He ran up and down the floor without any issues and looked very close to 100%, besides wearing a small brace on his ankle. The question now is how much of a factor he will be in the game considering how little he's practiced over the past few days, particularly considering the language barrier that was already in place. Does he know the team's offensive and defensive concepts? Will a lack of chemistry with his teammates be an issue?
For the first time this week, the team went straight into five on five scrimmaging, as there's no longer time to work on drills or team concepts. Murray/Peno/Simmons/Maker/Qi vs Mussini/George/Vuza/Skal/Diallo were the first lineups we saw, with Wynyard starting from the bench as team finally had their complement of 11 players to work with. Zone offense and press break were some of the things the team worked on, which could come in handy since they are likely to need both against the US squad.
The team had their best practice of the week, with the offense looking fast and fluid, far more cohesive than anything we've seen up until now. The coaches have clearly put an emphasis on attacking the defense as early as possible before they are set, and the ball was flying around with shots coming up very quickly, a style in which the players are clearly increasingly becoming more comfortable with.
He was extremely aggressive with the ballclearly something Roy Rana and the World Team wants to take advantage of due to his superb ball-handling and passing skills and how much they've struggled with guard play in the half-courtand was rewarded with fouls and free throws in turn. If this ultra-aggressive version of Simmons shows up tomorrow, the World Team will be in very good shape.
We'll see how everything comes together for the World Team tomorrow in the actual game at the Moda Center. It's being broadcasted on ESPN2 at noon pacific, 3pm EST.