At the Jordan Classic: Friday Scrimmage

At the Jordan Classic: Friday Scrimmage
Apr 22, 2006, 09:35 am
Today’s practice began with some extensive stretching and then led into a 40-minute inter-squad scrimmage. The Red Team, led by McDonald’s MVP Kevin Durant (Texas) and Tywon Lawson (UNC), faced off with the Blue Team, led by Thaddeus Young (Georgia Tech) and Spencer Hawes (Washington). Score was not kept in the scrimmage, the players shot only one free throw when fouled, and no bonus shot was awarded for and-1’s. The quality of play was pretty high for the majority game. The game was mostly halfcourt sets, though there were a fair share of alley-oops and transition baskets thrown in. In the final three minutes it deteriorated into what you would usually see at an all-star game: defenseless, turnover-prone basketball with an emphasis towards the big play.

Red Team

Tywon Lawson, 5’11, PG, UNC

Ty Lawson led the show for the Red Team, showing off his diverse scoring abilities and a little bit of his passing, too. Lawson hit two spot-up threes in the game, but was at his best when he was getting into the lane with his lightning-quick first step. When he did such, he would either take it to the hole for the easy score, or draw the opposing defenders and drop it off for a drive-and-dish. On one occasion, Lawson got into the lane from the top of the key and proceeded to get stuck, not noticing an open man on the three-point line, and then getting whistled for the three-second violation after not making a prompt decision. He wasn’t able to show much in transition, though he did have some nice routine passes there, none of which directly led to assists.

Kevin Durant, 6’10, SF/PF, Texas

Kevin Durant had a shaky day shooting the ball, but was able to contribute elsewhere and still make himself look good. Durant missed five out of his six three-point attempts, one of which was from NBA range, despite consistently displaying his smooth shooting stroke. Durant wasn’t just chucking shots up, though, and he also showed off some passing ability in the scrimmage. On one play when he had the ball behind the three-point arc, he adeptly hit a cutter going to the basket for an assist. He threw an alley-oop to teammate Dajuan Summers on another halfcourt play. He also tried taking the ball to the hole on one play, then opting to pass it off for a drive-and-dish assist instead. Durant didn’t show any evidence of a back-to-the-basket game, but did mix it up around the rim a bit. He was constantly fighting for rebounds, getting a few putbacks in the process. He also had a few finishes in transition. Durant would be best-served hitting the gym to add some bulk to his wiry frame and developing more of a back-to-the-basket game to complement his lethal outside shot.

Brandan Wright, 6’9, PF, UNC

Brandan Wright had yet another disappointing performance in a long string of them this spring, not yet showing what’s expected of a prospect touted as highly as he is. Wright has not been helped by his obvious lack of strength, and he’s had trouble creating down low. When trying to post up, Wright had the ball stripped once and traveled on another attempt. He was able to finish at the rim on one play when he got the dish down low from a teammate, and also had one nice putback off the glass, but wasn’t able to do much otherwise. On one occasion he got stuffed by the rim when trying to dunk the ball. Wright was able to take advantage of his physical tools on one play, using his length on a drive to make a pass around the back of his defender for the assist.

DaJuan Summers, 6’9, PF, Georgetown

Dajuan Summers followed up yesterday’s practice nicely, showing a diverse offensive game that is still lacking any back-to-the-basket moves. He showed nice form on his shot from three-point range, hitting one of his two spot-up attempts. He also hit a mid-range jumper from the baseline, to go along with drawing fouls on a few driving attempts. He also showed off his creativity in transition, having to adjust on one of his lay-ups for a reverse off the glass. Summers has yet to put his strong frame to work in the post, though it should definitely be in the cards in his future.

Paul Harris, 6’4, PG/SG/SF, Syracuse

Paul Harris had a very bad day, being unable to get anything going on the offensive end. He was intent on settling for mid and long-range jumpers most of the game, and wasn’t able to convert on any of them. Harris missed an assortment of jump shots, most of which were from three-point range, many of which missed badly. On his lone attempt to attack the basket, Harris used his length and athleticism to make a very impressive reverse lay-up attempt off the glass, but it rimmed out. Harris did play well on the defensive end, breaking up some passes and playing some good man defense, but this was not his best performance.

Mike Jones, 6’6, SG/SF, Syracuse

Mike Jones, Harris’s soon-to-be teammate at Syracuse, had a decent offensive showing, but still had some bumps along the road. In Jones’s two days here, he’s shown that he’s not hesitant to pull the trigger from three, and today he was actually able to convert on some of those opportunities. Jones hit two out of six three-point attempts in the scrimmage, most of which were spotting up. Jones has yet to show he can effectively attack the basket, having trouble yesterday and traveling on his lone try today. He did make one nice bounce pass into the low post, though, and was the recipient of two alley-oop catches on the day.

Brian Zoubek, 7’1, C, Duke

Brian Zoubek showed off some of his diverse post game, using a variety of moves on the offensive end in the few attempts he had to post up his man. Zoubek started with a turnaround fadeaway jumper, which he easily hit over his man given his height. Next he tried a spin move on the baseline, which he drew the foul on. He also had an easy finish down low on one occasion, and on another made an impressive up-and-under move that he failed to convert.

Demond Carter, 5’10, PG, Baylor

Demond Carter had a pretty non-descript first half, but really took fire for one impressive run in the second, showing how he was able to score 7000 points in high school. Over the brief stretch, Carter showed off his range, hitting two spot-up threes to go along with one contested pull-up three as well. He also got into the lane on one possession, using a pick to get separation and then taking the ball to the hole for the easy score. He didn’t show much in terms of point guard abilities, and this is an issue for Carter, but he was able to throw one alley-oop pass during his outburst.

Blue Team

Spencer Hawes, 7’0, C, Washington

Spencer Hawes had another nice performance in this second day of practices. Hawes continued to show off his versatile post game even when he wasn’t able to get his shots to fall. He did make one nice turnaround shot, leaning around his defender towards the basket, to go along with a few easy finishes off of guard penetration. But besides that, he wasn’t able to convert on his moves, but still looked pretty nice doing them. He missed a nice turnaround hook fading from the post, and also had an uncharacteristic drive in which he used a crossover dribble into a spin move into a lay-up that he just missed. Regardless, the fact that a 7’0 center can do such a thing in a game-situation is very impressive. Hawes also showed off some more of his passing, hitting a cutter for an assist out of the post. Defensively, Hawes was active, stepping out to break up some passes and altering shots on the weakside. He also had a block on Brian Zoubek in a one-on-one situation.

Thaddeus Young, 6’9, SG/SF, Georgia Tech

Thaddeus Young had an on-and-off game on the offensive end, making some things happen taking it to the basket but also committing a few turnovers in the process. Young’s nicest move in the scrimmage was a baseline drive in which he used a crossover dribble to get his man off balance, then his quick first step to get past him, and then finishing it with a reverse lay-up off the glass. Young had some other occasions where he got the step on his man but couldn’t finish at the rim, to go along with two plays where he turned it over driving either by traveling or losing the ball. Young missed his only jump shot attempted, a pull-up mid-range shot. Young also had some finishes in transition, to go along with a missed dunk attempt following a steal he had mad on the other side of the court. Defensively, Young was playing hard, almost drawing a charge on Kevin Durant on one play when they were matched up.

Edgar Sosa, 6’2, PG, Louisville

Edgar Sosa had a very nice game, showing a nice combination of outside shooting, point guard skills, and the ability to get to the hole and score himself. Sosa hit two threes in the contest, one of which was from NBA range, to go along with one missed attempt on a pull-up shot. Sosa made two attacks on the basket in the scrimmage, drawing a foul both times, one of which was on a nice up-and-under attempt. He also made one drive-and-dish to a passing cutter. In transition, Sosa made two assists to go along with a few other passes, one of the assists being an alley-oop thrown to his high school teammate, Curtis Kelly. Sosa also netted two assists off inbounds plays from his own team’s baseline. Towards the end of the game, as the quality of play deteriorated on all fronts, Sosa tried to force the issue a bit and made two turnovers in the process, both on passes where he was trying to do too much.

Curtis Kelly, 6’9, SF/PF, UConn

Curtis Kelly had an on-and-off showing in his continued attempt to convert to a small forward. Kelly was at his best in the open court where he finished at the basket two times, one of which was on an alley-oop catch. He also had an assist in transition, ahead to the open man. In the halfcourt, Kelly spent most of his time attacking the basket, having mixed results doing so. He favors a spin move on the drive heavily, using it a few times in this contest. He made a kickout to a teammate for a three-pointer on one of his spins, and got fouled heading to the basket on another. He looked out of control on some of his drive attempts, getting blocked on one where he didn’t seem sure what he was trying to do. Kelly also hit a long pull-up jumper in this game, showing some range that he would do well to develop if he wants to play small forward in college.

Wayne Ellington, 6’4, SG, UNC

Wayne Ellington had a pretty solid game, showing off the impressive range and form on his jump-shot, to go along with some ball-handling abilities that helped in creating his shot. Ellington hit two threes off the dribble in the game, one of which bordered on being from NBA range. He also missed a spot-up attempt from three, but had nice form throughout, and was constantly in motion without the ball. Ellington showed off his ball-handling most of the game, using a variety of moves and the ability to dribble with both hands, though he rarely used his handling to get past his man. On the few attempts where he did attack the hole, he was unable to finish. He did have a nice finish in transition, though, which he laid in with a finger roll.

Jon Scheyer, 6’5, SG, Duke

Jon Scheyer had a solid game, not standing out in any one regard, but getting a lot of touches in the offense and making a lot of routine passes to facilitate ball movement for his team, helping his point guard in distributing. Scheyer took two spot-up threes in the game, hitting one. He also got into the lane a few times, drawing a foul attacking the basket, drawing a foul pulling up for a jumper, and dishing the ball off for an assist on one occasion. He doesn’t make many mistakes, is careful with the ball, and helps keep his entire team involved with his unselfishness.

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