Nike Hoop Summit Recap: Team USA

Nike Hoop Summit Recap: Team USA
Apr 16, 2008, 07:56 pm
Team USA

Demar Derozan, 6’6”, Shooting Guard, Committed to USC
17 points, 3 steals, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 6/12 FG, 1/4 3PFG

Probably the player that stood out the most on the US Team, Derozan showed freakish athletic ability that translated to all elements of his game. His most jaw-dropping display of athleticism came on a breakaway dunk where he elevated over an international player and threw the ball down with authority, but he also made some impressive blocks and jumps into the passing lanes that many players just aren’t capable of. Headed to USC next season, he has great size for an NBA shooting guard, and a strong body considering his age. Along with his elite leaping ability, Derozan shows a quick first step to the basket and has very smooth body control.

Derozan’s skills appeared to be more polished throughout the week in the practice setting, but he wasn’t quite able to fully translate them to the game setting. For instance, he showed great elevation and a nice shooting stroke pulling up off the dribble from 20 feet in the practices. This move looked like it would translate to the NBA game today, but he failed to attempt it even once against the international squad. In the half-court, Derozan can get to the hoop against anyone, but rarely hangs against contact to finish like he’s capable of. Before he reaches the NBA, he also must focus on improving the way he attacks the rim, because his freakish athletic ability will give him a chance to finish plays that most people aren’t capable of. The form on the future Trojan’s jumper looks solid as well, but his only make from long range in the game was banked in off the glass. Defensively, he plays back on his heels too often, and will need to focus on improving his stance.

Considering his size and athletic ability, Derozan has the potential to make a big impact next season at USC. He has the potential to emerge as a major NBA draft prospect after one college season, but he needs to step out on the court and live up to the hype in the Pac-10 first.

Jrue Holiday, 6’3”, Guard, Committed to UCLA
13 points, 5 assists, 3 steals, 4/14 FG, 2/5 3PFG, 3/4 FT

Though not a great game statistically for Holiday, he still managed to display many of the tools that will earn him minutes next year at UCLA, and potentially make him a one and done prospect. The combo-guard missed on a number of drives to the hoop, but displayed elite body control in the process and the ability to get to the rim with either hand. Though his perimeter shots weren’t falling during the game, Holiday has a consistent release point and perfect spin on his jumper. Two of his four made field goals during the game came on pretty long range jumpers off the dribble.

At UCLA, Holiday will likely spend some of his time at the point guard position, but he plays just as effectively off the ball. He showed above average play-making ability on many of his drives to the hoop, even though he played much of the game at the shooting guard position. Considering his size and lack of elite run/jump athleticism, Holiday will likely spend his pro career playing the point guard spot. The future Bruin has an excellent defensive stance, and has potential to make a big impact on both ends of the court as a freshman.

Greg Monroe, 6’10”, Power Forward, Committed to Georgetown
7 points, 6 rebounds, 3/9 FG

Monroe shows elite tools for a power forward, but again failed to produce as well as many people expected. If he didn’t have a history of disappearing at times, this wouldn’t be a big deal whatsoever considering the setting. Still, the future Georgetown Hoya showed off a very impressive skill-set in stretches throughout the game.

A legit 6’10”, Monroe runs the court like a guard and shows nimble feet in the low post. On one possession with his back to the basket, the forward spun to his right hand and laid the ball high off the glass for a pretty finish while taking a foul. In half-court sets, he appears comfortable stepping out and shooting the 20 footer, and is a threat to drive to the hoop or post up. Monroe shows excellent footwork down low, but could really become more effective by improving his toughness going to the hoop.

Other than adding consistency, a few other areas of focus could help Monroe take his game to the next level. Defensively, Monroe must work on playing more physically, and his understanding of help-side rotations has a long way to go. Considering his tools, Greg Monroe could land in the top 10 after a lone season at Georgetown. Without working harder on the court, though, it’s doubtful that he’ll ever reach his full potential.

Drew Gordon, 6’8”, Power Forward, Commited to UCLA
15 points, 7 rebounds, 4 blocks, 6/7 FG

Gordon was probably the most impressive big man during the game for the US Team, especially since he did the majority of his damage without the ball in his hands. Early in the game, he used his anticipation along with good timing and hands to score on a couple of put-backs in the paint. One of these came on an aggressive tip-dunk which he timed perfectly. Six of Gordon’s seven rebounds throughout the game came on the offensive end of the floor, where he fully exploited the lack of boxing out from the international team on the glass.

Though he didn’t really get a chance to show it off during the game, Gordon also has some nice skills to work with on the offensive end of the floor. He can handle the ball comfortably on the perimeter and shoots it effectively out to 18 feet. He needs to work on further expanding his repertoire in the post at UCLA, but he shoots a nice turnaround down low.

For the present, Gordon lacks the build and athleticism to be considered an elite one and done prospect. He runs the court quite effectively, but shows average explosiveness and lateral quickness. Gordon must continue to work on his offensive game, and become tougher as a man to man post defender. He seems like a very smart player on and off the court, and has the potential to play big minutes at UCLA his freshman season.

Tyreke Evans, 6’3”, Shooting Guard, Undecided
11 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 3/13 FG, 5/6 FT

Evans displayed an impressive ability to put the ball in the hoop during the week, but really must focus on improving his shot-selection in the future. He has a great first step taking players off the dribble, and finishes very effectively at the rim, showing the ability to take contact against bigger players in the paint. Though he finished the game just 3 of 13 from the field, Evans had a number of lay-ups that just barely rolled off the rim, and could have easily gone in the hoop. Though he didn’t take too many long range shots during the game, he has a nice stroke when set with range extending out to the college three point line. Shooting off the dribble will need to be an area of focus for Evans in college, as he tends to fade away excessively, which hurts his accuracy at times.

At this point in his career, Tyreke Evans appears to be a pure scorer, who has some play-making skills, but lacks the decision-making ability to play at the point guard slot. He lacks ideal size to play the two in the NBA, so he must really focus on becoming more of a team-oriented player. Evans also possesses the tools to become a very effective defender, but he must focus on his focus, effort and fundamentals on this end of the floor.

Right now, Evans projects as a combo-guard, and the Jamaal Crawford comparisons have already started. He can break down the defense and find the open man once the defense collapses, but his draft stock may hinge on his ability to make plays for others and do other things on the floor except being a high volume scorer.

Al-Farouq Aminu, 6’8”, Forward, Committed to Wake Forest
10 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 4/6 FG

A talented combo-forward attending Wake Forest next season, Aminu displayed impressive all-around abilities in the 2008 Hoop Summit. His explosive athletic ability was on display on multiple occasions, starting on a drive to the rim where he made an impressive finish, followed by a tip-dunk later in the game. His ball-handling looks to be average right now, but Aminu controls his body very well at the rim and draws contact very effectively as well. His offensively ability goes beyond scoring; the young forward passes the ball effectively at times, seeing the floor well for a forward at the high school level.

To take his game to the next level, Aminu’s long range jumper must improve. He shows the ability to hit the mid-range jumper and can pull up off the dribble from time to time, but struggles to shoot even the college three with any patterned consistency. With improved ball-handling, he can likely play the small forward slot full time in the NBA, but he must continue to get stronger as well.

Aminu can be compared to a Marvin Williams type of player, but will be relied upon heavily his freshman year at Wake Forrest. With added strength and improved shooting, he could make a real impact next season. He’ll likely need a couple years of college to reach his full potential, but all the tools are in place to make him a very interesting prospect down the road.

Scotty Hopson, 6’5”, Shooting Guard, Committed to Tennessee
15 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 6/14 FG, 0/4 3PFG

A talented wing attending Tennessee next season, Hopson has some very nice tools to work with. His game starts with a high basketball IQ for a high school wing player, with good instincts when it comes to creating his own shot and finding open teammates. Hopson stands at a legit 6’5” and has good length which he uses well on the defensive end of the floor.

During his first couple years of college, the talented wing must improve his ball-handling and outside shooting. Hopson’s handle appears to be quite mechanical right now and he sometimes struggles to get to the hoop against stronger defensive players. His outside shooting stroke must become more consistent, though he does shoot the pull-up jumper from 18 feet on in quite effectively.

Hopson scored a number of his points against the World Team with his mid-range game, and showed the athleticism at the rim to finish and draw contact. He seems like the type of player who needs time to build up his draft stock, but he will have a chance to earn immediate minutes at Tennessee during his freshman season.

Jerime Anderson, 6’0”, Point Guard, Committed to UCLA
4 points, 3 assists, 3 steals, 2 rebounds, 2/3 FG

Anderson has a long way to go physically, but appears to be tailor-made for the UCLA system that he’ll play in next season. The point guard had a big role in sparking the US Team on the defensive end early in the game, creating a handful of steals and taking one of them coast to coast for an emphatic dunk. He also displays very good court vision off the dribble, and can really make things happen on drives to the hoop.

As previously stated, Anderson must do some work physically before he can be considered NBA ready. He stands at just around six feet tall with a skinny frame weighing in around 165 pounds. Though he made a nice mid-range jumper off the dribble in the game, it was hard to really get a feel for his shooting ability throughout the week.

Considering his defense and play-making abilities, Anderson will be a very interesting player to watch at UCLA, although his lack of size is a hindrance. He must improve his body and show some shooting ability before solidifying himself as an NBA prospect, but he’s the type of player who will make things happen while on the court for the Bruins.

Malcolm Lee, 6’4”, Guard, Committed to UCLA
2 points, 4 rebounds, 1/6 FG, 0/2 3PFG

Looking at the box score, it would appear that Lee had a very insignificant role for team USA. Exactly the opposite is true however, considering Lee set the tone for the team defensively during the run that allowed the US Team to pull away from the international players. Another player attending UCLA next season, the guard will spend some of his time off the ball for the Bruins but projects as a point guard down the road. Showing good size at 6’4” with above average length, his defensive ability should get him on the court for some good minutes during his freshman season.

Though not falling during the game, Lee showed a nice outside shooting stroke during the practices with the ability to knock down the set shot or take a couple of dribbles and knock it in from mid-range. The guard also shows a nice first step and above-average ball-handling, but will need to work on finishing plays inside at UCLA.

He’ll be playing in a crowded backcourt next season and it’s unlikely that he’ll really emerge as an immediate NBA prospect until further down the road, but Malcolm Lee has the defensive ability and size that will always make him worth watching.

Ed Davis, 6’10”, Forward/Center, Committed to North Carolina
4 points, 5 rebounds, 2/5 FG

The son of a former NBA player, Davis displayed nice upside throughout the week, but has plenty of work to do before he can be considered an immediate NBA prospect. Showing good length, he scores the majority of his points facing the basket from mid-range. He can step out and hit jumpers out to 15 feet, and seems comfortable operating anywhere from within 10-15 feet of the basket. The future Tar Heel uses his length as an advantage on the glass, and plays very actively on both ends of the floor.

Davis must first and foremost add weight to his skinny frame. The forward weighs in at just around 200 pounds as it is, and will struggle to adjust to the more physical players in the ACC during the first part of his freshman season. Back to the basket scoring will also need to be an area of focus for the incoming freshman. It looks like he could develop a nice lefty hook to rely on with his back to the basket, but he just tends to face up and shoot the jumper at this point. With added strength, Davis would become much better on the defensive end of the floor as well.

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