Nike Jordan All-American Classic: Main Event Recap – Yellow Team

Nike Jordan All-American Classic: Main Event Recap – Yellow Team
May 01, 2007, 02:28 am
Yellow Team

Corey Fisher, 6’0, PG, Villanova
12 points, 10 assists, 4 turnovers, 4-14 FG, 4-6 FT, 0-4 3PT

Corey Fisher had an excellent game, leading his team to victory as their primary point guard, and earning himself a co-MVP award along the way by dishing out the most assists in this All-Star game’s history. Fisher played a good floor game, finding a nice balance between scoring and distributing the ball, just like he’d done in practices in the days leading up to the main event. He managed to get things done in a lot of ways on the offensive end, but where he really stood out were with his hesitation and crossover dribbles, often used in unison to get his man off balance en route to the basket. He used his crossover move in transition and the halfcourt, and usually followed it up with a lay-up at the hoop or a floater in the lane, though he wasn’t able to convert on all his shot attempts off the cross. Regardless, he showed pretty nice body control on his drives, and a nice arsenal of moves in the lane, even if he could use some work on his finishing abilities. Fisher also had a very nice up-and-under move on one drive coming off a screen, a play which he finished off nicely with a finger-roll over two defenders at the hoop.

Fisher’s three-point shot wasn’t falling here, but he converted on a decent amount of them in the practices and scrimmages leading up to the feature game, and his form is adequate. Aside from some of his fancier drives, Fisher also efficiently got to the rim on a few other drives to draw fouls and score some easy lay-ups in the halfcourt.

In terms of passing the ball, Fisher looked very good here, especially in transition, where all of the point guards seemed to thrive in this up-tempo, defense-optional setting. Fisher dished out an assortment of assists on the break, including dump offs and passes ahead for open lay-ups. In the halfcourt, he made a few nice dump offs, but looked at his best running the pick-and-roll, showing a good understanding of how to read the defense and dishing off some perfect passes to his teammates on the roll.

Fisher was definitely one of the more underrated players heading into this game, but he managed to stand out here, and Villanova should have a nice addition next season to their guard-heavy offense.

Derrick Rose, 6’3, PG, Memphis
12 points, 5 assists, 10 rebounds, 2 steals, 4 turnovers, 5-8 FG, 2-2 FT

As was the issue in the scrimmages and practices leading up to the main event, this wasn’t the perfect setting for Derrick Rose to show off his excellent skill-set, as he was teamed with a few other point guards, and spent a lot of his time off the ball. Despite not handling the ball as much are we as accustomed to seeing here in this game, Rose still managed to impress on multiple occasions, doing what he does best and showing why he’s considered an outstanding point guard prospect.

Rose made the most of all his touches in this game, dishing out plenty of nice passes in the halfcourt and fullcourt, while also making some very crafty drives to the hoop in the halfcourt, and finishing on some lay-ups in transition. Two of Rose’s most impressive skills are his headiness in the lane and his court vision, which when coupled together, are an extremely dangerous combination for his opponents. Rose did an excellent job here of getting into the lane, stopping and going, pivoting, and using hesitation to wait for the opening in the defense, at which point he’d dish off the perfect pass to a teammate or proceed to the hoop for a lay-up he makes look easy. Rose drove right and left in this game, drawing contact, getting to the free-throw line, scoring off the glass, and making dump offs low or kick-outs to the perimeter to find the open man. His body control and use of fakes in the lane are outstanding, and he did a good job using those assets to his advantage here. In terms of finding the open man in the halfcourt, Rose passed off for quite a few open three-pointers that weren’t converted, so his assist totals in the statline could have been higher.

Rose also did a good job in transition of reading the defense and not forcing the issue, pulling the ball out when necessary, but also scoring on his own, converting on two transition lay-ups in the game. Rose also missed on a very impressive and athletic baseline drive in which he tried to reverse the ball off the glass, but wasn’t able to finish.

Defensively, Rose made a few nice plays, drawing a charge on a drive early in the game, and making a clutch steal late in the game when his team had the lead with about two minutes to go. They had just went into a full-court press, and Rose used his length and athleticism to anticipate a pass just over halfcourt, which he stole and then made the pass ahead for an open jam.

Eric Gordon, 6’4, SG, Indiana
16 points, 3 rebounds, 5-10 FG, 5-8 FT, 1-4 3PT

Eric Gordon had a pretty strong showing here, doing an excellent job absorbing contact and finishing around the rim, showing a great motor in his persistence to attack. Gordon also hit one three-pointer on the day, which was from NBA range and of the pull-up variety, but most of his damage was done inside, where he was relentless in his pursuit.

Gordon started off the game with a nice up-and-under move in the lane, drawing a foul but missing on his lay-up attempt. Next he drove left and laid the ball up with his right hand off the glass, scoring and also drawing the foul for the and-1. He made a few nice putback lay-ups around the hoop as the game went on, one of which he went up strong with and also drew the foul on. He drew another foul on a spin drive later in the game, and missed on a strong lay-up attempt over two big defenders at the hoop on another occasion, but also converted on a transition lay-up.

In terms of point guard skills, Gordon didn’t show much here, only making one nice drive-and-dish on the game, but that’s not something he’s expected to do much at this stage of his development. He also played solid defense considering the setting, making one impressive man-to-man steal against Jerryd Bayless early in the game, locking him down and forcing him to dribble into a turnover.

Kyle Singler, 6’8, SF, Duke
16 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 turnovers, 3 steals, 6-12 FG, 3-3 FT, 1-3 3PT

Kyle Singler had a very nice game, showing off his impressive versatility with nearly all aspects of his game, doing a good job chipping in any way he could in his team’s victory. Singler started off the game by going to work in the mid-post area, converting on some very impressive sequences that exhibited his strong footwork and awareness on the offensive end of the court. Singler first scored on a move where he faked in the middle of the lane, turned, and faded away, throwing up a rainbow over his taller defender for a swish. Not long after, Singler made an equally impressive move on a baseline drive, pivoting under the rim and putting up a nice reverse with a soft touch for the lay-up, faking out his defender in the process.

Singler spent most of the rest of his game scoring off the creation of his teammates, not getting many opportunities to create his own offense. He made two easy lay-ups around the hoop off guard penetration in the halfcourt, and also made a spot-up three in transition. He did get one more opportunity to show off his own driving ability late in the game, though, where he drove the ball left and switched hands near the hoop, laying up a right-handed finger-roll off the glass and drawing a foul in the process for the and-1. Singler also showed off some nice dribbling abilities in the fullcourt, being able to handle some of those duties to assist his team’s guards.

Defensviely, Singler made a few nice plays, making a nice block in transition from behind that was excellently timed, and making one nice steal in the halfcourt where he used his length and anticipation to cut off the passing lane.

Jeff Robinson, 6’5, SG/SF, Memphis
17 points, 2 assists, 2 rebounds, 3 blocks, 7-10 FG, 3-5 3PT

Jeff Robinson had a pretty solid game, but don’t get fooled by his high point total, as all of them were scored in a complementary role. Not to discredit Robinson, as he did an excellent job scoring when the opportunities came to him, but he didn’t create any of his own offense, and that doesn’t seem to be his game at this level of his development.

Robinson scored all seven of his baskets off assists by his teammates, and he may not have put a single dribble down prior to any of those scores. He hit three spot-up three-pointers, mostly in halfcourt sets, where he exhibits pretty good form, though he tends to push forward a bit on his release with some of his deeper shots. He also scored four times in transition, twice on lay-ups and twice on jams, most of which were on uncontested breakaways.

Robinson should do a good job providing scoring for Memphis next season, doing so on finishes at the hoop and with his spot-up outside shot, both of which are more than serviceable weapons. He’d do himself well to work on his ball-handling and mid-range game, though, so he could become a more complete scorer and step out of the complementary role.

Austin Freeman, 6’4, SG, Georgetown
16 points, 3 rebounds, 7-16 FG, 1-3 3PT, 1-1 FT

Austin Freeman lived up to his reputation as a player that can score in bunches here, remaining quiet for most of the game, then going on a tear late in the game over a seven or eight minute period, scoring the vast majority of his points during that timespan. Freeman scored twice in the first half, once on a nice hesitation dribble driving left, in which he laid the ball off the glass with his left hand, and the other on a buzzer-beater running three-pointer from about 35 feet out to end the half, banking it off the glass.

In the second half, Freeman went on a tear late, scoring on a bunch of right-handed drives, mostly by getting separation through screens and having a straight-line to the hoop, but occasionally creating separation for himself and faking to get his man off balance for the shot attempt. He also converted on a back-door lay-up off a pass down low, and hit a fade-away jumper from eight feet off a stray rebound. Freeman missed on a few contested and off-balanced mid and long-range shots throughout the game, and his shot selection is something he might want to pay closer attention to when he isn’t very hot. Freeman went on some really hot streaks shooting the long ball in shootarounds during the practices in the days before the games, but wasn’t able to show off much of his outside shooting ability in the main event.

Chris Wright, 6’7, SF/PF, Dayton
10 points, 10 rebounds, 5-7 FG

Chris Wright did an excellent job filling up the highlight reel here, as he’d consistently done during the practices and scrimmages leading up to the game, but he didn’t do much else on the offensive end, not showing off a consistent outside shot or any reliable ball-handling skills. Wright scored mostly in transition, making some athletic jams and lay-ups, but also scored on some putbacks in halfcourt, as well as off a pick-and-roll in the halfcourt. He made one nice up-and-under mini-drive to the hoop in the halfcourt, but he missed the lay-up off the glass. Wright did a good job using his athleticism on the boards in the game, but still has a ways to go in developing his all-around game to be more than just a great finisher. With his athleticism, he has some potential, and he should get plenty of opportunities for playing time at Dayton, where he will have an environment where he could try to grow into more of an all-around player.

Blake Griffin, 6’9, PF/C, Oklahoma
8 points, 8 rebounds, 4-8 FG

Blake Griffin had a decent game, making do with the opportunities he had, but this isn’t the best setting for an interior-scoring big man, and Griffin didn’t really manage to stand out. He did score on one very impressive spinning scoop shot in the post, but aside from that he just score on easy dunks and lay-ups around the rim, one off a putback, one off a pick-and-roll, and another uncontested in transition. He’s got a strong frame, decent athleticism, and a nice touch around the rim, so he should be a very solid contributor for Oklahoma next year, where he can try to develop into more of a go-to scorer, and work on more consistently finishing strong at the hoop.

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