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Mr_Basketball#1 04-10-2009 09:09 AM

Portsmouth Invitational Tournament
 
http://www.draftexpress.com/article/...-Day-One-3170/

Quote:

Day One Player Evaluations

Courtney Fells, 6’5, Shooting Guard, North Carolina State
22 Points, 4-5 3FG, 8-13 FG, 3 Rebounds, 3 Assists, 4 Fouls

Courtney Fells had an extremely productive outting in the opening game of this season’s Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, having easily the best showing of any player in attendance. Though he did a lot of good for his stock, he also made his limitations very clear. Fells drained a number of catch and shoot jumpers coming off of screens from three point range, putting his excellent perimeter shooting stroke on full display. He also knocked down two one-dribble jumpers from the outside, seeming unfazed by the fact that he was very well defended on both occasions.

Despite his proficiency from the perimeter, Fells had very little success putting the ball on the floor and attacking the basket, showing very underdeveloped ball handling ability and looking very shaky going left. That weakness, coupled with his only average first-step, rendered Fells unable to create separation on a number of his touches today. Moving forward, Fells needs to recognize his limitations off the dribble and make a concerted effort not to force the issue, which was likely an issue during the season at N.C. State as well, judging by his negative assist to turnover ratio.

Fells’s lack of standout athleticism didn’t plague him at the defensive end today, as he was working hard to keep his man out of the lane on most possessions. If he can maintain his defensive intensity and continue to shoot the ball well, Fells should turn heads all week—maybe making a case for himself as a Keith Bogans type rotation wing player. Though he still has a ton of work to do to hear his name called on draft day, Fells was the standout performer of day one.

Diamon Simpson, 6'7, Power Forward, St. Mary's
15 points, 15 rebounds (9 offensive), 4 steals, 1 block

The most active player on the floor for the first two games here in Portsmouth, Diamon Simpson is holding nothing back in showing NBA teams why he thinks he belongs. The undersized power forward filled up the hustle categories yesterday, pulling in an outstanding 15 rebounds while picking up 4 steals and a handful more deflections. Simpson was a menace on the defensive end, playing pressure defense both on his man and off the ball, defending past the three-point line on most possessions. Showing very good mobility and reflexes, Simpson gave the opposition plenty of problems getting into their sets, and really impressed with his non-stop effort, especially seeing he played a game-high 35 minutes.

On the glass, Simpson was equally menacing, getting his hands on every ball he could, showing good timing and pursuit abilities. On the offensive glass, Simpson showed some trouble powering up to finish once he got the ball, not being the most explosive athlete. His persistence paid off here, but he'll need to work on either his finesse or power-finishing to translate this ability. Working on his touch around the rim, his lower body strength and leaping ability should be among his priorities.

Other than his hustle plays, Simpson didn't show much else here, not being a great shooter or having much ball-handling ability, which is not a surprise considering his role player status. A number of NBA executives we spoke with mentioned how impressed they were with his play, and one went as far as to compare him to another Portsmouth alumni—Chuck Hayes.

Paul Delaney III, 6-2, Point Guard, UAB
20 points, 3 assists, 2 turnovers, 5 rebounds, 2 steals, 7-15 FG, 0-1 3P, 6-10 FT

Jonathan Givony

UAB’s Paul Delaney had one of the more impressive showings of day one, especially considering how far off the radar screen he was coming into this tournament. Delaney was one of the more aggressive players seen here early on, getting into the lane time after time and finishing strong, sometimes emphatically with a violent jam. He may have forced the issue a bit at times, clearly trying to make a strong impression, but he did show some solid unselfishness whipping the ball around the floor and finding teammates with creative passes.

He was extremely active as well, crashing the offensive glass, getting in the passing lanes, and generally doing what players need to in order to stand out in this setting. A few potential weaknesses that seemed to stand out were his limited perimeter shooting ability, so-so playmaking skills, and struggles driving left, although we’ll have to look a little bit closer at these in the coming games.

Quick Hitters

-A.D Vassallo had a strong statistical performance, putting in 21 points on 17 shots in his team’s losing effort, showing the versatile scoring ability he’s known for, hitting from behind the arc as well as with some mid-range shots on the move. Despite scoring impressively, Vassallo didn’t alleviate any concerns about the rest of his game, however, as he is a below average athlete and defender and shows very questionable shot-selection at times.

-Alonzo Gee tried to take advantage of his athletic tools on some baseline drives and mid-post moves, having some success with 9 points on 7 shot attempts, however his lack of creativity with the ball due to his undeveloped advanced ball-handling held him back at times. He did manage to dish out 4 assists on the game, however, showing some nice unselfishness.

-K.C. Rivers had one of the more unimpressive performances in the first day, relative to his draft stock coming into the event, hitting just 1-for-9 from the field while missing all of his three-point attempts. Rivers created some impressive lay-up attempts in the lane with his creativity, but wasn’t able to finish consistently, and his outside shot just wasn’t falling, in part because he was taking some higher difficulty attempts. Rivers is probably not the type of player who will stand out in a setting like this, as he’s a system guy who needs a clearly defined role to bring out his biggest strengths.

-Kyle McAlarney was a real non-factor in his game, as he wasn’t converting the spot-up shots he normally does. Just 1-for-9 from the field on the day (1-for-6 from three), McAlarney wasn’t able to do much else, as his game mostly boils down to being a spot-up shooter and opportunistic passer.

-Aaron Jackson didn’t play great in his first game, showing a few impressive flashes, but not putting it all together just yet. While Jackson’s excellent body control and creativity on his drives were on full display, he didn’t have a consistently strong impact, in part due to his sometimes shaky ball-handling. On the bright side, he showed some good court vision and played his typical baseline-to-baseline defense, pressuring the ball hard and putting his athleticism on display.

-We liked the way Michael Bramos played in his first game—highly unselfish, always looking to make the extra pass (which may have hurt him at times), but still showing his excellent athleticism and strong perimeter shooting ability.

-Josh Carter had an efficient day in limited minutes (14), knocking down one nice jump shot and having one very smooth drive to the basket where he weaved through traffic for the easy finish on the way to 8 points on 4-6 shooting. It will be interesting to see if Carter takes more possessions next game considering his resume and how inefficiently his teammates performed. He did show some versatility to his game—which is a big plus for him—crashing the offensive glass and coming up with a nice block.

-Marcus Cousin was a pleasant surprise today. A late addition to the event, the 6'9 center showcased his ability to use his size by playing physical defense in the post and throwing down a few ferocious slams. The former Houston Cougar wasn't terribly productive in college, being “underutilized” according to one scout we spoke with, but looked good today. He needs to avoid settling for mid-range jumpers like he did at times in this game.

-Josh Akognon displayed the same aggressive scoring mentality that he did throughout his career at Cal State Fullerton, finishing with 16 points on 4-5 from three-point range. Though he forced a couple of tough shots from the perimeter, he did a solid job running his team, and needs to continue to distribute the ball effectively moving forward.

-DeMarre Carroll was extremely active today, and finished the game with 18 points on 8-11 from the field due in large part to how hard he played. He had no trouble performing well in this up-tempo contest, but didn’t show a great deal of skill with the ball.

-Micah Downs showed better defensive intensity today than we're used to seeing from him, looking very good defending the perimeter and blocking four shots. He also knocked down a couple of three pointers as well, and had a very athletic dunk in transition. He likely helped himself with the way he played.

-Alex Ruoff didn't have a good day shooting the ball, going 6-17 from the field and 1-7 from three, but showed good court vision and was a vocal leader for his team. He was very aggressive defensively, coming up with a number of loose balls and tallying four steals in total. Considering that he made 2.7 3-pointers per game at West Virginia on 37% shooting, his struggles from beyond the arc probably aren’t the end of the world.

-Gary Wilkinson only played 19 minutes today, but he finished the game with 11 points and 9 rebounds. His work ethic, fundamentals in the post, mid-range jumper and high basketball IQ allowed him to take advantage of his opportunities today.

-Scott VanderMeer had a nice first game, with 11 points, 10 rebounds and 4 blocks. He’s clearly a limited player offensively, particularly with his post moves and off hand, but did show some decent touch on his mid-range jumper, even if he may have forced it a bit. His size, length and timing allowed him to be a solid presence defensively in the post, and considering the lack of big men here, he did a nice job standing out.

-Stefon Jackson had a very tough first game, as his mid-range pull-up jumper just wasn’t falling at all, finishing 1-9 from the field. You would never guess that Jackson was one of the nation’s leaders in free throw attempts based on this contest—he needs to get back to this part of his game rather than settling for fadeaways.
Sam Young, A.J. Price, Jeff Adrien, Jeff Pendergraph, Dominic James, Kevin Rogers, Curtis Jerrells, Robert Dozier, Levance Fields and Goran Suton all backed out. I hope some of these guys like Jerrerlls, Dozier and James don't think they are too good. JaMont Gordon did the same thing last year and you all know how that turned out. :ohwell:

Anyway, I'm rooting for All Day Vassalo and Gary Wilkinson. Gary's age is going to scare alot of people off though.

Dasher 04-10-2009 12:29 PM

Re: Portsmouth Invitational Tournament
 
Quote:

Paul Delaney III, 6-2, Point Guard, UAB
20 points, 3 assists, 2 turnovers, 5 rebounds, 2 steals, 7-15 FG, 0-1 3P, 6-10 FT

Jonathan Givony

UAB’s Paul Delaney had one of the more impressive showings of day one, especially considering how far off the radar screen he was coming into this tournament. Delaney was one of the more aggressive players seen here early on, getting into the lane time after time and finishing strong, sometimes emphatically with a violent jam. He may have forced the issue a bit at times, clearly trying to make a strong impression, but he did show some solid unselfishness whipping the ball around the floor and finding teammates with creative passes.

He was extremely active as well, crashing the offensive glass, getting in the passing lanes, and generally doing what players need to in order to stand out in this setting. A few potential weaknesses that seemed to stand out were his limited perimeter shooting ability, so-so playmaking skills, and struggles driving left, although we’ll have to look a little bit closer at these in the coming games.

He is a fearless player and is as good as more heralded small 2 like Stephon Curry, Lester Hudson, and Toney Douglas. He was arguably the best player in CUSA last year.

Mr_Basketball#1 04-10-2009 05:35 PM

Re: Portsmouth Invitational Tournament
 
Day 2
Quote:

Jon Brockman, 6’7, Power Forward, Washington
24 points, 21 rebounds (13 offensive), 3 assists, 4 turnovers, 10-21 FG, 4-4 FT

Jon Brockman had one of the more dominant performances we’ve seen thus far at Portsmouth, showing off his outstanding rebounding abilities to pull in an amazing 21 rebounds in 30 minutes. Brockman threw his body around all game, showing no hesitation to bang with Ahmad Nivins and Russell Hicks. Brockman’s combination of excellent timing, hands, and mobility to pursue in combination with his ridiculously high motor played a big role in his performance.

Other than rebounding, Brockman was a force scoring in the paint as well, often on putbacks, but also on catch-and-finishes and a few occasional post moves. He shows good touch in the post and a solid base of moves, but he struggled getting separation from his opponent on his moves, not having much range. While Brockman occasionally shows good vertical explosiveness when he has time to gather himself or gets momentum going on the run, he isn’t able to power up from other positions, not being a very good overall athlete, something that will hold him back if he doesn’t improve.

Quick Hitters:

-Micah Downs had another solid game today, making a couple athletic plays all over the floor, and playing aggressively on both ends. His ball handling ability still leaves a lot to be desired, but he stood out today with his physical tools and activity level, despite only tallying 8 points and 5 rebounds. Considering his size and athleticism for a wing, he may have the most potential of any player here in Portsmouth, which has helped him create a nice little buzz amongst teams we’ve talked to.

-Marcus Cousin was a force on both ends in this game. He showcased his athleticism with a couple of impressive tip dunks today, but also knocked down a couple of midrange jumpers. We criticized him in our last write-up for settling too much for perimeter jumpers, but he definitely showed that he can comfortably hit that shot, which makes him a little more intriguing. The touches that he got with his back to the basket today indicate that he needs more polish with his footwork and is more comfortable facing up, but his blend of size, length, and athleticism makes him an interesting player. Defensively he really lacks fundamentals, particularly guarding the pick and roll, but all in all he’s been one of the camp’s standouts thus far as far as big men are concerned, and has clearly helped his stock.

-Wesley Matthews showed some very nice flashes in his first day, showing a bit more advanced ball-handling than we’re used to, including a very nice crossover drive, but he wasn’t able to put it together for a complete performance, going for 11 points on 5-for-12 shooting. On the other hand, Matthews showed a lot of the little things he’s become known for, reading the floor well, making good cuts, finishing strong at the rim, and making opportune passes. We expect a better overall performance from Matthews in the next two days.

-Weyinmi Efejuku also had some good flashes, showing off his athletic abilities and shot-creating abilities, both pulling up and attacking the rim, but he struggled to put together an efficient performance, scoring 12 points on 5-for-11 shooting along with 3 turnovers. Picking his spots a little better and moving more off the ball to get the ball in prime scoring position should be among his priorities, although he did show nice potential.

-B.J. Raymond had an excellent first outing here, knocking down a number of deep three-pointers to finish with 19 points and 7 rebounds. He also played very strong defense, coming up with 3 steals and doing a good job containing his man. His physical build is impressive—like seemingly all Xavier players—but his below average athleticism really stands out.

-Connor Atchley looked good on both ends today. After struggling with his range all season and during the beginning of this game, he knocked down a catch and shoot jumper from the wing and seemed to have regained his confidence. He proceeded to pull down a couple rebounds in traffic, one of which he proceeded to dunk right through the hands of a defender. On the defensive end, he had one great block in transition where he showed his nice physical tools to swat a breakaway layup off the glass and racked up another block rotating over from the weak side. All in all, this was a very good start for the Texas big man.

-Tyrese Rice knocked down four of the seven three pointers he attempted en route to 14 points, but he also dished out seven assists. Clearly, Rice is being asked to do more distributing, and he had a pretty efficient game in doing so. He could have even finished with more than the 7 assists he was credited for, as some nice passes he made were dropped by his teammates. He looked under control and could have probably easily dropped another 15 points or so if he felt the urge to, but right now he looks focused on showing off his playmaking skills, which probably isn’t a bad idea.

Gary Wilkinson had another strong performance here, further increasing his stock for, at the very least, the many European league executives that came to scout this event. He hit a number of mid-range jumpers thanks to his superb touch, even showing range out to the three-point line, and also showed some crafty footwork in the paint, which led to some mixed results. He’s one of the biggest hustlers you’ll find at this tournament, grabbing 15 rebounds in 32 minutes today. Wilkinson draws some comparisons to Brian Scalabrine due to their obvious similarities in their build, hair color (fiery red) and comparable games, but at age 26, he is probably a long shot for the NBA.

Jimmy Baron- Had a very strong second half en route to a 13 point performance. He made shots from all over the floor but also showed a strong basketball IQ with some excellent passes and plenty of unselfishness. His physical limitations are obvious, and he’s clearly not a point guard, but this coach’s son will surely make a team happy overseas.

-Ahmad Nivins had a tough time playing against the likes of Chris Johnson and Jon Brockman, scoring just 7 points on 3-for-11 shooting while pulling in a respectable 7 rebounds. Nivins’ lack of vertical explosiveness is clearly holding him back, with him being very much an under-the-rim player.

Posterize246 04-10-2009 05:49 PM

Re: Portsmouth Invitational Tournament
 
Dionte must have been fed some bad info on his draft stock

Thorpesaurous 04-10-2009 06:12 PM

Re: Portsmouth Invitational Tournament
 
I think Sam Young is going to make somebody in the back third of the draft really happy. He's going to burn real quick, because of his age. He'll be ready to play quick, he's much bigger than he appears on TV. And he's got a full compliment of skills, so he'll fit in well with a good veteran team. He's also a much better athlete than he looks. I don't think he'll have a long career though because so much of his potential is tapped out already. Sort of like Roderick Rhodes did a few years back, where he came out of nowhere as an all rookie guy, and by five years later couldn't find any minutes.

I've fallen for Pendergraph too. He's got a good body, he's really active, and he can really knock down that midrange jumper.

Ruoff I think can be a real player too in the right situation. He developed a lot more point guard skills under Huggins, and became a much better man defender. Combined with his smarts, that's a pretty good combo, and he's a great shooter, and has good size as a PG. He'll never be quick enough to play there full time, but he could be a great backup just by not making mistakes, playing hard, and knocking down open shots. He'd be a great fit on the weakside of the triangle.

wang4three 04-11-2009 10:20 AM

Re: Portsmouth Invitational Tournament
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Thorpesaurous
Ruoff I think can be a real player too in the right situation. He developed a lot more point guard skills under Huggins, and became a much better man defender. Combined with his smarts, that's a pretty good combo, and he's a great shooter, and has good size as a PG. He'll never be quick enough to play there full time, but he could be a great backup just by not making mistakes, playing hard, and knocking down open shots. He'd be a great fit on the weakside of the triangle.


I don't like Ruoff. I think he's inconsistent and has confidence issues. After missing a few shots he clearly gets down on himself and continues to miss shots. At that point, I think he's pretty ineffective as a player.

blazerjimmy 04-12-2009 12:43 PM

Re: Portsmouth Invitational Tournament
 
Okay, I found an article stating that Jack McClinton chose not to participate because he is still recovering from a minor injury - anyone have any idea of why Jeremy Pargo and Josh Heytvelt of Gonzaga chose not to participate?

Mr_Basketball#1 04-13-2009 09:27 AM

Re: Portsmouth Invitational Tournament
 
Day 3
Quote:

Wesley Matthews showed off his total package of skills today, doing a great job of playing within his team’s offense while still finding a plethora of opportunities to score for his team. Matthews’ constant motion off the ball and ability to recognize how to attack seams in the defense is very impressive, and he takes full advantage of it with strong drives to the lane and finishes at the basket. Matthews is looking a bit more athletic with the ball than we expected, having at least adequate athleticism for the NBA with his playing style, going strong to the whole while angling his body well to protect the ball.

Matthews’ ball-handling has been a mixed bag, at time showing impressive crossover drives while attacking the basket in either direction, but at others he’s struggled to maintain his handle, specifically in traffic where he is prone to lose control.

Matthews did a good job in other areas as well, showing very good court vision and decision-making ability while dishing out quite a few smart passes. His outside shot wasn’t falling today, though he didn’t force the issue with it, instead taking advantage of his slashing game as aforementioned. On the defensive end, Matthews played his usual tough defense, stifling the likes of Ryan Toolson.

-B.J. Raymond had yet another outstanding showing, knocking down another four 3-pointers (bringing him to 8 so far, on just 11 attempts) for an efficient 16 points. Raymond is one of the most vocal players you’ll find here on the defensive end, acting as somewhat of a captain for his team on this end of the floor, and really setting the tone for his teammates himself with the work he puts in. Despite not showing great lateral quickness, Raymond moves his feet exceptionally well and can really anticipate, playing a solid, fundamental brand of perimeter defense, and pretty much shutting down whoever he’s been asked to guard. His ball-handling appears to be average at best, and he seems to have problems finishing around the basket when driving in traffic, although he was able to finish nicely through contact in a few transition situations. Sitting right next to his team’s bench, you could constantly hear his voice during timeouts. It’s no surprise that his team is in the finals despite having likely the tournament’s worst “point guard” (the ultra selfish and constant showoff David Holston) running the show for them. It’s becoming more and more obvious why Raymond was such a winner as a college player in his time at Xavier.

-Tyrese Rice followed up a solid day first game performance with a fairly poor outing, posting 10 points on 3-11 shooting with 3 assists and 3 turnovers. He struggled in particular trying to finish around the basket, as his lack of size, strength and explosiveness really hindered him from converting his drives amongst the trees. He showed nice court vision, but also mixed that in with some risky passes that led to turnovers, and also had a very tough time on the defensive end, where he was pushed around a bit and had a hard time making his presence felt due to his below average size.


-Jon Brockman cooled off a bit from yesterday, but still managed to pull in 16 rebounds while scoring 11 points. Brockman diversified his game by hitting a couple of spot-up 15-foot jumpers (a significant development for him) and he continued to make his presence felt in the paint by throwing his body around and using his magnet hands to pull down boards over the opposition. In the pre-game, Brockman’s teammate were putting on a dunk contest and Brockman demonstrated a bit more of his explosive vertical leap that we were surprised to see yesterday, but he still hasn’t found a way to translate it to actual game situations, being seemingly unable to power up from most basketball positions. Whoever Brockman trains with this summer, he should put an emphasis on trying to mix that into his game, as well as continuing to hone his mid-range jump-shot. Brockman continues to be mentioned by scouts here as a sleeper prospect to slip in the second round.

-Kyle McAlarney had a better performance, seemingly playing very well, even though he only finished with 15 points on 15 shot attempts along with 4 assists. McAlarney did a very good job getting open and getting off quick threes with perfect form, something he’s known to excel at, however his shots weren’t falling as often as he’d like in the first half, even though they looked good. McAlarney also looked good on a few floaters in the lane, which he gets off with ease despite his lack of athleticism and size.

-A.D. Vassallo didn’t score quite as much as yesterday while also being much less efficient with the ball, scoring 10 points on 11 shots along with 4 turnovers. He shows a smooth pull-up game and can convert on a lot of high difficulty shots, but he’s failing to show what else he brings to the table, not excelling on the defensive end or contributing in many other areas.

-Ahmad Nivins had a much better performance today with 17 points, 11 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 2 steals, abusing opposing bigs Bamba Fall and Men McCauley, who were simply no match for his physicality and size. Nivins scored on a lot of simple moves, cutting to the basket, sealing his man beneath the rim, or finishing on the pick-and-roll, getting off a lot of high-percentage lay-ups even though he played quite below the rim. Today he matches with Marcus Cousin and Tony Gaffney, so it’ll be interesting to see if he can still perform in the lane against more formidable defenders, something that has always been a question mark due to his average athleticism.

-A.J. Abrams dropped 23 points today, going 8-17 from the field, 2-6 from three, and 5-6 from the line. He took some tough shots off the dribble, but made a number of contested catch and shoot jumpers from the outside. He also made a major impact on the defensive end, showing great anticipation in the passing lanes en route to 5 steals. This game was largely indicative of what kind of player Abrams is: a scorer who can bring the ball up the floor, but isn’t going to make his teammates better. Despite his ability to get steals, there are still plenty of question marks regarding who he might defend at the next level.

-Robert Vaden came alive today, knocking down 5 of the 8 three-pointers he attempted. His stroke is extremely compact, and he was able to get it off with little trouble today –even when he was well defended. He takes some extremely questionable shots on a regular basis, which probably isn’t endearing him to any of his teammates. Vaden hasn’t really shown much else besides his perimeter shooting ability.

Posterize246 04-13-2009 10:59 AM

Re: Portsmouth Invitational Tournament
 
Quote:

-B.J. Raymond had yet another outstanding showing, knocking down another four 3-pointers (bringing him to 8 so far, on just 11 attempts) for an efficient 16 points. Raymond is one of the most vocal players you’ll find here on the defensive end, acting as somewhat of a captain for his team on this end of the floor, and really setting the tone for his teammates himself with the work he puts in. Despite not showing great lateral quickness, Raymond moves his feet exceptionally well and can really anticipate, playing a solid, fundamental brand of perimeter defense, and pretty much shutting down whoever he’s been asked to guard. His ball-handling appears to be average at best, and he seems to have problems finishing around the basket when driving in traffic, although he was able to finish nicely through contact in a few transition situations. Sitting right next to his team’s bench, you could constantly hear his voice during timeouts. It’s no surprise that his team is in the finals despite having likely the tournament’s worst “point guard” (the ultra selfish and constant showoff David Holston) running the show for them. It’s becoming more and more obvious why Raymond was such a winner as a college player in his time at Xavier.

-Ahmad Nivins had a much better performance today with 17 points, 11 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 2 steals, abusing opposing bigs Bamba Fall and Men McCauley, who were simply no match for his physicality and size. Nivins scored on a lot of simple moves, cutting to the basket, sealing his man beneath the rim, or finishing on the pick-and-roll, getting off a lot of high-percentage lay-ups even though he played quite below the rim. Today he matches with Marcus Cousin and Tony Gaffney, so it’ll be interesting to see if he can still perform in the lane against more formidable defenders, something that has always been a question mark due to his average athleticism.

A-10 :pimp:

Thorpesaurous 04-13-2009 06:36 PM

Re: Portsmouth Invitational Tournament
 
Quote:

Wesley Matthews showed off his total package of skills today, doing a great job of playing within his team’s offense while still finding a plethora of opportunities to score for his team. Matthews’ constant motion off the ball and ability to recognize how to attack seams in the defense is very impressive, and he takes full advantage of it with strong drives to the lane and finishes at the basket. Matthews is looking a bit more athletic with the ball than we expected, having at least adequate athleticism for the NBA with his playing style, going strong to the whole while angling his body well to protect the ball.

Matthews’ ball-handling has been a mixed bag, at time showing impressive crossover drives while attacking the basket in either direction, but at others he’s struggled to maintain his handle, specifically in traffic where he is prone to lose control.

Matthews did a good job in other areas as well, showing very good court vision and decision-making ability while dishing out quite a few smart passes. His outside shot wasn’t falling today, though he didn’t force the issue with it, instead taking advantage of his slashing game as aforementioned. On the defensive end, Matthews played his usual tough defense, stifling the likes of Ryan Toolson.

I've mentioned on the college board too, but I love Matthews. He's a great player. He's really one of those do a little bit of everything type of guys. When James got hurt, this guy took over so much responsibility. Much moreso than his teammate, Jerel McNeal, who's a better scorer, and seemed to draw more media attention because of it. But Matthews seemed to be asked to take the bigger shots. He's a really good rebounder at his size. A very good defender both inside and out. And his ball handling, while apparently not sharp here, looked good to me. He was asked to initiate a lot offense down the stretch last year. I actually fear his all around game won't play in the NBA. He won't be a star, and he's not good enough at any one thing to be a true role player. I hope he sticks, but he may wind up an overseas star. He reminds me a little of Ryan Gomes, but he's not quite as good a shooter.

Quote:

-Ahmad Nivins had a much better performance today with 17 points, 11 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 2 steals, abusing opposing bigs Bamba Fall and Men McCauley, who were simply no match for his physicality and size. Nivins scored on a lot of simple moves, cutting to the basket, sealing his man beneath the rim, or finishing on the pick-and-roll, getting off a lot of high-percentage lay-ups even though he played quite below the rim. Today he matches with Marcus Cousin and Tony Gaffney, so it’ll be interesting to see if he can still perform in the lane against more formidable defenders, something that has always been a question mark due to his average athleticism.

I love hearing about Niven's because it reminds me of a very good book, The Miracle of St. Anthony's, about Bob Hurley's last perfect season, with a team of misfit pieces of whom none were big prospects. A sophomore Niven's was probably the best of the bunch. A great read though.


dab0yech0 04-14-2009 02:46 AM

Re: Portsmouth Invitational Tournament
 
Quote:

A.J. Abrams dropped 23 points today, going 8-17 from the field, 2-6 from three, and 5-6 from the line. He took some tough shots off the dribble, but made a number of contested catch and shoot jumpers from the outside. He also made a major impact on the defensive end, showing great anticipation in the passing lanes en route to 5 steals. This game was largely indicative of what kind of player Abrams is: a scorer who can bring the ball up the floor, but isn’t going to make his teammates better. Despite his ability to get steals, there are still plenty of question marks regarding who he might defend at the next level.

Aj Abrams = slightly better Eddie House

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thorpesaurous
I've mentioned on the college board too, but I love Matthews. He's a great player. He's really one of those do a little bit of everything type of guys. When James got hurt, this guy took over so much responsibility. Much moreso than his teammate, Jerel McNeal, who's a better scorer, and seemed to draw more media attention because of it. But Matthews seemed to be asked to take the bigger shots. He's a really good rebounder at his size. A very good defender both inside and out. And his ball handling, while apparently not sharp here, looked good to me. He was asked to initiate a lot offense down the stretch last year. I actually fear his all around game won't play in the NBA. He won't be a star, and he's not good enough at any one thing to be a true role player. I hope he sticks, but he may wind up an overseas star. He reminds me a little of Ryan Gomes, but he's not quite as good a shooter.


I think if he works on his outside jumper, he has a chance to be similar to Matt Barnes who IMO is the perfect role player.


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