Re: World Team toasted Team USA at Nike Hoop Summit
I found this really enjoyable to watch.
A few things that jumped out at me.
The Harrison twins have the look physically. They pop athletically in the back court not just in terms of speed, but strength.
The PG going to ND, Demetrius Jackson, was also a physical presence.
Julius Randle has some real beast qualities. He reminded me of a young Chris Webber on a couple trips. He went by someone baseline and reverse dunked in traffic in a way that made me believe.
I found that I liked what little I saw of Bobby Portis, as a big athlete who's active and moving around a lot.
Aaron Gordon looks to me like he has the most room to develop. He's physically impressive without looking overdeveloped.
On the international side, there were guys I knew a lot less about, but wound up looking into them after the fact.
I continue to be less impressed with Wiggins than I feel like I'm supposed to be. He can score, but everytime I've seen him it comes in such spurts. Even in this game he finished with 17, but he had a streak of 6 in a row. He never feels like he's dominating the game, and imposing his scoring will on the game in a way that I've been led to believe he will.
Livio Jean-Charles had the big numbers game, but a lot of it seemed to just be the result of being in the right place. It doesn't mean he's not skilled, but I didn't finish that game thinking he was even close to the best player out there.
Karl Towns was physically imposing, but the Joel Embiid kid was even more impressive physically with his combo of size and quickness. The International team was just too big for us.
And when you have a big team against you, you want to run, but frankly the international team had the best Guard on the court too. Germany's Dennis Schroeder blew me away. He was by far the quickest guy on the floor, and he did it without being small, he's long as hell, even if not as physical as most of the american kids, and his stop and start was all over the place, not just an end to end guy. I was hugely impressed with him, and had honestly never even heard of him. Looking him up afterward it seems like he's making a good case for himself as a pro very soon. He's a nightmare defensively, and so creative with the ball.
Also, the Russian kid playing next to him was a joy to watch. Sergey Karasev, who was oversized by guard standards these days, seemed a little slow, but so skilled, and seemed to have great vision. Plus his shot looked pure. The ball handling was really crafty, and he threw a bunch of those passes, like the through the legs on the pick and roll, that showed a really good feel for playing. And his decision making, small things like after Schroeder blew threw the press, he'd throw a wild pass out to Karasev who (showed he's got really good hands on a few catches) displayed a nice head for the game for by retreating instead of pushing.
Those two guys were both really impressive to me.
And the announcers did a good job, and what felt like excuses for the american kids made a lot of sense, in terms of the international team having a week of practice that the americans didn't get, and their coaches have been running the same system for years apparently.