2008 Las Vegas AAUs: Day 4

Fri, 07/25/2008 - 9:52pm

By Nick Prevenas

John Wall

[img_assist|nid=1594|title=John Wall|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=300|height=395] The North Carolina phenom is putting his stamp on the Reebok Summer Championship, submitting yet another dominant effort in D-One Sports’ 84-77 win over a game Grand Rapids squad on Friday afternoon.

Wall torched the Storm to the tune of 31 points (10-19 shooting), 10 assists and six rebounds, bouncing back from a disappointing Thursday and putting himself back at the forefront of the “top player of 2009” debate.

Early on, Wall forced the issue, dribbling himself into trouble and losing control. He hit only four of his first 12 shot attempts and collected five turnovers in the first half. At one point, Wall received the ball on the right baseline and attempted to back his defender down. He spun right and took an off-balance fade away jumper from about 18 feet. It hit the side of the backboard.

Shortly after, Wall snapped out of it and took over the game. When Grand Rapids pulled to within four, Wall scored seven straight points, including an emphatic lefty jam to put the game out of reach.

Does Wall need to work on his decision making? Absolutely. At times, Wall can get wrapped up in making the spectacular play over the correct one, but when he’s playing within himself, he is capable of dismantling an opponent. He has remarkable court vision -- especially in the half court, where he can see passing angles before they immediately present themselves.

His shooting range is in need of some drastic improvement, but at this level, very few defenders can stay in front of him. Why shoot jumpers when you can shoot lay-ups, right?

Defense is where Wall really struggles. He has the length, strength and foot speed to be a lock-down defender, but far too often, Wall lazily jabs at the ball without moving his feet. A good college coach should snap him out of this horrible habit.

As long as he’s willing to work for it, there are no limits to what Wall can achieve -- only possibilities. Physical and mental maturity should help smooth out the rough edges surrounding his game. If everything goes well for him, Wall could be a top-five NBA draft pick when he’s ready to declare -- which could be as soon as 2010.

By Aran Smith

Abdul Gaddy

[img_assist|nid=1597|title=Abdul Gaddy|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=300|height=397] Facing the Donyell Marshall squad, Gaddy displayed his full package of skills, setting up teammates and creating points for himself within the flow of the offense. He doesn’t force things much and does a great job of taking what the defense gives him.

With just under 10 minutes to go, and the score close, Gaddy began to take over offensively with two consecutive drives to the rim for buckets.

While not the physical specimen of John Wall, Gaddy has some polished skills that Wall is missing, including his shooting ability off the dribble and decision making. He is much steadier, showing a willingness to take the smart play over the spectacular play every time.

With excellent size and skills for the point guard position, Gaddy is an top-flight prospect who can develop into a pro in a few years on the college level.

Avery Bradley’s great scoring outbursts are a tribute to Gaddy’s excellent point guard skills.

Gaddy finished the game with an extremely efficient 23 points and 8 assists and was extremely efficient limiting his turnovers.

Avery Bradley

Bradley has been absolutely sensational all week registering two 37-point games and one 35-point game.

Bradley certainly benefits playing alongside one of the top passers in Vegas, but like Gaddy, he’s an electric talent in his own right. His has a pure shot with good range and consistency and a scorers mentality.

Though undersized at 6’2, Bradley has tremendous speed and quickness plus a huge (6’7 possibly) wingspan which allows him to play much bigger. Avery displayed his elite-level athleticism getting way above the rim for an ally-oop off a Gaddy assist.

Bradley finished with 27 points continuing his excellent play.

Renardo Sidney

[img_assist|nid=1596|title=Renardo Sidney|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=300|height=410] With former So Cal All Star teammate Brandon Jennings looking on, Sidney’s team was knocked out in the second round of tournament play. The big-man looked a lot better than the first time we saw him, which wasn‘t difficult. But in the end, he missed the important shots and ultimately failed to lead his team to victory.

At times, Sidney looks like a one-and-done top-10 pick. Despite the weight, he gets up and down the court very well, and his skill set is extremely unique for a 6-10, 275-pound 17-year-old.

But in a sense, he’s too talented for his own good. Too often, he appears content instead of looking hungry to dominate and improve. His intensity level and focus is extremely inconsistent.

He displayed his excellent face-the-basket skills, finding teammates for baskets with solid passes and also converted on a few monster jams, as well as knocking down a three ball.

Late in the game, he tied it up with a nice post move, backing his defender down and scoring over him. But considering his huge talent edge, he should be leading his squad to victory over opponents like Maryland’s WPC. He missed a potential game-tying three as time expired.

It’s hard to imagine Sidney not finding a spot in the first round after one year of college, but if he lets his body go, anything’s possible. He’s a player with immense talent, but could fall far short of his potential if he doesn’t improve his work ethic and discipline.

By Borko Popic

Peyton Siva

He was very steady throughout the whole game and was called upon to score in some clutch situations. He has nice playmaking abilities, seeing the floor well and finding teammates in the right situations.

Off the dribble he has a variety of moves that allow him to create separation and once he gets a bit of daylight he is able to shoot a very smooth jumpshot. His range is well beyond the three and once he finds his rhythm he is very hard to contain. He may not possess tremendous athleticism or quickness, but he knows how to get into the paint and he also uses his strong body to shield the ball and create space as he is finishing.

The lack of size and explosiveness limit his potential a fair bit, but his skill and understanding of the game will give him the opportunity to do some nice things.

Joshua Smith

The sophomore big man had another solid game for his team, proving that his size and strength are too much too handle by some of these undersized teams. He moves very well and has an impressive 2nd jump for someone his size.

At this point he relies heavily on outmuscling the opposition to get his points and doesn’t have a lot in his low post repertoire. His left hand also needs some serious work, as he seems to always switch the ball back to his natural right whenever he is finishing. He is a nice athlete and has decent length, but at 6’9 is a bit undersized, and lacks the lateral quickness to match up with quicker and more versatile 4 men.

Tony Wroten

[img_assist|nid=1595|title=Tony Wroten|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=300|height=235]After yesterday’s impressive game, Wroten followed it up with another decent outing. His incredible passing ability was on display once again, and he even showed decent ability to knock down some jumpers from further out. The little hitch he has on his release was seen again, but he only seems to do it on pullup jumpers that are contested, almost as if he is trying to release it quicker before the defender has a chance to get to it.

Off the dribble he showed some nice moves, but the lack of upper body strength gave him some problems as he was thrown off balance by minor contact in the lane. Nonetheless, he showed his great potential once again and was not shy about taking and making shots when it counted.

Elijah Johnson

The 6’2 combo guard proved to be and absolute specimen and did not let a fairly severe ankle sprain slow him down. He may be one of the better athletes we have seen this whole week and he does not let up or run out of energy.

In the 1st game he looked like an extremely explosive and athletic player that was lacking some major components to his game, however in the 2nd game, he proved that he is able to do a lot of good things. His handles and passing are not of the top tier PG calibre, but he is more than capable of creating his own shot and getting his teammates open shots. He is so quick and explosive that he doesn’t really need to use too many dribbles to get by people, but he sometimes gets caught up in a dribbling game. Once he gets into the lane he elevates effortlessly and his body is so strong that it is very difficult to stop him from finishing or getting to the line

As a shooter, his athleticism hurts him because he elevates so high that he looses balance and shoots on the way down. His ankle injury somewhat limited his leaping ability, but surprisingly it helped out his shooting because he was able to shoot on the way up, helping out his balance and rhythm. As a result he knocked down a number of shots from deep.

Size wise he is definitely a PG, while his game is in the mold of a wing player, so at this point he is stuck in between positions. His body and athleticism make up for it greatly, but his ability to become a consistent shooter will be an important factor in determining what kind of prospect he will become.
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