Nike Global Challenge: Day 1

Fri, 08/08/2008 - 10:43pm


Nike Global Challenge- Day 1


Game 1

USA ONE 81 – Senegal 68

A very sloppy game was played by both teams, especially Senegal, who struggled not only with making shots, but also keeping possession of the ball. They shot a lowly 33% from the field and also had 27 turnovers (to only 11 assists). USA ONE had 22 turnovers to 11 assists, but they were much more efficient from the field, finishing the game at 50%.

Demarcus Cousins (23 points, 5 steals, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks)

He looked good operating in the post; he seems to always be under control, even when he went up against the twin (7 foot) towers from Senegal. He showed his ability to step out beyond the arc (3/4 from deep), even hitting a three off the dribble. However, his jumpshot is still very inconsistent and flat, leading to a number of badly missed shots. In the post he shows nice footwork and patience as he probes the defender before putting on a move. He lacks explosiveness and is only a marginal athlete, but he is able to make up for it with a soft touch as well as a very strong body. One worry with him is the surprisingly slow manner in which he runs the floor. It isn’t an issue with being out of shape or not trying, but rather awkward running mechanics, which slow him down substantially… definitely something to keep an eye on in the next few days.

Roger Franklin (16 points, 3 steals, 2 rebounds, 7/10 fgs)

His movements are a bit awkward, maybe because of the way that he runs. He never seems to run full speed, as if he is a bit hurt. Scoringwise, he is able to mix it up and finds different ways to get on the scoreboard. His stroke is decent and he is able to hit it from long, but he seems to prefer getting into the paint and using a variety of pullups and floaters to score.

Papa Samba Ndao (11 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists)

Listed at 6’9, he might be closer to about 6’7, but that still leaves plenty of intrigue for this young guy, since he was born in 1992 and his game is showing nice polish on the perimeter. For a guy who is 16, he shows great maturity as well as versatility in the way that he attacks the opposition. While his shooting form is not perfect (his elbow flails out too far on the release), he is still more than capable of hitting from deep (as he went 2/7 in this contest). His handles can use some serious tightening, but even with the way they are, his is able to go by people simply due to his length and explosiveness. Not much has been said about Ndao, but he is definitely someone to keep tabs on in the future.

Game 2

Canada 83 – Lithuania 78

The score tells somewhat of a falls story, as the Canadians took the early lead and really never looked back. Lithuania was able to cut the lead down, but in the end it did not matter too much.

Marvin Binney (15 points, 2 steals, 3 rebounds)

At this point he is more of a threat as a scorer than he is as a passer, but that is not to say the he doesn’t have the capability of being a lead guard. His game is based around jerky hesitation moves that get his defender off balance and allow him to get into the lane. His shooting stroke is very smooth and he is very effective hitting from midrange thanks to his soft touch. His quickness and nice ballhandling are two nice characteristics that make him a difficult matchup, regardless of what backcourt position he is playing.

Corey Joseph (7 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists)

At about 6’3, he has great size for a pointguard and for a 1991 kid; he shows a great amount of poise and maturity. He is still a bit passive, but that is understandable since he is playing with older guys and against top notch competition. His ability to break people down is already well developed and with continued work, he has a chance to become something special.

Mindauga Kuzmiskas (24 points, 10 rebounds)

For a player that is about 6’9, he has a nice mix of skills from the perimeter. His shot looks nice and even though it wasn’t falling for him from deep today, you can tell that he can be dangerous if he gets into a rhythm. He is not the quickest or most athletic guy, but he has the unorthodox euro type game that gives him the chance to find seems and openings. He uses a variety of shotfakes and jabs to get the defense to lunge or to back off, allowing him to use his soft touch around the hoop to finish. He is able to do many things well, but the fact that he doesn’t have that one particular aspect from which he can dominate, could be his downfall and his limitation on just being a European player. His explosiveness, as mentioned, is subpar, which would make him (defensively) a mismatch waiting to happen at the NBA level.

Game 3


Serbia 74 – USA THREE 73

In what was by far the most interesting game of the day, the Serbians (mostly compromised of the very talented FMP team) were able to pull out a nailbitter. This USA team is the one filled with most talent (even with Xavier Henry sitting the tourney out due to injury) and it seemed built to take out the strong Serbs. With about 1:40 left in the 4th quarter the Americans had it all but locked up and instead of running down the clock, they decided to shoot early jumpers, giving Serbia the chance it was looking for. In the end it cost them the game and a chance to battle for the tourney championship.

Nikola Markovic (17 points, 13 rebounds, 5 steals, 4 assists)

He has a nice combination of inside/outside skills and he is able to utilize them to create mismatches. With good size at 6’9 and nice footspeed, he is able to put the ball on the deck and attack bigger defenders, and just as well he can bang with the big boys inside and finish at the rim. He is a very crafty player, but like so many Euro bigmen, just lacks that explosiveness that would push him into NBA talks. He is mobile and very smooth in his movements, but he just doesn’t have the burst of athleticism that would allow him to do full time battle at the next level.

Dejan Musli (14 points, 6 rebounds, 7 turnovers)

The big man looks to be a legit 7 footer, but other than the he is a bit of a disappointment thus far. He is very uncomfortable in the post, as soon as he sees a defender even fake to double down on him, he goes into panic mode and throws the ball out any way possible. His legs are very stiff, and he lacks any sort of footwork, thus when he is using his body to push his way in the post, he is easily thrown off balance and forced to make a decision that he is not adept at making yet. In his defence, he works hard, tries to fight for position and he also attacks the offensive glass. He is still young (only 1991) and big men take far longer to develop than guards, so his window of opportunity will be open for some years to come.

Filip Covcic (7 points, 6 assists, 2 steals)

Because of his size (5’9), and the fact that he is a less than reliable shooter, he will probably never be a serious prospect for the NBA, nonetheless he may have been the most exciting player to watch today. John Wall found out the hard way, as he was having fits all game long trying to figure out how to stay infront of this guy. As good as he is off the dribble, his best attributes are his vision and ability to deliver pinpoint passes to teammates all over the floor. He is the engine that kept the Serbs going, and they will go only as far as he can take them. A nice career in the Euro ranks is almost in the bank for Covcic.

John Wall (18 points, 4 steals, 2 blocks

In a game where you are thinking Wall hasn’t done much, he will come up with that one spectacular play that will quickly take you back to reality and make you realize how special he can just become. We have talked about his abilities at length already, so there is no point of going into them again, but it is his weakness that are going to be the determining factor in how good he can be. There is no doubt that Wall’s shot needs work and even though he hit two 3 pointers, he missed a number of shots so badly that it still keeps the questions of his shooting stroke lingering. It’s defensively where questions are really raised… he has all the tools to become incredible, but his mind is nowhere near where it should be. His attempts to guard Covcic were absolutely worthless, but not because he can’t, instead more so because he doesn’t even get into a stance. He simply takes positions of on the defensive end and that has to change if he ever wants to reach the potential that he has.

DeShaun Thomas (22 points, 6 rebounds)

When we saw him in Vegas, Thomas was a bit of a disappointment, but today he came to play and he showed why he is amongst the top players in his class (Junior). He seems more comfortable being a 2nd option, just getting his touches in the flow of the offense, instead of getting plays run for him. He is a decent athlete, but he is so good on the baseline, where he uses good footwork and his strong body to get to the hoop. His lefty game is a bit unorthodox, and once he catches the ball coming from a flash, he is very dangerous because he has a variety of moves to get to the hoop. He looks to be about 6’6, which almost assures that he will have to become a wing player, yet at this point his perimeter skills are not refined enough to allow him to slide over full time.

Game 4

USA TWO 81 – Puerto Rico 72

From the early going this looked like it was going to be a blowout. It was pointing in that direction until the 4th quarter where the Americans fell asleep, and Puerto Rico finally decided to play. Unfortunately, it was too little too late and the few people that stuck around were treated to nothing more than a “near” comeback.

John Henson (11 points, 9 rebounds, 9 blocks)

The big man showed some great intrigue today. Not only did he block and alter almost every shot that was put up by PR, but he was also able to showcase a nicely developing outside game. He knocked down a three, and even showcased some moves off the dribble, something that we didn’t see much of in Vegas. However, his weight (or lack of) will continue to haunt him…his narrow body and small shoulders make it seem like he will have a hard time of ever putting on any sort of serious bulk. If his body could progress the way his game has, he would be one scary specimen.

Avery Bradley (18 points)

We’ve heard it all…he’s not a PG, he’s too small, he does nothing but score, he can’t do it without Gaddy…but the fact remains, Avery Bradley is a scorer. Not matter what is said, one thing cannot be denied, and that is that he finds ways to put the ball in the hole. His midrange jumpshot may be the best in all of High-School ball and he is also not shy about getting above the rim for emphatic finishes. He may never find an “actual position”, be he wouldn’t be the first guy to make it without one.

Raymond Cintron Cortes (27 points, 8 rebounds)

He was one of the few Puerto Rican’s that decided to show up today. His game is nothing flashy, but his handles are good enough where can create separation and his shot is also very precise where you should not leave him open. He is more of a SG than a PG, but that could be just the role that he is asked to take with this team.


There were a number of disappointments in today’s games, but I will give those guys the benefit of the doubt as well as a 2nd chance to redeem themselves. So if you are wondering where guys like Daniel Orton, Jeremy Tyler, Mason Plumlee are, just realize that they did nothing to warrant a paragraph. Unfortunately tomorrow they may not be so lucky.

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Teammates Malik Hairston and Maarty Luenen unexpectedly heard their names called but Taylor didn’t.
Chat Sohbet Muhabbet Egitim Egitim eJJe Egitim ATATURK Ruya Tabirleri
Siirler Hikayeler Fikralar Programlar Guzel Sozler Resimler freetemplates Taylor was arguably Oregon’s best player last season, but his 6-foot-4 frame makes him a undersized at the next level. Nonetheless, his scoring ability, length and athleticism give him a chance to make in in the league.

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