The Black squad defeated the White squad in Saturday night’s Jordan Brand Classic
at Madison Square Garden. The 110-103 final score was the game’s closest margin
after the opening minutes. The match up of top High School talent was marked by
lax effort and poor play, even by showcase/exhibition standards. The atmosphere
at the arena was quite tame, possibly leading to the uneven performance. Here’s
a brief review of players from both teams, including game notes, significant player
attributes and other thoughts.
Avery Bradley — 14 pts,
6-10 fg, 1-4 3p, 3-5 ft, 2 ast, 2 reb — Brought his relentless offensive style
right from the opening tip. Always attacking in transition, stopping for a pull
up jumper or taking it to the rack. Extremely aggressive on the defensive end,
with thievery on his mind at all times. Was able to stay in front of Wall on a
couple of occasions in the half court, anticipating his moves well. Nevertheless,
definitely takes too many chances on D in search of easy buckets. His frame is
extremely lean and was easily knocked off balance on a couple of drives to the
hoop. His offensive game and size is reminiscent of Monta Ellis.
Derrick Favors — 21 pts, 6-11 fg, 9-12
ft, 4 reb — Was the most impressive bigman in the game. Spent most of the game
at the free throw line. Has a solid stroke, hitting 9 of 12 from the stripe while
demonstrating a deft touch. Hit a nice slashing lefty layup and showed interest
in working in the post. Showed his leaping ability and length on an alley-oop
layup that appeared well out of reach. Was awarded MVP for his excellent performance
as no bigmen for the white squad could match up with him.
DeMarcus Cousins — 17 pts, 7-11 fg, 3-4 ft, 7 reb, 1 stl, 1 to — Cousins
and Sidney apparently made a pact at halftime to not guard one another as both
players had impressive showings offensively (in 2nd half) due to the fact that
the other played matador defense. Appeared stiff and out of shape moving around
the court. Scored his points on lay ups/dunks off penetration and on put backs.
Has extremely long arms, able to grab offensive boards while barely leaving the
floor. Played catch with himself on the O glass. Created havoc with his shot blocking
and the intimidation factor is evident. Showed three point range in warm ups,
but puts odd spin on the ball. I see him as a more agile/versatile and athletic
Erick Dampier, but the explosiveness doesn’t appear to be there. He’s in danger
of losing a lot of his skills due to lacking great speed and conditioning.
John Henson — 10 pts, 5-9 fg, 0-1 3p, 0-2
ft, 3 blk, 1 stl — Rail thin 6-10 forward looks goofy out there, but he can play.
Was extremely passive in the first half, but stepped his game up in the 2nd stanza.
Hit a beautiful lefty turnaround hook from the edge of the paint. His handle and
ability to lead the fast break was impressive. He runs the floor exceedingly well.
At 210 pounds, needs to add some serious bulk to play inside. With a 7-4 wingspan
and great fluidity, he’s got a lot of upside.
Jordan Hamilton — 8 pts, 3-10 fg, 2-5
3p, 4 ast, 4 reb — A solid athlete who excels at handling and passing the ball.
Very comfortable bringing the ball up and has good court vision. Struggled shooting
for the most part. Unfortunately, almost all of his shot attempts came from behind
the arc, off balance and out of the offensive flow. He did knock down 2-5 from
deep. Would like to have seen more slashing out of him.
Kenny Boynton — 12 pts, 4-10 fg, 1-4 3p,
3-5 ft, 2 ast, 2 reb — "Energy scorer". Plays at a near out of control
pace, often taking quick, deep shots. However, he did show the quickness and strength
to get in the paint. His point total was assisted by a silly foul from Royce White
on a wild three attempt. Didn’t look to pass or facilitate offense for others.
Think Aaron Brooks with less point guard skills.
Abdul Gaddy — 3 pts, 1-6 fg, 1-1 3p, 2 reb,
2 to — Shifty PG showed excellent change of speeds with the dribble. Seems likely
to excel in pick and roll situations with a good stroke and ability to slither
inside the teeth of the D. Settled for too many floaters and tear drops rather
than taking it strong. Too fancy with his handle at times, but a likely result
of the occasion. Gaddy struggled shooting the ball.
Durand Scott — 6 pts, 2-7 fg, 0-2 3p, 2-3
ft, 1 ast — Was a chucker who didn’t represent NYC very well. Didn’t take a single
shot while on balance. Always fading back or to the side, even when wide open.
Doesn’t appear confident in his stroke, although not bashful about shooting it.
His 1st step is sub par. He’s better than he played, but not at the level with
most of the players in this game.
Dominic Cheek — 6 pts, 3-8 fg, 0-3 3p, 4 reb, 2 ast — Invisible for almost
the entirety of the game. Has a nice looking shot, but was unable to create offense
for himself. Probably better suited for a ‘real’ game rather than an exhibition.
Has good size for a SG and plays with good energy. Flashed his athleticism with
two highlight put back dunks.
Alex Oriakhi — 8 pts, 4-7 fg, 4 reb — Another
player whose game doesn’t translate to the scrimmage style. Showed good foot work
in the paint. Was the recipient of two wide open lay ups after beating the opposition
down the floor in transition. Showed good strength, finishing a short lefty hook
Ryan Kelly — 2 pts, 1-7 fg, 0-2 3p, 6 reb,
1 ast — Had one solid dunk off his own miss in which the defender was out of
position. Outside of that struggled badly. He’s a quality shooter but you wouldn’t
know it from this game as he couldn’t get anything to drop. Was outclassed athletically
and struggles to keep up with quick opponents. Kelly should have a nice 4 year
career at Duke, but after coming on late may have been overrated by a number of
Lamont Jones — 4 pts, 1-5 fg, 1-2 3p, 1-2 ft, 1 to — "Momo" didn’t
look as impressive as he had during the season playing for Oak Hill. Struggled
shooting the ball and got caught in the lane among the long tree branches of the
inside players. His one 3 ball but was mostly unimpressive.
John Wall — 8 pts, 4-7 fg,
0-1 3p, 1 reb, 8 ast, 3 stl, 2 to — An absolute freak, his movement is amazingly
fluid. Incredible handle, quickness and ability to change directions at full speed.
Impossible to keep out of the paint when he gets a head of steam. Put together
a string of jaw dropping drives late in the 2nd half. Did appear to get taken
out his element early on by Bradley, forcing passes and penetrating into traffic
with no plan. Not sure he truly sees the game unfold, yet but the sky’s the limit…..
A cross between Derrick Rose and Rajon Rondo.
Renardo Sidney — 15 pts, 6-16 fg, 1-5 3p,
5 reb, 2 ast, 1 to, 2 blk — Impressive skills for a 6-foot-9, 290 pounder. Hit
a couple of jumpers off the dribble as well as displaying 3 pt range. Not an elite
athlete but good agility. Had trouble elevating over defenders in the paint, getting
his shot sent back a couple of times. Made an impressive play showing his body
control on a rebound staying in bounds and then went coast to coast for a pretty
lay in. Almost all of his points came from the perimeter, and all but 2 in the
second half. Maybe the most impressive part of his game was his passing as he
makes a lot of great outlet passes setting teammates up for scores. He’s a talented
kid, but his mannerisms and body language give away a lot about his lack of discipline
and work ethic.
Mason Plumlee — 11 pts, 4-9 fg, 0-1 3p,
3-3 ft, 5 reb, 1 ast, 1 blk — Extremely active on both ends, especially on the
offensive glass. Had a couple of shots rejected inside against Cousins, but kept
after it on the boards and was eventually able to finish. Has great length. Showed
impressive ball handling, at one point dribbling the ball the length of the floor
off of a rebound to draw a foul. Took his game to the perimeter on numerous occasions.
Used a dribble/drive with his left hand to draw a blocking foul on Jordan Hamilton.
Also took some jumpers, for the most part unsuccessfully.
Keith Gallon — 6 pts, 3-9 fg, 0-3 3p, 5 reb,
1 ast — 300 pounder clearly has guard skills with his ball handling and jumper,
but that’s where the positives end on this night. He took 2 or 3 ridiculous chucker
threes from way beyond three point range, one after a session of fancy dribbling.
Projects a lazy attitude, dragging his feet up and down court and walking slowly
off the court when subbed out. Made the worst play of the game giving away an
easy lay up to attempt a pass off the back board to Wall which would have required
more time on the clock. His jumper is almost a set shot, with little elevation.
Didn’t take his game inside at all to utilize his strength advantage. It’s an
all star game so hard to be too critical, but he definitely didn’t make the same
impression he made in the McDonald’s AA game.
Royce White — 10 pts, 3-6 fg, 1-1 3p, 3-4
ft, 1 reb, 1 ast, 2 stl — Has a powerful body, but seemed more interested in
showing a jumper. White was able to step out and knock down a trey, but is far
from a pure shooter. His shot is hard and flat, as it almost appears he is muscling
it up. He was slightly overmatched athletically inside. Used to overpowering his
opponents and having his way, but won’t be that simple at the next level or the
pro’s. Undersized post player at 6-7 who must make the transition to the wing,
but currently does not possess perimeter skills.
Wally Judge — 16 pts, 5-9 fg, 1-1 ft, 5-8
ft, 5 reb, 1 ast — Impressive looking athlete with great length. Showed a nice
looking face up game beating his defender off the dribble numerous times and getting
to the line. Struggled from the FT line where his stroke doesn’t look consistent.
Right now he’s a long, skinny athletic 4. He’s likely 6-8 so if he can transition
into a 3, he’s got a lot of potential. Probably deserved the MVP for the white
squad considering he was the high scorer and Sidney missed 10 shots. Similar skills
and body type as Robert Dozier, although he’s more aggressive and will have time
to polish his skills.
Xavier Henry — 11 pts, 5-9 fg, 0-1 3p, 2
ast — Has a terrific 3 point stroke but struggled to show it off here. His lack
of foot speed is a little concerning. Finished three dunks on nice dishes from
John Wall, and hit a three in the waning seconds of the game. Other that that,
he made no impact. Attempted to take his defender off the dribble, but could not
turn the corner. Also struggled to contain opponents on defense. Has superior
strength for a 2 or a 3, but failed to display lateral speed or a quick first
step. Has a beautiful shot with exemplary elbow lift.
Tommy Mason-Griffin — 7 pts, 3-6 fg,
1-3 3p, 1 reb, 1 ast, 1 to — Played a solid floor game. Hit a nice three pointer
and pull back jumper in the paint. Had many more opportunities to attack in transition,
but seemed content to wait for the cavalry and toss alley-oops towards the rim.
Played an unselfish and solid, but not spectacular, floor game. His stocky build
and calming presence puts him in the Khalid El Amin and Levance Fields mold.
Daniel Orton — 5 pts, 2-5 fg, 1-1 ft, 3 reb
— Big man looked extremely agile despite a brace on his left knee. Was able to
stick with guards on pick and roll switches. Clearly has a powerful frame allowing
him to finish through contact down low. Was a menace defensively with his long
arms making things difficult for players such as Favors and Cousins to get their
shots off. Showed a nice looking stroke on his jumper as well. Had a Moses
Malone segment where he gathered a rebound, shot, missed, got the board, went
up, got rejected, got the rebound again and then put the ball in for an and one
(totaling 3 rebounds on one possession).
Mouphtau Yarou — 3 pts, 1-1 fg, 1-2 ft
1 reb — Yarou did not play many minutes and looked extremely raw in the time
he did play. He’s very long and agile and should have a bright future at Vilanova
but it’s tough to assess his long term potential based on such limited minutes.
Jamil Wilson — 6 pts, 3-10 fg, 0-2 3p, 1
reb, 1 ast — Wilson didn’t have a great showing going much of the game without
scoring. He had a nice ally oop dunk off of a Wall pass but took way too many
shots and didn’t impress in the process.
Marcus Jordan — 4 pts, 2-6 fg, 0-2 3p, 4 reb, 2 ast — MJ’s kid made a few nice
plays including one senior Jordan type of dunk on the break. He set up his teammates
for baskets on full court passes and made some solid plays. NBA looks like a reach
but he should have a solid career at Central Florida.