The Jordan Brand Classic has started with two days of practice completed. The first day at HSS Training Center and the second at Terminal 23. After watching drills and a little bit of scrimmaging, here are some of the player’s performances.
Jayson Tatum 6’8 – Duke
Tatum has had a solid showing in practice but hasn’t separated himself from the rest of the pack. His midrange game is his bread and butter, but he settled for deep contested twos a bit, fading away on most of his shots. He still played well and competed hard in every drill. Some of his shots were more contested when matched up with Jonathan Isaac, rather than smaller guards, as he has similar length, size, and fluidity.
Jonathan Isaac 6’10 – Florida State
Isaac has done an excellent job of creating for himself especially from midrange; whether it was off the dribble, using step backs, or contested fade aways. He played well defensively down low and never quit when going for rebounds. Isaac has been one of the best shooters and matched up well with Jayson Tatum.
Malik Monk 6’3 – Kentucky
Monk was able to play off the ball quite a bit, allowing him to serve as a scorer. He made what seemed like every shot in the second day of practice, from multiple spots on the floor. He didn’t create too much off the dribble, usually catch and shoot or pull ups using minimal dribbles, but it came natural to him.
Miles Bridges 6’7 – Michigan State
Bridges has been the most exciting player so far from a highlight stand point, tip slamming with authority and windmilling off of alley oops, but hasn’t brought much outside of catching and finishing. His shot and perimeter play has come a long way in the past year but he hasn’t shown it much in practice. He participated in drills with the big men when they split up the frontcourt and backcourt players.
Cassius Wintson 6’2 – Michigan State
Winston was aggressive in practice and got where he wanted off the dribble. He made plays happen whenever the ball was in his hands. He played great as a lead guard and setup future teammate, Miles Bridges, for alley oops multiple times. He knocked down shots and played with great confidence.
Wenyen Gabriel 6’9 – Kentucky
No one brought more hustle than Gabriel. On one play on the first day of practice, he saved a ball from going out of bounds, to come back in cutting for a layup, he missed the layup but got his own rebound. He shot well from midrange and three off of pick and pops in two on two drills with Andrew Jones. Gabriel did well in drills but his nonstop motor is where he stands out in full court competition.
Alterique Gilbert 5’11 – Connecticut
Usually a scorer, Gilbert has distributed the ball well. He found cutting big men in the pick and roll and pinpointed lead bounce passes to position them to score. He has kept from trying to do too much and has played very under control. He still has been able to get his shots off against players with much greater size and has shot well when trying to score.
Bruce Brown 6’4 – Miami
The late addition who has thrived in practice. Brown was consistently making pull up jumpers with just a little bit of space. When he got to the rim, he didn’t over dribble and wasted no time. Brown came into practice with an underdog mentality, playing with a chip on his shoulder, and showed he belongs on the court with the best getting after it on offense and defense.