I was able to catch my first Davidson game of the season last night to see them face off against visiting CAA foe UNC Wilmington. Each team has a star in their front-court. Peyton Alridge for Davidson and Devontae Cacok for Wilmington. Both players had big games statistically and will be relied on heavily this season for their respective clubs. Reports for both players are below. NBA scouts who have not had a chance to see either play yet should make it a priority to this season and both players are future pro’s at least at the high level European level.
On a side note, Davidson has a stud freshman guard in Kellan Grady. He has great size, is aggressive, and can finish in traffic. He will be talked about more as the season progresses.
Showing off his inside /outside skill set right out of the gate by scoring on a post up and then a 18’ jumper. Takes his time scoring in the post and can score it over either shoulder. Can get space away from his defender with a nice fade away jumper.
Very reliable 3 pt set shooter. When he gets his feet set and shoots it, he shoots it as well as any big in the country. Cant give him an inch of space.
Very effective and efficient. Gets to his spots and scores it.
Runs the floor really hard and is an underrated athlete.
Limited vertical athleticism. Needs to improve defensively. Lacks the strength still to be a solid interior defender. Opponents are able to get deep position on him too easily. Needs to become a better rebounder. Is not soft but needs to add some toughness.
Peyton had it rolling tonight and could of had 40 points, but one of his last 3’s got waived off because of a moving screen. Definite future pro and will be a Portsmouth invite for certain. He will have his chance for the NBA and depending on how he does in summer league he could possibly become a 2-way guy but I see him as being more of a high level European prospect. If he can add another 10 pounds of muscle and become a little bit better on the boards he has a chance.
Pro level body with good strength and athleticism.Terrific rebounder who boxes out and meets the ball at rim level. Love his motor and activity. Could make a living just with his rebounding ability. Best rebounder in the country for his size.
Showed he could score with back to basket. Has a right hook over his left shoulder and a good drop step move.
Great at catching lobs– finishes inside. Good hands.
Runs rim to rim. Holds his ground in the post and holds post position.
FT stroke didn’t look bad at all— good arc, could use more rotation. Solid at the line.
Did a pretty good job of recognizing the double teams and passing out of it. Underrated passer.
Not comfortable on the perimeter on either end. Didn’t show ability to shoot outside the paint or put it on the floor and drive. To his credit he knows his limitations and sticks to what he does best which is play with energy and score in the post.
A bit limited offensively and still raw to some degree.
A player who loves the game and plays his role and does it as well as anyone in the country. G-League prospect who would be better off going over to Europe where he could play at a high level almost immediately. His rebounding, energy, and athleticism will translate to any level.
Micah Smith, unsigned 2015 player, showed outstanding athleticism at the showcase
With over 200 players in attendance, the Spring NC Phenom 150 for 2015 organized by Phenom Hoop Report was a great way to kick off the Spring basketball season, although, technically, the Winter basketball season was actually not over until the same day.
Even though I set out with the goal of watching every single player in attendance, the reality is that I did not get a chance to see every team. However, here are my notes from the players I was able to catch. Some solid players on hand, although this year the one skill I saw missing was consistent outside shooting. I did not see a player today that was knocking down deep shots with regularity. The good news for players is that skill can be improved. There were, however, quite a few athletic slashing players on hand with explosive ability and a few really solid point guards as well.
Michal Seals (PG, 5’11”, 2016) High Point Christian Academy (NC) – I’ve seen Seals multiple times over the past 3 years and I really like his heads-up play and elusiveness under the basket. A true PG who has excellent handles, puts pressure on the defense with the dribble drive but also can finish in traffic. Being actively recruited by several colleges.
Phillip Roach (G, 6’2″, 2017) Cape Henry Collegiate (VA) – has an excellent crossover dribble both in transition and in the halfcourt and has an ability to create his own shot. Tends to fade a bit on his shots but was able to see weaknesses in spacing on the defense and exploit them.
Micah Smith (SG, 6’2″, 2015) Eastern Wayne HS (NC) – had one of the best performances of the camp, showed explosive first step and slashing ability, plays above the rim, has a high motor and plays both ends relentlessly. Seemingly involved on every play regardless of defense or offense. Good shot blocker from the guard position. Definitely a player colleges looking to shore up their 2015 class should be taking a look at.
Kody Shubert (PG, 5’11”, 2018) Lincoln Charter (NC) – one of the best point guards in attendance, quick feet, handles the ball extremely well, deadly passing vision. Great on ball defense even against the other solid guards in attendance today. Really enjoyed watching him matched up against DeShawn Patterson, another solid PG. Shubert has eyes-in-the-back-of-his-head passing and already has solid ballhandling. Would not be surprised to see him quickly become one of the most sought after guards in NC.
Definitely a college prospect with some upside. Colleges should be actively scouting him now.
Kody Shubert, PG, 2018 Class
Dujuan Waters (G, 5’9″, 2018) Wayne Country Day (NC) – heady player, athletic guard who looks like a ‘true combo’ right now, being able to run the point with his eyes up and working the offense, but also effective off of the ball.
Tyrik Ingram (G, 6’2″, 2019) Southern MS – coaches and scouts know that I rarely mention middle school players but I liked Ingram’s potential and his fluid play already. Definitely a player I will want to keep an eye on for the future.
Nicholas Tolbert (G, 5’9″, 2018) Asheville HS (NC) – solid handle with both left and right, understands how to run the offense while also looking for gaps in the defense.
Justin Myers (SF, 6’5″, 2016) North Iredell HS (NC) – immediately liked what I saw from Myers, plays hard and has great length from the small forward position. Was knocking down mid range shots and also putting the ball on the floor and getting to the rim. Plays through contact, good awareness. Definitely see Myers as a college prospect and looking forward to seeing him in AAU and high school.
Logan Vosburg (PF, 6’6″, 2017) Orange HS (NC) – Shot was falling early and was forced to defend on the perimeter early, being matched up against SF Justin Myers. Closes on the shooter well and has some range, should be considered a stretch 4 at this point and is most effective in the half court but is mobile with good hands.
Omari Wilson (G, 6’3″, 2017) Fayetteville 71st (NC) – a lot of potential here and upside, excellent wing player who puts a ton of pressure on the defense, especially in transition. High motor, was paired with several athletic wings on his team and at times they ran the other teams off of the floor. Colleges should definitely be taking a look now.
Brian McElveen (SF) New Hope Christian (NC) – good shot blocker and solid passer. Pretty quick first step and has a good understanding of the game. Showed a decent handle slashing from the wing.
Ubong Okon (C, 6’10”, 2017) Prominance Academy (NC) – fantastic hands and runs the floor harder than most guards. Great build already and will continue to add strength and muscle. Soft touch and a good passer, and as much as I love a big man who knows how to pass out of a double team, Okon could probably have easily padded his point totals by just powering over his smaller defenders. A Division I big man prospect with some signficant upside. Probably a MM prospect now.
Javier Rogers (PG, 5’5″, 2017) Kestrel Heights (NC) – small but deadly PG, incredibly quick, star handles and gifted passer. Size is an issue but is a flat out baller.
Elijah Manley (G, 6’3″, 2017) Uwharrie Charter Academy (NC) – solid athlete who can play both the SG or SF spots. Still a bit raw in some areas but another player to keep an eye on.
Tyler Maye (G, 6’1″, 2017) Greenfield School (NC) – Excellent motor with a quick shot release and good form. Really gets it done in transition – saw him get 3 transition layups in a row just because of his awareness.
Blan Hodges (G, 5’11”, 2018) Alexander Central HS (NC) – Has gotten bigger, moves well without the ball and understands spacing. Really did a good job playing off of the ball in the guard-dominated transition play of the showcase.
Taveon Ross (PG, 5’6″, 2017) Graham HS (NC) – Undersized but skilled guard, good handle and really solid passing vision.
DeShawn Patterson (PG, 5’11”, 2016) Victory Christian (NC) – have seen Patterson multiple times over the past two years and he’s a really solid and flashy pure PG, can shoot from outside and often makes the game look easy. We broadcast two of his high school games in November at the Phenom National High School showcase. Full game replay of his game versus Kennedy Charter is below.
I have yet to see a game where Patterson turns the ball over much, a solid ball-control type of point guard who I’ve also watched go against Terrence Phillips of Oak Hill earlier this season.
College prospect who has several colleges interested.
DeShawn Patterson, PG, 2016 Class
DeShawn Patterson: Full Game Replay, Victory Christian vs. Kennedy Charter (2014-15 High School Season)
Michael Wade (PF/C, 6’7″, 2017) – Big bodies post player with soft hands and a good passing touch. Looks like he has some good upside and already possesses the toughness to play the post but never seems rattled and is a very even keeled player. Had a nice shot release and looks like he could really develop a good hook shot as well.
Ebon Jay (PF, 6’5″, 2017) Person HS (NC) – really strong build player who gets both hands on the ball in the post and will no doubt be a handful for smaller players. Plays through contact and seals really well. Should also be able to play taller players at the 4 and 5 spots.
Jacob Skidmore (PF/C, 6’7″, 2016) Kings Mountain HS (NC) – great length and hands. Still working on adding muscle to a slender frame but was more assertive and aggressive than I’ve ever seen him. Made excellent decisions with the ball when trapped and works hard in the post. Really looks like a stretch 4 who has some upside.
DJ Myers (SG, 6’5″, 2017) Neuse Christian Academy (NC) – high octane, rangy guard with collegiate quicks and size. Offensively one of the most athletic wings in the state and fantastic first step. Great transition game player, a full court killer. First saw him in the Fall League at Garner Road and he’s gotten taller since then. Definitely a college prospect and really one to keep an eye on.
Jude Akubeze (C, 6’8″, 2018) Prominance Academy (NC) – great size and seals well in the post. Good hands and still a somewhat raw post player but already has muscle for the paint and good wingspan. Was a lot to handle in the post even for older players and is only a freshman. Definitely a college prospect already.
Donaldson Fanord (C, 6’7″, 2017) Fort Mill HS (SC) A big man who can play both facing the basket and with his back to the basket. Mobile big man who effectively uses ball fakes and footwork to get off shots.
Brent Davis (G/F, 6’3″, 2015) Victory Christian (NC) Good slashing wing player with a nice quick release and square up on his shot. Good length from the wing and good handle from the SG/SF position.
Josh Nork (G, 6’0″, 2016) York Prep (SC) – hard working guard who moves with or without the ball. True combo guard who can run the point or play the 2 position. Always looking to move to position and good understanding of spacing. High energy player.
Zavian Jackson (G, 6’2″, 2016) Burlington Cummings HS (NC) – Solid athletic perimeter player with a high motor and had no discernible drop off in full court play after multiple games. Nice two-handed monster dunk in transition.
DeVante Stevens (G/F, 6’4″, 2016) Neuse Charter School (NC) – good length and looks like he could play both the SG and SF positions, but has good timing inside for rebounding and putbacks and has better lane presence than most small forwards. Can play with contact in the paint and held his own even against larger post players.
Parker Julian (F, 6’7″, 2016) Charlotte Latin (NC) – showed some deep touch but his real asset is his length and hands. Can block shots both in the halfcourt and transition and has a high release, although I would like to see his release speed up. Does a lot of good things on both ends of the floor and swatted several transition shots on the move.
Charles Norman (PG, 6’3″, 2016) Prominance Academy (NC) – Explosive guard who I feel will be a steal for a college program. Great handle but is a nightmare to handle at full speed whether he has the ball or not. A high-octane player. Note: reigning champion of the Basketball Elite Southeast Summer Showcase Dunk Contest (awesome recap video below):
Drew Greene (PG, 5’11”, 2018) Chapel Hill HS (NC) – high basketball IQ and understands how to attack the defense with the drive or pass. Will need to add strength but a lot to like already and I really was impressed with his understanding of the game even in the pickup style of showcase basketball.
Jaylon Wray (G, 6’2″, 2016) Crest HS (NC) – another athletic guard who showed a high motor and played well above the rim as the day progressed. Had back-to-back dunks in one game was difficult for a lot of defenders to stay in front of him on the move.
Andreas Fuller (G, 6’5″, 2018) Village Christian Academy (NC) – a big time prospect with size and handles to play at the next level already, and a lot of upside. Can run the point even at 6’5″, makes great decisions on the break and already has savvy of an upperclassmen, combined with natural athleticism. Definitely a college prospect.
Hunter Ladler (G, 6’2″, 2016) Atlantic Shores (VA) – high motor guard with excellent passing skills and a great decision maker even at full speed.
Taylan Rowe (G, 6′, 2016) West Stanly HS (NC) – showed nice speed and an ability to create his own shot in a variety of ways, even in the halfcourt.
Johnathon Pearsall (G/F, 6’3″, 2017) North Raleigh Christian Academy (NC) – another high motor wing player who gets to the rim and gets buckets in transition, but understands fast break spacing. Was teamed up with other high motor wings like Omari Wilson and Justin Myers and they ran a couple of teams out of the gym with their relentless break.
China Jones (G/F, 6’5″, 2016) Voyager Academy (NC) – solid athlete who plays above the rim, had some monster slams in today’s action was active on both ends. Definitely one to watch.
Tre Doughty (PG, 5’11”, 2016) Neuse Christian Academy (NC) – big time bounce and athletic point guard who gets after it on both ends. Explosive but under control, very good first step but also played well off of the ball.
Temetrius Morant (G, 5’11”, 2017) Crestwood HS (SC) – solid guard play all day and was making solid decisions with the pass and the dribble all day.
Great core strength. Solid lefty shooter who can stretch the floor with 3 pt range. Nice touch. Struggled shooting tonight, but is a good shooter overall. They ran several baseline inbounds plays for him to get his shot off. Looked comfortable at the FT line where he is better then 70%. He follows his own shot. Consistent in all areas. Fundamental. Plays under control and doesn’t force the issue most of the time. Moves very well for size and strength. Can handle the ball well and is effective with either hand- was able to advance the ball up court with the dribble after the rebound multiple times. Fluid with the ball and can create his own shot- even showed the ability to shoot the step back 3.
Moves his feet well defensively on the perimeter and gets low in defensive stance. Rotates and is in proper help defensive position. Better perimeter defender then post defender. Drew several charges and offensive fouls tonight.
Has a tendency to fade and shoot off of one foot on his shot, which leads to some inconsistency. Needs to be more square and balanced on shot. Poor footwork overall. Needs to get stronger w/ the ball on the perimeter. Lack of athleticism limits his offensive game overall.
Poor post defender- gives up deep position too easily. Goes for too many pump fakes and gives up too many easy baskets inside. Is not a defensive force. Lacks athleticism and quickness. Not a bad rebounder, but needs to improve in this area. Boxes out but is limited because of lack of quickness. Needs to do a better job of setting screens- too straight up and not very wide- doesn’t head hunt- screens do not get teammates open- needs to improve both on ball and off the ball screens.
Returns for his senior year after being the Raiders leading scorer last season with an average of just over 17 ppg. Should be the offensive focal point on a very competitive Colgate squad. Originally from Canada, where he played on the Canadian Junior National Team after playing for the Canadian National Elite Development Academy.
More of a perimeter player on the offensive end who plays on the interior and defends the post on the defensive end. Must continue to improve game in post and off the dribble.
At his size and with his shooting ability, shouldn’t have a hard time finding a job in Europe at the end of this year. Would be a solid stretch 4 in most European leagues.
By James Blackburn, Justin Byerly & Lance Everette
MVP: Charis Fitzgerald (PG, 6’1″, 2013)
Listed on every scout’s report as the top player of the 2012 Showcase, Fitzgerald put himself on the map with his athleticism and ability to play both in transition and in the half court.
Since winning the MVP, Charis has been contacted by Middle Tennessee State and East Carolina, with more to surely follow. Charis showed maturity, poise and athleticism; he’s that kind of athletic point guard who can dish or score, and has a deadly first step. He also competed deep into the dunk contest and performed well in the morning drill segment.
The combo guard’s skills, knowledge, and feel for the game were evident early on as he showed the ability to score the ball and defend. He has quick hands and stayed in front of his man. He is a solid ball handler and attacks the rim hard and with a purpose. Very good shooter with 3 point range- can shoot with feet set or off dribble. Surprising athlete who can get way over the rim to finish. Plays with a poise and confidence. Showed a variety of scoring moves including a nice step-back. Size is really only concern right now as he is mainly a scoring guard- needs to continue to improve play-making skills, but Mid-Major schools should definitely begin to watch him if they haven’t noticed already. He is a very close to being HM in our opinion.
Class of 2015
Daryl Myers (G, 5’10”, Oak Hill, Fredericksburg VA)
One of the quickest if not the quickest player at the Showcase. Excellent court vision and handle. Keeps the ball tight and close to body- doesn’t get it stolen much at all- has the ball on a string- even though he was youngest player in attendance. Gets to rim with ease and makes plays. Had multiple highlights with dribbling moves in full display. A good player to keep an eye on for the future as he is only a freshman.
Class of 2014
Larry Curry III (G, 6’2”, East Forsyth HS, Kernersville NC)
Attacks the basket relentlessly and finishes with contact. Strong and mature body- solid and impressive for a player who just finished his sophomore season. Quick and athletic- good leaper. Has a nice crossover dribble that he uses to get to the rim. Showed the ability to knock down the set 3 pointer as well when left open. A steady PG that just makes basketball plays. His shooting, overall play, and confidence seem to improve each time we scout him. He needs to continue to improve overall shooting consistency, but Curry has already caught the eye of several colleges, including Clemson University, with his solid play.
Colton Bishop (G, 6’1”, Forsyth Country Day, Lewisville NC)
Continued his solid play since the last time we saw him at the Rick Lewis Adidas Phenom Camp a few weeks ago. Very good handle and dribbling moves- has the ability to get into the painted area- where he can finish with creativity or kick to open shooters. Great shooter from the perimeter especially from 3. Showed some improved athleticism since the HS season and had a dunk in game 2. Colton seems to improve every time we have seen him- colleges should definitely begin to take notice of the PG who continues to make the case as one of the better guards in the class of 2014.
Cory Hanes (F, 6’5”, High Point Central, High Point NC)
Tough hard nosed player who does the dirty work and rebounds the ball on both ends. Good leaper- finished multiple dump down feeds from guards with drop step dunks. Needs to continue to improve ball handling. D2 and LM schools should begin to monitor his progress.
JaMeal Robinson (G, 6’3”, Greer HS, Greer SC)
Jameal was one of the more surprising players at the camp. Hails from the up-state of South Carolina, where he plays alongside one of SC’s top 2013 recruits LaBrian Shiflet. Robinson made a name for himself at the camp this weekend. A streaky shooter with range and has incredible leaping ability (runner-up in dunk contest). He can get to the rim, finish in traffic, and has a very good handle. He has steadily improved over the off-season and it is starting to really pay off. A low D1 or D2 prospect. Just needs to find the right fit.
Class of 2013
Ty’Quan Bitting (PF, 6’7”, Mt. Tabor HS, Winston-Salem NC)
Works hard on the offensive boards and did a good job of using length and athleticism to keep the ball alive or tip in his teammates misses when he couldn’t grab it with two hands. Didn’t give up on the play- had multiple plays where he would grab his own miss and put the ball back in. Defenders had a tough time handling him especially as he got it going at the end of the day- commanded double teams. Was able to get deep post position nearly every play and at will. Decent shot blocker but could easily become even better in this area because of length and athleticism. Has soft hands and runs the floor well. Needs to continue to improve his shooting consistency from the midrange area and add some weight to his frame (shouldn’t be a problem). Division 1 schools who need a mobile and athletic big should begin to monitor and watch his senior year with interest. Since his appearance in the Showcase, has been offered by Gardner-Webb.
Craig Hinton (F, 6’6”, East Forsyth HS, Kernersville NC)
Craig Hinton’s athleticism was on display from the beginning to the end of the event today. He had multiple dunks throughout the day and won the dunk contest for the second straight year with a between the legs dunk. His elite level leaping ability is off the charts and he is capable of dunking in traffic and over defenders. He did have several blocks today as well and even showed the ability to attack the basket with a couple of dribbles- needs to tighten his ball handling- has shown improvement since the HS season. Multiple Division 1 schools have shown interest.
Lepreece Lynch (G, 6’4”, Mt. Tabor HS, Winston-Salem NC)
Athletic and active guard who has a high motor. He has the ability to break his man down off the dribble and get to the rim. Prolific scorer who can slash to the hoop and shoot from the perimeter. Has good court vision. Gets off the floor quickly and gets high above the rim. Needs to continue to improve ball handling ability when pressured and be more careful as he got caught for some reaching fouls, but should have multiple options to play at the next level.
Tyler Rose (F, 6’6”, Calvary Baptist Day School, Pfafftown NC)
Athletic wing with length and good size. Has a pure shooting stroke from the outside and has range out to the 3 point range- can shoot off the catch and can also create his own shot. Can get to rim and did a good job of drawing contact and getting to the line today. Also showed the ability to handle the ball in the open floor. Needs to continue to improve pressure on ball defense. Schools on all levels have expressed interest.
Trey Mitchell (G, 6’4”, Olympic HS, Charlotte NC)
Versatile player who can shoot and slash/attack the basket. Has a high motor and provided energy for his team throughout the day. Mitchell makes plays, whether it is rebounding, blocking shots, or making the assist (had a nice running-off the glass pass to JaMeal Robinson, for a easy slam in the All-Star game) he does-it-all. Hard working D1 prospect that should get plenty of looks playing for powerhouse Olympic.
Nehemiah Stafford (G, 5’11”, Ashe County Hs, Fleetwood NC)
Strong guard who attacks the basket hard. Has good court vision and passing ability. Looks for his shot and for opportunities to score. Scoring guard who has the ability to play at the collegiate level.
Parker Smith (G, 6’1”, Reynolds HS, Winston-Salem NC)
Smart guard who makes the right plays at the right times. High IQ. Good handle and passing ability- unselfish and is willing to get others involved- not seen much at showcase events. Good court awareness and vision. Uses his body well to shield the ball. runs the floor with his head up at all times. Just another one of those kids’ that just knows how to play basketball and does it a very high level. Coaches Award winner this year (Voted on by the coaches working the event- given to player who does all little things needed by a team to win- an extension of the coach on the floor)
Oshon West (G, 6’3”, North Rowan HS, Spencer NC)
Physically imposing guard who does a great job of using his strength and size to score and rebound- plays bigger then 6’3”. Works hard and competes every play. Leader on the floor. Finishes around the basket with contact. Has a good handle and possesses a solid pull-up jumper. Streaky shooter who can get hot in a hurry- knocked down multiple 3 point shots today- is not gun shy. Gets a lot of rebounds, can finish on the break and is already getting some pretty good looks from colleges. He will be part of a talented North Rowan team that will be going for it’s second state title in three years.
Dylan Wood (F, 6’4”, East Forsyth HS, Kernersville NC)
Came in and played in the games after taking the SAT test in the morning. Contributed when on the floor. Worked hard on both ends. Committed to rebounding and playing defense. Finished around the basket 8 feet and in. Nice left hand mini hook shot. Day was cut short with a foot injury- but played well and had scouts notice his energy when he in the game.
Class of 2012
Chris Harris (C, 6’9”, East Forsyth HS, Kernersville NC)
Big bodied center. Grabs rebounds in his area. Needs to improve quickness. Soft hands- can catch anything thrown to him. Has the ability to shoot the ball consistently from perimeter. Has signed with Peace College.
Clemson Tigers head coach Brad Brownell yells to his team during the second half of their first round NCAA tournament basketball game against the University of Alabama-Birmingham Blazers in Dayton, Ohio March 15, 2011. REUTERS/Matt Sullivan (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
• Clemson is establishing its post game early- going at Walker 2 straight possessions and scoring on both.
• Wake Forest is struggling to find its groove offensively early against Clemons man to man defense.
• Wake Forest is showing a 2-3 zone for the first time with 12:00 minutes left in the 1st to try to control Clemson’s dominant inside play. Clemson does not have any shooters on the floor with Tanner Smith on the bench.
• Trevor Booker just had a ferocious dunk and got a technical for slapping the backboard with 8 minutes to go in the half.
• Wake is back to man with Smith back in the ball game for Clemson. Wake is losing the loose ball war early on.
• Wake is controlling the tempo and has the lead 20-17 with 7 minutes left.
• Clemson is really struggling with fouls and FG%
• Wake cannot handle Booker on the block.
• 3 fouls in less then 10 seconds on Wake
• Devin Booker with the tip in with 2 seconds left to push the lead to six- 42-36
• Back to Jennings- 1st play in second half- he scores on block.
• Just like that Clemson is back up 13 on a Andre Young 3 and a Smith lay-up.
• Ty Walker injured 3 minutes into half going up for lay in.
• Wake Forest is really having a difficult time defending the long ball- I have lost count how may wide open 3’s they have given up this game- part of the reason Clemson’s lead has ballooned to 18.
• Wake is going to get back into this game with foul shots- Wake is already in the bonus with 12 minutes remaining.
• Wake Forest’s offense is in disarray with CJ Harris on the bench.
• Wake must improve defensively- with 9 minutes left in game- Clemson is shooting over 66% from the field and has made 7 three pointers, Wake has also given up 32 points in the paint.
• CJ Harris is the only player who showed up today for Wake.
• With Clemson up 20- the LJVM is dead- people are already leaving with 8 minutes left.
• CJ Harris just missed an open lay-up with 3 minutes to go- it has been that kind of day today for Wake Forest.
Ty Walker (C, 7’0”, SR)
Extremely long- tries to block everything with in his area. Has a bad habit of bringing the ball down and gets it stripped or tied up frequently. Very Raw offensively- has a hard time scoring with back to basket-even when guarded 1 on 1. Must get stronger- gets bumped off lack and gets knocked out of position for rebounds and in the game in general too easy.
Nikita Mescheriakov ( F, 6’8”, R-SR)
Does a great job utilizing ball fakes. Is a decent shooter- but is still inconsistent in this area- much more effective attacking the rim. Very versatile player who can play and guard several positions. Plays below the rim. Crafty left hander. Reminds me of a thinner Boris Diaw. Tends to get out of control at times.
Chase Fischer (G, 6’3”, FR)
Excellent set shooter- gets feet set and square and plants on inside foot. Underrated passer. Must get quicker. Automatic from the stripe. Needs to be more aggressive offensively. Patient.
Tanner Smith (G, 6’5”, SR)
Good size for the off-guard position. One of the best 3 point shooters in ACC- automatic from beyond the arc with feet set- very simple stroke- doesn’t get any lift on shot- but has a quick release. Basketball savvy- had a really nice back door cut for the lay- in first half. Also showed the ability to shoot the 1 dribble pull-up when defender plays too close. Smooth- finished around rim several time with a finger role lay-in. Seems to be in the right spot at the right time to score and rebound this game. Had the ball in his hands a lot today and because of height and ability to see over the defense he can hit the open cutter and open teammates. Makes good decisions with ball in his hand- only 1 TO and 5 assists while playing over 30 minutes. Has struggle creating own shot. Lack of quickness and athleticism is going to hurt his chances of playing at next level. Solid all-around effort today to lead Clemson to the big win. Great attitude and demeanor. Should get some NBA workouts because of size and shooting ability- but he is more then likely going to wind up overseas to play professionally- with a chance to return the states to play in the D-League.
Milton Jennings (F, 6’9”, JR)
Nice Touch around basket. Soft touch shooting FT’s too- calm and collected on line- good arc and rotation. Solid back to basket post game. Can stretch defense with the ability to shoot the 3. Good body control and balance around basket. Had no problem finishing around the basket today.
Devin Booker (F/C, 6’8”, JR)
Physical player who uses his strength to his advantage. Has an effective right hook shot. Foul prone because of his defensive aggressiveness. Good shot blocker. With his size, strength, athleticism, and skill set- he should be doing more stat wise- he tends to disappear for stretches. Good rebounder. Undersized at center position- but makes up for it with strength- needs to extend range and show the ability to defend on the perimeter to improve chances of playing in the NBA after next season. Scouts are going to monitor how well he can make the transition to the PF position his senior year.
Does not shoot a lot of threes- but hit a 3 on a baseline OB early in first that did not look bad at all-only perimeter shot taken this game. Strong upper body/physical. Good base/center of gravity. Athletic- not an incredible high flyer- but above average athlete for size. Good athletic shot blocker- especially from weak side (averages 3 blocks a game). Gets deep/solid post position- stays bodied up with his defender-Southern Miss was forced to front him. Pretty good rebounder- but there were several boards in the game that he should have had- good rebounder none the less- better defensive rebounder then on offensive end. Effective hook shot over left shoulder. Good screener-head hunts- gets his shooters open by setting hard, wide screens off the ball. Not a great passer- but did have a big assist out of double team for lay up with about 5 minutes to go with a close score. Really wants ball in post.
Missed a breakaway dunk early in the first half- tried to go for the reverse highlight dunk instead of just finishing. Not a good passer out of post- doesn’t kick out of double team, or triple teams. Tends to lose track of his man at times on defensive end. Must improve P/R defense and the ability to show and slow PG down turning the corner and then was slow getting back to man- half the time he half-heartedly shows-not enough to really slow the PG down and the other half he just hangs back. Needs to improve finishing ability- with his length and strength- shooting only 49% from field for season. More of a highlight reel shot blocker then a interior defensive presence- Southern Miss was getting a lot of paint shots and buckets with Moore in the game and Moore did not seem to alter very many at all- caught him with his hands by his side way too much- needs to be more active on the defensive end this game. Must improve FT shooting. Must improve hands.
Came to UAB originally as walk on. Has improved dramatically every year- testament to his work ethic. Conference USA Preseason Player of Year. Playing in the wake of his Grandmother’s death earlier in the week. Good rebounder- boxes out and is athletic- but he doesn’t have great hands- has hard hands- several times this game he should of pulled down a board and ball just bounces off- ball just went right through his hands on several other occasions. Once he does get the ball- he secures it and keeps it. Came into today’s game averaging a team high 36 mpg, 15.5 ppg, and 10 rpg. Also leads team with 46 blocks for the year. Must improve on the defensive end of the floor- granted Moore has a good reputation on the defensive side of the floor- but did not display much this game. This was the first time I have seen him play this season. Moore is definitely a pro- not necessarily in the NBA- but I wouldn’t rule that out. Would be an excellent candidate for D-League. A player with his size, athleticism, strength, and an above average back to the basket offensive game will have his fair shot to make an NBA roster. In my opinion he will definitely get multiple invites for individual workouts with teams, and I think he deserves and will probably make an NBA summer league roster. From there it will depend on his performances but I would not be surprised if he makes a final roster as an undrafted FA. I can see him playing the PF or even a somewhat undersized Center at next level- as a 3rd post option off the bench. NBA ready size/strength/body. Showed the ability to play some perimeter defense this game- will have to continue to work on shooting consistency- especially from FT line. Much more effective on the interior on both ends of the floor then on perimeter.
While Davis was warming- up I noticed several things. Davis has a smile on his face the entire time. He is cordial to his teammates, opposing players, and officials in meeting at the center circle with the captains. He is high fiving players in the lay-up line. Has great overall body language in warm-ups.
Excellent rebounder who boxes out and rebounds the ball with 2 hands. Chins the ball and secures rebound. Gets inside rebounding position on both ends of the floor. Had several tip in rebounds tonight. Good shot blocker. Very athletic player who is quick off his feet. Good active defensive player in general. Long arms allow him to play the passing lanes and guard on the perimeter (3 steals this game). Led the team in minutes played tonight and never once showed signs of fatigue- good endurance level. Does a good job of hiding himself behind the zone and going to the open spots, the gray areas. Got deep post up position multiple times through out the game and did not get frustrated when his teammates could not get him the ball. He sees the floor well and is an above average passer for his size. Runs the floor well on the offensive end. Agile and quick for a big man. Leader on the floor. Huddles up players in FT situations. Great body language.
Needs to get stronger- add more upper body strength. Needs to get back quicker on the defensive end. Not a very good FT shooter- not a lot of rotation on the ball. Dribbling needs improving. Needs to improve his back to the basket game- looks anxious and was quick to get rid of the ball in post- needs to become more patient with the ball in his hands. I never saw him shoot other than free throws. Needs to improve overall shooting and range. Does not have the greatest hands for a big man.
Paul Davis continues to excel this season for a Winston-Salem State team that took the step back down to the NCAA D-II level this season. This is Davis’ first season playing in the CIAA, playing the previous three years with WSSU as a independent member of NCAA D-I. Paul garnered All-Independent Second Team honors last season as a junior. After applying for the NBA draft last season, before removing his name early to stay eligible, Paul hopes to continue to improve and get stronger this senior season to improve his professional hopes. Davis has loads of potential, with a long frame and above average athleticism. Davis is a great teammate and never complained or showed any negative body language. Did not complain or look frustrated. Encouraged teammates even when they made mistakes. Always had eyes on his coach and listened. This could help him land a roster spot on a NBA summer team and/or an invite to training camp. At the very least Davis will have more than several suitors calling for his talents overseas.
Coach Bobby Collins Interview
After the game, I had an opportunity to speak to Coach Collins about Paul Davis and the improvements he has made. Coach Collins had nothing but good words to say about Davis and how far he has come since his freshman year at State. “He has improved in all areas”, Collins replied when asked about Davis. Coach said when Paul Davis first arrived on campus he weighed 165 lbs and was a shot blocker only. Now he has added weight and has developed into a scoring threat. “He has a picture-perfect jump hook and he loves the weight room”, Collins said. “He is coachable and is a team player”. Coach Collins said that Davis will enter his name into the NBA draft again this year.
Michigan State has had some early bumps in the road after opening up ranked at #2 in the country. That doesn’t mean they don’t have talent, but it still remains to be seen whether they were too highly ranked or whether their early season loss is just a bump in the road.
The Spartans rely on an backcourt that is undersized but is loaded with experience, not just in years but in big games played, having been to the title game and deep into the NCAA tournament multiple times. Mixed in with some experience at the forwards and post players are some new faces that bring the size. Michigan wants to run the inside-first play where the guards work to get the ball into the post, especially when Garrick Sherman is in. They alter their approach somewhat when Draymond Green is on the floor, as his style of play can open up the guard play and create space for the mid range game.
Michigan State has to improve their rebounding in order to be effective against teams with talented big men. Right now, Michigan State is playing the post with power forwards, even though both Sherman and Adreian Payne are 6’10”, neither is pure center and neither could be considered a dominant interior rebounder. With Derrick Nix out and rumored to be considering a transfer from Michigan State, the lack of muscle in the Spartans’ frontcourt is their biggest glaring deficiency.
The MSU guards are their backbone, with solid guards all around but no players who have managed to be consistently dangerous on the offensive side. While Korie Lucious and Kalin Lucas are sure handed ballhandlers and passers, they need their teammates to be involved in order to free themselves up. Both are pass-first players. Guard Keith Appling is an athletic player who is still working his way into the collegiate game.
Draymond Green, 6’6″, F, Michigan State
A lot of analysts say Draymond Green “doesn’t have a position”, which is usually just a kind way of saying he’s too small for his natural position. Draymond is a natural PF that has the skills to play SF effectively and even can move into the SG spot in a pinch. He has to focus on continuing to improve his small forward skill set in order to have a real shot at the NBA. Right handed. Athletic, moves well without the ball, good at setting screens and executing the pick and roll. Can rebound well and play multiple positions. Hard-nosed player. Not a slashing forward, works to get open looks or putbacks. Can hit a mid range jumper, and can shoot from outside, even while being defended. Has a high release which makes his shot tougher to block. Strong enough to play in the post at the college level but would be undersized at the pro level and would only be used in the post as a last option. Most natural position at the pro level would be a small forward who could play some time in the post, some time at shooting guard. Will have to work, but will get looks from NBA teams, may get a shot in the second round or summer league.
Garrick Sherman, 6’10”, PF/C, Michigan State
Sherman is quick in the post with one-on-one back to the basket moves and can get his shot off by getting around his man and to the rim. A finesse post player, still working to prove himself, but has a lot of room to grow. Valuable on the offensive end. Has several post moves to get his shot off over the defender or get around his defender, but a finesse finisher. Needs to get stronger, works hard on defense but sometimes can lose his man if he drifts too far out on the perimeter. Runs the floor well. Right handed. Good hands, adept at receiving the pass on the run, under the basket and while being defended. Gets his shot up quickly, decent free throw shooter. Needs a pull up jumper in his arsenal. Not really a shot blocking big or rebounder at this point.
Kalin Lucas, 6’1″, PG, Michigan State
A pure PG who has a pass-first mentality, but works to get open looks with or without the ball and can hit pull up jumpers. Not exceptionally fast, but fundamentally sound and poised while running the point. Might get some looks as an NBA second rounder or summer league player. Right handed, but can handle the ball ambidextrously. Can play the off guard, but undersized for the position and not a slashing scorer. When playing the 2G, can find gaps in the defense with his dribble for pull up jumpers.