After being out of town for most of July, I was able to return to Winston in time to catch the last few nights of the Triad Pro Am league, held this year at the Gateway YWCA. The league features local college players and players from Wake Forest, Winston-Salem State, and Guilford College, as well as pros from the area. The notes below are some reports from the standouts during the playoffs.
Andre Washington (Wake Forest, 7’0″, C, JR)
Andre played as good as I have ever seen him play in any setting. Was matched up against pro player, Justin Manns and was able to more than hold his own. Looks better- new and improved- more confident- dunking hard and with authority. Playing w/ good energy. Protecting the rim and was getting solid post position. Washington was simply a beast in the paint all night. Needs to continue to improve balance but will have an impact this season at Wake playing like he did this week.
Lepreece Lynch (Lees-McRae, 6’4″, G, SO)
One of the better all around pure scores I saw. Not lacking any confidence when it comes to putting up shots. Rebounding well on both ends and follows his shot. Was able to get to middle of floor and making good kick outs to teammates.Takes some bad shots- but is always a threat to score.
Craig Hinton (VMI, 6’6″, F, SO)
Is stronger and playing with good energy on both ends. Very impressed with his improvement on the defensive end. Showed he could protect the paint and move his feet on the perimeter while staying in low defensive stance. Providing the highlights that he always does with his out of this world athleticism. Shot looked a bit flat early on- but hit a few outside jumpers and threes as well.
Justin Manns (Lebanon, 6’11”, C)
Upper body looks stronger then last year and is playing tough inside the paint. Showing some solid footwork and patience in the post. Had numerous blocks tonight from the weak side.
Codi Miller-McIntyre (Wake Forest, 6’3″, PG, JR)
Looked solid all night. Running the show- had numerous assists- sharing the ball and being unselfish. Was hitting his pull-up. Changing speeds better in the open floor. Just looked like he could do whatever he wanted on the floor at any point.
Robert Holcomb-Faye (Holland, 6’1″, PG)
Terrific lead guard. Plays the game as a pro should- is patient, takes care of the ball, and has terrific court vision. Is in good shape and can score when needed.
Trever Hyatt (Guilford, 6’3″, G, SO)
Possibly the best shooter in the league. Saw him back to back nights and was impressed both times. Great body language and doesn’t get rattled. Showed the ability to get to the rim and score as well over taller shot blockers.
WyKevin Bazemore (Winston-Salem State, 6’4″, G, SR)
One of the top 3 overall scores I saw. Terrific one on one player who can score from the perimeter and at the rim. Does a good job of drawing contact and getting to the line. Should have a huge season at Winston-Salem State this year.
Aaron Rountree III (Wake Forest, 6’8″, F, JR)
Love his motor and energy. Excellent in transition. Capable of leading the break. Has a quick 2nd jump which combined with his timing and athleticism, makes him one of the best shot blockers in the league. Needs to continue to improve ability to hit open shots. His team won the championship for the 2nd year in a row.
Full game replay from the 2014 Triad Pro Am in Winston-Salem, NC. Features Wake Forest players Codi Miller-McIntyre, Madison Jones and Andre Washington. Also features Guilford College players Alston Furr and Will Koppenhaver.
Day one game broadcast from the 2014 Triad Pro Am, featuring Salem Smiles versus Blue Chip Basketball Academy. This game features Wake Forest players Madison Jones, Devin Thomas and former UNC player Vassil Evtimov.
The Triad Pro-Am is a summer staple for pro and college players in the Greensboro, Winston-Salem and High Point area (for those who are not from the area, those three cities are what comprise the ‘Triad’) and this year is no exception.
However, this year there are changes coming as the league tips off on July 8; the games will be played at the Gateway YWCA in Winston-Salem, which is a new location, and Basketball Elite is sponsoring a team for this year’s league.
We’re very excited to be a part of this year’s league and here is our official roster for the 2014 season:
Tryston Lawrence – PG/SG, 6’1″ – Plays professionally: United Kingdom
Preston Ross – SF/PF, 6’5″ – Winston-Salem State
Shammar Bowden – SG, 6’5″ – Plays professionally: Czech Republic
James Tyler – C, 7’2″ – Plays professionally: Romania
Justin Manns – PF/C, 6’11” – Plays professionally: Lebanon
Brandis Raley-Ross- PG- 6’1″ – Plays professionally: Greece
Derrell Armstrong – PG/SG – 6’1″ – UNCG
Antwan Wilkerson – SF /PF- 6’6″ – Johnson C. Smith
Corey Raley-Ross- SF – 6’4″ – Buffalo
Josh Nofflet- SF, 6’5″ – Plays professionally: Finland
For more information on the Triad Pro-Am, follow the @TriadProAm on Twitter.
In past years, the Triad Pro-Am has been one of the best chances for fans of Wake Forest basketball and other area teams to see their players in the offseason. Often, the first time that incoming freshman are seen with their collegiate teams are in pro-ams like this around the country. The Triad Pro-Am has seen players such as Chris Paul and former UNC player Reyshawn Terry grace the court, for a time this year it appeared the Pro Am might fade. Local organizer Kishon Bishop stepped in and worked tirelessly to keep the Pro Am alive, and by all counts, a success which will continue to thrive for years to come.
With a big incoming freshman class for Wake Forest, the buzz is about the newcomers, such as players we’ve followed for some time, Aaron Rountree (SF, 6’8″) and Codi Miller-McIntyre (PG, 6’2″), both of whom worked to adapt their styles to the college game.
Wake fans should definitely make the trip to see the summer pro-am, it’s one of the best atmospheres to catch the college players up close before they hit the ACC court.
Every summer across the country, basketball players who are in their offseason play in Pro-Am events and tournaments across the country, getting a chance to work on specific skills that they want to improve for the coming season. The Triad Pro-Am is one such event, with past seasons featuring Chris Paul, James Johnson, Rusty Larue and this year’s lottery pick Al-Farouq Aminu.
Here’s some video of a few highlight from the 2010 playoffs, specifically the final four, in games which featured former UNC star Rayshawn Terry, several current Wake Forest players including Tony Woods, JT Terrell, Travis McKie and C.J. Harris, former Wake players such as Craig Dawson and L.D. Williams, and several other college and pro players.
Impressive play from Jahron Giddings, Rashaun Davis, Justin Manns and several others. A.J. Highsmith, Reyshawn Terry and Craig Dawson were impressive outside shooters.
Also, any players who are in this video and are not mentioned by name, hit me up and I’ll make sure you get credited. You can find me on Twitter, or email me directly.
Justin Manns, a 6’11” center for Kent State, dropped by the Triad Pro-Am in Winston-Salem to take in some basketball. Justin wasn’t going to play in the night’s games but since he’s from the area, having attended East Forsyth High School, he was back in his hometown, visiting his young niece and other family.
Justin expects next year’s team at Kent State to be young, after having lost six seniors. With three incoming JuCo players, he says they’ll be a much younger team all around, so it’s going to be a transition from last year. Many of the Kent State players are currently working together already and participating in a pro am event in Cleveland. Of course, that means that Justin, as a redshirt junior, will be one of the few upperclassmen and will likely need to shoulder a lot of the burden of transitioning a new set of players.
Justin says that when he looks to play in a Pro Am, it’s important to find one where you will be challenged, and he wants to try and always play against other talented players that will make him improve his own game.