Summer League – Week 3 Notes

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by Craig Yamada

5:30 PM showed on my clock at work and I was ready to pack it in and head home. Tired from the weekend, I was 99% sure I was going to skip today’s games at North Seattle CC. But I was only kidding myself. I needed my weekly fix to keep myself from tweakin’ until next week. Like the great Aziz Ansari says of Cold Stone ice cream… “GOTTA HAVE IT!!!”

Big slap on the hand for me as I arrived late to the first game to only catch the final 7 minutes. Isaiah Thomas and Aziz N’Diaye’s team was in a dead heat with the other UW team comprised of Andrew Andrews, Desmond Simmons, Martin Breunig, and former Husky, Clarence Trent. Scott Suggs and CJ Wilcox were not there today.

IT’s eventually led his team to victory as he continuously looked to feed Aziz inside when he had an opening. Aziz lived at the free throw line tonight and went around 50% (3-6) for the time I saw him. Andrew Andrews did not back down to IT as he matched up against him for most of the game. Andrews closed out the final minutes by taking IT and another defender off the dribble with a nasty cross over and finished with a double pump lay-in. Just another textbook play from the underrated freshman who is likely to redshirt this year. Breunig and Simmons were rather quiet from the field from the seven minutes I witnessed.

Game 2

Tony Wroten, Terrence Ross, Shawn Kemp Jr, Hikeem Stewart and Jernard Jarreau capped off the night with their match up with what looked like a high school varsity team. Missing in action was Darnell Gant who is in LA this week. Skill and size wise, the UW team simply over powered their opponent from the get go. UW simply got any shot they wanted as the average size of the opposition was 6’0. The only guy with size on the other team was about 6’9″ and he matched up against Junior. The highlight of the night came at the hands of Tony Wroten on in-bounds play where he lobbed a ball to Terrence Ross who later flushed it with a two hand jam while being fouled. That play drew several oooohs from the crowd tonight. Get used to hearing the phrase “Wroten to Ross” as you will be hearing that quite a bit this season. These guys are developing a great rapport by playing on the same team. They easily are a potential Top 10 Sportscenter highlight every time they hit the floor.

Here is a breakdown of what I saw tonight:

Terrence Ross – Ross was in the zone tonight. At the half, he had totaled 20 points which equated to half of his team’s points. He finished the game with atleast 34 points and two rim rocking jams in traffic, both at the hands of Tony Wroten. He was dropping ridiculous shots with his patented cross over and step back from all over the floor.  He must have shot around 70% from the field today. Every shot he took looked like it was going in and we should expect nothing less this year. He took any man that guarded him off the dribble and glided past them to the hoop each time. He also showed on a couple of occasions his ability to bump and grind in the post. Ross’ pump and step through in the post was just unstoppable tonight. He really is fitting the mold of a more athletic version of Brandon Roy. Granted the competition was lack luster today but his game is on point right now.

Tony Wroten – Wroten’s basketball IQ is simply through the roof. When I watch him, there is simply no player that fits the exact mold of him in the NBA. He has the court vision of Magic Johnson. He has the athletic agility and ability to finish with contact like Derrick Rose. And he has the quickness of a John Wall. That is a recipe for a dream player at the PG spot for Lorenzo Romar. Wroten has the ability to own any player that guards him, big or small. Much like big brother Isaiah Thomas, Wroten has one of the best handles of any player that has every come through the UW system, if not the best. He takes the ball with power to the hole every time and somehow finds a way to convert on almost every layup he attempts while getting fouled. Not to mention his razzle dazzle passing. Is it unnecessary at times? Not at all. It is fun to watch for a true basketball fan. Will he throw these same kinds of passes during the season? Only time will tell. At times tonight it was like watching a three year pro run an offense. Tony finished with over 20 pts points and at least 12 assists tonight. With Ross dominating the scoring, he was more of a facilitator tonight which was quite entertaining for me.

Jernard Jarreau – Jernard started the game well with a nice mid range jumper and a nice lay up in transition. Outside of that he was pretty quiet. He struggled to grab boards on the defensive end which essentially boiled down to lack of strength. He definitely is fitting the mold of an oversized guard at this point. He makes a living around the perimeter and will likely need a year to build his strength. I think he will be a very special player for Romar once he finds his niche within this team. At this point, he is on the outside looking in in terms of the depth chart.

Shawn Kemp Jr – Shawn Jr impressed me with his upper body strength today. He finished off two nice dimes from Wroten in traffic. He over powered those guarding him and is looking like the front runner to back up Aziz N’Diaye in the middle. Of course this will depend on the match up, but I can see Shawn getting a lot of burn against the bigger front line teams we play next year like Duke and UCLA. He can bang in the post and will give UW the bully they were missing in Tyrese Breshers. His conditioning looked a lot better this week as he amassed 20 minutes of play time today. He was running the floor quickly as well. It’s tough to gauge his full ability in a pick up game as the big men are often forgotten as guards dominate these kinds of games. He definitely has the tools to be a solid play down low for Romar.

Hikeem Stewart – Ice Cream Stewart finally came into his own today and asserted himself on offense. With Darnell Gant not there today, Stewart got a lot more playing time today and allowed him to be more aggressive. The most exciting play he made was a potential one handed jam which was given at the hands of who else, Tony Wroten. Unfortunately he was fouled hard and could not finish. It took a while, but Stewart started unleashing from beyond the arc on three different occasions. When in rhythm, his stroke is amazing. He finished with 13 points tonight which was good for third on the team for scoring tonight. He has the vision and handles of PG. With Andrews likely to redshirt (via Percy Allen), Stewart could find some time as the third PG. He has the vision and the quickness on defense to carve some time out for himself. Countless times tonight I caught him jamming up passing lanes as he has a real nose for the ball on the defensive end.

That’s all for this week. Tune in next week!