The first day at a camp, particularly when it begins late and takes place in breezy Southern California, can be pretty relaxed. That's why the duel that emerged on opening night between Isaiah Briscoe and Tyler Dorsey caught many off-guard.
Both players project as potential, or even likely McDonald's All-Americans, so there's every reason to expect them to play well each time out. But on this occasion, the competition became personal. Trash talk, shoving, intimidation, it was all there.
Dorsey fired the first salvo, attacking the rim aggressively off the dribble and either scoring or picking up fouls. The future Arizona Wildcat didn't enjoy as consistent a spring as he would have liked, so it was nice to see him bounce back resoundingly.
But Briscoe wasn't going to fly thousands of miles from the East Coast to get punked in the West. Briscoe has been sensational at times this travel season, and his leaned up body and more controlled game have made him an impact performer on the EYBL circuit.
He used his quickness and strength to burst toward the rim as well, showcasing some excellent drives through congestion. His most impressive play was a leaning, fullspeed foray through the paint that he finished with a deliberate and deceptive step-through under shotblockers. He's been playing that way for months and the momentum carried into camp.
For a time, then, it appeared that he had quelled Dorsey's initial fury. But Dorsey regained form in the second half, once again playing more of a power game than he has exhibited in the past.
|Dorsey absorbed some hits but battled back|
I like this version of Dorsey a lot, one who maximizes his 6-4 height and limits his pull-up jump shots. He actually possesses a frame that will enable him to become far stronger than he is now, and thus I believe his Friday night style of play can translate to college and beyond.
He did incorporate one gorgeous turnaround jumper from 12 feet in the second half, a shot he set up after numerous penetrating drives. With a more balanced style, he projects as a more complete and balanced scorer.
Although not everyone sitting courtside agreed, I thought Dorsey slightly got the better of the head to head. Still, Briscoe also acquitted himself very well and the entire affair proved highly entertaining. Here's hoping they square off again in the camp all-star game.