Salvatori's Spirit, which includes four Titans -- Bobby Brown, Frank Robinson, Justin Burns and Lloyd Walls -- narrowly defeated Salvatori's Young Guns 82-86 on Sunday in the second round of the ProCity League playoffs . The Young Guns field a team consisting of two USC recruits Nick Young and Gabe Pruitt as well as UC-Berkley's Omar Wilkes (son of former Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers star Jamaal Wilkes who recently transferred from Kansas).
It wasn't the best played game by the Titans nonetheless they advance and will play Hank's Team CTS on Friday at 6:30 PM in a semi-final match-up.
Of the four, Justin Burns appeared to have the best game, though Frank Robinson was not far behind. The more I see Burns, the more I like him. He is a lean but very athletic 6-6 forward who appears to play good defense in a league which frowns on such play. He also appears to be a great kid to coach. Only a sophomore, Burns is the first player to make a movement in the predicted depth charts shown below. I don't have exact stats but he had close to 10 rebounds and I would guess at least 18 points.
Frank Robinson started out slow, picked up some early fouls, but then came on strong. He even hit some long range jumpers and his outside shot already appears much better looking than the last time. The only problem I have with Frank is that he won't be able to play until 2005-06. Also, he plays such aggressive defense, I think there will be plenty of games where he gets into foul trouble. If he can learn to play with fouls, like he did Sunday, then it shouldn't be much of a problem. Though having 6 fouls is a luxury he won't have in college.
Bobby "LB" Brown likely had his worst performance in the ProCity league but, not surprisingly, he came through late in the game. He hit a couple big three's and made four crucial free throws to win the game. LB didn't score a point in the first half and missed numerous close-range shots and layups. He likely finished with 15+ points and 7+ assists. CSUN's Joe Frazier played him pretty tough but I thought LB handled the ball extremely well.
BTW, Frazier also got the cheap shot of the night award after butchering Robinson from behind on a break-away dunk attempt. Luckily Frank got up and played well the rest of the night but still ... "Hey Joe, it's a summer league game!"
Lloyd Walls did not play much due to the recent addition of Nevada's Chad Bell. Sometimes I think having a 7-footer on your team is overrated. With no player no taller than 6-7 on SYG, this should have been a game Bell dominates but he was too slow to have much impact. He had some decent moves, rebounds and passes the ball well but does not have good hops and can't play much man-to-man defense. Bell just didn't have much of an impact on the game.
But back to Walls. In his limited time, I did see some good things. He is not going to hurt us at the center position and has very good court sense. He got beat pretty badly by a smaller, quicker player going to the hole but didn't give up and cleanly blocked his shot from behind. I think he took one shot and missed it.
Predicted Depth Chart (Start of Season)
Shooting Guard: Jermaine Harper, Bobby Brown, Danny Lambert
Power Forward: Hardy Asprilla, Mike Harrington, Justin Burns, Yaphett King
Top 8 Players (based on projected playing time): Bobby Brown, Jermaine Harper, Yaphett King, Hardy Asprilla, Lloyd Walls, Derek Quinet, Justin Burns, Danny Lambert
Predicted Depth Chart (Beginning December 21st, 2004)
Point Guard: Bobby Brown, John Clemmons, Jermaine Harper
Shooting Guard: Jermaine Harper, Ralphy Holmes, Bobby Brown, Danny Lambert
Small Forward: Ralphy Holmes, Yaphett King, Justin Burns, Danny Lambert
Power Forward: Jamaal Brown, Hardy Asprilla, Justin Burns, Mike Harrington
Center: Lloyd Walls, Derek Quinet
Top 8 Players (based on projected playing time) : Ralphy Holmes, Bobby Brown, Jamaal Brown, Jermaine Harper, Yaphett King, Hardy Asprilla, Lloyd Walls, Derek Quinet
Be sure to check out the 2004-05 Roster.