If you have an opening Sunday afternoon around 4:00 I would encourage a trip to Woodward. The new gym is an outstanding facility and a great venue for summer league. Also plenty of parking which is really nice compared to the days at Purcell.
Slatz played with a short bench today; I didn't see
either Anthony McClain or Jason Henry at all. Kenny Belton was in sweats and did
not play. The backups featured Mel Levit who is as feisty as ever on the court
and a couple of fill in players. Didn't catch their names but one was from
Detroit Mercy and the other from
Without McClain and Henry Slatz was a very small team, basically a 4 guard line up. The starters were Alvin Mitchel, Deonta Vaughn, Mike Williams, Larry Davis, and Rashod Bishop. They played most of the way with subs only coming in late in the first half. With about 8 minutes to go in the game you could really see the legs were going as shots kept hitting the front of the rim. The final outcome was a win for Mike Albert by a score of 84 – 73.
In summer ball the style of play is much different than what we will see at 5/3 arena. It is high paced and action packed but sometimes a bit on the undisciplined side. However there are some things that you can learn about individual players which is what I really focused on for this report.
Deonta Vaughn has really rounded out his game impressively. As was mentioned in an earlier report he has really turned himself into a physical specimen. He still attacks the basket and challenges much bigger players, today he was finishing when he got to the basket. His jump shot has also improved considerably. Deonta led all scores with 23. If there is one thing that still caused some concern it was his on the ball defense which appeared to be lacking. Hopefully Mick can work on that, if Deonta can defend he is the total package at point guard.
The first thing I notice about Alvin Mitchel is that he doesn't look like
a kid that just graduated from high school, he doesn't act it either. During
warm ups he was completely focused on his Bearcat teammates, he has the look of
a team leader already. At times today his game looked fantastic, at other times
he looked like a kid playing summer ball. What I really say was a kid with all
the tools, moves well, very athletic, nice jump shot, and a physical player.
When Vaughn went out for a blow he even ran the point, that part of his game
needs work but we shouldn't need him their anyway. For the day
Mike Williams is a work horse underneath, he and Adam H. really mixed it up the whole game. I can't wait to see them next to each other. With the small line up he really had to go the whole game, I don't remember him coming out. He battled until the end. Mike came away with a very solid 17 points, he didn't miss many. A couple of things that Mike showed me today was his ability to draw his man from the basket, put the ball on the floor and make a move. In the first half he from just outside the lane he made a right handed move into the paint that ended with a slam. It wasn't Adam H guarding him at the time but he just blew past his man.
Larry Davis made a couple of almost unreal passes, definitely summer ball but wow. He played a lot but I have to admit there were times when he seemed to disappear on the floor. He seems to have some tools but may take a little time to develop them. He kind of reminded me of Terrence Gibson when he first showed up at UC.
Rashod Bishop scored 8 points today but also had to play down low quite a
bit. Did some nice things but like
Adam Hyranciuk can flat out run the floor; he can also handle the ball. Twice he started the break and finished. The announcer even called him Point Guard. Adam has a really nice touch on the ball but make no mistake he will mix it up on the boards. As mentioned earlier he and Mike Williams had some battles going on. A play that really stood out was on a fast break in the first half Adam got down floor to block the shot, went back up court and nailed a trey.
Maybe the most encouraging thing about today's game came from someone I
didn't expect. Jamaal had one heck of game and finished with 19 points. He ran
the point for Mike Alberts and
would probably have split the star
of the game with Deonta. Having
Overall what I saw from the Bearcat players was athleticism, energy, good shooting, and hustle. These players have the tools, especially on offense. If they can learn some on the ball defense they can become really good.
A sign that this was summer league, at one point with subs the Slatz team was playing with 4 players. It took 2 trips down the floor before the bench realized it.
The game prior to Slatz featured Armein Kirkland. He appears to be fully recovered from the injury that ended his UC playing career. Also hit a mid court buzzer beater at the half.