Mike Taylor and Corey McIntosh
won't be mistaken for body-builders anytime soon. I stood next to both on the
baseline and estimate
Alex Thompson looks to be in great shape. He is a legit 6'9 and carries much more weight than Hubalek or Marsden did last year. I'd put him at about 235. He is well-defined and looked very focused on the task at hand.
Cory Johnson looks like a Big 12 player. He is put-together. He measures at around 6'7 and also around 235-240. He stood next to Drake's Aliou Keita (who is a monster) and compared favorably. Granted, he isn't as ripped as Keita, but Johnson should have no problem making the leap to college size-wise.
McIntosh and C.J. suited up on the Coca-Cola team along with Drake Players Ajay Calvin, and Adam Emenecker (walk-on). Also on the Coke team, former ISU and UNI center Tyler Peterson.
Mike Taylor and Alex Thompson headlined the MOHA team. Also on the team were Drake player Chris Bryant and incoming Bulldog Keith Worner. The three Korver brothers were not in attendance.
It was apparent right away Taylor and McIntosh are comfortable around each other. They were having some fun together during warm-ups and exchanging some old fashioned smack.
Right of the tip
Defensively, he was able to stay
in front of an equally quick McIntosh early on. He really got after it. Attacked
the glass and immediately pushed the ball up the floor. Really challenges people
on defense. After Cory Johnson beat his defender of the dribble,
I came away completely impressed
Remarkable competitor. No other way around it. Isn't blessed with great size, but uses his abilities to the max. From the tip, he looked to get his teammates involved. In fact, McIntosh didn't take a shot until five minutes in. Great vision. When McIntosh is in the open court, somebody inevitably ended up with a lay-up. He never forced his offense. He took care of the ball, and couldn't have had more than two turnovers. Shot was a bit inconsistent. His shooting motion is a bit jerky, but prolific scoring isn't his game. Nailed two threes when left open. Converted on several pull-up jumpshots from 15 feet and in. Had three straight assists in a 50 second stretch. Great ball-handler. On one play he scrambled for a loose ball, dribbled around and through three defenders and lofted a pass to a teammate for an alley-oop tomahawk. He and Taylor were far and away the quickest guys on the floor. He reminded me of an under control Tim Barnes, or to go back a few more years, Ron Bayless. Pushed the ball whenever he could.
With his team down 14 with six minutes left in the half, McIntosh took over. He scored 10 of their 16 points in a three minute stretch. Attacked the basket, converting two straight "And 1's." Fearless. He constantly encouraged his teammates. A desire to win.
Defensively, he consistently had
his hands around the ball. Any loose ball, he pounced on. Gritty defender. Very
good on-the-ball skills. Never gives up on a play.
I can see why McIntosh rarely lost
in his time at JUCO. He is the classic point guard in that he raises the play of
everyone around him. But he can score if left open. Like
Cory Johnson :
Johnson had the tough duty of matching up with the seasoned Alex Thompson. Those two battled throughout. Neither backed down. Johnson displayed a nice array of offensive moves. He is comfortable handling the ball in transition and in the rhythm of the offense. Early on, he pressed and turned it over on a few occasions. Looked a bit jittery. Wasn't afraid to attack Thompson. He initiated offense from the wing on most occasions. Shot has great arch to it. Fundamentally sound on his shot and footwork. Ferocious on the offensive glass. Got three put-backs off of offensive boards. Hit a three with Thompson in his face. Not timid at all. Good vision in the open floor. Confident finisher. He won't blow you away with his quickness, but he is athletic enough to keep the defense honest.
He is an extremely tough defender. Didn't give up on any play. Disrupted a few shots. Very physical. Bodied up Thompson in the post. Showed great rebounding position. Uses his body well to block out. Very solid.
Cory Johnson won't wow you with his athleticism or array of moves, but he will get a lot of second chance buckets and hit the open jumper. He may take a few games to adjust to the college level offensively. Defensively, he should more than hold his own. Seemed to enjoy contact. Game is very similar to Greg Brunner's.
If Thompson doesn't average 10
points a game as a junior, I will be extremely surprised. He has all the tools.
Moves very well for his large frame. Great body control in the open court.
Knocked down the mid-range jumper consistently. Text-book form on his jumpshot.
Displayed confidence I hadn't seen from him at
Defensively he took up space in the middle and patrolled the lane. Blocked three shots in the first 10 minutes. He stayed in front of C.J. on the perimeter, not getting beat off the dribble. Good work ethic inside. Very focused.
Before you think I'm crazy, I
watched Alex Thompson almost every game when he was at
There is great reason to be
excited about the future. I am naturally very skeptical of new players, but
tonight I left the building feeling a lot better about the immediate future of
the program. Granted, it was only a
summer league game against inferior talent, but I think they have the tools and
desire to win. That was the one thing that resonated with me the most: drive and
determination. When I went to the games the last two years in
Look forward in the coming weeks for detailed analysis of the rest of the Cyclones at the Capital City League.