I got my second taste of the Prime Time League on Monday night and focused in on a game between a team with Aaron Fuller and Anthony Tucker playing one with Cyrus Tate and David Palmer. Tate and Palmer won the game by six or eight. I haven't focused much on scores and statistics.
Here's what I saw:
Aaron Fuller: This was my second look at the Arizona product. I watched him for a half last week and was impressed. But Monday gave me much more of a sense of his skills.
This kid is very aggressive and active. He's constant motion. He also has that knack for being the first one to the ball on a lot of occasions, whether it be loose on the floor or coming off the glass. He's a quick jumper and benefits from long arms.
One of the things I like the most about Aaron is his versatility. Some might call him a tweener, but I think he can create some mismatches. He can post smaller guys and pull bigger guys away from the basket. He needs to work on consistency in his outside shot. If he can get that, he could really create some problems for the opposition.
Anthony Tucker: Tucker told me on Monday that he's going to be playing point guard this year. Although he played the two in high school, he said he played almost exclusively point in AAU.
As I said the first time I saw Tucker, you can see he can stroke it from the outside. His form and quick release are text book. I am, however, not sold on his point guard skills. He seems to get caught between the two guard positions at times and struggles with decision making.
You can tell Anthony can play this game, but sometimes he seems to be going through the motions on the court. Again, this is the PTL and I'm not going to come down too hard on him until I see him with the big lights on. Although I'd like to see more aggressiveness, his calm nature could help him at point guard.
Cyrus Tate: Cyrus was a man among boys on Monday. He just looked awesome. He posted up strong, showed real good footwork and powered to the goal with guys hanging off his impressive arms. He also threw down an impressive alley-oop dunk off the break.
It clicked for Cyrus during the second half of last season, and I'd be surprised if he didn't emerge as the best player on this team. I was discussing him with some other media members in the gym and predicted he would be third-team all-Big Ten this season. Someone else countered with a second-team prognostication.
David Palmer: I had mixed feelings about David's performance on Monday. I think he (finally) understands his role is going to be operating on the block. And at times, he seemed capable of getting the job done. Other times, however, he looked really uncomfortable, out of control and awkward.
David definitely has improved his inside game since last year at this time. I just wondered if it's improved enough to get him on the floor much this coming season, at least at the beginning.
I think David is too nice. He needs to get mean on the floor. He needs to fight for playing time or he's not going to get any.
Tip-Ins: I got to see a few minutes of Marion high school product Amry Selby. He definitely has a great handle and looks like he belongs on the floor, but he is small - height and weight. He's not in the same class as Linn-Mar's Marcus Paige. He's definitely worth keeping an eye on because of his skills, however…Fuller told me he'll likely play some three and four this season. He'll have to have the right match-ups at the four until he physically matures. He stood next to Duez Henderson on Monday and appeared to be about an inch shorter. Duez says he's a shade over 6-6...With Tucker saying he's been working out at point guard in preparation for the season, it will be interesting to see how that pushes Jeff Peterson. Tucker clearly is the better shooter, but I don't think he's on the same level as Jeff when it comes to speed, quickness, defense and strength. Both guys will need to upgrade their decision-making skills…Tate looks like he's put on some muscle. The senior-to-be is cut up top. He's going to get pounded. He'll need to prove he can make free throws…From the small sample I've gotten this summer, I would say that Andrew Brommer's post moves are more polished than those of Palmer...Tucker said that he had offers from Minnesota and Boston College, among other schools.