Darrell Arthur - He got off to a slow start, but once he got in the groove he played around the rim very well. He fought two or more guys for rebounds on more than one occasion, and had two put-back dunks. On one of those put-backs, he skied over Julian Wright to slam it home. The second time Arthur scored on Wright, Brandon Rush, who was sitting this game out, came on the court to give Julian a hard time about it. (The jocular mood continued in a later game, when Wright took Rush to the hole and let him hear about it all the way back down the court). Overall, “King Arthur” (which is tattooed across his back) ran the court well, and his loose ball awareness impressed the most. Also for those interested, Arthur’s practice shorts had the number “00,” the same number he wore at South Oak Cliff in high school.
Sherron Collins – Though this speedster looks to be about about five pounds overweight, and that he was still in “baseball shape,” he looks more like a football player than I expected. The guy is ripped. His weight certainly didn’t slow him down, as Collins was easily the quickest guy on the court all night. He had several drives to the basket, giving a lightening quick pump fake while in the air once he got there to get around the long arms of defenders. Be sure to watch for his left to right crossover. He pulled it out once last night to get himself an open jumper. He had a pick set for him on the left wing, but the crossover is so fast that he should be able to create shots for himself without a pick. Another note: The extra few pounds isn’t keeping him grounded either…during warm-ups he threw himself an alley-oop off of the backboard and threw it down with one hand easily (the same dunk we saw in the McDonald’s All-American game). Maybe he cut his hair for better aerodynamics (I didn’t recognize him at first. The braids have been replaced by a buzz-cut).
Rodrick Stewart - He scored the most often, mostly coming off of screens to catch and shoot. He was lights out. He was either behind the arc or had a foot on the line on all of his shots and only missed once out of seven or eight attempts on the night. We haven’t had a lot of chances to see what he can do, but if he can shoot in streaks like that, then I see no reason why he couldn’t be considered a deep threat.
Rush and Wright had promising plays of their own. Brandon hit a couple of threes and a nice drive the right side of the basket to lay it in off of the glass. It was good to see him put it on the floor with confidence. Julian tried to force a tight pass, which he’s become known for, but made up for in a later game by one-handing a hard put-back dunk that got “oohs” from the whole gym.