Today, I checked out a number of games from the Reebok Summer Championship, as well as a couple of games each from the Nike Main Event and the adidas Super 64 tournament. It was a non-stop day of basketball beginning at 8:00 AM and ending around 9:00 PM at night.
Kentucky target Sylven Landesberg, 6-foot-5 wing from Flushing, N.Y. did not disappoint, though he was probably disappointed in the opening game. Landesberg's N.Y. Panthers team came out sluggish and Team Breakdown jumped all over them early, behind 6-foot-3 Coral Springs guard Brandon Knight. Landesberg engineered a solid comeback but fell short. The Panthers lost 59-56, despite Landesberg's game high 20 points.
"It was a tough loss," Landesberg said, "We came out a little tired and flat and they jumped on us quick." Indeed, Team Breakdown opened a quick 11-point lead en route to a 34-19 half time lead. "By the time we knew what hit is we were down by 15. I am happy that we didn't give up," Sylvan added, "we worked hard and made a game of it. We almost pulled it off."
In the evening session Landesberg was used sparingly in a blowout of the World Wide Renegades. Still, watching the wing player showcase his talent was a pleasure while he was on the floor. While only a couple of coaches made the morning session, several coaches were on hand in the evening session, including Rick Pitino and Walter McCarty from Louisville, as well as coaches from St. John's, Virginia, St. Josephs, NC State, Rutgers and Villanova.
"It's disappointing that I didn't get to play more tonight," said Landesberg, "but those coaches know what I am capable of. This was a blowout tonight, and it's only right for some of the younger guys to get in, get some playing time and show what they can do."
Coach Gary Charles, who has been a friend of the Landesberg family, has been using Sylven, in what can only be described as a "point-forward" but the Holy Cross High School prospect has been pulling the role off with ease. He brought the ball up the court and ran the offense with some pretty nifty ball-handling, easily breaking full-court pressure on multiple occasions.
Offensively, he displayed a quick first step to the basket and had executed some creative finishes, though I would not call him a powerful or explosive player. He is more of a smooth operator.
He also connected on two three-pointers in his first game, but it appeared that three point shooting is an area he has yet to rely on much. He has a very solid mid-range offensive game, as well as his inside game, already noted.
On defense, he was able to use his substantial leaping ability to slip down low a block a few shots taken by larger players, though all in all, I'd say his defense is the area where he probably needs the most work.
In August, Sylven has made plans to visit Virginia and Georgia Tech. He has already visited Texas and St. John's. Sylvan indicated that, although he has not made arrangements to visit Kentucky, he says the Wildcats staff has been recruiting him heavily and that he hopes a visit can be arranged. Landesberg added that he does not feel rushed to make a decision and will do so when he feels the time is right, but did not specify a timetable.