BEL AIR, Md. -- Terrapin Times was in attendance for the MIAA A-Conference championship game, which featured Mount St. Joseph (Baltimore, Md.) and Terps' target Jalen Smith and 2016 signee Darryl Morsell. The Gales defeated Mount Carmel, 65-54.
Here are notes from the game:
Yes, those 11 boards (to go with 17 points) for Morsell jumped out, and many were of the man-sized, rip off your head type. Morsell was leaping over two guys for rebounds. Also, his ability to attack the rim and slam over three guys two-handed, with a little emphasis/pop steal-your-lunch-money grit at the same time, that's ust what the Terps need more of.
Morsell sees the floor well, dishes well, and has great anticipation, maybe better than any guard at UM right now beyond probably Kevin Huerter. His vision and feel are that good. Morsell will guard you, mix it up, get steals, blocks, deflections and just fill the stat sheet. And he has that warrior mentality always.
But Morsell has to be more aggressive hunting and hitting his shot from range. He was about 7-of-9 from the foul line, and I think all that went in were all net, but you can see he sometimes is still tentative, still a tad of unsure himself from letting loose. The confidence is not fully there yet. Furthermore, while the shooting mechanics are not bad, he just needs to keep working on them and he should improve with more rhythm.
As for Smith, he projects as a true face-up four-man, with his offense getting better and better. During the game, his deep range stood out. He is really knocking down his shots, and many from beyond the arc. Smith's stroke was pure all night from the line as well. He also runs the floor well, finishes plays, and blocks and alters a lot of shots.
Smith is a very good athlete; he does not have that Chris Wilcox-like burst or suddenness, but he still uses his length and athleticism to cover a lot of ground and affect the game in many ways. He's active around the cup too, grabbing long rebounds with his great length and quicks.
But Smith still needs to gain much more strength, upper and lower body, while improving his handles as well. We'd also like to see him battle down low, post-up and finish as he is still so slender and easily gets pushed around or negated going to the rim at times.
But has come a long way in the last year for sure, especially with his ability to step back and knock down jumpers from mid- to deep-range with a good, quick release from its high point.