LeBron Skills Academy – Day 2 Notes (Part 2)

Mitch McGary turn in another impressive performance on day two at LeBron James Skills Academy, this time by flashing oustanding passing skills. Plus both McGary and Robinson discuss the expanded roles on offense next year, leadership, and much much more.

College School Player Workout

Mitch McGary The player that I saw emerge the #1 big man in the country two years ago, the player that was on display for Michigan at the NCAA tournament… that’s the player I’m seeing here in Vegas.  There is but one difference.  McGary made it a point to point out a discrepancy on the official roster.  He said he is not 266 lbs. He is closer to 253 lbs. with a goal of getting around 250.  That’s just further confirmation of yesterday’s observation that Michigan’s big man is in terrific shape.  By the end of day two he was clearly gassed from all the running and game action (for that matter, almost everyone was), but he was still highly effective, albeit in a different way than he was on day one.

Rebounding, running the floor, and tenaciousness defensively seem to be givens for him these days so I won’t take up space talking about his performance in those areas.  Here I’ll focus again on offense where he was again a major catalyst for his team… this time as a passer.  I’ll sum up his day with five outstanding dimes.

In the morning session…

  • McGary caught the ball midpost, turned and faced, then threw a no look underhand pass to a baseline cutter for a lay-up.

  • After setting a good ball screen McGary rolled to the rim.  When the defense rotated over to pick him up, he pivoted, and then spotted Sam Thompson wide open on the perimeter for an elbow three.

  • McGary grabbed a rebound and keyed the break himself dribbling down the middle of the floor.  Once the defense reacted to him challenging the rim he found Jahii Carson sprinting to his left for a wide open lay-up.

In the evening session…

  • McGary caught the ball in the post, turned and faced, then spotted Carson open on the other side of the floor and delivered bullet diagonal pass.  That created a lay-up for Carson when the defense had to close out hard on the quick developing play.

  • McGary caught the ball on the left elbow, then drove baseline.  When the defense collapsed he found a teammate wide open at the free throw line.  The result was a trip to the charity stripe after the shooter was hacked in the act.

Moral to the story?  Michigan will be able to run its offense through McGary if it chooses.  Post up, screen & roll, mid-zone flasher… he can score or pass in any of those scenarios.  It’s something he has discussed with his coaches and he expects the strategy to be implemented next year.

He insists that he is also ready to be a leader on next year’s team.  He has heard people say that he is the Wolverines’ heart & soul in 2013 (including yours truly), and it’s a role he has embraced fully.  We’ll have much more from McGary in an interview in the coming days.

Glenn Robinson III – It was another fairly quiet day for Michigan’s other super sophomore.  He was most noticeable when he was given the opportunity to flash his athleticism in transition.  He just didn’t get many looks otherwise.  It wouldn’t have been totally out of place for him to aggressively hunt shots like most other players at the camp, but he was content to play a role for his team.  That consisted mostly of him hitting the glass and trying to get into his man defensively.  That said, he made it clear that he understands that one of his jobs for his real team will be to get buckets.  In keeping with that he is working hard on his dribble drive game so that he can be consistently aggressive for the Maize & Blue.  He anticipates being a part of more ball screen action this year, and like McGary, he is also preparing to step into a leadership role.  In the lone open gym he participated in back in Ann Arbor he took note of how the team is now taking its keys from him and Mitch.  He also took note of the great talent and versatility.  We’ll also have more on that in the coming days, so as always, stay tuned.

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