Romulus Open Gym Notes

I got word a little while back from Ronnie Coleman that he and some of his teammates were going be up at the gymsshooting around. I decided to head to Romulus recently to catch them in action. (Also, read about how two unexpected visitors showed up while I was there!)

Much like the open gyms that the Michigan players ran during the summer, the Romulus players got together for a few pickup games on their own and ran though a few plays. It’s obvious from watching this team that Ronald Coleman and Jerret Smith are the team leaders. The decided what offense to run, who to substitute, what defense to play…you name it and they instructed the team on what to do. Furthermore, the cohesion between the two teammates is obvious and is only going to help to propel the team to new heights this year.

Individually, both kids looked very good. That said, Jerret in particular looks like a totally different kid. He’s a legit 6’2” (pushing 6’3”) and has packed on significant muscle. He looks even bigger than he did at the open gyms at Crisler this summer. As a matter of fact, he put up 295lbs. in the weight room the other day! What’s even better is that he doesn’t seem to have lost his quickness. He can still get into the lane as good as any guard you’ll see, but now he has the physique to absorb the contact without being knocked off of his shot (or pass). The other significant change I’ve noticed is in his aggressiveness in getting his own offense. He’s not as confined in this system and actively seeks to exploit the defense with his skills. It’s refreshing to see him go after his opponents more frequently. As for his other skills, it was even more apparent that he can handle the rock. He also continues to display an uncanny awareness of where his teammates are on the court. On a number of occasions he found men open that no one else could see. He’ll have to continue to improve on his shooting. Further, he sometimes had a tendency to dribble into trouble and he will have to recognize the double team quicker once the season starts. Going to Romulus is exactly what he needed to take his game to the next level, and it looks like he is well on his way to doing just that.

Ron Coleman (Left) and Jerret Smith (right) matched up at an open gym at Crisler

You have to love Ronnie Coleman because despite his outstanding offensive skills, he is willing to do his team's dirty work with no complaints. One would think that a kid with the prettiest jumper not on a college roster would camp out beyond the arc every time down the court. But as I’ve seen so many times before…he’ll do whatever it takes to help his team win. For Romulus, that means asserting himself in the post. Ron is an underrated rebounder and his tenacity down low helps him grab quite a few of them. He was responsible for a number of put-backs on the evening. More encouraging was the progress of his dribble drives. Opponents know Ronnie’s rep so they get out on him very quickly. He utilized that to his advantage and got into the lane for a few short jumpers. At one point he drove in from the free throw line and powered it up over three defenders with a double clutch. He is really coming along, and the better he gets at this skill, the scarier it will be for his opponents.

While in attendance a couple of surprise guests showed up to get some run. For more on this, check out the premium forum.

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