Those who watched the 6-foot-7 combo forward in the opening round of the Glaxo Invitational may now have a different perspective.
Coached by legendary head coach Ed Wicelinski, Christian Brothers Academy (NJ) plays a modified Princeton offense that really utilizes the skills of Werner. A gifted passer and dangerous shooter from beyond the arc, Werner and CBA jumped all over an overmatched Hampton (VA) Phoebus squad.
Werner hit all five field goals he attempted in the first quarter, including 3-of-3 from beyond the arc and even drilled a contested 3-pointer at the buzzer, giving CBA a commanding 18-3 advantage.
"We got off to a good start," coach Wicelinski said. "We ran some good sets early, concentrated on rebounding, and played some good defense."
"I came out and shot the ball really well, but I didn't want to come out and force too much," said Werner. "I wanted to get my teammates involved and stuff."
Phoebus, who is led by Wolfpack football target Brett Vinson, tried to establish a fast-paced tempo and play a transition game but simply couldn't handle the discipline offensive system of CBA. The Colts led 25-10 at halftime, and never looked back, as Werner and 6'8 teammate Tim Andree combined for 37 points and 17 rebounds to lead CBA to the 57-30 victory.
Werner finished with 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting. He knocked down 3-of-4 3-pointers and was 2-of-2 from the free throw line. He also chipped in nine boards and two steals in just 23 minutes of action.
Vinson led Phoebus with 16 points, but he hit just 6-of-17 from the floor.
The star of the game was Werner, as members of the media and those fans in attendance seemed impressed with the efficiency and balance of his overall game. Following the contest he compared his game to current Pack standout Ilian Evtimov, and with the fundamentals he possesses, that comparison seems right on. Perhaps his best attribute is his passing ability, also one of Evtimov's biggest assets.
"He passes almost too much sometimes," coach Wicelinski said. "He does it as well as anybody we've had. At his size, he really does pass it well."
With NC State playing New Hampshire at the same time in the RBC Center, the crowd probably wasn't as pro-Wolfpack as Werner expected it would be, and one play late in the third quarter reminded him of that.
"Yea, I think a couple of people booed me when I didn't dunk it," he joked. "But it was nice to play in front of some future fans."
Christian Brothers Academy (5-0) will face Seattle (Wa.) Prep tonight in the four-team championship while Phoebus (3-2) plays Goldsboro in the consolation game.
Werner had hoped to have a chance to play against coveted Seattle Prep star Spencer Hawes, but Hawes didn't make the trip due to a sprained ankle.
"It would have been a great opportunity to play against a player of his caliber," said Werner. "But we've still got to play and win the game."