Raymond Felton coverage

Last night, Latta High School was hosted by Hartsville (SC) High School in a preseason scrimmage which lasted for 5 quarters of play (C.A. Johnson did not participate in the scrimmages as scheduled). While no official scoring or stats were kept, Coach Stephen Smith comments give us an overview of the game and some exciting insights into his prized point guard, UNC-bound Raymond Felton.

Coach Stephen Smith Comments: 


On the Game:

"Hartsville, a 4A school, won the first quarter.  They came out and pressed us, which was unusual because we hardly ever get pressed with Raymond's ability to break presses.  They [Hartsville] were athletic, quick and aggressive and they came out and pressed us and did a good job in the first quarter.  It was, like I said, something we hadn't seen much of and it took us a while to get adjusted to it and they won the first quarter.


They [Hartsville] were not the biggest team in the world.  Their tallest guy was about 6-6 and he played basically on the perimeter.  He was a great shooter and he could also take it inside—he's a slasher.  They had another kid about 6-6.  They were not a tall team at all, especially for a 4A school.


The next three quarters we won pretty decisively.  They were competitive but we did manage to win them.  The last quarter [the fifth quarter of competition] I let my reserves play.  They kept their starters in and won that quarter."


On Raymond's Play:

"Raymond was matched up against a very quick-type player, shorter than Raymond—he was probably about 5-8, but he was very strong and aggressive.  Raymond did his usual.  The floor was kind of slick and that hindered Raymond's movements.  The floor situation was terrible—very slick. 


Raymond stops on a dime and, when he would, he would slip a couple of times.  Those guys were just going after him—trying to hurt him, quite honestly.  Raymond adjusted to that.  He's an aggressive-type player by nature and was able to adjust to that type of play.   


He shot the ball quite well.  He had some 3s when we needed them.  He also penetrated and had an array of dunks.  The thing I like most about Raymond, so far this year, and he showed that last night, was his ability and willingness to go inside and mix it up and out-rebound the opponent."


On Raymond's defense:

"Raymond had 4 steals and the thing I liked about his defense last night, was he made the adjustment.  I had to call a timeout early in the first quarter and he made an adjustment that stepped it up a little bit more. 


These guys came to play the game and beat us and they actually did win the first quarter.  Raymond clamped down and the team followed.  We put a full court press on them and gave them some of their own medicine.  Of course Raymond was the leader in that."


On several of Raymond's outstanding plays:

"He did one incredible thing.  He always makes these incredible full-court passes and it's almost like the ball shouldn't be able to go through the crowd.  And he throws the ball like it's a softball!  He grips it that way; he has big hands.  And he makes incredible, underhanded, three-quarter court passes on the break that lead to layups.  And we always send a guy, the weak-side guy always breaks if he can.  And Raymond finds him and he just made this incredible pass—three-quarter court pass all the way through traffic that led to a couple of layups by Derek Wilson.


Raymond also caught an alley-oop, in traffic.  I thought he was going to get hurt.  But my [player] just came down and threw it up.  I really just thought he was throwing the ball up—I didn't know what the heck he was doing!  But Raymond went up with his left hand and brought the house down with a slam—just caught it in mid-air!  Left side!  Caught it with his left hand and just slammed it through.  It was so quick.  It was amazing!"

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