allheel" about 2004 star JamesOn Curry of E. Alamance (N.C.)."> allheel" about 2004 star JamesOn Curry of E. Alamance (N.C.).">

From the Boards: JamesOn Curry Report

The following post was made on IC's UNCbasketball Message Board this morning by "<i>allheel</i>" about 2004 star JamesOn Curry of E. Alamance (N.C.).

Couldn't get to a PC this weekend, but I was at Eastern Alamance Friday night for the game. There's a thread buried back a few pages with his stats (31 pts, 8 ast, 7 rb, 7stl, 1blk), but I thought maybe an eyewitness account merits a new thread(?)

I was within about 15 feet of him after the game, and I'd put him at a legit 6'2". He's right-handed. He's pretty thin, maybe 160-170, but hey, he's 15. That's what I had to keep reminding myself all night, "he's only 15." The game started with Eastern getting the tap, and Nunez feeding JC on the baseline about 12 feet out. He knocked down a turnaround jumper. Next possession, a 3 from about 23 feet. Next, a steal, and a no look 25 foot bounce pass for a layup.

He has many different ways to get the ball in the basket. He has a midrange game, and is comfortable to about 24-25 feet. He elevates well. He had a pretty, slicing move in transition early to get to the rim, but missed with the left hand (I think that was the only thing he missed in the first quarter). Later, he leaked out and jammed one handed with authority. He seems to get as much height as he needs on his jumper; in traffic, he elevates above the hands. When he wants to, he can be strong with the ball - as Western was trying to mount a late comeback, he drove between two, got hacked, got the ball up on the rim and it fell in. It seems odd to talk about shot selection with a sophomore, but that's about all he leaves you to pick on. He took some ill-advised, off-balance shots, and occasionally rushed jumpers when a head fake and a couple of bounces would have gotten him a better look.

He has good and sometimes spectacular handle, though it's a little loose when he tries to get fancy. Western had a couple of small guards with quick hands, and they ripped him twice. He faced zone most of the night, and (as I heard someone else say a couple days ago) seemed content not to force dribble penetration. Don't be fooled. Against man D, he would have gotten in the lane whenever he wanted. He's not Felton (who is?), but he's very quick, and for the two steals they got Western's guards probably whiffed a dozen times. He's comfortable going left, but was only able to blow by people going to the right. Used the crossover a la Melvin, and could get 3 feet of seperation with it at any time.

I was most impressed by his vision and sense of the floor. It's difficult for me to imagine a sophomore who sees people (both his and his oponents) better than JC. He obviously sees two passes ahead with the ball, and he gets it to the right guy almost every time. He should have had 11-12 assists - he gave at least two layups that were fumbled out of bounds. To me, the play of the night was a 50 rifle bounce pass through traffic that hit Nunez in the hands for a layup. If you've never tried to throw that pass, the hard part really isn't getting it through the traffic, it's getting it to bounce in the right spot and hit your man about waist high, in stride. This one was perfect, he couldn't have handed it to him any better.

He also sees the floor well on the other end. Loves to get in the passing lanes. Most of his steals came from stepping in front of passes. He does gamble a lot, and consequently was out of position a fair amount, but Eastern played zone most of the night so it didn't hurt them that much. It looked like a 1-3-1 to me, with JC on the wing some and at the point some. He knows how to move his feet, and did a good job of keeping some smaller, quick guards in front of him. He has fast hands and very long arms, and his anticipation was amazing at times.

The only knock I can mention at this point is that's he's a little soft. His rebounds were long; he didn't get many in the paint, because he didn't seem to want the contact. In another instance the ball was loose on the floor in front of him, but instead of going to the deck (he could have gained posession easily) he sprinted out, hoping Nunez would pick it up and outlet to him - Western wound up with it. He likes to make plays, and sometimes doesn't do the little things he should in hopes he can make something spectacular happen. His intensity waned a couple of times, I think out of boredom. Lack of focus directly resulted in one of the two Western steals off him. But, again, he's 15. These are all things you'd expect of a young kid with this much talent.

Overall, he is, as Ben said, very, very good. He could play right now with all but the best two or three guards I saw this past spring at the TOC. There is nothing wrong with his game that 2 years of maturing can't fix. And there's a lot right with his game that in two more years will be phenomenal. I hope we are on this kid.


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