At the start of practice the players were put through several one-on-one drills and Frasor struggled at times to contain players, particularly future Oklahoma Sate Cowboy 5-11 PG Byron Eaton, off of the dribble. He also struggled at times to free himself for shots in the one-on-one setting but as players were added to the mix he became more successful. This isn't surprising considering that Frasor has made his reputation as a player who thrives in a team setting [and rest assured there will be no streetball one-on-one situations at UNC].
While he struggled in a pure one-on-one setting, Frasor was much improved as a defender in a scrimmage setting. With teammates to help him and less space Frasor is much more capable of playing positional defense. On the flip side, he looked very comfortable running an offense with much more talent and athleticism around him than he's used to. He didn't look to create much offense but scored easily within the flow and made defenders pay when they sagged off or failed to get back into his chest after the ball rotated around.
Then there was the performance of Green, who proved that his selection to the Roundball and McDonald's game was very much warranted, and not due to politics as some had suggested. Simply put, the 6-6 wing from St. Mary's (N.Y.) Manhasset was probably underrated by many (in particular this analyst) to begin with and is one of the most improved players in the country to boot.
In the past Green had made his reputation as somebody who was primarily a catch and shoot guy or an open court finisher who needed a few steps to get up to full speed. He was always a capable defender, but seemed to be a bit heavy legged and slow footed and often lacked the initial burst to lose athletic defenders with his first step.
It would be awfully tough to call him slow footed now because Green has a much quicker first step that is made even more dangerous by a much tighter handle. On several occasions Green lost defenders with a quick crossover before effortlessly elevating for smooth looking jumpers. If the jumper wasn't there, Green was able to get to the hole and finish with more strength than you would think looking at him or make an alert pass to a teammate.
Another guy who thrives in a team atmosphere, Green is also a competitor on both ends of the court in any setting. Going up against guys like Brandon Rush, Shawne Williams, Bryan Harvey and Marcus Johnson he was able to make each one of those guys work for anything that they could get and looked to frustrate them with his intensity in what is usually a more relaxed setting.
SOME MORE NOTES FROM THE PRACTICE
Be very aware that future Duke Blue Devil Josh McRoberts is a force to be reckoned with on the college level. The 6-10 forward is intense, skilled, athletic and quite frankly he's worthy of discussion as perhaps the premier prospect in the class of 2005. On Monday he looked to be playing on another level as he grabbed every rebound, hit short jumpers and threw down reverse jams in traffic.
There are several at the Roundball who are using the game as an audition for a potential jump the league. It's no secret that Andray Blatche, Gerald Green, Brandon Rush, and Shawne Williams are interested in testing the draft waters and for the most part they all had good days. Williams and Green staged a fairly spirited head-to-head battle where they traded deep jumpers and athletic drives to the cup. Blatche was above average as well and it is impressive to watch his 6-11 frame grab a board, lead a break, throw a pinpoint no look pass and then follow up a blown layup with a tip dunk out of nowhere thanks to his impossibly long arms. Rush was athletic as usual but his draft stock is still up in the air as he struggles to show consistency in his floor game. If he does make it, look out for him in next year's dunk contest if his reverse rotating 360 job that seemed like an afterthought is any indication of what he's capable of.
Conspicuous by his absence is another kid who many figured would be using the Roundball and other All-Star games as an audition for the NBA, Monta Ellis. No word why he's skipping out but the rumors are flying and he may very well show up on Tuesday. One more player who has League rumors swirling around him is 6-9 power forward Amir Johnson. Ticketed for Louisville, here's hoping that Johnson takes his game there instead of trying for the NBA. He's a ridiculous athlete who glides up and down the floor and makes plays thanks to his physical gifts. However, he's not very fundamentally sound, his range is limited to about six feet and he gambles too often. Rick Pitino has got to be licking his chops over the idea of integrating Johnson's package of size and athleticism into the ‘Ville's full throttle style of play.
A couple of other players who should be considered in the most improved category with Danny Green are Seattle's Marcus Williams, Chicago's Jerel McNeal and Michigan native Eric Devendorf. Like Green, Williams has paired his old school game with new school athleticism to reach another level and he'll fit right into the assembly line of wing players that Lute Olson covets at Arizona. McNeal is a tough as nails 6-2 shooting guard who never had much shooting ability in his game, the jump shots are falling now and when you add that with his intensity and defensive ability you've got an impact player for Marquette. There wasn't much room for Devendorf to improve offensively because he could always get his, but he wasn't exactly known for making others better. The future Syracuse star has added to his playmaking ability thanks to a year at powerhouse Oak Hill and could conceivably see some spot duty at the point guard position down the road.