Semi Ojeleye looked awesome on his first day. Despite coming in the middle of the year, Ojeleye did not look out of place and used Ryan Manuel as a resource when he wasn’t sure where to go. One place Ojeleye did know to go though was the left corner, where he just didn’t miss a shot in practice. Ojeleye is not really moving or cutting without the ball but seems to be very adept at finding the open shot on the perimeter. Ojeleye is noticeably stronger and more athletic than just about every other player on the team. The other strength Ojeleye has is his length, which makes him effective on defense on the perimeter.
Sterling Brown and Ben Emelogu both appear to be the players primed for more minutes with Keith Frazier’s absence and both approached it differently. Brown was embracing the role of making the hustle plays and trying to continue to play lockdown defense. Emelogu on the other hand was focused on driving to the basket and still shooting the three, although he still appeared hampered by the splint on his right hand, which is also his shooting hand. Coach Brown was encouraging both guys to continue to look to score when they get the opportunity.
OFFENSE WITHOUT FRAZIER
The biggest impact of Frazier’s absence is his three-point shooting ability. Today, the team took a few less three-pointers during full-team drills. Coach Brown told the team to drive the ball unless someone had a wide-open shot. But as usual, the team practiced setting screens, making the extra pass and executing dribble handoff plays, staples of Brown’s offense. Emelogu did take a couple three-pointers late in practice.
DEFENSE WITHOUT FRAZIER
Frazier’s improved defense has been a hot topic this season, but the team still executed fairly well on defense. Ryan Manuel and Sterling Brown continued their strong defensive play, especially on the perimeter. Frazier had a poor defensive game against Temple, failing to hustle to close out on three-pointers. Today, the team did a better job closing out on threes, and most of the attempted threes were fairly contested, but Ojeleye was left open in the corner a couple times. As usual, Brown was also drilling the team on ball screen defense.
Practice Quick Hits
— The team had a 20-minute film session before starting practice.
— As expected, Keith Frazier was not at practice.
— Semi Ojeleye made nearly every jump shot and three-pointer he took during shootaround.
— Practice was in Moody today.
— Markus Kennedy wore sleeves under his jersey for the first time.
— Practice started in Crum and then moved to Moody.
— Markus Kennedy attempted a couple three-pointers (made one) and his shot looked smooth.
— Jean-Michael Mudiay left practice early.