Pro Skills C Marques Bolden
POSITIVES: When he wants to be, Bolden is as talented as he wants to be on both sides of the floor. The 6-11 center will effortlessly put up double figure games, as evidence by a 26-point performance against Texas Elite, where Bolden was able to get any bucket he wanted to in the post. Bolden has a nice touch around the rim including a great spin move followed by either putting it off the backboard or just dunking it. Thanks to his size, Bolden is also able to grab rebounds with ease even if he is not in good position. Bolden averaged 6.5 rebounds over the course of the tournament. On many shots in the lane, he was also able to either get a hand on the shot, or affect it. His high over the tournament was 2 blocks against Texas Elite but he also altered numerous other shots.
NEGATIVES: Bolden was fantastic in a win over Texas Elite and was good in his other games. But he could be even better. Over the course of the summer and into next year, Bolden needs to work on being hungry each and every play because he can be dominant. There were a lot of plays, where he didn’t look as motivated or look to get the ball despite having a obvious size advantage. The 6-11 Pro Skills center dominated throughout spurts of the game but things almost seemed to be too easy for him at times and he shied away from asking for the ball and going after rebounds. It is important to note that against Texas Elite, Bolden had almost a 5-inch advantage on most of their team but just didn’t appear to be that aggressive.
HATT'S TAKE: There’s no doubt the talent is there for Bolden. He has all the talent in the world to be great and it easy to see why so many schools are in love with his game. But to truly be great, Bolden just has to work on being hungry each and every play and demanding the ball. When the offense did run through Bolden, this team was virtually unstoppable however they lost 3 games over the EYBL tournament in Houston and in these games; Bolden was largely a non-factor throughout. If Bolden goes hard every single play, look out because this is a player to watch.
Pro Skills G Andrew Jones
POSITIVES: Andrew Jones has received a lot of interest lately from many schools and much of that might have to do with his recent play. Jones scored in double figures in every game of his EYBL showing in Houston including 21 points against Texas Elite. Despite losing to the Arkansas Wings, Jones also put up 15 points and 5 assists in that game as well. A lot of this is due to Jones athleticism and size advantage that he has over both guard positions. Jones showed the ability to get into the paint and either get his own shot or find one of his big men in Marques Bolden or Schnider Herard. During each of these games, Jones also showed he can be an outside threat when he had 11 3’s over the course of the 4 game tournament.
NEGATIVES: Jones did have some very solid games during his EYBL showing in Houston but it was clear there are a couple areas he could improve. Jones put up a fair amount of points but only once in his 4 games did he shoot above 40%. The only game Jones shot above 40% was against a Texas Elite squad that is evidently building for next season. To go with shooting a low percentage, Jones also struggled throughout the tournament with turnovers including having 4 against this very same Texas Elite squad. He does break down the defense frequently but also tends to force passes every once in a while. On defense, Jones does need to move his feet more on the defensive end, as he was, badly exposed in a blowout loss to Boo Williams. Jones was continually broken down on the dribble and from there the defense struggled to recover.
HATT'S TAKE: Jones is a scorer and would provide a big boost right away for SMU at the 2 guard. Currently, Jones has been playing point guard but said he will likely move over to shooting guard which should suit him better in terms of cutting down the turnovers. With this said, as a shooting guard, Jones does need to be smarter with his shot selection to shoot a higher percentage and allow for a better flow for this offense. In the immediate future, Jones needs to improve his defense because this is the one area that he will struggle with in a Larry Brown system.
Pro Skills F Jacolby Pemberton
POSITIVES: At 6-6, Pemberton is a long and athletic forward that can make a difference on the defensive end of the floor. The Pro Skills forward altered a couple shots in his third game of the tournament where he was able to challenge multiple shots on the perimeter. Pemberton also brought a lot of energy on the floor and although he wasn’t always making the right play, one of the biggest ways he was able to help his team was through his hustle.
NEGATIVES: Despite being able to hustle, Pemberton offers virtually nothing on offense for his team. Pemberton’s only scored 20 points over the course of the 4 games with his game high being 8 points. To go along with this, Pemberton also tended to be shaky with his shot selection. In a victory over Texas Elite, the 6-6 forward was actually for a forced shot that ended up being an air ball. For being a tall forward, Pemberton also only had 3 rebounds total over the course of the weekend, with all of those coming in one game. Finally, Pemberton struggled with turnovers over the course of Saturday and tended to be loose with the ball on the perimeter.
HATT'S TAKE: Pemberton has got a little bit to go to be ready to compete for playing time with SMU. While he hustles and plays solid defense, Pemberton does not contribute on the boards, passing or scoring. Coach Brown is able to work with players but Pemberton has got some areas to fix to be ready to play for a team with such high NCAA tournament aspirations.