Archbishop Wood took down Neumann-Goretti Thursday evening in Philadelphia Catholic League action by a score of 82-73. The Vikings were led by Villanova commit, Collin Gillespie and his 42 point, 8 rebound, 7 assist effort. The Saints were led by Kentucky commit, McDonald's All-American, Quade Green (30 points) and Villanova signee, Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree (10 points, 5 rebounds, 4 blocks).
Let's dig a little deeper into the play of the two Villanova commits:
Collin Gillespie (Class of 2017, Guard, 6-1, 165 lbs)
Gillespie was spectacular in this game - leading his team to victory with gritty play, leadership and basketball skill. He is a good athlete with adequate quickness and size to compete at the Big East level. As he adds strength, he will be even more effective driving the ball and finishing through contact and he will become a better on-the-ball defender. He uses hesitation moves, crossover dribbles and good body control to get dribble penetration. When he gets past the first defender he continually makes good decisions on when to take it himself, when to dish to a cutter, and when to kick-it out to an open shooter. Though he had 7 assists, that number could easily have been higher given the number of short ones and wide-open looks his teammates missed. What is more significant is that he consistently found open teammates for quality looks.
When he took the ball to the rim himself, his move of choice was the reverse lay-up - he scored on at least four of those. He also showed some mid-range game by knocking down both a pull-up jumper and a floater (after turning the corner on Green, giving the help defender the slip and shooting one softly on the move). Later in the game, he made a strong baseline move through traffic which he finished with a kiss off the window.
In the first half, Gillespie scored 16 points - all of which came at the rim or at the free-throw line (while he struggled to knock down his jumper from beyond the arc). In the second half, he got the juices flowing and drained three three-pointers from the left wing and one from the right. He added a reverse lay-up, the aforementioned floater and kiss plays and 10 of 13 free throw attempts. In the first half, he was 2-3 from the free-throw line - for an overall 12-15 from the stripe to go with 13-23 from the floor (4-10 from beyond the arc, and 9-13 from inside the arc). He missed his only corner three-ball and seemed more effective shooting the left-wing three-ball than the right.
There were other positives to Gillespie's game that stood out. On both the offensive and defensive ends of the court, he pulled in some tough rebounds in traffic (showing both good timing and the toughness to scrap among the trees). When he grabbed defensive rebounds, he showed the ability to quickly push the ball and create transition offense. He showed good court vision in finding three-point shooter in transition and also demonstrated the ability to throw pin-point lead passes to teammates sprinting out on the wings on the break. Gillespie has a solid handle and some ability to break down his man and create offense with a combination of crafty passing and court awareness (7 Assists with only 1 Turnover in this outing).
Late in the game, Gillespie showed good defensive instincts to get a deflection on a critical possession. He noticed that Neumann-Goretti would be likely to try to locate Quade Green in transition and lagged behind Green, leaving enough angle and distance to make the pass look inviting. When the pass was attempted, Gillespie darted into the passing lane and deflect the ball out-of-bounds.
Though Gillespie really played "out of his gourd" in this game, 'Nova fans shouldn't take that as some clear-cut indicator that he will be able to jump into the rotation early in his career. He will need to physically mature, get indoctrinated into Jay Wright's system, and prove he can adjust to the speed of high-major basketball. Gillespie exhibited a positive attitude and leadership qualities - which should serve as useful tools to help him make the transition to the Big East. Time and patience will be required ... but he is a gamer, a competitor, and a winner.
Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree (Class of 2017, Forward, 6-8, 210 lbs)
VUSports has seen "DaDa" play quite a bit - so the expectations have been relatively firmly set based on a large sample set of games.
Normally, Neumann-Goretti gets out in transition more frequently and Cosby-Roundtree gets more opportunities to get lay-up and dunks on the break. That didn't happen much tonight. Normal, Neumann-Goretti finds ways to get "DCR" the ball in the paint with some frequency - both on the move for alley-ooo and lay-ups and posting up. That also didn't happen much tonight.
Cosby-Roundtree had a two-handed, power flush early in the game and later scored on a strong, throw-down (and one). His other made baskets came on a follow-up of his own missed baby hook shot and on a one-dribble post move that he flipped in over his right shoulder. He got to the free-throw line with some frequency - but converted only 2 of 7 free-throws. Cosby-Roundtree demonstrated the ability to grab a defensive rebound and quickly get out into transition. He has enough handle to push the ball through light traffic to the opposite free-throw line. It is reasonable for 'Nova fans to expect something on the order of 5-7 bench minutes from Cosby-Roundtree as a Frosh. Picture him playing a similar role to the "rebounding and defensive specialist role" that Dante Cunningham played off the bench as a Villanova freshman.
Game Photo Gallery: