Sunday started out as a great day for Xavier fans in attendance at Woodward for City Gear – The League action, but midway through the games it turned into a scary situation.
Junior Remy Abell, a transfer from Indiana that sat out the 2013-14 season per NCAA rules, slipped on a wide open fastbreak late in the second half of his Team Ignition squad's 85-84 loss to AAA Bob Sumerel Tire. He fell hard to the ground, and immediately grabbed his left knee while writhing in pain. He was carried to his team's bench and then helped out of the gym a few minutes later without putting any weight on it.
After an initial evaluation by the training staff, sources inside the program were cautiously optimistic about the severity of the injury early Sunday evening. Abell will undergo an MRI and be further evaluated on Monday.
Before Abell's injury, Xavier fans had plenty to cheer about with a 29-point performance from Myles Davis in the first game of the day and freshmen Edmond Sumner and Trevon Bluiett making an impressive debut in the summer league in the second game while playing together for Deer Park Roofing against the Jackson All-Stars, which features fellow incoming freshmen Larry Austin and Sean O'Mara. Sumner and Bluiett finished second and third on their team in scoring as parts of a balanced attack that dismantled the Jackson All-Stars, 91-68.
Davis, who struggled with his shot on Saturday, went off in his City Taxx team's 71-56 win over Friars Club. He reminded fans of how sweet his shot can be when he's knocking down the long ball, but he also was more aggressive off of the bounce than he's shown in the past and got to the free-throw line for easy points (6-for-8). He scored his 29 points on 10-of-17 shooting from the field including 3-of-7 from three, and added five assists, four boards and three steals. It was an all-around strong day for the sophomore-to-be.
Sumner finished with 18 points on 6-for-9 shooting from the field, including 3-for-4 from 3-point range. He also went 3-for-4 at the free-throw line, and added four rebounds and three assists. The lanky guard showed off his shifty handle and smooth jump shot off of the bounce, while also throwing down a few dunks.
Bluiett scored 14 points while knocking down 7-of-12 shots from the field (0-for-2 3 PT). He added six rebounds, two assists and two blocks. The thick wing was efficient on the offensive end while showing his smooth jumper, but he also impressed with a few crafty finishes when driving the lane. On the defensive end, he showed the willingness to play physical and rebound while guarding O'Mara in the post for most of the game.
Austin and O'Mara's team didn't share the ball quite as well, and as a result they got fewer opportunities on the offensive end through no fault of their own.
O'Mara did a nice job of staying active despite not getting many touches in the post. He finished with 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting from the field and 3-of-6 at the charity stripe. He also had four rebounds. One of his buckets came on a strong drop-step move on the right block, and he also had a two-handed dunk in the second half.
Austin isn't known as a scorer, and even if he were, he wouldn't have had many chances to accumulate points on Sunday. He went 1-for-5 from the field and finished with two points, an assist and a steal. The athletic point guard did live up to his reputation as a strong defender, showing unusual effort on that end for a summer league game, and also made a few nice passes on the drive that teammates didn't finish off. He looked to have a steady handle while playing fast in transition and made sound decisions, committing only one turnover. His one basket was a nice step-back jumper.
In the third game, it was the Jalen Reynolds show. After going for 27 points and 22 rebounds on Saturday, Reynolds followed it up with a 32-point, 12-rebound effort on Sunday. He struggled through a slow start, but, after missing his first several shots, he found his groove. Both days he showed off some special abilities, most notably his freakish athleticism on several incredible dunks, but he also made quick post moves and showed touch on mid-range jumpers and even a few NBA-range 3-pointers. He's a nightmare match-up, especially in a summer league with no help defense, and he plays hard regardless of whether it's a 20-point blowout in Woodward's gym during summer league or the Big East Conference tournament.
Abell came into Sunday averaging 30.5 points per game in the summer league, but before his injury he struggled with his shot. He finished with eight points on 3-of-14 shooting with four rebounds and three assists.
In the final game of the day, J.P. Macura and Makinde London made their summer league debut in an 80-72 win over James Farr's Clovernook Health Care squad. The loss was no fault of Farr's, as the big man finished with 18 points on 8-of-17 shooting and continued his dominance on the glass with 15 boards, while going up against, at least for most of the game, Louisville's Montrezl Harrell. He also had five steals.
London and Macura both showed flashes when they got opportunities, but they played on a team with nine guys and a coach with an over-inflated ego. Macura's time, in particular, was very limited, but he was 3-for-6 from the field with six points and five boards. He missed his only 3-point attempt, but showed off his athleticism when attacking the basket. London was 2-of-5 from the field, all of which came from beyond the 3-point line. He also went 3-for-6 from the free-throw line to finish with nine points, eight rebounds, three blocks and three steals. He looked to be every bit as tall as Farr if not taller, and displayed a very unique handle for a big man to complement his smooth jumper. Clearly a perimeter player on the offensive end right now, London's agility and fluid movements are a rare site for someone with his height.
All of these guys, other than Abell, should be back in action next Saturday. Clovernook (Farr) will play City Taxx (M. Davis, M. Stainbrook) at noon, CincySportsWorld.com (Cincy State) takes on SuperiorCars.com (Macura, London) at 1 pm, Ignition (Reynolds) plays Slats at 2, AAA Bob Sumerel Tire will go up against Deer Park Roofing (Bluiett, Macura) at 3 and Friars Club (T. Stainbrook) plays the Jackson All-Stars (Austin, O'Mara) at 4.