If you can, get out to Greenfield High School for a night of this event. The level of competition is extremely high, and the quality is at the same level. I could only make it on Friday, but was thoroughly entertained.
NOTE: Wesley Matthews will make his debut next Saturday. League coordinator Jim Ganzer said he was told by Matthews that he would miss the first five games of the summer.
Marquette player of the weekend: Jamil Wilson didn’t have Trent Lockett to play with this weekend, so he clearly was the best player on the court during his game. If he wanted to, Wilson probably could have scored, or at least gotten a good shot off, every possession. He didn’t do that, though, but still put on a good show. While the gym was empty for his game (everyone was watching Vander Blue in the other gym), Wilson was efficient whenever he did get the ball, and decide to shoot.
Marquette play of the weekend: From what I saw, it goes to Jake Thomas. While Thomas is primarily a shooter, he showed off a bit of his athleticism on Friday night with an impressive put-back dunk. Thomas put on a show the first week by shooting from anywhere on the court, and he surprised everyone with his hops on Friday night.
Marquette match-up of the weekend: I was only there for Friday night, and no Marquette players played against each other unfortunately. But, the best match-up of the night was between Junior Cadougan and Princeton’s TJ Bray. Bray is 6-foot-5 and a very good defender, so he gave Cadougan problems. Cadougan was given space to shoot, so he went at Bray a lot, which didn’t work out for him too much, especially late in the game. With his team down two points with about 7 seconds left, Cadougan drove at Bray, created a lot of contact and failed to score.
Steve Taylor: He is comfortable all over the floor. Taylor took a few threes that he shot with confidence, and also displayed the ability to post-up down low, and also face his defender. He also went against Arrowhead graduate, 7-footer Ben Mills. I doubt he has been defended by a 7-footer too often, so it was a unique match-up that he did pretty well with.
Junior Cadougan: As mentioned above, Cadougan struggled at times being defended by the taller Bray, but still, he looked very confident on the break (as expected). He was also given a lot of room to shoot by his defenders, and he wasn’t too hot from beyond the arc. Still, Cadougan is probably the most entertaining player to watch in the tournament (unless Wesley Matthews is playing).
Vander Blue: I really liked watching Vander play because he was given a lot of freedom offensively. He is the main playmaker on his team, so he controls the ball a lot on offense, and it’s just interesting to watch. His athleticism also means Blue is going to impress you with his athleticism alone throughout the game, and he did. Offensively, he’s still developing, though, and that is where his main focus is (as is everyone else’s) during this Pro-Am.
Derrick Wilson: Wilson is playing with confidence that was not on display last season. He is driving to the basket, getting in the lane, and making things happen. Wilson is also taking shots that he probably is not allowed to take by Buzz Williams. Oh, and defensively, he was a monster (but that we already know). When Wilson guarded anyone, they struggled.
Jake Thomas: I was hoping for another performance like the first set of games, but I got a different one from Thomas. He played a lot of point guard (even though he’s on Derrick Wilson’s team), and controlled the offense more than I thought he would. Still, he can shoot from anywhere, and is always a nice watch.
Garrett Swanson: A solid player, Swanson’s best offensive weapon is his mid-range jumper. Otherwise, he’s not going to dominate down low, or even post-up really. For his size, though, he has a confident and effective jumper.
Jamil Wilson: As I mentioned, Wilson was the best player on the court during his game. He shot when he got the ball, and had some very impressive baskets both on the perimeter and down low. So, pretty much, the usual.
Trent Lockett: Lockett has a sprained ankle, and didn’t play. He’ll be fine, so don’t worry.
Davante Gardner: Davante did not play on Friday because he overslept and couldn’t get a ride. You can’t make that up.
Jamal Ferguson: The first time I have seen Ferguson play I came away intrigued. Clearly very athletic, Ferguson was much more comfortable with his jumper than I thought he’d be. He will be a great defender for Marquette eventually, and is very similar to his Pro-Am teammate Vander Blue, but he’s not as developed.
Chris Otule: Chris was there on Friday, and he told me his knee is doing well, and he could have played in the Pro-Am if he really wanted to. Good thing he didn’t.
Juan Anderson: Last week’s recap has all the information on Juan. He was there watching on Friday.
TJ Taylor: He has an injured shoulder, and wasn’t there.
Todd Mayo: Some crack research by Mark Strotman put Mayo in South Africa last week, according to his Instagram. I have nothing else to add to that.