If one thing is clear from this past weekend, it’s that these are more than just pick-up games. Players are getting after it, and many of the games were close late into the fourth quarter. As expected, Marquette players stole the show. Here’s a look at how the Golden Eagles performed this weekend. As always, don’t read too much into the goods or the bads.
Marquette player of the weekend: Freshman Steve Taylor has lofty expectations coming from Simeon, and he certainly looked the part this past weekend. He’s all of 6-foot-8, and showed plenty of confidence attacking Davante Gardner and Jamil Wilson in the paint. He scored in from just about everywhere on the court, and really elevates when he rebounds. His outside shot is a bit flat, but he made around five (NBA) 3-pointers and worked well with Junior Cadougan.
Marquette play of the weekend: Junior Vander Blue has never lacked athleticism, and it certainly showed Friday night. He was on the receiving end of an alley-oop from Geo Riley and slammed it home with one hand. Davante Gardner’s coast-to-coast two-handed slam was a close second (No. 2 in the link), but Blue’s dunk was too impressive to keep out of the top spot this weekend.
Top 10 plays of the weekend, from Midwest Ballers.
Marquette match-up of the weekend: Junior Cadougan and Blue went head-to-head Friday night, and it lived up to the hype. Cadougan was outstanding, going for 18 points and 18 assists, and Blue matched him with 28 points and six rebounds. There was a good five or six-possession span where the two went back and forth trading buckets. Cadougan, the back-to-back Pro-Am MVP, was the most aggressive and competitive player last weekend, and helped his Scion Dental team to a 92-82 win over Blue.
Steve Taylor: A pleasant surprise this weekend, scoring from every spot on the floor and not backing down to fellow teammates Davante Gardner and Jamil Wilson. His outside range was a nice addition as well. Whether he uses it or not in the regular season is something else, but (very) early signs point to Taylor being a contributor.
Junior Cadougan: This is clearly Cadougan’s setting. With every other possession being a fast break, Cadougan blew by the competition on his way to 30+ combined assists in two games. The form on his outside shot has always been solid, and he hit multiple 3-pointers on the weekend.
Vander Blue: It’s hard to underestimate how impressive Blue’s dunk was in person, but it was just one play from an otherwise very impressive weekend. Blue is his same speedy self, knocked down a few outside jumpers and was impressive defensively against Junior Cadougan on Friday night.
Derrick Wilson: The sophomore didn’t show anything new from last year, but he continues to be a fullback when he drives into the paint, and was a lock down defender in both games. He missed badly on a few outside jumpers.
Jake Thomas: Thomas missed his first four perimeter shots Friday night, and then unloaded on back-to-back 30-footers. He didn’t do much else that night, but does seem to have bulked up a bit since Marquette Madness, the last time he suited up publicly.
Garrett Swanson: Marquette’s newest walk-on has an impressive mid-range game, but seemed slow defensively and didn’t play stellar defense. Still, he has good size and should be a nice practice body to have this year.
Jamil Wilson: It’s going to be fun watching Lockett and Wilson play together. In one sequence Friday night, Wilson blocked a shot off the backboard and threw a full court pass to Lockett for a dunk (No. 8 in the highlights). Wilson was his usual impressive self, scoring 22 points and grabbing 13 rebounds Friday night, and his competitive edge kicked in Saturday afternoon when he went shot-for-shot with with another player on Scion Dental.
Trent Lockett: The Arizona State transfer has an NBA body, and he seemed to be more comfortable playing inside than shooting from the perimeter. He did make a few uncontested outside shots, but his best ability this weekend was getting to the basket.
Davante Gardner: Fade-aways, 3-pointers and fast break dunks. Not really the scouting report on the 280-pound Gardner, but that’s what he did this weekend. He didn’t get much elevation (less than usual), which may be the cause of his rehabilitating knee injury, but overall it was an impressive weekend from the big man.
Jamal Ferguson: The Virginia native was quiet this weekend, but he has good size and showed a fluid jump shot and great athleticism. He’s playing with Davante Gardner and Vander Blue, so he’s always the third option in a free-flowing atmosphere.
Chris Otule: Still recovering from knee surgery, Otule will not participate in the Pro-Am. He was not at the event this weekend.
Juan Anderson: Still recovering from shoulder surgery, Anderson will not participate in the Pro-Am. He did say his rehabilitation is ahead of schedule and he hopes to be doing on-court work by September.
T.J. Taylor: Marquette’s 2012 junior college transfer missed this weekend with a shoulder injury, but he was not at the event, either.
Todd Mayo: Per Instagram photos from his own account, Mayo is currently in South Africa. No other update on his current suspension.