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Day 4 Pro-Am highlights and notebook

We finally made it out to the Scion Dental Milwaukee Pro-Am on Saturday afternoon and were able to quench some of that #mubb thirst that the offseason creates. (It’s not said enough but Jim Ganzer does a fantastic job setting this event up and it’s well worth an hour or two of your time. Check it out next week and if you’re out of state then at least hit up the website to see the official scores and stats.)

The results don’t matter much and the stats should be in size 4 font with a size 76 asterisk so we didn’t focus on that–remember when Junior Cadougan scored 72 points in a game last year?  Instead we were focused on the new players to see if we could glean some wisdom as to how their game may translate to the real thing this fall.

Jajuan Johnson

-It’s no secret that Jajuan Johnson’s shot is unorthodox — you can see it a few times in this high school highlight reel — but seeing it in person it’s even more, maybe not shocking but strange. His elbow juts out from his head at an almost 75 degree angle and the shot starts from his ear/head.

-The mechanics may be funky but the results aren’t. He drained a couple long jumpers in the half that I watched him and unlike Vander Blue’s shot coming from high school, it comes off quickly.

-JJJ got to the rim pretty effortlessly and has a very good feel around the rim. He used his pump fake once to get the defender in the air and used a quick burst to get to the rim. He went up for a monster dunk but was fouled hard and hit in the eye, though he appeared OK. The clip below is from a different play but you can really see his quickness.

-Defensively, JJJ provided his best matador impression, watching cutters go by and generally not sliding his feet to cut off penetration. This setting is not conducive to defense so I won’t pass judgement other than to say JJJ didn’t play any D on Saturday.

This was a decent kickout and one of the few assists of the second half.

-The final observation sums up the spirit of the Pro Am quite well. With about 5 minutes left in a close game, a player on Baird went in for a substitution only no one would come out. 20 seconds of arguing saw the player go back on the bench. A minute later, the exact same thing occurred but this time the player wasn’t about to go back on the bench so he stayed on the floor until they called a timeout. JJJ must have drawn the short straw because he was sent to the bench. Instead of watching the rest of the game, JJJ packed up his stuff and headed home with Mckay and Burton.

Deonte Burton

-Bane is still huge. He’s got more muscle (in relation to mass) than anyone on the team, including Dylan Flood. Carry on.

-Imagine this, only every possession for both teams and you have a good idea of how this game played out. It was as if there were 10 teams out there, a complete every man for himself. Deonte’s team didn’t have any subs and tired out by the second quarter, so they stopped even faking the D and saw a 15-point lead dwindle to 1 at half.

-I’ve seen Burton about six times now in a game setting and his confidence to shoot, whether advised or not, stands out. He likes to chuck, shooting nearly every possession the first five times down the court. It will be nice seeing him in a more organized system under Buzz.

-Burton has made strides on his shot, but I wouldn’t call him a good shooter yet. He’s very streaky, though, so when he does have it going, watch out.

-When Bane does attack the basket it’s quite a sight to see. So much power. So much strength. So much athleticism. The play below gives you a taste of that and shows off his fantastic passing ability.

-Again, it won’t be that easy to penetrate come fall, but as his handle improves along with his decision making, he will put defender in an impossible spot of whether to take him or cut off the passing lane.

-Did I mention there was no D? Like, not even ole D, just a layup line. Consequently I left at the half.

Duane Wilson

–My camera was having issues and stopped working during Wilson and Mckay’s game so I didn’t film past the first two possessions. Both misses. Sorry.

–Mark and I are in agreement that Du Wil is special. His speed both in the open court and driving the lane make him that.

–Duane had one nice possession where he used a Jameel McKay pick and took it in the paint drawing the D then leaving an oop for McKay. Jameel was fouled before the flush, but that’s an element that has been absent the last two years. Two reasons why. 1) When Cadougan used a pick, he either went to the rim himself or kicked out. 2) Otule and Gardner pick but don’t roll. McKay provides a mobile “big” that can flush it from anywhere near the rim. Expect to see this combo running p&r quite often.

-There was a scary play in the first quarter when Duane went in for a powerful dunk over some big dude, literally over. He got his body undercut going up and nearly fell face first. Luckily, the big dude’s body helped contain the fall and a crisis was averted.

-His pretty shot wasn’t going down regularly early on, but that didn’t stop him from shooting. He finished 1-of-6 from 3 and 11-of-22 from the floor on the day.

-I LOVE his approach on defense. Not like, LOVE. He got beat over the top a few times, but he absolutely did not bite on fakes, staying disciplined and on his feet. Smart trait.

-He nearly goes from the 3-point line to the rim without a dribble below. That’s the athleticism we’re talking about.

-He failed to get back on defense often, that wasn’t cool.

Jameel McKay

-Twig man rebounding is as good as advertised. He not only uses his lanky frame to grab anything within four feet of the rim, he’s able to grab the ball without bobbling it. This won’t change with the competition. He’s a natural rebounder.

-His handle seemed loose most of the day when bringing the ball up.

-Mckay was a willing passer early on, assisting on three of the first four buckets. They weren’t jaw dropping plays but they do give us a glimpse into his persona as few players were assist minded.

-Reread that pick and roll segment of Wilson’s recap and get excited. We may have to start a dunk meter for Jameel this season.

-His slender frame will prevent him from playing much 5. He’s a natural four though.

-I didn’t see much range past six feet.

John Dawson

-Dawson’s going to take some work before he sees regular playing time. He’s very timid on the floor and gets lost easily, which is hard to do in this setting.

-His defense also has to improve. He was trying, which is admirable, but laterally was unable to keep up with players and seemed lost faced with picks.

-It’s hard to make many more observations with the limited playing time and role he had.

Other notes


-That happened.

-Juan was feeling it from 3, going 5-of-9. He’s stronger but a Trent Lockett-like role definitely suits him better than playing the 4, where he was getting pushed around.

-There’s no better player to watch in this environment than DeDe. Davante Gardner gets buckets and just doesn’t stop. He went 15-of-17 from the floor on the day.

-More impressively, his post game is already in mid-season form. On three straight possessions at one point he backed down his defender and curled around for a beautiful finish–twice to his right and once to his left.

-Jamil Wilson is the opposite. His stats were great–29 points (11-of-19)–but he sleepwalks through most of the time. I realize he’s at another level than everyone else and it’s only summer, but just once I’d like to see him gun it for a full game. No cruise control. I want a selfish ‘You can’t stop me and you know it’ game. Get mean Jamil, you’re too nice.

–Derrick Wilson does what Derrick Wilson does. What else is new.

–Same with Jake Thomas. Great in this environment, but will it translate?

-Todd Mayo tweaked his ankle on friday (when Dodds says he was great) so he was a no go on Saturday.

–No Chris Otule either.

–Miami’s Trey Mckinney-Jones stole the show in the winding minutes of his team’s loss. He grabbed a rebound and went coast-to-coast before completely embarrassing two defenders by dunking right on top of them. The mostly white crowd stood up and ooohed like it was the And-1 Mix Tape Tour, it was that good. There was a lady with an iPad near me that got it on video. If you’re reading this, I’d love to feature your video if you send it to us.

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3 Comments on “Day 4 Pro-Am highlights and notebook”

  1. Steve Novak
    July 21, 2013 at 6:43 pm #

    JJJ looks good but we are hyping him up too much. The real prizes of this class are Duane and Burton.

  2. Jack
    July 21, 2013 at 6:46 pm #

    Jajuan reminds me a lot of Vander coming into Marquette, except with a 3 point shot and more fluidity going to the rim. I like it.

  3. Dlarge
    July 22, 2013 at 6:35 pm #

    On all these guys too early good or bad …… Premature judgement

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