Kenner Summer League: A look at “the other guys”
The annual Kenner Summer League is an early opportunity to see Georgetown basketball. Today, we check in with some of the team’s lesser known players (except for Jerrelle Benimon, who didn’t play on Saturday).
As the tallest and strongest player in his game on Saturday, Vaughn succeeded around the basket. But, don’t expect Vaughn to play defense for 40 minutes a night—he disappeared for portions of the scrimmage, despite finishing with a line of 14 points, eight rebounds, an assist, and a steal. The following day, he kept up his strong inside game by dominating the boards and finishing with some surprisingly-polished post moves.
Oh, Henry. Although he was a lauded recruit, Sims is still an indecipherable mixed bag. He has the ability to hit mid-range jumpers, has the best length of any Hoya, and seems to have better hands this summer than in seasons past … but, he gives up too much ground while defending his man in the paint.
One sequence from Sunday summed up Sims’s weekend: he blocked a shot, gathered the rebound, turned the ball over on an ill-advised pass, and then he held his ground on a 3-1 break, blocking the shot against the rim. He still needs to work on his post moves, but it was good to see Sims play confidently.
Last March, as Georgetown got torched again and again by Ohio University’s guards, I had one question: Where was Vee Sanford? I thought that Sanford’s quickness could have helped to stop the bleeding—but JTIII only gave him five minutes. So, I was eager to see him shine against watered-down Kenner League competition. Although Sanford committed three turnovers in the opening minutes of his Saturday game, he calmed down and ran the point more effectively, finishing with a line of 9 points, five rebounds, and six assists. (And he threw in four steals and 2 blocks for good measure.)
Sanford pulled himself together on Sunday, scoring 19 points with a handful of gorgeous mid-range, floating jump shots. During a series that featured great guard play, however, Sanford was the Underwhelming Player of the Week. He lacked explosiveness and careful shot selection, while his four turnovers suggest that he’s too liable to be exposed by defensive pressure. Considering the team’s absurdly talented backcourt, let’s just hope that he finds a place in JTIII’s scheme.
The Freshman (Moses Abraham, Nate Lubick, Aaron Bowen, and Markel Starks)
I have to admit, I was excited to see the Class of 2014 recruits. (Plus, it helped that they played with former Hoya Jeff Green.)
Abraham is no twig-thin freshman—he’s a man. With only two points on Saturday, it’s clear that his offensive game lacks refinement, but Abraham still has the athletic ability to get to the ball. He’ll need to improve his hand work, but Abraham’s skills were on display Sunday; he played agressively in the paint and used his size to alter shots. Georgetown’s needed an aggressive big man for some time now; with a little work, I think JTIII found him in Abraham.
Lubick—another big, strong player—finished with two points, a rebound, and an assist on Saturday. Unfortunately, his double-clutch jump shot may have been the worst thing on the court last weekend. (Bad enough that a poster on HoyaTalk compared it to “slapping God across the face.”) Sorry Nate, but that makes you the Ugliest Shot of the Week. Lubick should improve, though; he has fantastic footwork and great rebounding form. (When he gets his elbows out, defenders may have to sacrifice the structural integrity of their skulls to get the ball.)
Bowen and Starks both performed well-enough that I’m optimistic about the future of Georgetown’s back-court. Bowen reminds me of Hollis Thompson with a bit less height and length, but an incredible jump shot. The six-foot, five-inch guard turned in a respectable line of 11 points, four rebounds, and one assist on Saturday, which was enough to earn him the title of Most Consistent Hoya of the Week.
Starks finished on Saturday with a line of seven points, two assists, and three steals, but played a game that went well-beyond the box score. He is thin, but muscular, and his ball handling skills are elite—he seemed unaffected by defensive pressure all weekend. On Sunday, he dropped off a bit due to free throw troubles, but still made some quick, explosive cuts under the rim. Jonathan Wallace held it once, now Chris Wright does, but eventually Starks will bear the point guard torch for Georgetown.