I’m coming away from the 2010 Nike Hoop Summit with one thought: I need tape.
I need to know how the USA Junior National Select Team pulled out a 101-97 win over the World Select Team.
How did they survive a third quarter flurry where they were outscored 33-12? How did they out-block the World Select Team 9-3, despite a major size disadvantage? How did they allow Enes Kanter (Kentucky) to rack up 34 points and 13 rebounds and still come away with the W?
All told, this showcase lived up to its billing. Team USA was able to force tempo when it needed to to overcome mismatches in the front court, and in the, retained the Nike Hoop Summit title.
It’s late now, so no messing around. Here’s my final thoughts on the 2010 Nike Hoop Summit:
- Until Kanter takes the court in a Kentucky uniform, I think there will continue to be concerns and rumors about his eligibility. There’s varying details from one rumor to the next, but the main concern is whether Kanter was paid to play professional basketball in Turkey. It’s a wait-and-see matter for now, but in the meantime, NBA scouts and college basketball pundits will have plenty of time to dish on this kid. He’s going to be a force in the college game and pros.
- This may have been Kanter’s coming out party on American soil, but Jared Sullinger (Ohio State) had a nice game of his own. His line: 22 points (10 for 14), eight rebounds, two steals and one block in almost 29 minutes. He defended Kanter better than any of his teammates and came up big in fourth quarter with 11 points. Sullinger is listed at 6-9 and 260 pounds. He’ll spend the summer trying to trim some weight, but he’s surprisingly agile for a bigger player. His game reminds me of DeJuan Blair. Kanter took questions after the game. (Note: I’d provide captions, but I couldn’t understand him, either.)
- Harrison Barnes (North Carolina) is the most complete player in his class. He finished with 27 points and seven rebounds. He settled for the jumper — he was 4 of 8 on three-pointers — but only because the World Select Team clogged the lane with their 2-3 zone. ESPN analyst Chad Ford likened him to Kobe Bryant without the killer instinct. Interesting.
- Although Brandon Knight is slated to announce where he’s going to college on Wednesday, the No. 1 player according to Rival.com isn’t dropping any hints. He finished with just five points, four assists, three rebounds and one steal and spent most of the night at shooting guard:
- The same goes for Terrence Jones, who admitted he’s in no hurry to end the recruitment process. The Portland-native put on a show for the hometown crowd, finishing with 15 points and four rebounds. Here’s Jones on playing before familiar faces and where he’s at in the recruitment process:
- Don’t know much about Nikola Mirotic of Montenegro, but at 6-10, 226 pounds, he put the ball on the deck several times and show great interior moves. He finished with 14 points and seven rebounds, but made only 6 of 13. He could be an interesting NBA prospect in a few years.
- Cory Joseph has earned the reputation as the best defender in his class. However, he was ho-hum against Team USA’s elite backcourt. He went without a steal, and several times, looked overmatched by Kyrie Irving (Duke). Irving finished with 15 points and five assists.
- Duje Dukan (Wisconin) and Will Barton (Memphis) each hung a donut on the night. That’s surprising, considering each is a highly touted scorer. Don’t look too deeply into it, though. Each player saw about 13 minutes of play and this game — unlike the McDonald’s All-American Game — is less about highlight reels and more how you can play into a system and defend.
- I came in to this game high on Patric Young (Florida), but left wondering if I was high on something else. In 22 minutes, he posted four points, three rebounds and two blocked shots. He’s too passive for being such a physical specimen. Billy Donovan’s got a project down in Gainesville.
- Tristan Thompson (Texas) is my favorite big man, besides Kanter. At 6-9 and 233 pounds with a 7-2 wingspan, he’ll be a rangy power forward for the Longhorns. He finished 5 of 6 for 14 points. He flashes along the baseline so well for a big, but he’s also got the power game in the post. After the game, a local reporter likened his game to LaMarcus Aldridge. Not totally unwarranted at this point.
The 2010 Nike Hoop Summit is a wrap. I conclude by saying thanks to everyone who visited my blog, followed me on Twitter and viewed my clips on YouTube. I’m just a freelance blogger, hardly a scout or an analyst. Hopefully some of what I reported gave you that basketball fix we all need soon after the college basketball season ends.