The simple fact of the matter is that, unless there is a recruit that is coming to your university involved, there is pretty much no reason to tune in to this game. Even when there is ( Kyrie Irving for Duke/ Kendall Marshall, Reggie Bullock and Harrison Barnes for UNC) it’s still pretty excrutiating to watch what essentially is a YMCA full court pick up game with a several guys who will shortly be making an assload of money in the NBA and a whole bunch of guys who think they will. Pretty much all one can garner from this event is who will make an immediate impact and who will likely be more of a project than expected. For instance, it was pretty evident in last year’s game that Demarcus Cousins was ready for prime time while Ryan Kelly was probably not going to see many minutes, in their respective freshman years. So here are my impressions along with a couple of interesting side notes.
- An unprecedented number of players (7) entered in to this contest undecided as to their matriculation destination. Why? Easy. Of those 7, 5 have Kentucky on their short lists. Mssrs. Cousins, Bledsoe, Wall and Orton, we’re waiting…
- Kyrie Irving, Jared Sullinger (OSU), Harrison Barnes, Brandon Knight (Un), CJ Leslie (Un) and Fab Melo (Syr) are all potential one-and-done-ers on the level of talent (or, in Melo’s case, talent and size).
- For everyone who was wondering, this strategic tete-a-tete proved time and time again that virtually all of these guys can run fast, jump high, and dunk the ball when no one is standing in front of them.
- Patric Young is a man. A strong, intense, scary man with some serious guns. Florida fans will enjoy that guy. No one else will, though.
- Kendall Marshall will not take Larry Drew’s job. Not gonna happen. There’s nothing remarkable enough about Marshall’s game to make me think he’s taking over from a junior, even one as turnover prone as Drew (who did finish 2nd in the ACC in assists, BTW)
- CJ Leslie was the best athlete on the court. Too bad State couldn’t hold onto him. Oh, and his favorite book is “Night” by Elie Wiesel. How ‘bout them apples?
- Josh Smith (UCLA) looks like he ate Sean May. But when he gets in shape, he will be scary, as his footwork is remarkably good for a man his size.
That’s really about it. No real surprises. Kyrie is really good and will make a huge impact. He’s quick, shifty, plays solid D and can shoot. The J-Will comparisons sort of end at “exceptionally good point guard from New Jersey”. Jayson was incredibly strong and was just explosive to the rim. Kyrie is slighter, quicker, and looks to be a better passing PG than Jason. Jason would go through you and score, Kyrie will go around you and might dish it. Barnes was probably the smoothest player on the floor. It just doesn’t appear that he ever struggles or over-efforts to execute anything, be it a dunk, a fall away while getting fouled , or a 3-ball. He alone will immediately make UNC a Sweet Sixteen team again. (dammit!)