Saturday, July 5, 2014 marked the first day of the annual Kenner League for the Georgetown Hoyas. Over the last 20 years, it has provided the Hoyas, whether it be returnees, or incoming recruits, an opportunity to take the floor months prior to the college basketball season. The 2014 edition hopes to bring a refined sense of promise for a program that went through an unusually troubled time last season.
Here are my observations from the first day in Washington, D.C.:
It was a rough start for Campbell on Saturday in the first half. But in the second half, he started to pick up the pace. Campbell was shooting the right shots throughout the entire game, but nothing was falling for him early on. Still, he managed to play through it, and one thing that I noticed is that he has gotten bigger in regards to muscle mass. This was something of a priority for him following his high school years, and it appears he has made good on it.
Campbell finished the game with seven points, two assists, four rebounds and two steals. He did a very good job on the defensive end, thwarting out several fast break opportunities. Elsewhere, on the offensive end, he did not turn the ball over too much and played well with and without the ball.
A teammate of Campbell's, Paul White also found himself struggling out of the gates on the first day of the Kenner League. And much like his fellow Hoya, White finished strongly with a spirited effort in the second half of play. He does not do anything flashy, but he had the type of the game that Georgetown fans should get used to seeing while he is in uniform. White has a good form and can attack the basket really well, and connected on a few mid-range jumpers as well. White finished the game with 10 points, four rebounds, one steal and one assist, mostly at the small and power forward positions.
If there was one player I came away impressed with from start to finish, it was Isaac Copeland. Copeland's ability to drive the ball is matched by his smooth jumper and he really had it working for him on Saturday. One thing that I really like is that he was always in the paint, crashing the boards and boxing his adversaries out. Copeland finished the game with 10 points, five rebounds, and three assists, showing off some of his strong passing abilities. This could be the start of something, as I would not be surprised if we saw him in the starting lineup for this upcoming season.
While L.J. Peak played "okay" today, he did live up to the expectations set by scouts beforehand. Why was this? Peak consistently drove to the basket and attempted quite a few dunks. In fact, I'm not relatively sure he took many jump shots on Saturday afternoon. Peak has terrific athleticism and can run the floor really well. There were times that he did get blocked, but by continuously attacking, it showed me that his confidence runs high while playing. L.J. finished the afternoon with a 12-point performance.
Trey Mourning played well today and showed that he has a very good feel for the game. While he only scored six points, the Miami, Florida native played well defensively. His offensive game is decent enough, but I see him more of a player that can stay down on the block and do the dirty work on both sides of the ball. We will see how the coaching staff uses him this season, because the son of the great Alonzo Mourning certainly has some potential.
Throughout the game, Reggie Cameron was knocking down shots from everywhere on the court. Whether driving to the basket, or shooting a cool mid-range jumper Cameron was excellent on the first day as he finished with a startling 24-point performance. While I wanted to see him move more on the defensive side of the ball, he still looked reasonable enough to not make that big of a blemish.
David Allen, a walk-on, played a strong game from where he was for the entirety of it - the perimeter. Showing that he was more of a shooting specialist than anything, Allen finished the game with 13 points, including the game winning free throws. This is a player that, I think, could land himself some decent minutes this coming season if he continues his terrific shooting ways.
Jabril Trawick was danerously good on Saturday afternoon, hitting shots from the inside, outside, the mid-range area, and at the cup. His outside shooting was what caught my eye the most, which could be a strong addition to his arsenal assuming this was not a flash in the pan. Throughout the game, he was being very aggressive, and it was looking like nobody on the opposing team could stop him. In every area of the game, he made an impact. Defensively, he was putting pressure on other guards and forwards. Trawick finished the game with 21 points and three assists, and it looked like much more than that.
Mikael Hopkins had a decent showing on Saturday afternoon. While he did not do anything surprising, he did showcase a sign of efficiency, finishing the game with 21 points. A lot of those points for Hopkins came from inside the paint and from the free throw line, as the as the 6-foot-9 forward dominated the glass, grabbing 14 rebounds as well.
Finally, D`Vauntes Smith-Rivera was doing what he usually does, and that's fill up the stat sheet. Smith-Rivera finished the game with 30 points and six rebounds, and was aggressive in getting to the free throw line 12 times. Smith-RIvera also played really good defense today, and will be starting at point guard without question unless something major happens.