April 17, 2014 Louisville, KY
Here are some of my observations of the Day 1 practices for the Kentucky Derby Festival Basketball Classic.
Keita Bates-Diop F 67/210 Ohio State
Diop is one of the best players in the Derby Basketball classic. He will play immediately coming into Ohio State next year as a freshman. The kid has a sweet stroke. His shot kinds of remind me of a right-handed James Young. In practice during warm ups, drills and the real scrimmage he didnt miss many shots. He can definitely shoot, and has a mid-range game too. This dude was impressive. He can play the 2 or 3 spot, and he has pro potential from what I witness in practice. Slender frame, with a nice handle. Will just need to get stronger, but that will come as his body matures. Ohio State is getting a nice one. Bates-Diop and DeAngelo Russell should play well together for the Buckeyes next season.
Leron Black F 67/215 Illinois
Black was in practice having the most fun. He was playing around with the players smiling the whole time. He made the practice fun for the White team and look like he was just enjoying the experience. He definitely has a college body. I will need to watch him more over the next two days to see what his game is like. He had fun though.
Trevon Bluiett G 65/185 Xavier
This guy is a basketball player. If you come to the game Friday Bluiett will stand out as a great player. Trevon has a pro ready game. Nice shot, strong and can get into the lane. Before the scrimmage started he and Jaquan Lyle were having fun playing horse. I think Lyle won this match because he was hitting everything he threw up. Bluiett was able to show his talents during the scrimmage. Awesome talent Xavier has a nice one.
Chris Chiozza G 510/155 Florida
Will need to see more of him to see what type of game he has. He looked cool during the drills.
Bonzie Colson F 65/210 Notre Dame
Colson looks like a Notre Dame type of talent. Just a basketball player, not super athletic, but can handle the ball well, with range on his shot.
Brandone Francis G 64/205 Florida
Brandone played on the world team so hes an exceptional talent. Nice size guard. I dont recall much from the practice though. Looks like he will be a great addition to the Gators next season.
Jaylen Johnson F 69/215 Louisville
Spoke with Jaylens mom at the practice and she told me Jaylen will only be 17 at the start of next season. He looks like a kid on the court. Jaylen has potential though. He took the practices very serious. Work hard during all the drills. As he continues to get stronger, I can see him being a good player for Louisville due to his length. Jaylen wasnt afraid to get to the hole and likes to step out and shoot. He was all business and eager to learn.
Chinanu Onuaku C 610/232 Louisville
Big guy with potential. Onuaku was agile during the practice to be a big guy. Onuaku was taking a lot of shots from the perimeter. He made some, but thats not his game. He runs the floor well for a big man. Would like to see more of his post game.
Devin Robinson F 68/200 Florida
Florida is getting another athletic wing. Robinson was having fun during the practice session. He handled the ball well for his length. He likes to shoot the 3 too.
Quentin Snider G 61/170 Louisville
The future Louisville legend. Whats not to like about a guard that loves dropping dimes and can shoot. During warm ups I witness Q hit 8 shots from the 3 in a row. At one point he was turning his jersey inside out and threw up another shot with one hand from deep that went in. Quentin is every bit of 61 and you could tell hes been in the gym bulking up for the Cards next year. I love his energy on the court. He attacks the lane with purpose. Cards fans get ready to say great pass often with Q, because he will get the ball to the open man quickly. He came down the lane during scrimmage and threw a runner loop to a teammate for the slam that was beautiful to watch. As long as he stays focus and works hard to get better on the defensive end, he has the potential to go down as one of the greats to ever come through Louisville.
Jonah Bolden G 68/190 UCLA
Nice game from what I saw, so I will keep my eye on him. He has a nice finesse type of game with a good jumpshot.
Isaac Copeland F 68/200 Georgetown
Georgetown is getting a good player in Copeland. Hes the most athletic player in the Derby Basketball Classic. Plays smart basketball will try to dunk everything once hes at the rim. He attacks the rim rather he has the ball or not and tried to dunk or catch everything off the rim to dunk. For him to be a slender build he dunks with authority too. Hes not just a dunker . Copeland had a nice George Gervin finger roll type of play and he shoots the ball well too. Hes my favorite to win the Dunk Contest at the Night of the Future stars.
Max Hoetzel G 67/205 Indiana
DNP – Did not Practice.
Robert Johnson G 63/170 Indiana
Robert Johnson is a smart guard that play good defense and make good decisions on the court. Hes a competitor. Great mechanics on his jump shot, just need to work on a quicker release to get it over taller defenders. Johnson showed a great first step along with nice cross over to get his shot free. Nice pick up for Tom Crean.
JaQaun Lyle G 64/210 Oregon
Big guard. JaQaun Lyle definitely showed he has the skills to compete at this level. Has a good jump shot, plus hes a tall guard so he can see over smaller defenders. Oregon will need to help with his conditioning, but once Lyle decides to dedicate himself in that area he has the potential to be one of the best freshman in college basketball.
Dwayne Morgan F 67/195 UNLV
Two words describes Morgans play at the practice yesterday: GREAT MOTOR. This will keep Morgan on the court. He plays hard at all time. He didnt shoot the ball particularly well during practice, but a coach can live with miss shots when you can bring the type of energy Dwayne comes with.
Jared Nickens F 66/170 Maryland
DNP – DID NOT PRACTICE
Goodluck Okonoboh C 69/210 UNLV
DNP – DID NOT PRACTICE
Romelo Trimble G 63/185 Maryland
Nice jump shot, need to watch more, very good first step. Hes a basketball player with high basketball IQ. Trimble had a few good passes during practice, and hes not afraid to attack the lane. Dont leave him open because he will light the perimeter up,
Dion Wiley G 64/195 Maryland
Dion Wiley played great defense during practice and likes to hang around the perimeter, He’s a shooter.