Welcome back! T’was a really fun night of Summer league basketball. Those things tend to happen when the life of the party (me) shows up to do some reporting. Anyway, there were a lot of guys missing tonight but that didn’t stop me from having A LOT to say:
-Kavon Stewart made his summer league debut tonight and he was a lot of fun + tried to do new things. That’s what can make summer league fun to watch. You could tell Kavon wasn’t moving all too well and admitted afterwards his knee was still bothering him. Also, he had a pretty nasty cut on his hand from Lucky Jones in a pickup game.
Kavon took four jump shots in the game and only one of them came kinda close to going in. He tried stepping into two three’s at the top of the key, airballing one and bricking the other. He took a corner three, which wasn’t a bad looking shot, and took a midrange jumper off a crossover which also caught all of the back iron.
Kavon said afterward he’s focusing a lot on repetition, especially with the consistency of his hands and elbows. He said sometimes his arms will be where they want to be and it feels good but then the next shot it will be something completely different. Bottom line is this: even if it doesn’t always look pretty, him having a shot that is comfortable and gives him a chance at success is what’s most important. For example, how in the name of all the basketball gods did Michael Kidd-Gilchrist get into the NBA with a shot like this? But you know what… it works for him. Same with Kavon. Just get comfortable and consistent. In my opinion, he could also work on his timing a little. His high jump creates for timing issues (much like Anthony Myers-Pate) and too often the shot will be released just a split-second late.
Besides that Kavon looked like Kavon. He used his left very effectively but went to his right a ton in the second half and was looking to create rather than finish. He had some nifty passes and was a pest defensively. I’m just going to throw this out there now and tell you Kavon Stewart will win an NEC defensive player of the year award before he graduates. He is ANNOYING defensively. His hands are so quick and he has a pretty wide frame for a point guard.
-Game two featured Lionel Gomes, Jafar Kinsey, Andre Frederick, and Karvel Anderson. Kinsey, a point guard, started off shooting the ball really well stepping into a three off the pick and roll and hit a few corner threes. He clearly has a better shot than I think anyone really imagined. I will continue to say that he understands how to read the defense off the pick and roll really well, knowing when to attack, create, take a jump shot, and most importantly peel back and start over. He looked really, really good again.
-Lionel Gomes also impressed me. Gomes is a big man who sometimes just wants to brawl underneath the basket. He also uses his body really well on rebounding and can rebound out of his position. The only thing he’ll struggle with is adjusting to the size of the game. Gomes is big but definitely has the frame to add on and can sometimes get stuck to his man when trying to rebound.
Offensively he was pleasant to watch. Gomes always seems to have a plan when he has the ball. I hate to pick on Aaron Tate (mostly out of a fear that he’ll kill me) but Tate touches the ball and freezes. Gomes gets the ball and can square up and shoot a mid-range jumper or can work with his back to the basket. He definitely has some body control issues, but there’s more to like than dislike.
-Andre Frederick gave everyone a scare when he appeared to tweak his knee (on which he wears a brace for) and stayed down before limping off. To be honest, I still have no feel for Frederick’s game. He took a few mid-range jumpers that looked nice but I can’t give you much more than that.
-Lucky Jones and Marquice Reed also played tonight but I did not watch any of their games. Lucky apparently put on a show early and Reed continues to get after it defensively. I will maintain the thought that the starting two guard position is more up in the air than people think.
-Hat tip to Andrew Chiappazzi who pretty much decked Pitt’s Cameron Wright a la Ray Lewis vs. Dustin Keller when Wright came Chiappazzi’s way. The legend grows…
-Kavon Stewart did some pretty serious trash talking that definitely lead to some angry opponents by games end. I always enjoy a good trash talker.
-There were some kids out there who I am convinced are not better than me. Someone put in a word to get me a jersey.
-Karvel Anderson went all Karvel Anderson in the last game with his team down seven and two minutes left, scoring something like 13 of the last 15 points. The ending was also incredibly spectacular, where he hit came down the court and hit a deep three with a hand in his face. After missing the front end of a one-and-one (YGTMYFT!!!), he came down and did the exact same thing which really riled up the crowd. Then, with ten seconds left, Karvel let the ball roll up-court where he picked it up, took a few dribbles, spun out of what appeared to be a foul attempt and drained another three to tie the game. It was incredible. His team actually went on to lose off a buzzer-beating put back.
Which brings me to my last point, and this will probably be the last time I make it: I still have no idea how Karvel Anderson didn’t even get a summer league invite. No calls. Nothing. Although I could be wrong, I’d be willing to bet most mid-major conference players of the year at least got summer league invites. Hell, even Sacred Heart’s Shane Gibson got one last year! I know there is the position change and the height, but when you can shoot the ball like that… It just doesn’t make sense to me. It never will. There are other things I love about his game, but I’ll stop there.
Hope I didn’t rile you all up too much there. Sometimes you just have to stand for something.
Until next time.