The men’s basketball team played a scrimmage at Red Storm Tip-Off.
Of course it didn’t involve defense (a number of players backed off of obvious shot blocking opportunities, thankfully - don’t want to see anyone get hurt!) and Chris Mullin spoke to one side of the squad once with instructions (like “stop trying crazy s**t”).
And of course there were some loose plays that wouldn’t fly in a competitive pick-up game, passes that were silly, failed alley opp and dunk attempts.
So while it’s nice to see Tariq Owens get up and dunk and nice to see Bryan Trimble Jr. on the floor, so much of this team’s continued success won’t be whether these guys can dunk against non-existent defense.
This year’s success (at least to an NIT-level/ winning season level) will be about their ability to get some defensive stops when needed and the team’s ability to start off hot and maintain offensive flow when the defenses get tough (or the shots from Bashir Ahmed/ Shamorie Ponds/ Marcus LoVett are not falling).
But we saw a few things that we found intriguing:
Shamorie Ponds with the Hoodie Melo look
If you don’t know, - Carmelo Anthony, the former Knick and three-time Olympic Gold Medalist, was pictured practicing in a hoodie this summer and was next-level incredible on the court.
Shamorie Ponds participated in some of the pickup games with Anthony and other top-level NBA players. Which is a nod to the guard’s talent that he could hang with some of the world’s most talented basketball players in their prime.
It’s funny, but perhaps it’s a nod to the focus that Ponds has for his second year.
Or that he’s going to take really ridiculous shots for fun.
Justin Simon has bounce
Simon also had a follow-dunk after a long miss that showed off some easy athleticism.
Marvin Clark looked pretty smooth
Clark showed off his range from the perimeter and his ability to get up for the dunk.
Sedee Keita likes to take threes when he’s on the court, despite being 240 pounds. intriguing if he can make them at a better clip than Amar Alibegovic, but the most intriguing part of Keita is if he can bring defensive size and toughness to the post for the Johnnies.
Kassoum Yakwe can get up in open court and finish. Yakwe has always been a player who could thrive on a good open court team - if he has the hands. We commented at length on his game in the podcast.
Mikey Dixon was solidly smooth, but it is hard to get a handle on how well he will get those shots off in game action in the Big East.
What did you see that you thought was intriguing?