Coming into the 17th annual Nike Hoops Summit game, the big question was whether Team USA would make up for its past two poor performances against the World team. Thanks to a second half surge, Team USA was able to come away with a much needed 84-73 victory. While there were a few bright spots, the game was rather underwhelming, as there was a lot of sloppy play and a large volume of whistled fouls. The two teams combined for 37 (!!!) turnovers, attempted a combined 48 free throws, and did not shoot the ball well, especially from behind the arc. Nevertheless, a few players showed why they are projected to have future success.
-Duke recruits impress:
Duke signees Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones, and Justise Winslow scored 43 of Team USA’s 84 total points. Okafor did not impact the game much in the first half due to constant double teams and the zone defense that the World team employed. In the second half, however, Okafor was able to take advantage of one on one match-ups in the post in which he left his defender at the mercy of his highly refined post game. While operating in the post, Okafor put on display his soft hands, deft footwork, and ability to pin his defender with his strong frame. Jones, a 6′ 1” point guard from Minnesota, displayed his ability to run a team by dishing out 6 assists. While he looked for his teammates, Jones was able to find a way to get into the paint and hit runners. Winslow was arguably the MVP of this game. His scoring and hustle plays kept team USA within striking distance for much of the game. Winslow’s defensive abilities and versatility will be his calling cards going forward.
-Emmanuel Mudiay shows promise and weaknesses:
En route to his game-high 20 points, Mudiay was able to get to the rim at will. He also added 3 steals to his stat line. Given his physical profile and athleticism, many are excited by Mudiay’s potential. Others, such as Kevin Pelton of ESPNInsider, think that Mudiay will be “polarizing.”
Emmanuel Mudiay is going to be a polarizing prospect. Some teams will love him.
— Kevin Pelton (@kpelton) April 13, 2014
It is not hard to see why opinions of Mudiay may fluctuate because, on one hand, he fits the bill of the “New-Age” point guard who is physically talented and look to get to the rim often, but doesn’t involve his teammates as much as he looks for his own shot. Mudiay has a tendency to turn the ball over quite a bit (5 TO’s in this game), doesn’t possess a respectable jumper, and does not run his team as proficiently as some would like. For those reasons, Larry Brown is just what the doctor ordered for the young point guard. Once Mudiay smooths out those edges, he will be nothing short of a perennial all-star at the NBA level.
-Talented but raw international prospects:
In his most recent mock draft, Chad Ford has Clint Capela being picked 11th. Capela had a less than stellar showing, as he was limited to 13 minutes because of foul trouble. While he was in the game, Capela showed how raw he was on the offensive end and did not do much to deter Okafor from scoring. Capela must become stronger to be able to defend low post players. Damien Ingles, an 18-year-old wing who plays professionally in France, has a very mature frame (6’8″, 240 lbs, 7’3″ wingspan), but still has a way to go before he is ready to make an impact at the next level. He does have good court vision and can be a very good defender down the road, but Ingles will need to improve his jump shot as well as his ball handling. The 16-year-old Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk is a good shooter and crafty player who will garner NBA interest in due time, but he has to develop physically to the level where he can be a contributor against highly athletic opponents.