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July 3, 2012 at 11:35 AM

NSCC Summer League recap and links

Late night and busy morning so apologies for the delay in writing a report from Monday’s games at the North Seattle Community College Summer League.
It’s important to note that for the Washington players, these games are just a tiny portion of their offseason training. For many it’s their third workout of the day, which no doubt affects their performance. The games are 40 minutes (running clock) and they’re paired with guys of varying skill levels.
From a UW fan perspective, the games are hit or miss. Most Huskies are still out of town, but each of yesterday’s games featured a UW player.


Newcomer Mark McLaughlin got things started. The 6-6, 205-pound guard brought the ball up the court every once in awhile, but most often he played to his strengths. He got the ball on the wing and was very active offensively while taking a variety of shots. He scored outside, inside, on pull-up jumpers and he flushed a nice dunk on a fastbreak. McLaughlin has a scoring mentality and he finished with 28 points. He missed a desperation three-pointer in the final seconds and his team lost 62-60.
Shawn Kemp Jr. played in the second game. Lucky for him he landed on a decent team where he’s not the biggest guy on the squad and his teammates look to pass inside. Sometimes post players can get lost in summer league games, but Kemp had his opportunities to shine. Physically he looks good and appears to be in shape. He runs the floor well and didn’t appear winded in the second half. Kemp played above the rim at times and flushed a few dunks, but that’s to be expected. Not sure what his final statistics were, but he missed three of his first four free throws.
Hikeem Stewart played with his twin brother Kadeem and Sekou Wiggs Jr., the former O’Dea standout. Hikeem started slowly in the first half. He hit his first two shots in the second half, but for the most part he struggled with his jumper. Not sure why he didn’t handle the ball more than he did.
And finally, Abdul Gaddy starred in the nightcap. He scored 25 points to lead his team to a 71-64 win. It can be argued that Gaddy is the most important basketball player in Seattle considering he’s the four-year starting point guard for the city’s top team. And yet sometime it appears as if Gaddy doesn’t fully embrace his position in the hoops hierarchy.
But not last night. With McLaughlin watching from the stands, Gaddy was the best player in the gym and he played like it. His body language was great and he cheered for teammates, but this game was all about Gaddy being more aggressive offensively than usual. It was as if he said to himself, I’m not going to probe the defense or defer to anyone. I’ve got stuff I need to work on. I got shots I want to get up. I want to try out this new spin move. I want to drive into the lane, get banged around a bit and finish through contact. And if I have to, I’ll make a few highlight passes. But only if I have to.
In this setting, it was the proper approach. Most of the night, Gaddy played off the ball and did whatever he wanted. He drained three three-pointers in the first half before the opposing coach realized his jumper was on, called timeout and instructed his team to play tight defense. Despite the tight defense, Gaddy made maybe two more treys. But his best play was a quick spin move in the lane before draining a mid-ranger jumper with a hand in his face. Not sure I’ve seen that from him before. He tried the spin later in the game, but didn’t see a second defender who stole the ball on a critical possession. Still it was good to see Gaddy use new techniques to create separation from defenders.
Most often he uses his size, angles or changes speeds to get around the defense. On one occasion, Gaddy used a fast dribble, stopped in the lane as the defender raced by and scored on a scoop layup. At that point, someone in the crowd yelled: “Whose man is that?” Whose man indeed. Of course, it’s just one game against inferior competition in July. It’s not as if he scored 28 points to beat Arizona for the Pac-12 Tournament title. No one should read too much into a summer league outing.
Still that was a nifty spin move and the three-pointers were a nice bonus.
TUESDAY AFTERNOON LINKS:
— It’s official, Gilles Dierickx has transferred to Washington.
— Former former UW standout Quincy Pondexter talks to KJR-AM about teaming up with Tony Wroten Jr. in Memphis and working out this summer with C.J. Wilcox.
— Coach Lorenzo Romar also talked to KJR-AM about last week’s draft.

Comments | Topics: Abdul Gaddy, C.J. Wilcox, Mark McLaughlin

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