After a great two days in Spartanburg, here are some quick-hitting takeaways:
I) Coaches Need Career Development
As the event was going on and coaches moved around the courts by the dozen, upstairs the SoCon was having an officials training camp preparing the next gen of officials with practical experience doing the games and whiteboard sessions with established veterans.
Wouldn’t the coaching profession benefit from this type of interactive career development?
As the base of college assistants become younger and younger and the adoption of the recruiting model over a development model in college basketball… no longer do coaches have the opportunity to prepare freshmen to contribute as seniors- players either contribute immediately or they transfer- what are we doing for coaches to develop?
The sad fact is that assistant coaches are solely dependent on their head coach and their specific role on staff for growth and in today’s world, that’s inadequate for basketball to continue its ascension.
II) Top level talent at Adidas measures up
Three players that continued to stand out and affirm their candidacy for future McDonalds All American Game fame were …
Zion Williamson, at 6’7 240? plays all five positions, he is a do-it-all wunderkind.
He is a great competitor who attacks shot attempts with rage looking to destroy the basketball on the glass. An explosive leaper with great strength. He is left hand dominant right now but when his right-hand gets the attention, he could very well have a Lebron type of offensive game.
His will to the rim (again always finishing with the left) is unmatched because of the power and several finishing moves at the rim if it’s not a tomahawk dunk on the defender’s head.
The key for him will be conditioning, a college conditioning program will do wonders for him. He was visibly gassed trying to keep pace with a talented Georgia Game Point squad.
South Carolina has had great players; Kevin Garnett (yes, he finished up in Chicago), Ray Allen, Jermaine O’Neal but this era of the highlight and social media, Williamson has a cult-type following. Everyone in the crowd has their phone up, waiting for his next highlight of a thunderous dunk or demolition of an opponent’s shot.
Can he turn the tide of kids with his size and athleticism who have traditionally chosen football to crossover to prioritize basketball? It was what Amare Stoudamire did for Florida. We have seen this happen in a big way in Texas. Will it now happen in South Carolina, home of the College Football Champs?
Charles Bassey, the 6’11 agile rim-rocking center that plays for YIIS Tx Future is the biggest thing to hit San Antonio (via Africa) since Shaq.
Bassey has a presence on both ends of the court. He is in the class of 2019 but he looks like he could start tomorrow for any top college in America. Bassey has the length and athleticism of a future NBA forward. Bassey has a great motor to boot. If he continues to develop offensively and expand his range, the sky is the limit.
David McCormack, the hulking McCormack battled against fellow Oak Hill bruiser, Kenny Nwuba as Team Loaded VA fell to MBA Hoops in a thrilling contest that ended the night.
McCormack scored 17 points on 6 for 10 shooting from the field and contributed 13 rebounds (7 offensive) for Team Loaded.
McCormack was given one last opportunity to lead Team Loaded all the way but with the entire gym (and MBA squad) knowing the ball would get to him, McCormack could not get a clean look from 15 feet as the buzzer sounded.
There was a referee huddle at the end, McCormack seemed to get fouled but everyone was ready to get home for the night.
McCormack translates to be an impactful post and glass eater on the college level. He has a pro type body. It will be interesting to see if he can extend his range and gain fluidity to couple with his power game.