It was a day of ups and downs for Wake Forest fans. For seemingly the 29th time in the past two years, two members of our basketball team find themselves in trouble with Coach Bzdelik/the higher-ups at Wake Forest. Walker and Tabb have been suspended indefinitely by Coach, and nobody is sure when they will be back
In better news, it was the first night of the Triad Pro-Am Summer League. This event is one the most enjoyable things that we cover in the summer, and I was luck to be able to attend it tonight. We did some live blogging from there for the first time ever, so hopefully most of you have an idea of what went on, but in this article I will grade each player (well rate, much like soccer analysts do), and give an idea of what went right and wrong.
Click through the jump to get to the player ratings/stats/scores
This game was closer than it really should have been because of sloppy play by both teams in the first half. Carson got into early foul trouble with some really bad foul calls (tacky), and had to sit with 3 fouls about 13-15 minutes into the game. Travis McKie started early with some excellent passes to add to his all-around good game. Carson Desrosiers also had some really nice passes that were not finished by his teammates around the baskets, and a couple that were turned over due to bad hands. The game was within 10 at the half, but McKie started clicking in the second half and had 2 to 3 and-1's to stretch the lead out. The lack of rebounding by Carson was a little bit concerning, but he did a good job of blocking his guy off and sealing the way for others to get the ball.
Travis wound up with 23 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists. Carson had 6 points, 4 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 steals.
Anthony Fields is also on the team, but Travis told us that he won't play for another week or two in all likelihood because of his surgically repaired wrist.
Out of the three, this game was played with the most intensity in terms of running the floor and all-around effort. It was a little wilder than I would've liked to have seen with 3 guards out there, but I was impressed with a lot of the games. The night belonged to Chase Fischer though. He finished with 28 points on 12 shots (an astonishing 2.33 pps), and was hitting some LONG 3-balls. The most impressive thing though was that he didn't force the shots, rather letting them come in the flow of the game, and pulling up and draining them as well. It was quite similar to the shots that J.T. Terrell was hitting last year. His form is outstanding, and the release looks really good. It is easy to see how he filled up the basket in high school with a shot like that. Overall he went 7-11 from 3's, and had a couple of nice drives to the basket as well.
CJ and Tony had a nice battle tonight as well at the PG position. Harris has put on some muscle mass in his upper body and used it to his advantage to take it to the smaller guards that were guarding him. He also had a quickness advantage most of the time over Chennault and by him a few times. CJ wound up with 18 points on 9 shots, while Tony had 23 points on quite a few more shots (around 15 probably). CJ led his team to a victory, although Fischer did his best to bring them back at the end with 3's. He also had 2 massive blocks, including one on a 6'8 guy that was very impressive.
Daniel Green had a quiet night in terms of numbers (6 points, 4 rebounds), but he was a workhorse inside and got good position a few times when his teammates didn't find him. He hit a really nice bank shot from the elbow, and had nice rebounding technique. It's was hard to tell how refined his offensive game was, but he will definitely need to hit the weight room to fight on the low posts in the ACC.
First of all, I will say that it is absolutely ridiculous that they allow teams like this in the Pro-Am. It is unfair to the teams that have players spread around evenly, and a disservice to the entire program itself. If they want to go form a professional team then they should do that, but it shouldn't come at the expense of the others trying to have a good time.
That being said, the game was much closer than it should have been. JT Terrell hit the opening shot of the game (a deeply contested 3pointer), but after that really struggled to find anything in his game. I can't really sugarcoat his performance tonight as much as I would like to. He didn't play well at all and didn't do much else on the court aside from try to get open. I don't think he had a rebound or an assist. He finished with 7 points on 2-10 shooting from the field.
Craig Dawson lit up the place with a gorgeous form on his shot, and had around 15 (all 3-pointers). The HF's ran away with it in the 2nd half with some huge dunks by LD Williams, and the strong post presence of Weaver and McFarland. LD also got his tournament leading 239427th technical in the game.
Evaluations and Ratings (scale of 1-10)
Chase Fischer (9)- It would be a disservice to start with anybody else after his game tonight. Fischer scored a phenomenal 28 points on only 12 shots (got fouled twice shooting 3's, made 5/6, hit 7-11 3's, and made his only layup attempt). Not only did Fischer shoot ridiculously from the field, he also threw in a couple of rebounds and an assist. The only thing that prevented him from getting a ten were his two turnovers. He made a lot of really good passes that were "would-be" assists that weren't finished. I was very, very impressed with this kid. Not only did he make a ton of shots, he also showed great court awareness, communicated with his team, and rotated very well on defense. His spacing was very good for a summer league game, and he even told TC once what the defense was doing and how to counter it (led to an easy backdoor cut layup to a teammate). If Chase continues to play like this (I know it is just one game in Summer League, so let's not put the cart too far ahead of the horse), it will be hard to deny him minutes when the season starts.
Daniel Green (6)- An incomplete is really what his grade should be for tonight. I liked what I saw early on with the hustle and the positioning that he was getting on the blocks, but he just didn't do a lot other than grab a few boards and put them back in. He is definitely rail thin and has to hit the weight room/get on a diet that is going to beef him up. He seems to have a pretty good understanding of the game and where he fits in. His jumper form isn't the best, although he did hit a pretty bank shot from the elbow. I could see Green contributing a bit this year as he will be thrown into the fire, but he is going to have to grow a good bit to be pretty good at a collegiate level. I'm eager to see what kind of post moves he has in the other games this summer.
Tony Chennault (6)- Chennault had a decent looking stat line (23 points, 5 boards), but he has a lot of maturing to do on the court as well. He seems to have lost a little weight in the offseason (presumably that he put on when he had his foot injury), and is a little quicker. He was still getting beat by CJ a good amount, and was also bullied about by the stronger guards. Getting to the rim is not a problem for TC, but he does have a problem with finishing, one that continued into tonight. His skills are not really in question, but he needs to make the right decisions when he is on the court and not carelessly throw the ball away, or shoot just inside the 3-point line so much. He hit a couple of 3's and shot free throws well though, so he has clearly been working on his shooting. I think he will be a good contributor by the start of the year.
Travis McKie -(8) Travis continued to be Travis tonight and do what he did last year. He was seemingly having a quiet game, but at the end he finished with 23 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists. He has added a bit of court vision and passing ability to his repertoire and that fits him well. He tended to leak out a little early on shots by opponents, and that lead to only grabbing 4 rebounds, and also led to Guilford getting some second chances that they probably shouldn't have had. In the regular season he is definitely going to need to hang around and grab those boards. He had a couple of great dunks though on the fast break. Offense can still use some refining as he missed a few threes and longer shots. It is coming around for him, and when he adds that second dimension to his offense (other than rebounding and putbacks), he will be an All-ACC caliber player (if not this year).
Carson Desrosiers-(5) The first thing I noticed about Carson was how much muscle he added to his upper body/shoulder/arms since the season ended. He looks a lot older (could be the beard too), and mature. Carson didn't have the best night out there tonight though. I thought he should have been inside banging a little more with GC's Justin Stafford, but he was content to float around up top and shoot longer shots. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but with recent circumstances we are probably going to need him inside grabbing boards and protecting the rim. His passing ability for a big man is incredible, and he should have had a few assists. He did have a few nice blocks and cut off passing lanes in the middle of the court.
J.T Terrell- (2) I really hate to give him such a low score because I know what a threat he can be when he is clicking, but JTT just didn't have his game on tonight. He made his first 3, but went downhill from there. He was seemingly out of the game a bit and wasn't very active on the offensive side (imagine a Jeff Teague floater in the corner). On fast breaks he knows where to go to get open, but his teammates weren't finding him, and then he somewhat took himself out of the play after that. He did try to penetrate inside when he got the ball rather than jacking up 3's, but he couldn't get the ball to drop, or get the calls from the refs. He has definitely matured on the court, and that is very encouraging. I would like to see him drive even more and learn how to kick out (Dawson was trying to get him to do this). He is a threat when he penetrates and the defense draws on him (especially the zone that was being run), and if he had kicked out he would have had a few good assists. I expect better from JTT, and feel confident that he will turn it up as the summer league goes on.
C.J Harris- (7) I don't know if C.J is just a late bloomer or if he lives in the weight room, but he put on a ton of muscle since I last saw him in the Spring. I don't know if he went on the Ish Smith plan, but he was noticeably stronger on the court and it really paid off. He got in the lane at will and dominated the smaller guards. Even when he wasn't trying to shoot, it seemed as if he was more athletic and could jump higher. That was certainly the case when he swatted a ball from the elbow of a 6'8 player. He had a very efficient night (18 pts on 9 shots for 2 pps), and we will need to keep that CJ around as he is slated to start at the 2 for us next year (according to Travis). He has to work on turning the ball over, but I think that may be a lack of organized basketball more than anything. C.J was one of the players I was most impressed with tonight.
That's it for the scholarship players that suited up tonight. We don't know when Tabb and Walker will be back (if they will be back), but it seems for now that we are preparing for life without them. Talked to Travis for a few minutes after the game and found out that Fields didn't play because of his wrist, but should be good to go soon. The guys are working hard and know they are going to be better than last year. It showed on the court with the efforts, and I am eager to get back out there Thursday and see what else they have in them.
I should have some highlights up either tonight or in the morning. A fair warning that I didn't have the best of seats and there were limited highlights available. I'll go through and get what I can. There will be better/more highlights on other nights, as I was really focusing on the new players tonight and the developments of returning ones.
Enjoy and post any questions or comments you have. I'll do my best to answer them in a timely manner.