July 28, 2014 - The Nike Pro City Kenner League is rolling now. G'Town's McDonough Arena as the saying goes, has it going on, when it comes to college-pro am action.
Following is a report on several players who competed this past Saturday, the league's eighth. For more on G'Town student athletes, as well as what can be dubbed the "L.J. Effect", see Premium Court.
Akil Mitchell - 6'9", 235 pound forward, Higher Level - Fresh off NBA Summer League play with Houston in both Orlando and Las Vegas, Mitchell played like a guy who has competed at a high level; rebounded, defended and scored around the tin. Basically Mitchell played like he did at UVA, from which he graduated this spring.
Speaking of which, he said of his Wahoo career "It was good. We had a great year, a long run" last season, which included being highly ranked, winning the ACC and a NCAA Tourney Sweet 16 appearance. Mitchell summed it as "We built a little bit of a program there", having been in head coach Tony Bennett's first class. Was recruited by him and assistants Richie McKay (lead recruiter) and Jason Williford.
For pro ball, Mitchell must work on a dead eye mid-range game, which will allow him to take bigger foes away from the basket more readily.
Expect him to attend the Rockets' training camp; he signed with them.
Joell Hopkins - 6'6", 205 pound senior swingman, FSU, Tombs - A slasher, Hopkins scored seven points attacking the tin. Showed ability to do so and accept contact.
Must continue to get stronger. Also, a steady outside game is a must for Hopkins, a smart, aggressive player.
Has the opportunity to leave FSU with two more years of eligibility left. Indicated Rice, Boston University, Prairie View, N. Arizona, Stetson and others have offered scholarships, while GW and Howard are interested. His decision will be made after August 2nd, his graduation date from FSU. Given that he "has family up here (the Northeast)", that region attracts him.
L.J. Peak - 6'5", 210 pound freshman swingman, Georgetown, Tombs - This guy continues to impress. Scored 32 points. Most importantly did so when his jumper wasn't wet; he got to the bucket, scoring 11 free throws.
Isaac Copeland - 6'8", 210 pound freshman forward, Georgetown, Tombs - Had a solid game, one in which he drove and displayed an increased perimeter touch. Scored 11 points.
Aaron Bowen - 6'6", 200 pound senior swingman, Georgetown, DCX - Was confident early on, a good sign for Bowen, who scored a team high 15 points. Slashed to the cup and spotted up from deep.
Bradley Hayes - 6'10", 235 pound junior center, Georgetown, DCX - Scored 15 points, all in the paint. Rebounded solidly.
Displayed improved footwork, but...
Julian Vaughn - 6'10", 250 pound forward/center, Tombs - The former Hoyas rebounded and finished around the tin. Played with force. Scored 10 points.
Vaughn has to...
Trey Porter - 6'10", 210 pound freshman center/forward, George Mason, DCX - Porter has become a more confident and aggressive player, one that has the ability to protect the rim.
"I'm just playing harder" he said, "Starting to get better". That includes "Expanding my game" to including stepping out and shooting from distance. Porter doesn't think that could reduce his around-the-rim effectiveness, as he indicated "I'll crash the glass".
Porter, a state champion with Potomac (VA) this year, played a significant role in the schools great season. His improvement has also been advanced by the Boo Williams AAU outfit, which he indicated has "helped me a lot".