July 18, 2011 - Another weekend, another bevy of Nike Pro City action. Below is a chronicle of some of Saturday's play.
Bowen continues to bounce back - Redshirt freshman swingman Aaron Bowen seems to healing well from last season's shoulder injury, a setback that cost him his freshman year. During his Clyde's team's 67-60 win over 6th Man Sports, he slashed, finished, defended, drove to the cup with his right hand and was active.
Nothing earth shattering there, as he's displayed those things all summer. But his jumper is where the improvement was most marked this weekend: Aaron came to Georgetown knowing outside shooting was not his strongest point, and was steeled to improve it. The early season shoulder injury to his right (shooting) shoulder obviously shelved those plans, temporarily.
Well, Bowen has clearly improved in tickling the twin from outside, as after passing up open jumpers during Pro City's first weekend, during its third he hit not only mid-rangers but long balls. For the contest Aaron poured in 19 points.
He's definitely trending upwards.
Smith shows up - Though Saturday didn't have a wealth of National Basketball Association ballers show up - only three did, including Greivis Vasquez (15 points), Greg Monroe (see Pt. 2) and Nolan Smith. The last one, this year's 21st pick in the NBA Draft, didn't necessarily bring his total package, though was impressive nevertheless.
A guard known for mixing driving and jump shots, thereby keeping opponents off balance, Smith was primarily a penetrator on Saturday, during his DC Assault squad's 81-65 overtime loss to Beyond Belief. Afterward, he had a good reason for the change.
"I hadn't been in the gym like that" said Smith of why he was so intent on penetrating. "I took a little time off. I'm just now getting back to the gym with my trainer, getting the reps up. You know as a player, if you're not getting the reps up... you have to treat it right for it to be right.
"So I was out here just getting to the rack working on different moves, getting past (guys), working on different finishes around the rim. That's just something I wanted to work on out here".
Nevertheless, the ever approachable and humble Smith dropped 19 points, with nobody being able to stop him from driving. But don't think for a minute he didn't want to win; it was Smith who received a technical foul for an exchange with a referee after a no-call, something unlike the usually unflappable Smith.
Through the laughter from his teammates on the bench, he was heard on the floor saying afterward "I got carried away".
Smith might have been drilling down an aspect of his game, but he still wanted to win.
Who is this Cunningham? - Donning black tights underneath his yellow Team Turner jersey, former Cleveland State forward Jared Cunningham looked like another ex-college guy trying to work his way overseas. When the ball went up, he proved himself much more, dropping 19 points and leading Team Turner to a 76-74 victory over Town Tavern (guys from American University).
Cunningham did it all over the floor - driving, pulling up from mid-range and hitting long distance spot ups. To Jared's credit, his impact greatly exceeded a guy that finished with 5.2 points and 2.6 rebounds as a Cleveland State senior in 2009-2010.
Asked afterward of his plans, the 6'8" Cunningham indicated he's trying to get overseas to play.