Sunday, July 29, 2007

Pan Am team fizzles

It was another dreary international tournament for USA basketball at the Pan American games. Team USA dropped its first two games to Uruguay and Panama in ugly fashion. These losses prevented the USA from contending for a medal. The followed up with wins against Argentina and the US Virgin Islands. Maryland's James Gist saw his playing time dwindle in the last two games playing only six minutes versus Argentina and only eight minutes versus the Virgin Islands' team. In that game he did have 6 points and 6 rebounds in only 8 minutes of play. Not too shabby. Clearly Jay Wrights coaching ability isn't a slick as his hair. To be fair the selection committee botched the process for this team and saddled Wright with two guards, Drew Nietzel and Scotty Reynolds, who are ill suited for international play. They were both dreadful from long range and provided little ability to run a half court offense. Reynolds plays for Wright at Villanova, which seems to be the only logical reason Reynolds averaged almost 25 minutes a game while shooting 23% from the field for the tournament. He did lose his starting spot in the third and fourth game but it came too late for the US team.

Only Indiana's DJ White proved he is a big time star and his performance should peak the interest of some NBA scouts. Georgetown's Roy Hibbert has to be considered a disappointment. Anyone who thinks he will be an All-American candidate this year should be concerned by his inconsistent play at the Pan Am Games. For the first four games of the tournament James Gist's numbers are:

13 minutes per game, 5.5 points (10/20 FGM/FGA), 2 rebounds per contest. Gist needs to continue to work on his rebounding.

Class of '08 not so good?

So says Sporting News basketball guru Mike DeCourcy in his latest blog entry. Perhaps there is an element of truth to this. Everyone could tell that the 2005 class was one of the worst in recent memory even before the recruits ever got on campus. Maybe that is the case again this year. Maryland target SG Sean Mosley is ranked in the top 60 by most services but his game hardly inspires many superlatives. More often terms like "tough", "gritty", "hard nosed" are used to describe the Baltimore guard. For a top 60 player in the country you'd think it would be better than a bunch of tired sports cliches to describe him. The Terps are still targeting Mosley along with highly ranked PF Terrence Jennings and the up and coming PF Quintrell Thomas. The 2009 class is loaded with talented locals like SG Mo Creek, PF Isaiah Armwood, SF Tristan Spurlock, PF Terrell Vinson, and PF Wally Judge among others.

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