The Nike Hoop Summit provided us yet another look at some of Kentucky’s players. There were actually only 3 invited from the 2013 class, but Karl Towns Jr. was there playing for the International squad despite the fact that he’s in 2014, and as he is committed to Kentucky, we will include him. We’ll also include Andrew Wiggins, who is still uncommitted, but has UK on his list.
Aaron has been struggling with his shooting in the all-star game season, and in this game, he didn’t take a single 3-point shot. Aaron was 3-5 from the field for 9 points, and 3 of 5 from the line. He added a rebound, assist, and 2 turnovers. Aaron played well, but not great.
Andrew has been playing better than his brother in almost every respect, and this game was no exception. Andrew was 4 of 11 from the floor, including 1-4 from the arc, but he got to the line a lot, and made 10 of 12 free throw attempts for a total of 19 points. He added 3 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and 3 turnovers. All in all, a very good game, tied with Julius Randle for second-high scoring honors on Team USA.
As he was in the Jordan Brand Classic, Julius Randle was extremely beastly in this game. He had 19 points on 9-17 shooting, mostly dunks and slashes to the basket, but also some put-backs and at least one face-up jumper from about 14 feet. Several of Randle’s assaults on the rim were spectacular, including this filthy one below (courtesy of KSR):
Karl Towns Jr.
Towns was very good, although he didn’t do anything eyepopping or spectacular. He mostly had a quiet 7 points, 3 rebounds, and 4 assists. He added 2 steals and a turnover to a nice, but not particularly noteworthy performance. He spent most of his time in the paint, which is a Good ThingTM, because his tendency to drift away from it has been a source of some concern to his coaches. When you are 7’ tall, you should hang around the rim.
Wiggins was his usual self, although I thought he was more aggressive than I’ve seen him in this game. He took quite a lot of shots for him – 16 – making 6 and going 4 of 5 from the line, including 3-3 to end the first half after he was fouled on a half-court heave. Wiggins had a team high and game high 31 minutes of play, collected 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 turnovers. He scored 17 total points in the winning effort for the International team. Wiggins did make a 3-point shot, but it took him 5 attempts.
Overall, I thought this game was sloppy, even though the FG% is pretty good at 49 for the World team and 46 for Team USA. The World team was simply better on the offensive glass, and they played a touch more defense than Team USA.
This was a very competitive game overall, but the defense, in my view, wasn’t as intense as the Jordan Brand Classic, and one would have thought it would be more so. I chalk it up to a tired bunch of guys traveling hither and yon for this all-star season.
Also, here is a review of the game from Draft Express, which is pretty good.