PORTLAND --- Harrison Barnes had a busy itinerary this summer and it finally came to an end for the…
Global Challenge: Final Thoughts
In what was one of the more competitive games of the summer, a pair of USA teams went head-to-head in the championship of the Nike Global Challenge on Sunday evening. USA Team #1 and USA Team #2 went back and forth in the first half, but the play of Avery Bradley, Roscoe Smith and Jordan Hamilton led USA Team #2 to a 117-104 win. Bradley went 10-for-18 from the field and scored 25 points, while Smith chipped in with 22 points. Hamitlon scored 16 points and snagged 10 rebounds. For Team #1 it was the inside presence of DeMarcus Cousins and Alex Oriahki that kept them close until the fourth. Cousins went for 29 points and Oriahki recorded his second straight double-double. Harrison Barnes also chipped in with 11 points and seven rebounds. After a competitive three days of basketball, we opted to break down each USA prospects game and assess their play from the entire event. Tommy Mason-Griffin, PG, USA Team #1 – The future Sooner put together a solid weekend. He finished with 34 points and 11 assists through the three-game event. His quickness and ability to handle the ball proved to be tough to defend, as the opposition had trouble staying in front of him all weekend. He's also got a nice pull-up jumper and is consistent with his threes. Jamil Wilson, SF, USA Team #1 – Throughout the summer, Wilson has been playing hurt and it was no different at the Global Challenge, as he said he's at about 80-percent. The 6-foot-7 wing is athletically gifted, moves well for a guy his size and is a solid spot-up shooter. His best game of the weekend was in the championship where he went for eight points and four rebounds in the loss. Roger Franklin, SF, USA Team #1 – After a terrific first game, where he shot 7-for-10, Franklin cooled off from the field. Regardless he's got a great mid-range game and has no problem getting a shot from 15 to 18-feet. The 6-foot-5 wing is a quality defender, a terrific rebounder and is the ultimate glue guy. He finished with 28 points through three games. Alex Oriahki, PF, USA Team #1 – The future Husky had a rough first game in Portland, but from there he was a dominant in the paint on both ends of the floor. Oriahki has a knack for rebounding and has become a reliable scorer in the post. He's capable of scoring over either shoulder, and even showed range on his jumper out to 18-feet. He closed out the event with 18-point, 11-rebound effort in the championship. DeMarcus Cousin, C, USA Team #1 – Arguably the best low post scorer in the event was this 6-foot-10 big man from Mobile (Ala.) LeFlore. He's equipped with a huge frame, moves well inside and can score in a variety of way. Although he knocked down a few three-pointers in the event, we'd prefer him stay inside, as not many can stop him from getting buckets when he's on the block. He scored 65 points on 24-for-34 shooting from the field. Rodney Williams, SF, USA Team #1 – Everyone in the gym knows this 6-foot-5 wing is among the best, if not the best, leapers in high school basketball, and he was still able to catch a few oops and finish in traffic. Williams' jump shot appears to be improving, but he's still got to become a more consistent shooter. Royce White, PF, USA Team #1 – With a number of post guys on his team it was hard for White to get a ton of touches, but he seemed to make the most out of his opportunities. He moves very well in the paint and often times will attack from the baseline. He has the ability to score with either hand around the rim and will even switch hands in the air to get a different angle. Facing up defenders isn't a problem either, as he has good-looking stroke and is solid shooter out to 22-feet. Mason Plumlee, PF, USA Team #1 – A long, versatile big man, Plumlee just showed flashes this weekend. He likes facing up defenders and driving to the lane for floaters or finishes at the rim. Going up against the nations top big men, it was clear that the future Blue Devil still needs to build his frame and get stronger. With that said, he's a very good passer, moves well and has a great feel for the game. Abdul Gaddy, PG, USA Team #2 – With Kendall Marshall on the shelf with a thigh/hamstring injury, Gaddy had to step up and play a lot of minutes for his team. The 6-foot-3 lead man stepped up to the challenge and took home Co-MVP honors for the event. His court savvy, handle and ability to see the floor are among the reasons he's considered the second best point guard in the 2009 class. He scored 33 points and tossed out 12 assists through three games. Avery Bradley, SG, USA Team #2 – Although he shared MVP honors with his high school and AAU teammate, Gaddy, we felt like Bradley was the clear cut winner and the best player, based on performance, during the event. He scored a total of 67 points, which led the event, through three games, and he got his buckets by attacking the rim, hitting mid-range jumpers and draining deep three-pointers. His mid-range game is terrific and his on the ball defense is arguably the best in his class. John Henson, PF, USA Team #2 – It's scary to think that Henson is just now starting to scratch the surface. The 6-foot-9, 185-pound forward is drawing comparisons to Brandon Wright, and when it comes to show blocking that's an accurate comparison. However, he's better offensively and more versatile than Wright, who now plays for Golden State in the NBA. Henson finished with 28 points, 29 rebounds and 13 blocks through three games. Wally Judge, PF, USA Team #2 – During warm ups, Judge really opened some eyes with his athleticism. He's got big time hops and he showed them in the game as well. He didn't shoot a great percentage from the field at the Global Challenge, but he hit the glass looking for rebounds and showed he can knock down mid-range jump shots. Dontae Taylor, PF, USA Team #2 – A strong four-man with an ability to rebound and score inside, Taylor didn't get a ton of opportunities on the block at the Global Challenge. He was, however, at his best in the championship where he scored 10 points on 4-for-6 shooting and grabbed five rebounds. Jordan Hamilton, SF, Team USA #2 – Without Hamilton his team simply doesn't win the championship game. Hamilton made timely buckets, rebounded and showed great court vision. The 6-foot-7 wing can score in so many ways, whether it be attacking the rim, pulling up for mid-range jumpers or draining deep three-pointers. He scored 42 points and grabbed 30 rebounds in his three games. John Wall, PG, USA Team #3 -- At this point there's not much more to say about John Wall. The nations top lead guard has the ability to take over games using his speed, athleticism and passing. Although his shot still isn't consistent, he can breakdown defenders and is nearly impossible to stay in front of. He closed out camp with 12 points, seven assists and just one turnover. Daniel Orton, C, USA Team #3 – The past few weeks have been pretty busy for Orton. After finishing a busy July, Orton attended a pair of elite camps and then tripped across country to the Global Challenge. The 6-foot-9 big man looked a little worn out from the traveling, regardless he's a heck of a prospect. His strong frame is tough for the opposition to handle and when he gets it on the block, and he's got some developed post moves. Defensively, he's a presence that blocks shots and rebounds his area. Aaron Dotson, SG, USA Team #3 – The 6-foot-3 guard didn't have a great week at the Global Challenge, but he also didn't get a ton of opportunities to make plays. With that said, he's still a Top 100 prospect that has become a solid jump shooter, with some range, and is an above average athlete. The Seattle (Wash.) Rainer Beach standout scored 14 points through three games at the event. Mike Moser, SF, USA Team #3 – His numbers weren't outstanding, but we came away with a better understanding of Moser's game after his play at the Global Challenge. He's got good size for the wing spot, is a solid spot up shooter and has the ability to defend a handful of positions. Rebounding is something he'll do and he's active on both ends. Arizona locked in a pretty good one, as he's among the top wings on the west coast. Milton Jennings, PF, USA Team #3 – After the game of the event, where Jennings failed to score, he was quite impressive and efficient from the field (9-for-13). His skill set is his best asset, and he's a guy that can step out and knock down threes at a high percentage. The key with Jennings is he wants to get better and he's a guy that listens and has a desire to improve. Rebounding and strength are areas he can work on. Jeremy Tyler, C, USA Team #3 – By far Tyler's best outing at the Global Challenge was his final game. Heading into his third, the 6-foot-9 big man had combined for just 12 points. In his contest against Lithuania he went 7-for-7 from the field and scored 15 points. The heralded 2010 prospect got a trio of buckets from running the floor, but also scored off post moves inside. The biggest concern at this point with Tyler is his consistency, as he doesn't always come ready to play, on Sunday he did. Dion Waiters, SG, USA Team #3 – Despite struggling from the field, Waiters, a 6-foot-2 guard, is a guy that knows how to score. He's equipped with a strong, imposing frame and uses it well when he attacks the rim. The South Kent (Conn.) School standout loves to shoot it off the dribble and he can pretty much get a shot when he wants. His decision-making is an area that he could work on, but there's no denying his ability to score. Gary Franklin, PG, USA Team #3 – Where Franklin affects the game is his ability to knock down shots. He's a consistent shooter from long range and he can shoot it from a few feet behind the line. The deeper international line certainly didn't bother him, as he went 9-for-19 from deep in three games. With Wall on his team he didn't play a ton on the ball, but he's definitely a point guard. Going forward decision-making is an area that he can continue to improve. Phil Pressey, PG, USA Team #1 – One of the best passers in high school basketball showcased his vision and craftiness all weekend at the Global Challenge. Despite struggling from the field, he managed to affect the game by creating open looks for his teammates. At this point you have to look past his size and recognize that the kid is a gamer and has a unique ability to set up teammates. Harrison Barnes, SG/SF, USA Team #1 – Scoring seems to come so easy to the Ames (Iowa) High standout. A 6-foot-6 wing with high-level athleticism, Barnes scores with ease around the rim and remains active on the glass at all times. His jumper is pure to 23 or 24 feet and he's becoming better and better at taking defenders off the bounce and shooting pull-up jumpers. He scored 39 points and grabbed 23 rebounds over the course of the weekend. Kendall Marshall, PG, Team USA #2 – After a sub par first game by Marshall's standards, he went down in the second contest with a thigh/hamstring injury. In the game he got hurt, he did knock down a pair of three-pointers, but was unable to continue playing. Reggie Bullock, SG, Team USA #2 – As the event went on, Bullock seemed to get better. He's been out with an injury for nearly a month, and this was his first event back, which could have played a role in his slow start. By the third game he was scoring off of floaters and jumpers and was active on both ends. The best part about his game is his ability to hit deep jumpers, and despite them not falling like they normally do, he found other ways to get buckets. Roscoe Smith, SF, Team USA #2 – The first two games of the weekend were just so-so performances, but his third game was among the best efforts of the weekend. The 6-foot-7 wing went 10-for-13 from the field, scoring 22 points, and was a big part of Team USA #2 winning the championships. He did major work on the offensive glass and must have had at least five put backs. He also knocked down a three-pointer, hit a pull-up jumper and had a handful of finishes off drives to the basket. Terrence Jones, SF/PF, Team USA #2 – The Portland native wasn't relied on to score much for his team, but he did, however, go to the glass and rebound. At 6-foot-7, he's long, versatile and has the ability to play inside or out. He's an interesting prospect and is tough to get a good feel for at times. He scored 14 points and grabbed 22 rebounds through his three games. DeShaun Thomas, PF, USA Team #3 – Over the course of the summer, Thomas has played well, but his effort at the Global Challenge was by far his best. He opened the weekend with a big game and he closed it with one as well. The 6-foot-7 forward scores it at a good clip inside and is a pretty good spot up shooter out to 22-feet. He took less threes at this event, and was as effective as any big man in the event. Jereme Richmond, SF, USA Team #3 – Despite being among the most talented wings in the class of 2010, the 6-foot-6 wing just showed flashes at the Global Challenge. He's got a great frame and is a versatile prospect that can hit jumpers or take defenders off the bounce and get to the rim. His best move of the weekend came in his final game, where he drove the baseline, switched hands in mid-air and finished with his off hand. Michael Gilchrist, SG, USA Team #3 – The youngest guy in attendance wasn't nearly as aggressive as he was at the LeBron James Skills Academy in July. The 6-foot-6 guard is a long, lean scorer that has the ability to get his shots when he wants. He wasn't in all out score mode at this particular event, but after what he did at LeBron and Peach Jam, we certainly know what he's capable of. Jamil Wilson decided to cut down his list prior to the Nike Global Challenge. The list includes Michigan State, Duke, Texas, Kentucky, Purdue, Marquette and Oregon. Nike is starting a new campaign called "The Chosen Ones." Basically it's a list of more than 50 names that Nike thinks are the top prospects in the high school basketball, regardless of class. They'll release a list twice a year, with one coming at the end of the season. They'll then pick their Jordan All-American teams from the seniors on that list.
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