With two more practices in the books, we check in once again on the World Select Team at the Nike Hoop Summit in Portland Oregon.
2013 Nike Hoop Summit Coverage
-World Select Team Coaches Interview
-World Select Team Early Storylines
-World Select Team Measurements
-World Select Team Roster Preview Podcast
-World Select Team Roster Preview
2013 Nike Hoop Summit World Select Team Practice Recap
Practicing in front of a growing number of NBA decision-makers on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, the World Select Team seemed to settle into a groove over its middle two sessions in Portland.
Head Coach Roy Rana and Assistant Coach Marin Sedlacek have kept the format of their practices fairly consistent, getting their players acclimated with what they want to see from them on both ends of the floor in the game on Sunday, letting them get plenty of shots up to find a rhythm, and ending every session with extensive competitive action, much to the delight of the legion of NBA scouts in attendance.
Playing four 10 minute quarters on Tuesday night in addition to getting up and down for much of the second hour of practice on Wednesday, the quality of play was once again very high relative to previous years. This was especially clear for stretches of today's action when the chemistry and ball movement of the competitive action was astounding for a group that has only been playing together for a few days.
Playing pesky, full-court defense, knocking down a number of jump shots, and looking great in the open floor as well, Schroeder is leaving a lasting impression with his play here in Portland. With Marcus Smart returning to school and a notable void after the top tier of point guard prospects in the 2013 draft at the moment, Schroeder could look to fill that gap with a strong performance in the actual game on Saturday. It will be worth watching a potential matchup with Andrew Harrison, who should present a unique challenge for Schroeder with his size.
Editor's Addition, 2015:
A then-17 year old Karl Towns talks to us about his goals for the Hoop Summit, what it's like playing in front of a horde of NBA scouts, the type of player he was at that point ("a 3/4/5"), his international background, and more.
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Andrew Wiggins had a few highlight plays, but appears to be somewhat fatigued, something he admitted was an issue (more off the court than on it) after traveling extensively the past few weeks between the McDonald's All-American game and the Jordan Brand Classic. It hasn't had a major impact on his play, but it is clear that the travel of All-Star season has him a bit gassed, while the weight of his upcoming decision regarding where to attend school next season surely can't be helping matters much. Nevertheless, Wiggins' talent really shined through in the competitive three on three session in particular, where his athleticism was a major factor with the added spacing he enjoyed. He was able to create his own shot at will with a strong series of jukes and hesitation moves, knock down jumpers with his feet set or off the dribble, and finish plays above the rim with terrific creativity.
Joel Embiid tweaked his back and does not appear be 100%. He flashes potential as a shot blocker and even made a few jump shots. A legit 7-footer with a 7-5 wingspan, he'll be a player to keep an eye on next year given Kansas's reputation for developing big men.
With two more practices on the schedule, it will be interesting to see if this group can maintain the momentum they gained today all the way through game day.