21 Points, 5 Rebounds, 2 Assists, 3 Turnovers, 9-18 FG, 1-4 3FG, 2-6 FT, 23 Minutes
Leo Lyons, 69, Power Forward, Missouri
16 Points, 5 Rebounds, 1 Block, 2 Turnovers, 5-11 FG, 6-8 FT, 0-3 3FG
Lyons perimeter game has been a bit of a mixed bag, as he looks great hitting mid-range jumpers both spotting up and turning around, but will unnecessarily make his shots more difficult than they need to be, occasionally fading away for no reason. Lyons has also tried to show some added range here, attempting 5 three-pointers, though hes only hit 1 thus far. While inconsistent, Lyons also shows some intriguing court vision along with the ability to make passes on the move, though this aspect of his game is still developing.
On the defensive end, Lyons has always been known to have some issues, and it has been apparent at times here that his lack of fundamentals and awareness hold him back. He shows occasional flashes of mobility and clearly has potential in this area, as seen on one pick-and-roll switch where he stuck with the opposing guard down the lane to make the block, but consistently applying his tools to this end of the floor and developing his fundamentals and awareness will be critical if he ever wants to be respectablea big key for his NBA potential. One NBA scout we spoke with mentioned that he would not be surprised if Lyons ended up being drafted in the second round.
Wesley Matthews, 65, SG/SF, Marquette
17 Points, 4 Rebounds, 1 Assist, 2 Turnovers, 6-14 FG, 5-6 FT, 0-2 3FG
Matthews ball-handling has been a mixed bag, at time showing impressive crossover drives while attacking the basket in either direction, but at others hes struggled to maintain his handle, specifically in traffic where he is prone to lose control.
Matthews did a good job in other areas as well, showing very good court vision and decision-making ability while dishing out quite a few smart passes. His outside shot wasnt falling today, though he didnt force the issue with it, instead taking advantage of his slashing game as aforementioned. On the defensive end, Matthews played his usual tough defense, stifling the likes of Ryan Toolson.
-Tyrese Rice followed up a solid day first game performance with a fairly poor outing, posting 10 points on 3-11 shooting with 3 assists and 3 turnovers. He struggled in particular trying to finish around the basket, as his lack of size, strength and explosiveness really hindered him from converting his drives amongst the trees. He showed nice court vision, but also mixed that in with some risky passes that led to turnovers, and also had a very tough time on the defensive end, where he was pushed around a bit and had a hard time making his presence felt due to his below average size.
-Jon Brockman cooled off a bit from yesterday, but still managed to pull in 16 rebounds while scoring 11 points. Brockman diversified his game by hitting a couple of spot-up 15-foot jumpers (a significant development for him) and he continued to make his presence felt in the paint by throwing his body around and using his magnet hands to pull down boards over the opposition. In the pre-game, Brockmans teammate were putting on a dunk contest and Brockman demonstrated a bit more of his explosive vertical leap that we were surprised to see yesterday, but he still hasnt found a way to translate it to actual game situations, being seemingly unable to power up from most basketball positions. Whoever Brockman trains with this summer, he should put an emphasis on trying to mix that into his game, as well as continuing to hone his mid-range jump-shot. Brockman continues to be mentioned by scouts here as a sleeper prospect to slip in the second round.
-After a stellar first game, Diamon Simpson came back to earth in his second game, scoring 7 points and 9 rebounds, but he continued impressively doing the little things, making 3 blocks, 1 steal, and 2 assists as well. Simpsons pick-and-roll and even perimeter defense on opposing bigs was pretty impressive, showing a good fundamentals along with his obvious tremendous activity level. On the offensive end, Simpsons did a good job getting his hands on offensive rebounds, scoring on a few putbacks and other finishes in the lane. He did a little better today finishing with power over larger opponents, but its still a concern.
-K.C. Rivers rebounded very strong from his disappointing first day, pouring in 17 points on 13 shot attempts, showing off his full repertoire of offensive ability. Rivers showed versatility creating in the lane, using show-and-go and spin moves to get past his man for a few impressive finishes while also hitting from mid-range and long-range, pulling and spotting up. He played much better in the flow of the offense, getting more balls in position where he already had a step on his man, something that really helped his performance due to his average ball-handling skills.
-Kyle McAlarney had a better performance, seemingly playing very well, even though he only finished with 15 points on 15 shot attempts along with 4 assists. McAlarney did a very good job getting open and getting off quick threes with perfect form, something hes known to excel at, however his shots werent falling as often as hed like in the first half, even though they looked good. McAlarney also looked good on a few floaters in the lane, which he gets off with ease despite his lack of athleticism and size.
-A.D. Vassallo didnt score quite as much as yesterday while also being much less efficient with the ball, scoring 10 points on 11 shots along with 4 turnovers. He shows a smooth pull-up game and can convert on a lot of high difficulty shots, but hes failing to show what else he brings to the table, not excelling on the defensive end or contributing in many other areas.
-Ahmad Nivins had a much better performance today with 17 points, 11 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 2 steals, abusing opposing bigs Bamba Fall and Men McCauley, who were simply no match for his physicality and size. Nivins scored on a lot of simple moves, cutting to the basket, sealing his man beneath the rim, or finishing on the pick-and-roll, getting off a lot of high-percentage lay-ups even though he played quite below the rim. Today he matches with Marcus Cousin and Tony Gaffney, so itll be interesting to see if he can still perform in the lane against more formidable defenders, something that has always been a question mark due to his average athleticism.
-Russell Hicks had his most productive game of the Invitational thus far, tallying 11 points on 4-9 from the field and 5 rebounds. The FIU product has tremendous size and nice touch around the basket, but has had a hard time dealing with the more physical players in attendance this week. His awareness does not appear to be very good, particularly on the defensive end, where he doesnt show a great deal of hustle.
-Lawrence Hill bounced back from a very poor outing in his first game here, tallying 10 points, He also pulled down 6 rebounds and made his presence felt on the defensive end with a couple of hustle plays. Hes been having a very hard time getting his jump shot to fall, which has limited his offensive impact significantly.
-Lee Cummard bounced back from a so-so opening performance to the tune of 13 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists. His basketball IQ and outside shooting stroke were on full display today, but he also converted some plays at the rim, including an alley-oop pass from Connor Atchley. Though Cummard showed that he can finish in transition, hes had a difficult time dealing with more physical defenders in half court settings. His strength and athletic limitations have been very obvious over the past few days.
-A.J. Abrams dropped 23 points today, going 8-17 from the field, 2-6 from three, and 5-6 from the line. He took some tough shots off the dribble, but made a number of contested catch and shoot jumpers from the outside. He also made a major impact on the defensive end, showing great anticipation in the passing lanes en route to 5 steals. This game was largely indicative of what kind of player Abrams is: a scorer who can bring the ball up the floor, but isnt going to make his teammates better. Despite his ability to get steals, there are still plenty of question marks regarding who he might defend at the next level.
-John Bryant had a steady performance today after missing much of last game with a gash on his forehead the he received from a nasty Garrett Siler elbow. The Santa Clara product earns mention here more for the weight hes lost than for his performance. His body type is completely different than it was just one year ago, and it seems like hes dropped weight even since the season ended. This setting isnt an ideal one for a back to the basket player like Bryant, particularly considering how limited he is athletically, but he finished a couple shots around the basket, was a good teammate, and was very active on the offensive glass.
-Robert Vaden came alive today, knocking down 5 of the 8 three-pointers he attempted. His stroke is extremely compact, and he was able to get it off with little trouble today even when he was well defended. He takes some extremely questionable shots on a regular basis, which probably isnt endearing him to any of his teammates. Vaden hasnt really shown much else besides his perimeter shooting ability.
-Chris Johnson had a decent performance today, finishing with 7 points, 7 rebounds, 4 blocks, and 4 turnovers. The long and rail-thin Johnson provides a good weak-side presence with his shot blocking ability, but isnt carrying around enough weight to handle the rigors of interior play on this level. When his jumper isnt falling, which it wasnt today, it isnt easy for him to impact the game when his man can position him out of the play at will. With his build at his advanced age, he looks like somewhat of a long-shot to be drafted at this point.