The best player at the Nike Global Challenge in DC last weekend was probably Tyus Jones, who most believe is the No. 1 recruit in the country. The co-MVPs of the event were Stanley Johnson and D’Angelo Russell. Johnson is the second-coming of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, a 6-foot-5 junkyard dog that can play the point and can defend all five positions. Russell is a dynamic lefty that can score with the best of them when he gets into a rhythm.
As good as those three are, the best NBA prospect may actually be either Kelly Oubre or Rashad Vaughn, who are both 6-foot-6 wings that can score in bunches and project as two-guards in the league.
Perhaps the most intriguing player in the event, however, was Duke-bound Grayson, a 6-foot-3 wing from Jacksonville. He threw down a couple of dunks in traffic, had a couple of swooping finishes at the rim and spent the three days burying three after three.
Now, there are some things that Allen needs to work on in refining his game. He needs to be more aggressive, as he’s too talented to let the game come to him as often as he does. He also needs to develop his mid-range game, as his handle could use some work and he needs to learn to make a floater to avoid charges in the ACC.
Allen is a white guard that’s headed to Duke, which means that if he lives up to his potential, he’s got a chance to be an all-conference caliber player and one of the most hated athletes in the country.
But Allen is a different breed than the Jon Scheyers and Greg Paulus’s of the world.
It will be interesting to see who Duke brings back after next season, because a lineup where Allen teams with Rasheed Sulaimon, Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood would be fun.
(Image via Hoopmixtape)
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.
The injury Stephen Zimmerman suffered on Saturday will keep the star UNLV freshman out for at least a week, a source told NBC Sports.
The injury is not thought to be serious, however. Zimmerman may be kept out for longer as a precaution, but that’s a result of the Runnin’ Rebels being in a situation where the rest of their regular season is relatively meaningless.
They’re not getting an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament regardless of how they finish out league play. With back-up center Ben Carter out with a torn ACL, it’s more important to make sure that Zimmerman, who is averaging 10.6 points and 9.1 boards this season, is totally healthy for the Mountain West tournament.
That tournament, mind you, will be played at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center.
So the Runnin’ Rebels, regardless of how poor they’ve played this season, will always have a chance to land an automatic bid.
Anyway, the more interesting aspect of this story is how Zimmerman injured the knee. It was a completely avoidable play that came after the whistle, but I’m not sure it was what you would call a “dirty play”. You tell me:
With a little more than three minutes left on Monday night, No. 24 Texas held a 57-51 lead on No. 3 Oklahoma in Norman as Jordan Woodard struggled again and Buddy Hield failed to find the rhythm that he had throughout the first three months of the season.
At that point in the game, Hield was 4-for-14 from the floor with 15 points and four turnovers. He had just missed a pair of wide-open threes
“I couldn’t make a shot,” Hield said after the game. But that changed down the stretch. First, Hield finally got a three to drop. On the next possession, he got all the way to the rim and scored. On the following two possessions, he was fouled on a drive to the rim and hit four free throws. And after missing a pull-up jumper, Hield did this:
“I told coach I wanted the ball,” Hield said, “I saw Lammert coming to bite, so I pulled up.”
“It’s all money.”
Hield is already the favorite to win National Player of the Year, and this performance is only going to help his cause further. Think about it like this: Buddy was not good on Monday night, at least according to his (admittedly lofty) standards. But he still finished with 27 points and shook off a cold shooting night just in time to take over down the stretch.
Now think about this: Hield’s head coach has enough confidence in him to hand him the keys in the final minutes despite the fact that he’s struggling and on a team that has two other players that Lon Kruger trusts on game-winning possessions. Think about it. When Oklahoma beat West Virginia at the buzzer, it was Jordan Woodard that the play was drawn up for. When they beat LSU, it was Isaiah Cousins that got the rock on the final possession while Hield was used as a decoy. .
Want to talk about coaching luxuries?
Kruger has three guards that can shoot, penetrate and score, and penetrate and kick, and one of them is the National Player of the Year that doesn’t mind being used as a decoy.