Friar Basketball

Pan Am Scrimmage Impressions and Twitter Reax

Friars Team USA Providence Athletics

Impressions from the Pan Am scrimmage…

I wasn’t sure what kind of crowd to expect, but Alumni Hall was virtually packed by the end of the first quarter. Faces in the crowd included Jim Boeheim (Boeheim’s son, Buddy, was on the East Coast Team), former head coach Tim Welsh, and 1997 PC grad Ruben Garces, while rising senior Kalif Young took the game in from mid-court. Perhaps the biggest surprise of the evening came when I spied Boeheim smiling and taking a selfie in the first quarter.

Ed Cooley started Collin Gillespie and Jermaine Samuels of Villanova, Alpha Diallo, former Creighton center Geoffrey Groselle, and Myles Powell — the likely preseason All American guard out of Seton Hall. The five-some started slowly, with Powell air balling the first shot attempt of the game and three empty trips out of the gate before Powell converted a layup.

Nate Watson was the first player off of the bench. David Duke followed 90 seconds later. After Duke checked in Team USA closed the opening quarter on a 14-2 run. They led 24-8 after the first

Cooley’s bunch really struggled from deep early on, but got it rolling early in the second, with Mustapha Heron (St. John’s), Samuels, and Powell knocking down 3-pointers on three straight possessions to open the quarter. What was a 10-8 game became 33-9 advantage at the end of that spurt.

A few quick notes on the East Coast All Stars. Aside from Boeheim, the most notable names were John Mooney of Notre Dame (a 6’9 double double specialist), Jerome Desrosiers of Princeton, and Bryant point guard Ikenna Ndugba. Ndugba redshirted due to injury last year, while Desrosiers is a familiar name from the local AAU and prep circuit. Desrosiers was highly rated early in his prep career and was a key cog on a Prep National title winner with Northfield Mount Hermon.

Three pointers by Samuels and Creighton’s Tyshon Alexander (who shot the ball well all night) midway through the second quarter pushed Team USA ahead 39-14, and Watson finished an and-1 to make it 43-19. Watson led all Friar scorers with 13 and had his way inside in the second half. Cooley gave him the nod coming out of the locker room (alongside Gillespie, Powell, Diallo, and Samuels).

Duke finished with six points and a sneaky nine assists.

New Friar point guard Luwane Pipkins sat out the game to rest a sore knee. Cooley told the press after the game that Pipkins will not travel and play in Peru. That leaves one available spot, which looks like it could go to PC sophomore AJ Reeves. Reeves was one of three alternates, along with recent Georgetown graduate Greg Malinowski and Butler’s Sean McDermott. McDermott left the team earlier this week after suffering an injury, while Reeves outshined Malinowski tonight.

Reeves did not see the floor until there was just over a minute to play in the first half. He promptly finished a layup at the buzzer and end the game the with 10 points in limited minutes. He buried a pair of 3-pointers and rimmed out a third. Reeves could be a tide-turner off of the bench with his ability to string together deep shots in quick succession.

Powell left the floor after grabbing his ankle at one point, but returned to action, while Gillespie went to the locker room after appearing to injure his finger or hand. It did not look serious.

Providence graduate and current Fox Sports Ohio reporter Cayleigh Griffin returned to campus to work the game for the Big East Network. Griffin was an on-air correspondent for the Big East before eventually covering the San Antonio Spurs and now the Cleveland Cavaliers.

There’s a lot to comb through from Twitter tonight:

One Comment

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