The Zag players that were there took the court after the summer youth camps ended at approx 9 p.m. About 300 or so campers, fans, and parents, all strolled over to watch just as camp ended. No refs, free throws, timeouts, or coaches. Just ten Zag players going at it pretty hard for over an hour.
Once again, Gary Bell Junior did not play (he sat out Friday night as well). He watched intently enough and looked anxious as he fidgeted and flipped a basketball back and forth in his hands. His injury is taking a long time to heal and I am beginning to get nervous. It's been quite a while since the Wichita State game where he initially injured his foot. He said it's getting better, but you have to ask yourself what is taking so long.
Anyways, back to the scrimmage. Players that were absent included: Pangos, Karnowski, Wiltjer, Barham, Nunoz, and Rem Bakamus. Surprisingly enough, Kelly Olynyk who is now with the NBA's Boston Celtics showed up.
It was Skins vs Shirts: Skins included- Olynyk, Stockton, Edwards, Dranginis, and our newest walk-on named Justin Triano. Shirts included- Bhaskar, Meikle, Dower, Coleman, and I believe a practice squad player playing the 2/3. I'll be putting up a lot of pictures so if you recognize him please let us know. *Editor's note:The "mystery player" at the scrimmages was Kenny Chandler, a 6'7 wing who won the Slam Dunk contest at Hoopfest two years ago, he was also runner-up last year.
They scrimmaged for about an hour and provided a lot of entertainment. Kelly Olynyk looked to be the best player on the floor. Too bad he is now with the Celtics. Near the end of practice he set up for a three from the wing. Instead of shooting the wide open shot he side stepped inside, blew by his defender, and took it to the rim throwing down a monster tomohawk jam that had the crowd roaring with approval. This was followed up immediately by Dower at the other end who threw down a thunderous jam of his own. A nice way to end the festivities for sure!
I was really impressed with Gerard Coleman, who is coming off a redshirt year. He was quick, had tight handles, was able to put it on the floor and create his own shot, dished the rock, and finished in the paint. He had a sweet jumper to 15 feet and knocked down some threes as well. He is going to have a very nice year.
David Stockton looked like he'd been hitting the weights and his play was solid. His court vision is outstanding, and as usual, he knows how to hit the open man. Kyle Dranginis looked improved and more court savvy. Last year he looked lost at times, not so this year. He also looked like he'd been hitting the weights. Look for him to have a breakout year.
Sam Dower went up against Kelly Olynyk and fared quite well. He scored going to his right on three occasions and was money from anywhere inside the paint. He looked faster, stronger, and seemed to have an improved motor. I feel he can play big minutes in his senior year and will provide the experience and stability in the paint we need.
Meikle looked lost. He could definately use a redshirt year and he needs to bulk up. After that, he could be a nice addition to the depth chart. Not harshing on the guy...he simply needs some work, imo.
I paid a lot of attention to our newest 7 footer, Ryan Edwards. Partly because he is new, but mostly because we are not deep in the low post, having lost Olynyk and Harris. He defends pretty well but he could use a redshirt year to knock off the baby fat and develop. He reminds me of Karnowski in preseason last year. I see a lot of potential in him and could see him being a star in a couple years.
For a walk-on, the Dustin Triano kid was very polished and impressive. He was hitting practically every thing he threw up, and there were a lot of threes falling through in the mix. He was fast laterally, passed very well, and looked like a larger David Stockton. It is unreal to me that our team is so talented that he would be a walk-on. Amazing.
Ok, I'll stop blathering on and let you guys see what you really came for....the pictures. I took a lot of them. Hopefully, you can get a feel for how the players look, who is in shape, and who is not. Enjoy!
Follow along...Lots of pictures after the break!!