Saturday, November 13, 2010

An Islanders Sneak Preview: Texas A&M Corpus Christi vs. Northeastern St.

Texas A&M Corpus Christi vs. Northeastern St.

In this matchup, TAMCC was fairly effective in the first half, hitting several three pointers and shutting down most of Northeastern St.'s weapons on the offensive end. Reynolds and Bond were solid in the post and Topps was hitting on all cylinders. In the second half, however, Northeastern St. mounted a comeback led by their star Dominique Gaines. During this time, Northeastern St. players were scoring, while TAMCC players were pushing the ball inside and getting fouled. When they failed to convert on almost all of their free throws, they allowed their once 20 point lead to dwindle down to single digits. Ultimately, the Riverhawks' offensive stride was cut short, however, by Horace Bonds' solid defense and Watt's block on Gaines to effectively end the contest.

Texas A&M Corpus Christi Scouting Report

Demond Watt- Watt headlines the Islanders' returnees and should take on a leadership role in his senior season. Watt is a physical presence on the inside, who has a nice drop step and spin move. His jump hook is also fairly effective in the lane. He also tends to attack the glass with reckless abandon. Possessing a solid frame at 6'7, Watt can overpower most midmajor big men. However, it will be interesting to see how he fairs against some bigger frontlines. In the past, he has been effective because of his high post skill level and ability to hit the quick jumper in the paint. On the defensive end, Watt compensates for his lack of height by playing physically and blocking shots off help defense scenarios. Moreover, Watt can pass the ball and generally possesses a solid basketball IQ. In order to be effective at any higher level of basketball, however, Watt will have to achieve more consistency on his outside jumper and work to extend his range. Finally, his free throw shooting has been very poor despite his solid form. He must perfect this before he can play at any higher level of basketball.

Justin Reynolds- Reynolds is a bruising 6'9 interior player with an NBA ready body. He can bang with high major players and is a capable rebounder, particularly on the offensive end. In the post, he has some decent spin moves, but should improve some of his repertoire. He is able to draw fouls at a high rate, but rarely converts at the line. While is shooting form is somewhat effective, as evinced by his occasional three point makes, Reynolds has a tendency to not put enough arc on his shot. If he can improve the consistency of his perimeter shooting and make more of his free throw attempts, Reynolds could easily become a 15 point per game player. Defensively, Reynolds can be effective when he utilizes his superior size and strength. However, he does have momentary lapses where he allows an opposing big man to establish low post position. As it currently stands, while Reynolds has the physical profile of an NBA talent, he currently has some holes in his game which he needs to fix in order to be considered by a professional squad.

Garland Judkins- This Arizona transfer has made an immediate impact, particularly on the defensive end. Judkins has an extremely strong upper body and thus is able to absorb contact while attacking the basket. He is a capable midrange shooter and is crafty when getting in the lane. On the defensive end, Judkins plays hard and has been able to corral some loose balls and force turnovers. Despite this, Judkins is not particularly quick laterally and may struggle to defend some speedy guards. Overall, Judkins has made a nice impact early in the season, and it will be interesting to see how his role evolves by the end of the season.

Antonio Topps- Topps is the new point guard of this Islanders squad. He has waited his turn for three years and now is finally starting to see some minutes as a lead guard. While Topps is not an NBA prospect, he is a decent option for the Islanders because he plays unselfishly and tends to revert to Clarks' offensive sets. Early in the season, Topps has evinced an improved three point shot. He is not particularly effective off the dribble, but he can hit open jump shots. Given the loss of sharpshooter and All Southland performer Kevin Palmer, Topps is going to have to shoot the ball more frequently from beyond the arc. While Topps' experience and leadership are valuable on the offensive end, it is his defense which will be his primary contribution. Topps possesses solid lateral quickness, as he constantly faceguards opposing teams' best perimeter players. Antonio has quick hands and can get in the passing lanes when necessary. Ultimately, Topps is one of the more complete role players on this squad because he plays within himself. If he continues to improve, I see no reason why he could not play in a league like the PBL down the road.

Horace Bond- Bond is a versatile player who is capable of playing multiple positions. In this contest, Perry Clark inserted him in a lineup alongside bigs Demond Watt and Justin Reynolds and he was effective on both ends of the floor. More specifically, his defensive prowess allows him to guard anyone, from a 2 to 5. Such a versatile, experienced presence is exactly what the Islanders are in dire need of. On the offensive end, Bond likes to slip under the basket for layups either through screens or on baseline cuts. Bond attempted to perfect his three point shot over the summer, but this area still remains a work in progress. However, you will see him occasionally step out and hit the open three if he is uncontested.

Jawan Nelson- He is a lumbering post presence that tends to overpower people inside. Nelson can be effective on the glass at times, and is a solid option off the bench. Look for him to take on a major role for the Islanders after the departures of most of their frontline a year from now.

Northeastern St. Scouting Report

Dominique Gaines- Gaines is one of the more explosive guards in Division 2 basketball. He has excellent body control and is able to alter his shot in mid air. Because of these abilities, Gaines is an excellent slasher. The lefty is able to stop and go, and can hit the pull up jump shot- something that is missing for most players at the college level. Gaines' offensive repertoire is very advanced for a division 2 player. He plays within himself and is a willing passer. Despite being only 6'2, Gaines may be able to play either the shooting or point guard positions. If he wants to increase his pro prospects, he will have to bring the ball down the floor more often and look to penetrate and pass to his teammates. Gaines is fairly athletic and thus is an exceptional rebounder for his size. All in all, Gaines is a player that may receive some looks at Portsmouth Camp this
year because of his lightning fast first step and his developed offensive game.

Antoine Branch- This lightning bug point guard is apt at attacking the basket. He has a quick first step, which he uses to exploit opponents off the dribble. Branch is also an excellent shooter when he can find a rhythm on the move. He is capable of making some difficult shots against hard nosed defenders. Branch can play a role as a specialist behind the arc. He is capable of hitting the long ball on the move. He must improve in his role as a facilitator, despite the fact that his Northeastern St. team relies heavily on perimeter play and does not have a player on their roster that is taller than 6'7.

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