2012 Nike Hoops Summit Preview

2012 Nike Hoops Summit

Through a week’s worth of practices, three days in which I was here, the World Select Team and US Select Team have been preparing for tonight. The practices ratcheted up the last few nights getting ready for the game.

This year it is no secret that the talent is down and a lot of players that should (or could) be here are not going to be competing. Notable absentees this year are French wing Evan Fournier, Russian guard Dmitry Kulagin, and Australian center Steven Adams. Those three would very likely be starting while adding an element of star power to the World Team.

Fournier is potentially the only International player with first round potential in this year’s class after we had a boom in the 2011 Draft last year.

In this year’s International practices only a few players have stood out so far. It is an underwhelming group that for the most part has three, maybe four future NBA talents playing. All throughout the practices the buzz was mainly around 17 year old Andrew Wiggins –the youngest player on either team. Wiggins has been impressive all throughout practice and very well could be a top draft pick if he declared today. He measured out at 6”7 195 lbs. with a 6”11 wingspan, which is surreal for a sophomore in high school.

Leo Westermann of France has been another bright spot for the International team. He is a very big point guard standing 6”7 and has really stood out in practice. Westermann has become a leader for the team in practice and will surely be just that in the game tonight. He is a great shooter that has been working hard on his decision-making, passing, and leadership as a point guard.

The big men on the International team are not anything to get excited about which is a far cry from what they usually are. In general, the International big men (Enes Kanter, Jonas Valanciunas, etc) are the biggest mismatch problem for the USA Team. This year 6”10 (small forward by nature) Dario Saric could very well be the starting center.

The starting group will likely consist of Wiggins, Westermann, Saric, Anthony Bennett (Canada), and Michal Michalak (Poland). The other two starters add an element to the team that makes them more complete. Michalak is an elite shooter and Bennett is a rugged forward that adds athleticism and toughness to the frontline.

For the USA Team the practices have been intense and tough, which is no shock under the tutelage of head coach Kevin Boyle.

The marquee stars for the event are Shabazz Muhammad (No.1 high school prospect according to Rivals.com, Undecided) and Nerlens Noel (reclassified to 2012, Undecided).

Muhammad has been a force in practice never taking a play off and playing as hard, if not harder, than he does in games. It is all about being prepared and hard work for him. Noel actually showed up a day later than his teammates after taking care of some academic affairs and has looked a step behind.

In practice Noel did not look good, but he is absolutely a player to watch with the weak frontline of the Internationals he may have a big game. Another player who did not practice well was Tony Parker (No.33, Undecided), but when the scrimmage began nobody could stop him from rebounding or scoring.

More impressive in practice was Kyle Anderson (No.2, UCLA) and Archie Goodwin (No.12, Kentucky). Anderson is the prototype of a point forward and has the best measurements of anyone in the game (see below). Do not adjust your TV; he is moving at normal speed, for himself. Anderson plays the game at a pace that keeps the defense off balance and him in firm control. Goodwin is another story. He plays the game at full speed on both ends and is a relentless attacker.

Three players that may have a great game tonight after the way they have practiced are James Robinson (No.58, Pittsburgh), Rasheed Sulaimon (No.32, Duke), and Kaleb Tarczewski (No.20, Arizona). Throughout practice Robinson, a pure point guard, has earned such compliments as being “the next Kendall Marshall” and a “great floor general” from scouts and the media. Sulaimon is easily the team’s best shooter from deep and will be tasked with guarding the best perimeter players while on the floor. Then you have Tarczewski who is a very mobile, athletic, and classic version of a center.

Team USA Measurements

Player

Ht

Wt

Wing

Reach

Archie Goodwin

6″5

195

6″10

8″4.5

Gary Harris

6″4

210

6″6.5

8″3.5

James Robinson

6″3

201

6″2.5

8″2

Rasheed Sulaimon

6″4.25

186

6″8

8″5

Marcus Paige

6″1

165

6″5.5

8″2

Player

Ht

Wt

Wing

Reach

Kyle Anderson

6″8.5

233

7″2.5

9″0

Mitch McGary

6″9.75

263

7″0

8″11.5

Shabazz Muhammad

6″5.75

225.5

6″11.25

8″8

Nerlens Noel

6″11

216

7″1

9″0

Tony Parker

6″9

273

7″1

9″0

Kaleb Tarczewski

6″11.75

243

6″11

9″0.5

 

International Team Measurements

Player

Ht

Wt

Wing

Year

Aleksandar Cvetkovic

6″2

165

6″2

1993

Leo Westermann

6″7

199

6″4

1992

Taurus Jogela

6″7

198

6″5

1993

Andrew Wiggins

6″7

195

6″11

1995

Vytenis Cizauskas

6″3

191

6″3

1992

Player

Ht

Wt

Wing

Year

Michal Michalak

6″6

194

6”6

1993

Anthony Bennett

6″7

239

7″1

1993

Dario Saric

6″10

223

6″10

1994

Marcos Delia

6″10

226

7″0

1992

Patson Siame

6″11

215

7”2

1993

Wang Zhelin

7”0

251

6″11

1994

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