The Van Buren Boys

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Kenner League Preview

The Kenner League starts up again this weekend. Some of the VBBs will be in attendance at games thorought the summer to provide previews of the newcomers and updates on the development of upperclassmen. Here are the teams on which the Hoyas will be playing, according to (

The Tombs
Jonathan Wallace
Vernon Macklin
Nikita Mescheriakov
Chris Wright

Patrick Ewing, Jr.
Jeremiah Rivers
Austin Freeman
Omar Wattad

DaJaun Summers

Tyler Crawford
Jessie Sapp

Note that Roy Hibbert will not be involved. I assume that means that he will be participating in the 2007 Pan American Games. has also provided a link to a complete Kenner League schedule:

To get ready for the summer, here is my list of the top 5 things I want to see during Kenner League play:

(1) The development of Patrick Ewing, Jr. and DaJaun Summers. With Jeff Green's departure, these two are going to be key to the Hoyas going back to the Final Four. We'll be looking for the whole package--shooting, handle, rebounding, etc. They have some big shoes to fill.

(2) Jump shots. The Hoyas will need better perimeter shooting next year from their guards. Sapp and Rivers, in particular, were suspect in that department. They've have a few months now to shoot until their arms fall off. Let's see what the learning curve is like.

(3) The Burger Boys. Are Freeman and Wright going to be as good as billed? Both reportedly bring things to the table that we really need. Freeman could play the 3 spot and allow Summers to move to the 4 in the Jeff Green role. He is strong and has a great mid-range, which will be key for the offense--again, filling the Jeff Green spot. Wright can supposedly penetrate in a way that none of our current guards can. This will open up the perimeter shots and pull double-teams off of Big Roy.

(4) Ticket. Vernon Macklin came Georgetown as a top-ranked McDonald's All-American. When we saw him play in the Kenner League last year, we described him as "raw." He was indeed, although he showed significant improvement over the course of last season. His passing and footwork were good and he flashed a nice baby hook. Macklin's biggest liability was on defense, where he was regularly pushed out of position. Let's hope he spent the offseason in the weight room and added some significant muscle!

(5) Diamonds in the Rough? To go along with the two heralded guards, Geogetown will have two utter unkowns joining the team in Omar Wattad and Nikita Mescheriakov. What can these guys do that warranted Georgetown scholarships? Presumably, the coaching staff knows something that the recruiting gurus do not--this would not be shocking and it would not be the first time--Jonathan Wallace anyone.....

To further whet everyone's appetite, here is some video of Austin Freeman from Rivals.


Jester of Magellan said...

Any idea at how the Kenner League teams are chosen? Are the coaches involved in the decision? I am curious at how Summers ended up on a team without any other Hoyas. I see his development as the biggest key to next years success. As such, I would really have liked to see him get more game-time experience with some of our guards.

Diamond_Mike said...

I have no idea how they are chosen. I imagine there is likely some sort of screen between the college programs and these teams so that practice rules aren't violated. But I'm not really sure. One potential benefit could be that he will not feel the need to defer to teammates as their development will not be important to the Hoyas. Beyond that, though, it does seem odd and with little potential benefit.