Friday, May 22, 2009

TOC: Friday Night Update

Game 1: MBA Elite vs. Carolina Cobras
Although Mychal Parker played at the same time (8pm) we just could not pass up the chance to see CJ Leslie (a top 10 player in 2010) vs. Laquinton Ross (#1 player in 2011). MBA features Ross (2011), Rodney Hood (2011), Demarco Cox (2010) and Deville Smith (2011). All of whom apparently have been offered by the Pack. They took on CJ Leslie and Tayshawn Mabry (2010). This game was full are stars and they did not dissapoint.

Now, we've seen a lot of CJ Leslie over the past year but tonight he was in rare form. He was extremely aggressive, vocal and as always, athletic beyond belief. The kid is scary good. He does things that kids at this level just should not be able to do, hitting 3's, beating guards off the dribble, and blocking shots he has not business coming close to. However, as good as Leslie was, Tayshawn Mabry was better. Many believed that the signing of Josh Davis meant Mabry was on the outs. Folks, it's hard to believe that could be the case with the way he performed tonight. He is athletic, strong, smart and relentless. He has a nose for the ball and is quicker than anyone else on the floor, off the bounce. Oh and lets not forget the lefty jumper that was falling all night. We couldn't stop talking about how impressive this kid was tonight.
On the MBA side it was Demarco Cox who was a very pleasant surprise. Standing at 6'8 and 288lbs, Cox is a monster on the football field, but his love lies on the hardwood. This kid is as impressive a true big as I've seen lately as far as pure size, use of his body and touch around the hoop go. I doubt there is anyone in the nation that could move this kid out of the way. He's a solid as a rock 288 and knows how to score the basketball and clog the lane.

Laquinton Ross is a monster. We know. He recently dropped 50 in an AAU game so we know what he's capable of. However, tonight he wasn't himself. We weren't sure if it was the presence of CJ Leslie or the fact that he just stepped off a bus from Mississippi, but Ross just couldn't get it going. He played softer than we've seen in the past, but still put up pretty good numbers. When the Cobras went to a zone Ross got complacent and was settling for 3's that just weren't falling. Remember though, Laquinton is only a rising Junior and surely has "star" written all over him.

We've seen Rodney Hood (2011) twice and both times we felt as if he was way too passive. Tonight was not different as he passed up shot after shot. He is definitely not a selfish player and loves to get his teammates involved, but he's a shooting guard or Small Forward so he'll be looked to for scoring, something he's just not comfortable doing right now, even though he has a silky jumper. He is a good prospect but until he shows us something else, we feel like he has a lot to work on.

Deville Smith is a newer name on the scene but one you should know. He is a 2011 PG with uber-quickness and lots of athleticism. He plays the game smart and is a vicious defender, staying in the passing lane and absolutely hounding the opposing guards.

We left with about 1 minute to go so we could go catch Ryan Harrow over at Duke, but when we left the Cobras had a commanding lead. Here is how the stats broke down:

Tayshawn Mabry 27 pts 4 rebs 1 assist 4 blks 1 steal
CJ Leslie 18 pts 4 rebs 1 assist 6 blks 2 steals


Rodney Hood 5 pts 3rebs 2 assists
Demarco Cox 15 pts 8 rebs 2 blks
Laquinton Ross 18 pts 3 rebs 2 assists
Deville Smith 11 pts 2 rebs 3 assists

Video on the way!!


4 Responses to "TOC: Friday Night Update"
  1. P Sizzle88 said...
    May 23, 2009 at 12:44 AM

    My bad. I guess I jumped the gun on you guys.

  2. P Sizzle88 said...
    May 23, 2009 at 1:00 AM

    I seen Mabry play last year when Rocky Mount played Nash Central and he wasn't that impressive to me. That being said, he did look like he was bored because of the competition so maybe that's what it was. He did end up with about 25pts, 10 or 12 rebs, and a couple of blocks, but Nash Central had no one nearly as talented as Tayshawn.

    Maybe he plays to the level of his competition.

  3. Wolfpack Hoops said...
    May 23, 2009 at 1:10 AM

    I saw him play at the Carolina Challenge and was not impressed either, but tonight the kid was amazing. We have video so you'll get to see it. He was a human highlight reel tonight and was just so active and aggressive. I was shocked.

  4. Anonymous said...
    May 23, 2009 at 9:21 AM

    What I found the most impressive with Mabry was his constant ability to follow his own shot. Numerous times he would miss a shot just to follow up with his own rebound and finish it with style. Very solid prospect.


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