The PBC Pro-Am lived up to its reputation tonight; a whole lot of scoring, not a lot of defense unless it’s for a steal that leads to an unassisted dunk. I watched Tysean Powell and Jordan Stevens in the first games of the day, Micah Mason and LG Gill take on Dominique McKoy and Desmond Ridenour in the second before catching some bonus basketball with Rene Castro and Eric James against Derrick Colter and Stevens pulling double duty.
For the second time in his three games, Powell really stole the show and this time he did it against some pretty good big guys in Zeke Marshall and Lionel Gomes of Robert Morris. Powell is just a great athlete and as long as he’s finishing around the basket, he’s finishing hard. Once again he looked good in transition and was the first one up the court much of the time. What I didn’t notice until tonight was his length which allows him to play bigger than his 6’9” head height. Stevens looked good in every way on offense except for the finish in his first game of the night tallying only nine points but going 6:1 assist to turnover.
Meanwhile, Jeremiah Jones scored 19 points while Darius Lewis made 2 of his 4 shots and snagged 7 rebounds in the other seven o’clock game.
8:15 were the real headliners for Duquesne fans. Having only seen Gill and Mason play once, I decided to take in System One versus UPMC. Before tonight, UPMC were my favorite to win the league but they lost 95 – 90 in a game that wasn’t even that close. Mason took a more active role tonight and played like Duquesne fans hope he can in the fall. He took control of the offense for his team at times and distributed, drove the lane and went 4 of 6 from three. Gill looked much stronger in the second half finishing around the basket with both hands and nabbing rebounds at a fairly high rate. His three wasn’t working today and he didn’t settle for it. McKoy had a double – double in the second half after a slowish start for him. Ridenour had a game that looked better in person than on paper. He got to the hole at will and did a nice job finding teammates. Still, he only finished with 10 points and 3 assists while making just over a third of his shots.
System One and UPMC got to business quickly so I got to take in the final fifteens minutes of the Bakery Square against CRONS. Castro proceeded to pour in 21 points, half his total for the night, in the first six minutes after my arrival. He hit the bench and came back cold for the final five minutes, but he had free will to do what he pleased. Of course, pretty much everyone did in this one. Castro took a lot of shots, but he wasn’t a straight ball hog dishing out 9 dimes in the process. Eric James had a couple of offensive rebounds and put backs but must have scored most of his 19 points before I switched gyms. Derrick Colter’s jumper was working and he tallied 34 to go with 12 rebounds. Stevens bounced back from his poor finishing in the first game to just miss thirty points in the second. Summer league or not, he’s very quick with the ball and handles it well.
Final Score in regulation 127 – 121 CRONS victory.
– Jordan Robinson did not play
– It was announced this afternoon that WVU decided to pull out of the league.