Nov 15, 2011

Dayton Dunbar @ Lasalle- Scrimmage Report

Cincy Prep Hoops Report had a chance to stop by the home of the defending Ohio Division I State Champions, the LaSalle Lancers, as they scrimmaged one of the most hyped teams in the midwest this season in Dayton Dunbar. In a fast and furious run, which Dunbar's starters were able to comfortably defeat LaSalle with their pressure and overwhelming firepower, we learned a lot about both teams:

Sophomore PG/SG Jeff Larkin could have a breakout year
LaSalle Lancers- 

  • This team is going to have to find a way to handle pressure with other players besides Josh Lemons. Dunbar's defense was most effective because it wore Lemons down; and with Lemons worn down it becomes tough for the Lancers to run offense and get to the rim (remember Lemons is the only returning starter off the State Championship team). 
  • This team shoots the ball much better then last year. Lemons, Connor Speed, Chris Rodriguez, Jeff Larkin, and several other Lancer role-players really looked good shooting the ball. The outside shot is critical to the LaSalle offense as teams have to be careful how much they help off of shooter while defending Lemons and the Lancer's complex Princeton offense.
  • Pressure can beat pressure. Even though they struggled against the Dunbar starters the Lancers were able to apply pressure of their own, in typical LaSalle style, causing turnovers and leading to easy buckets. 
  • The two football stars- Joe Berger and Ryan Leahy give this team a true inside dynamic that they didn't have last year. Both these players provide rebounding, finishing, experience, and toughness in the Lancer system. 
  • The thing that CPHR most noticed tonight about LaSalle- Jeff Larkin is ready to play! The 6'0 sophomore combo guard is a pure shooter that can take his man off the dribble and pull up with a quick release. Larkin also handles the ball, and tough pressure, very well for a sophomore. Most importantly to Coach Fleming is that Larkin has the quickness, tenacity, and tough mentality to guard opposing guards and turn them over in the Lancer press.
Dayton Dunbar Wolverines-
  • Believe the hype! The Wolverines are as good as advertised. Their projected starting five was the one that took the floor tonight and dominated the game. Seniors Andre Yates, Gary Akbar, and Deontae Hawkins all looked motivated to make a run to another Dunbar State Championship.
  • Freshman PG Amos "AJ" Harris is for real! Considered one of the truly elite PG's in the country for freshman Harris was sensational off the dribble by rocking his man to sleep and delivering pin-point passes into tight locations. What CPHR loved about Harris tonight was the look of his lefty shooting stroke and his ability to control the game, without trying to do too much. 
  • They have more depth then people realize. Dunbar ran 12 different players into the game and really didn't miss a beat. Their size and strength inside was a pleasant surprise as several wide-bodied big men provide a nice complement to the leaner 6'7 Deontae Hawkins and 6'7 Damarion Geter. CPHR was particularly impressed with the bench spark provided by 6'3 junior PF/C Jamal Clemmens and 6'0 senior PG/SG LaQuon Archie. 
  • Sophomore combo guard Willie Green will have a chance to be very good. Harris and Green seem like the Dunbar backcourt of the future as Green has big time quickness and a killer mentality that, with some refinements to his decision making, can turn him into a elite scorer. At 6'2 with athleticism, a tight handle, and a knack for blowing by his man Green is able to get in the lane and score at will but needs to focus on making the simple play, as opposed to the spectacular to reach his potential. 

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