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June 17, 2006

King finds rhythm during USA Trials

SAN ANTONIO, Texas-23 participants in the USA U18 National Team Trials hit the hardwood for a second session Saturday evening. Feeding off the passing of guards Nolan Smith and Johnny Flynn, Taylor King found his rhythm from behind the arc.

Taylor King scored 19 points on 7 of 13 shooting, including 4 of 7 from the arc. He also had 4 rebounds, 4 steals, 1 block, 1 assist and 4 turnovers. The bottom line on King is that he is a great shooter when he takes good shots. They don't have to be great shots, but at least good shots. King also rebounds well, but his foot speed will always be an issue defensively.

Tajuan Porter had a big evening scoring a session high 24 points on 9 of 16 shooting, including 6 of 10 from the arc. He also had 2 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 assists and 3 turnovers. Despite the big scoring numbers, Porter's scoring mentality might not be what the selection committee is looking for when they make their first round of cuts tomorrow.

Nolan Smith bounced back from tweaking his knee this morning to have a big evening session. He scored 16 points on 7 of 18 shooting and grabbed an impressive session high 9 rebounds while dishing out a session high 8 assists to only 1 turnover. Smith is a natural at the point guard position with strong instincts on both sides of the ball. Did have some trouble finishing in the lane against the bigger bodies.

Reggie Redding scored an efficient 16 points on 7 of 9 shooting, including 2 of 2 from three. He also had 2 rebounds, 1 block and 1 assist to 3 turnovers.

Gary Johnson scored 12 points on 6 of 7 shooting while also grabbing 4 rebounds. Limited in his range and skills with the ball, Johnson was successful this evening with his effort and tenacity around the basket.

DaJuan Summers picked up his game this evening after sub-par performances in the first two practices. He hit for 12 points on 5 of 13 shooting, grabbed 5 rebounds, had 2 blocks, but turned the ball over 3 times with 0 assists.

J.J. Hickson also raised the level of his game this evening. He played with energy and showed some diversity to his post up game while scoring 11 points on 5 of 11 shooting. He also had 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 turnovers.

Donte Green had an efficient outing with 11 points on 5 of 7 shooting, including 1 of 2 from the arc, along with 6 rebounds, 1 block, 3 assists and 1 turnover. A finesse player with a soft touch as a shooter and passer, Green's ultimate position is small forward. Passing off the dribble might just be his greatest strength, and he is better defending on the perimeter than in the lane. Strength development is critical for his NBA prospects.

Johnny Flynn played a solid game at the point, scoring 11 points on 5 of 10 shooting, including 1 of 4 from the arc. Flynn has been explosive with the ball, but has yet to demonstrate his marksmanship from deep. He also had 2 rebounds, 1 steal, 5 assists and 2 turnovers.

Michael Beasley scored 11 points on 5 of 9 shooting but was not the impact player that he has been in the other sessions. He grabbed 5 rebounds, but had 3 turnovers to 0 assists.

Stanley Robinson continued his athletic, versatile and aggressive play with 10 points on 5 of 8 shooting, 3 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block, 1 assist and 2 turnovers.

Kyle Singler hit for 10 points on 4 of 12 shooting, including 1 of 5 from three. He also had 2 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block and 4 assists to 0 turnovers. Singler continues to standout as the most complete player on the court. Two possessions standout-on one he crossed over Nolan Smith right to left in the open court and got to the rim. On the other he cut Jerryd Bayless off on a baseline drive and then blocked his hop back jumper.

Chris Wright scored 9 points on 4 of 9 shooting, including 1 of 4 from the arc. He also had 2 rebounds, 2 steals, 6 assists and 5 turnovers. Wright made some good things happen with the ball, but will need to cut down on his turnovers to secure playing time at the point.

Jerryd Bayless continues to excel at the point guard position. He scored 8 points on 4 of 11 shooting, while also recording 2 rebounds, 3 steals and 7 assists to 3 turnovers. His NBA future is at the point.

Drew Gordon scored 8 points on 3 of 5 shooting while matching his points with 8 rebounds. As active as ever, he also had 2 steals, 1 block, 3 assists and 2 turnovers. Gordon is an exceptional rebounder and is a quality passer in the high post. He does need to improve his range and ability to create his shot. Most of his points come off put backs and in transition.

Julian Vaughn scored 7 points on 3 of 5 shooting. He also had 8 rebounds and 2 steals.

Spencer Hawes scored 6 points on 3 of 7 shooting while grabbing 4 rebounds and dishing out 1 assist. The highly skilled big man did not get the touches to do a lot of damage.

Lance Thomas scored 6 points on 3 of 7 shooting. He also had 2 rebounds, 3 steals, 1 assist and 1 turnover.

Blake Griffin scored 5 points on 2 of 8 shooting while grabbing 8 rebounds. He also had 2 steals and 1 assist.

Gani Lawal scored 4 points on 2 of 6 shooting. He also had 2 rebounds, 2 blocks and 1 assist.

Cole Aldrich scored 4 points on 2 of 3 shooting, while also grabbing 3 rebounds, blocking 2 shoots and recording 1 assist to 1 turnover.

Chris Allen only took 4 shots, making 1 three pointer for 3 points. He had 1 rebound, 1 steal and 3 assists to 1 turnover as well.

Joevan Catron scored 3 points on 1 of 3 shooting while grabbing 2 rebounds. He also had 1 steal 2 assists and 1 turnover.

Statistical leaders after three sessions

Double figure scorers are Taylor King 14.7 per session, Michael Beasley13.3, Kyle Singler 11, Gani Lawal 10.7, Chris Allen 10.7 and Spencer Hawes 10.3.

Leading rebounders are Julian Vaughn with 6.3 per session, Drew Gordon 6.0, Spencer Hawes 5.7, Blake Griffin 5.7.

Tops in assists are Nolan Smith with 5 per session, Jerryd Bayless 4.7, Johnny Flynn 4, Chris Allen 3.3, Chris Wright 3.3 and Tajuan Porter 3.3.


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