July 31, 2011 - The next to last regular season day at D.C. Nike Pro City was eventful. Coverage of yesterday follows:
Hoya Time Machine suffers huge loss - Coming into yesterday's game, on paper Higher Level would have been hard pressed to defeat Clyde's, a team with Georgetown players Aaron Bowen and Nate Lubick, plus frequently boasting the services of ex-Hoya and National Basketball Association player Jeff Green.
What would one assume if five Higher Level players were no-shows (particularly big men), while Clyde's got a boost from not only Green, but his G'Town teammates Jon Wallace and Tyler Crawford, added to a first round pick from last year and fellow Hoya, Greg Monroe? The guess would likely be a 'L' being rung up by Higher Level.
Well, in a word, NOT, as they defeated Clyde's 58-53, stunning the significant and partisan crowd at Georgetown's McDonough Arena. How'd they do it?
"When I came into the gym and saw we were playing against Jeff Green and Greg Monroe, I thought it would be tough" said Mt Olive senior forward Craig Hayes of how he viewed the task. He and his teammates then went to work elaborated the 6'4", 250 pound player that has bounced back from injury: "Our spacing helped; we spread the floor. And do did our pick and rolls".
Interestingly enough, Hayes, who scored a game high 12 points also cited "Rebounding; boxing out and pushing them out" as reasons for the big win.
Bowen led Clyde's with 10 points, while Monroe tallied nine points and Green seven for Clyde's, a team that for a day could be dubbed 'Hoya Time Machine'. Higher Level refused to lose.
Otto was outstanding - It's becoming a common refrain to now say 'Otto Porter played well at Pro City'; the 6'8", 200 pound G'Town freshman is clearly starting to feel comfortable. Yesterday was no exception in his Tombs' team's 65-61 win over Team Turner.
Porter dropped 21 points - leading all scorers in the process. Sank were long jumpers, finishes, mid-range shots and free throws. During one second half stretch, Otto scored three consecutive times, once contributing an and-one.
But to pin all his impact on scoring would be folly; Porter again illustrated a high drive, hustling for loose balls and running the floor. Otto also routinely found open people for easy shots, constantly making the right basketball decision.
Junior G'Town forward Hollis Thompson scored 12 points for Team Turner, eight in the second half. Los Angeles Laker second round draft pick Ater Majok finished with 9 points, while former Maryland guard Adrian Bowie had 10.
Make or break day - Yesterday's action further clouded an already overcast playoff picture. Today's league final in regular season play, will make or break some teams.
In Hyper Dunk Division play, Beyond Belief is a lock for first place at 6-1, as is Tombs (5-2), after which the next three teams seem to have a solid chance at making the top four cutoff for playoff participation - Boss Auto (3-4), Team Symonds (3-4), and Higher Level (3-4).
The road will not be easy for those three, as Symonds takes on Team Turner (a team fighting to remain in the playoff hunt itself), Boss battles Team Takeover and Higher Level faces always dangerous 6th Man Sports.
The Hyper Air Division is no less convoluted; three teams, Turner, Takeover and Clyde's are 4-3. Of the trio Clyde's might have the most compelling foe, Tombs - a matchup with major Hoya implications as the G'Town rookies on Tombs will face vets on Clyde's.
DCX (3-4) could slide into the playoffs with a win over DC Assault, while the team with consistently the most professionals, defending champion A. Wash/Madness (3-4) is in the same position, though they face Beyond Belief, the league's top seeded team.
- Lubick did not play; his right arm was still in a sling after being injured last week. - Austin Cooley, junior swingman formerly of Niagara, indicated both Bowie State and UDC are options for him. A decision must be made in short order.
For more on Bowen, Porter, Thompson, in addition to Majok's play and opinion of G'Town's frosh, see the Premium Court message board.