What we learned from Pro-Am Summer League

OK, the summer league isn't over yet but, we can pretty much make some conclusions as follows:

* Joe Uchebo has lost 20-30 pounds and is pulling in rebounds like a vacuum cleaner. Last year, when he was out there wasn't much different than an average walk-on, but now, should at least be acceptable as the 3rd man in at C and possibly will compete for the 2nd man in at C. Should be interesting to see how far Big Joe can get.

* Mike Young has lost 10-15 pounds. One poster said he looked downright skinny. In any case, instead of the 'sluggish' player he looked at times last year, a lot more bounce in his step, and faster up and down the court. Whether or not he is able to make a big improvement in his offensive game remains to be seen, but he should at least get more fast break points and probably good for 10 PPG or so.

* Cam Wright, scored 41 the other day, and was 0-3 from 3ball land. So, expect an improved Cam Wright but more of the same. In other words, can't create his own shot and can't hit the 3ball but otherwise a pretty good player. If we can get scoring otherwise to replace Patterson and Zanna, then Cam might be good for 12 PPG or better.

* Derrick Randall, looked much improved early but has not done much since. A possibility for the starting nod at C but only time will tell what Dixon decides.

* Tyrone Haughton... was not at the Pro-Am, and this really hurts his chances of starting, as he has missed the opportunity of building some chemistry with his teammates. Not sure what is gonna happen on this one

* Chris Jones, has an opportunity to win the starting nod at SF but, doesn't seem like he is really going for it. He is improved but probably the same role he had last year. In other words, might not even play against tougher opponents unless another player can't go or gets into foul trouble.

* Jamel Artis and Josh Newkirk... nothing spectacular from these two but, expect both to be improved. If Jamel can just learn to play some D, he just might be a starter. Josh, could also get a starter nod (see below).

* James Robinson. I had hoped JRob could get some rest this summer and hopefully pick up his scoring this coming year but there he was off at the Nike Skills camp. So, expect more of the same this year from Robinson.

* Sheldon Jeter. Has been solid and consistent but not necessarily spectacular. In other words, could start or come off the bench and should be a solid contributer, but not enough to make up for the loss of Lamar.

* Cam 'Slim' Johnson. Slim has been the big surprise at the pro-am, scoring as much as players that have a year of experience. With this, it is possible Dixon could go with a starting perimeter of Robinson, Newkirk and Wright, with Slim not getting RSed and handling the 3rd man in at guard. But, Dixon may decide to play him at SF instead of guard so, really hard to say on this one. But, he does hit the 3ball with consistency and that is something we need. This one should be interesting to see what happens. Of course, still possible Slim gets RSed.

* Oh, what we didn't learn, is who Dixon is gonna start, and bring off the bench, at C. Young said that Dixon has completely changed his offense around so that C and PF are basically interchangeable. With that, Dixon may indeed start Mike Young at C, but if so what does Dixon do with Randall, Haughton and Uchebo. Only time will tell.

So, my thoughts.


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