The Team USA - AA was handed defeat by the well coached Argentinians, 89-94. First, it was a ton of fun watching the Texas Tech Trio, they played almost the entire 2nd half together. Good times. Second, the referees ruined this game for me, they were absolutely horrible on both ends of the court. Their inconsistent calls really frustrated the AA team and it showed as there were 2 technical fouls on the Americans. I was not joking about the Argentinians being well coached, it seemed like they shot two shots all night long, layups (42 points in the paint) and 3-pointers (10-18). This was despite not having one low post presence on the team. I think I recall only 1 shot from the post that wasn't a layup, or an attempted put-back off of a drive to the basket.
The most interesting thing occurred when I walked into Moody Coliseum when 5 feet from me is Billy Donovan, just talking it up with 2 other gents. I had to take a double-take to make sure it was him and I have fuzzy photographic proof if necessary (yes, I did fee like a stalker trying to take a photo of him). He disappeared after 5 minutes or so, but I could never figure out why he was there. He didn't have any players playing, I wonder if he was scouting some of the international teams. Something to keep an eye on for next year's recruiting class.
I also saw one of my leaders, Sports Sturm outside of Moody, I think he caught the previous game.
As far as Team AA, they played well, but as I said above, they were flustered all night by the referees and played from behind almost the entire game. Just looking at the shooting percentages, Argentina shot over 50% and Team AA shot just around 34%. Team AA made up some of their points in free throws, but could never just stop Argentina from doing what they seem to do best, layups and 3-pointers.
I had a number of thoughts on the the Texas Tech signees as well as some of the other incoming freshman to the Big 12:
John Roberson, G, 5-11, Texas Tech: John was rattled early, the coach pulled him for almost the entirety of the 1st half, but played the 2nd half. Roberson just never found his rythm the entire game as he went 0-4 from the field with only 1 assist and 3 turnovers. I can see the potential, but John just didn't have "it" last night. Roberson is very quick and is able to drive to the basket with relative ease, but had a difficult time finding an open man. Roberson (and the entire Team AA) had a difficult time getting out on the break and see Roberson as being most effective in this aspect early in his career. I also thought that his jump-shot starts a little low, which could be an issue as he faces tougher competition. Nothing that can't be remedied and it's not to say that he doesn't have the ability, because he's shown in the past that he can score.
I really like Roberson, I still think he's going to be an excellent player for Tech, but I may have oversold him a little, he's going to need a little time to adjust to the Big 12. Don't get me wrong, I think he's going to be fine, check that, I still think he's great, and I certainly think he'll step up to the challenge.
D'Walyn Roberts, F, 6-7, Texas Tech: The most impressive of the Texas Tech trio and the player of the game, in my opinion. Showed range, and has "Kevin Durant Arms" (i.e. ridiculously long arms that make him a better defensive player from an on-man perspective, but is also able to block shots that normal humans cannot), but perhaps the thing I liked about Roberts the most is that he's got a little bit of attitude and doesn't take any crap from anyone. I really like that attribute and think it will serve him well. I love his game, he's got a nice outside jumper (2-7 from 3 point range) and is not afraid to mix things up on the inside.
Roberts had what was perhaps the play of the game as he had a monster follow-up dunk on a miss, but his overall play was just impressive. I know that his line is going to say that he scored and rebounded well (14 points and 8 boards), but didn't do much else, but he's a very good on-ball defender and can also guard in the post because of his length. I loved his game. He will play significant minutes next year, so I better get used to typing his name.
Mike Singletary, G/F, 6-5, Texas Tech: I just got the general sense that Singletary is just a good basketball player. Nothing in particular stood out, but he just does so many things well. He can score inside, physically he's ready for Big 12 play, he's got a nice jumper, is also a very good on-ball defender, gets really low. Singletary has a nice first step to the basket and can beat his man off the dribble. He really reminded me of Decensae White early last year, would take what the defenders gave him and was opportunistic.
I really loved how he also mixed it up inside (6 boards), but perhaps the most interesting thing was that when the refs were making horrible calls he was very clear and well spoken in his conversations with the referees, which I could hear court side. Singletary is going to make a great Red Raider, irrespective of his play on the basketball court.
- Tyrel Reed, G, 6-5, Kansas: Was the best shooter on Team AA, has a nice pull-up jumper and physically reminds me of Kirk Hinrich. Played point guard for a large chunk of the 1st half. Didn't display the ability to create off the dribble like Hinrich does, but can handle the ball well and has an excellent 3-point shot. He's going to be a very nice player for the Jayhawks. Also, has some hops and can get to the rim, even in traffic.
- B.J. Holmes, G, 5-10, Texas A&M: Holmes is very short, but was probably the 2nd best player on the floor last night. Is extremely quick off the dribble and is able to beat his man and get to the lane with relative ease. As I stated before, his biggest drawback is his height, but he has a number of other attributes that make up for it. It will be fun to watch Holmes and Roberson battle it out in the future.
- Cole Aldrich, F, 6-10, Kansas: Is a very athletic big man, and shows some good offensive moves, but needs to be a little more refined offensively. In other words, he has really good ideas on the court, but still has a little trouble in the execution. He's got a good feel for the game. He was in foul trouble for most of the game and was whistled early for swinging his elbows. I definitely think the refs got to him. Aldrich is going to be really good, but playing against Argentina just didn't suit him, as he had trouble getting back to his man on the defensive end who, as most foreign players can, able to make his 3-point shot.