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Hoopaholic’s Gazette: Gym Report

Spotted over the weekend after workouts and pick up games: Projected best Cardinal baller Trentyn Flowers, and new kid in town, Koron Davis, hangin’ out, trading dunks.

And shooting videos of each other.

My man courtside, Gym Eyes, opines they seemed to be bonding, as we’re wont to say.

Camaraderie. Team chemistry. Good thing.

Ty-Laur Johnson remains MIA. I have no insider info as to the reason.

Everybody else on the extreme makeover of U of L hoops is around, and in the gym.

As is my guy, Gym Eyes.

Here are some of his further observations. Second hand hearsay obviously.

When I asked who looks to be the team leader, he immediately responded, “Skyy Clark.”*

Of whom was offered, “He’s All That!!!”

Other descriptors used: “Quick.” “Shifty.” “Strong.” “Finds his teammates and gets them the ball.” “Plays D.”

*I can hear the naysayers already. KP (or whatever dismissive aberration of Coach’s name they use) brought in some guy who sucked at Illinois to be team leader? Have you seen his abysmal A/TO stats? As if we ourselves or someone we know has never found themselves in an uncomfortable, difficult situation, and evolved after moving on.

Given what I’m hearing from several sources, I choose to believe Clark’s season in Champaign-Urbana was a throwaway. Thoroughbreds have bad days. Secretariat, a steed who was undeniably “all that,” finished 3d in the Wood Memorial before his Triple Crown.

The other fellow observed to have significant leadership characteristics is Manny Okorafor, who has been rehabbing from his injury last year, “but is ready to return to practicing.”

Also in the training room dealing with minor physical setbacks: Dennis Evans III and Danilo Jovanovich.

The latter is my pick as the obvious choice to be the squad’s Rah Rah Guy. He didn’t play in the pick up game observed, but was still there cheering his mates on. His game videos show him to be a talker.

Tre White is good at going to the rim, with a sweet midrange jumper.

Curtis Williams Jr., a bit less agile than most of the other newcomers, is said to have a good spot up jumper.

GE had an interesting comment, when I inquired about Kaleb Glenn, with his strong athletic build. The kid is cut.

Apparently Mike James and Brandon Huntley-Hatfield chose sides for the pickup game observed. Glenn was on James’ team. At some point, he stopped cutting to the hoop because James wasn’t getting him the ball.

That lack of inventiveness cutting and passing was one of the many flaws of last year’s team, James being a prime example of the many who just did their thing when they got the rock.

The point of the observation was James’ lack of situational awareness, not Glenn’s reaction.

If it doesn’t improve, I’d opine that James’ PT will suffer.

But it is a correctable trait.

I’m reminded of the career of Jerry Eaves. As key as he was to U of L’s ‘80 title — he made the plays immediately in advance of Grif’s go ahead J — Eaves had a propensity not to see his mates on fastbreaks. My memory is that until sometime in his junior year, he drove it down the court with his head down.

Then he corrected it.

So too can Mike James.

More later.

— c d kaplan