The NC Pro Am once again threw the ball into play on Tuesday evening and there were some interesting performances along the way. The night was highlighted by the appearance of Dr. LeRoy Walker, a former NCCU coach who is an iconic figure in Track and Field and the local community. Walker was the first black president of the US Olympic Committee and is 90 years old. He is a former member of Omega Psi Phi and is a graduate of Benedict.
The evenings first game pitted the RDU Barnstormers minus Kyle Singler and Team Williams. Williams wore them down inside down the stretch. That coupled with turnovers sent them to a third loss, the final score being 75-71.
Olek Czyz threw down four dunks which brought cheers from the crowd. In fact, he pretty much entertains the crowd every night whether they are a Duke fan or not. OC as he is called, finished with 14 points. He was pitted against Vasil Evtimov, an experienced former Wolfpack player and held his own.
Evtimov reached into his bag of tricks on occasion and would out fox the incoming freshman. Olek didn’t back down, pinning one of his shots and taking it right two the taller Bulgarian. For every play Evtimov made, Olek frustrated him with his ability to get to the hole on offensive. If it were scored as a fight it was a draw or Olek by a slim decision. For further scouting analogies on Czyz and other players become a member of Blue Devil Nation Premium which is our subscription service.
Nolan Smith looked smooth and in control and had a nice game despite not handling the ball that often. He made some sweet passes and tallied 15 points. His guard heavy team kept him from truly showing off his skills in that he was almost a “3” guard if you will, meaning he almost took on a small forward or a second shooting guard role at times.
Miles Plumlee failed to show for the next game and our understanding is that he is hampered by a minor knee problem. For all the disappointment from no shows, there was one huge surprise on the evening. That being the first appearance of Gerald Henderson since his wrist surgery.
“G” started off slow, possibly due to his teammates getting use to him. The cold hard truth is that they didn’t seem to get him the ball so he could show his skill set and he had to make his own plays. This led to a couple of forced shots, many rimming in and out early. By games end, he was acclimating himself and showing his renowned ability to flush dunks. Henderson ended the game with a quiet 19 points, but there was no doubt he will pick up where he left off last year and in my opinion will blow up this year, not that he will have a breakout season for he already has, but that he’ll take the next step.
I watched him battle Lance Thomas who played alongside Jerry Stackhouse, the two having good chemistry together. Thomas had a successful game on both ends of the floor and hustled his butt off. In the second half, Hendo switched on him and did manage to slow him down a draw a couple of fouls. Still, it was a solid showing from LT who tallied 12 on the official box score, but on this evening it seemed to me like he had 19 and G had 12.
Thomas and Stack’s team proved too much for Team KG and they cruised to a 77-59 win and remaining the only undefeated team. Stackhouse ended the game with 13. Danny Green and Ed Davis of UNC were no shows for this game and Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington have yet to play despite being on rosters.
Elliot Williams and Steve Johnson suited up for E-Net in the nightcap and the result was a defensive game early on where both teams had 40 combined at the half. EWill wasn’t that effective in the first half, but warmed up in the second half when his team scored just under fifty cruising to their second victory and an easy win.