Tag Archives: Reggie Bullock

N.C. Pro Am – Thornton is efficient in his short stint

Duke freshman Tyler Thornton surveys the court at the N.C. Pro Am - photo Rick Crank/BDN

DURHAM, N.C – Three Duke Blue Devils took to the court at the N.C. Pro Am on Tuesday evening on the campus of  N.C. Central University.  This was the first appearance  for Andre Dawkins and Ryan Kelly fresh off the national championship and the two scored 10 points apiece while their team lost by 8 points.  True freshman Tyler Thornton added 8 points.

In the preceding game, Team Stackhouse held off a game Team 212  on their way to a 4 point overtime win.  A packed facility saw Harrison Barnes display his various skills scoring 31 points while his teammates Reggie Bullock added 21 and 20 points.   In coming freshman point guard Kendall Marshall took in the action from the sidelines as his teammates took the majority of the shots.

While the Tar Heels played the entire game, that was far from the case in the third game, the most disjointed game of the evening.  Kelly was the exception, playing much of the game if for no other reason than his team had just one other guy over 6-4.  Kelly looks thicker than last season and it is obvious that he has worked on gaining weight in the off season.  I had Kelly at 8 rebounds unofficially. 

Kelly struggled from the free throw stripe and his shot wasn’t as accurate as I have seen, but he showed nice athletic moves polishing off two dunks on successive offensive possessions and moved well with the ball, always looking for open teammates.  He couldn’t  help but wear down playing so many minutes inside.

It was quite a different story for Andre Dawkins who opened the game with a strong one handed throw down dunk and a three point shot.  After starting the game, Dawkins was then benched until the fourth quarter.  Here is the culprit, his team had 13 players on the bench.  Yep, that’s right 18 players on the team.

A bulked up Ryan Kelly drives the ball upcourt - Rick Crank/BDN Photo

Of those 18 players, several off them were in way over their heads and the Team Navy coach seemingly wanted to play all of them which prevented any hope of victory or good basketball.  Dawkins move better with the ball in hands and showed that he continually gets better athletically.

Then there was Tyler Thornton, who to me, was the most impressive of the group despite maybe one quarter of play.  Thornton’s efficiency was evident where he was 3 of 3 from the floor, dishing 3 assists.  He was the best guard on the court when in the game, playing under control, looking for his teammates.  In short, he played smart.  All of that went to the wayside when players from the bench came in and jacked up ridiculous one on one shots which cheapened the game in terms of competitiveness.

Thornton moves well with the ball and is quicker than many realize.  He is more than capable of earning a little burn in his first season at Duke despite the tremendous depth on the roster.  In short, there will be a role for Thornton.  One of his perceived weaknesses was his three point shot, but BDN has told you in the past that he has been working on that part of his game.

The true freshman showed the ability to catch and shoot nailing one three from the corner barely moving the net.  In fact he hit both of his shots beyond the stripe. 

Most of the Blue Devils will play in the event, but Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith have been working on their skills at the LeBron James Skills Academy where both college and high school players participate.  The much anticipated debut of Kyrie Irving will likely come next week where he joins Kyle Singler on his team.

Interestingly, the Duke players are scattered about on the teams, while Team Stackhouse has been dubbed Team Tar Heel by the fans.  N.C. State fans got a chance to see their incoming class last evening where Ryan Harrow took to the court for the first time as well.

The event continues on Thursday evening and the games start at 6:00.  Admission is absolutely free, but be prepared to walk a good ways to get in due to construction which cut out an entire parking lot.  Crowds have been outstanding to date and at times were approaching capacity.  Once the event settles in and the players appear on a more consistent basis that crowd may well push a record. 

Duke fans can only hope that they see more of their players like the efficient Tyler Thornton.  And the reason fans turn out is to see the local schools kids play.  My understanding is that the issue of playing time for the better players will be addressed, but in fairness, this only happened in the third contest. 

Be sure to check the N.C. Pro Am out for it is good free entertainment in a friendly atmosphere.

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Quincy Miller highlights opening night of the NC Pro Am for Duke fans

UNC fans turned out to see there future in Harrison Barnes who scored 16 points including this dunk at the NC Pro Am - Photo copyrighted Rick Crank, BDN Photo

DURHAM – Sporting his Team USA attire, Quincy Miller highlighted the opening night of the NC Pro Am for Duke fans.  Miller had just come back to Durham from San Antonio where the U-18 team had their way with world competition.  Miller, of course, is a key Duke recruiting target in the class of 2011 and the versatile prospect showed he was unafraid to go up against the older guys scoring 14 points in a single half of play due to his late arrival.

Because he was late to the event, the promoter allowed Miller to play for one more half with another team as a fill in and he tallied 10 points in that game.  Miller went up against future UNC player P.J. Hairston. In fact, his severely undermanned team faced what was essentially a Carolina All Star team that consisted of Harrison Barnes, Reggie Bullock, Jon Henson and others.  But with Hairston, the battle got a bit heated.  The two went head to head late in the game and despite surely being tired from jet lag, Miller outscored the offensive minded Hairston 14-13 in a single half of play, meaning, how many would Miller have scored with full two half’s?

Harrison Barnes was as advertised, calm, cool and collected on the court.  Barnes opened the game with two emphatic dunks as his team rolled to an early lead over what appeared to be one of the weakest teams in this years field.  Barnes ended the game with 16 points while coasting in the second half.

Reggie Bullock added 10 points and Henson added 8.  Also playing on the Tar Heel laden Team Stackhouse was Miller’s high school and AAU teammate Deuce Bello who had a game high 18 points and showed off his athletic skill set.  Team Stackhouse won easily by a 81-60 margin.

In an earlier game, the youthful prospect Rodney Purvis scored 16 points while wowing the crowd with his abilities.  Purvis is just a rising sophomore in high school.

N.C. Sate fans turned out in droves as well, but Ryan Harrow and Lorenzon Brown were no-shows.  C.J. Leslie did play though and he tallied 16 points to go with his teammate Tracy Smith 14.

The NBA’s number one draft pick, John Wall, was also in attendance and his presence alone made some in the crowd a bit giddy.  Wall was seen talking to former UNC standout Jerry Stackhouse for most of the evening.

All of the Duke players were no shows due to the break at school and or Nike skills academy camps.  The Blue Devils will start to appear next week where the games are on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

NOTES – There was a very solid opening night crowd despite what was a parking mess due to construction on the N.C. Central Campus.  Expect a nice walk to the event if you are able to attend.  Admission is a bargain in that it is free.  BDN Premium has an article on Quincy Miller due shortly where we get the latest from the prospect.  So, stay tuned to BDN whose history of covering the event is well known.

N.C. Pro Am Report – Duke freshman Mason Plumlee leads team to semi finals

Plumlee defens Singler in an earlier Pro Am game - Rick Crank Photo
Plumlee defens Singler in an earlier Pro Am game - Rick Crank Photo

The North Carolina Pro Am is winding down and Mason Plumlee and Team Duhon take to the court today at 3:00 in the semi finals.  While Plumlee is the last Dukie standing on a winning team, his teammates are likely to be added to rosters which is common practice in this event.

Team Duhon won last evenings nightcap 69-60 over to advance to today’s semi final.  Mason Plumlee led all scorers with 20 points to go with a bushel of rebounds.  He was aided by South Carolina bound Lakeem Jackson who tallied 15.  Jackson was his teammate at Christ School in Arden, North Carolina.

Rising high school senior and UNC bound Reggie Bullock had perhaps his best games (played twice) on Friday.  Bullock looked smooth and added 14 points for the winner.

Brian Zoubek scored 16 points for the losers and his teammate Olek Czyz went for 3 points.   Zoubek is averaging 15.5 in his two games played.

Miles Plumlee has gained some weight in the off season and he scored 12 points to go with 9 rebounds.  His team lost and Miles had several points missed where he didn’t finish or the ball rimmed out.  He finished 6 of 15 from the field.

Kelly snares a board - Rick Crank Photo
Kelly snares a board - Rick Crank Photo

Team Navy took out Team Starkey 71-67 where a comeback effort sparked by Reggie Bullock [19 points] fell short.  Duke freshman to be Ryan Kelly added 15 points on 6 of 13 shooting from the field and 4 rebounds.  Jerry Stackhouse added just 6 points in the loss.

On the other side, John Wall added 15 points and looked really good coming off a sensational effort the evening before.  Wall looks to be an inch taller and has put on significant muscle or added size since I last saw him play.

We’ll break down the players overall play in the tournament on out message board on Monday.  Also, we’ll have a very nice photo gallery in the coming week.  All photos of Duke players may be purchased from Rick Crank.