The Erie BayHawks have to make their final two cuts by Wednesday at 5 p.m. to get their roster down to 10 players for the season opener Friday at Fort Wayne.
On Monday night, the BayHawks had a controlled scrimmage at East High School that revealed quite a bit about each of the remaining 12 players. The White team consisted of guards Cedric Jackson, Oliver Lafayette, Rod Wilmont, forwards Ivan Harris, Kyle Goldcamp and center John Bryant.
That team beat the Black team, 34-32. The black team consistead of first-round pick, guard Donell Taylor, guards Zach Sowers and forwards Jackie Manuel, Martin Zeno, Alade Aminu and Jarvis Gunter.
Very competitive game, but here’s what I noticed about each player in the scrimmage.
Cedric Jackson (6-3, 190, PG, Cleveland State). He showed the ability to split the double team on pick-and-roll plays and find the open man or finish at the rim. Now I had heard the guy wasn’t a good jump shooter, but he consistently knocked long-range shots down. His relase is kind of weird, but he can hit the jump shot. Solid player.
Oliver Lafayette (6-2, 190, SG, Houston). We all know he can hit the deep shot as he did with the BayHawks last season. The one thing that Lafayette struggles with is when he penetrates into the lane. He tends to turn the ball over in looking to find a man to pass it to. He had issues creating a shot for others, but when zoned in, Lafayette makes shots. When he’s off, he’s way off.
Rod Wilmont (6-4, 214, SG, Indiana). Wilmont may be the best shooter in camp next to Ivan Harris, but he wasn’t as on target as he’s been in other instances in training camp. He’s not the best on-ball defender, but Wilmont is sly. He’ll grab the jersey, but Wilmont a solid off-ball defender and steal cross-court passes. Does show signs of frustration, but regroups quickly.
Ivan Harris (6-7, 220, SF Ohio State). He can still stroke it from long range,but still doesn’t look comfortable at power forward even though he played that position last season. Seeing him set screens isn’t his thing, but in this offense, that make work to his advantage because Harris can pick-and-pop to the 3-point line for a shot.
John Bryant (6-11, 305, C, Santa Clara). Still working his way into shape, but Bryant has pretty good hands. He posts up really strong and doesn’t lose his ground. Has a decent jump shot, but isn’t getting much life off the ground when shooting it. People won’t really see what the guy is capable of until likely a third or halfway through the season.
Kyle Goldcamp (6-10, 230, PF, Gannon). On one play, he caught a Jackson pass in traffic, took the contact and finished the shot with inside basket. Goldcamp is finishing at the basket, which is something I tended to question when he was at Gannon playing against smaller players. Now his lack of foot speed was exploited some, but he did work on the offensive glass.
Donell Taylor (6-6, 185, PG/SG, UAB). He’s an interested talent. He shoots a low release on his jump shot, but his strength enables him to go in the paint and score. The one thing that jumped out in the scrimmage was Taylor always found the shooter on the other side of the floor. On the pick-and-roll, he hit the big man diving to the lane with sound bounce passes.
Jarvis Gunter (6-10, 210, PF, Arkansas-Pine Bluff). Didn’t see the jump shot enough from 15 feet from either elbow. Gunter will get that shot easier than trying to load up in the box in the post. His has more muscles, but still isn’t as strong as you’d like in terms of finishing shots on the inside after getting an offensive rebounds. Hands are to desired, but he’s got upside.
Zach Sowers (6-5, 185, SG, William Jessup). Only saw him knock down one 3-pointer and this guy is considered a shooter. Now don’t get me wrong. Sowers, who played three years at Akron before finishing his career at an NAIA Division II school, can shoot, but he hesitates until he gets a wide-open shot. Would have liked to see him force the action a bit more.
Martin Zeno (6-6, 205, SF, Texas Tech). Now Zeno is gifted physically. Good quickness, can get to the rim, particularly from the wing. In the scrimmage, he even showed the ability to make the J. The two problems I did see was he didn’t look comfortable handling the ball and had trouble remembering the play or carrying out the play from time to time.
Alade Aminu (6-10, 235, PF, Georgia Tech). Now what he did in the scrimmage was show a lost-post game. On one move, he nailed a turnaround jump shot off the glass. Nice. Very good athlete. Now he didn’t intimidate in the paint by blocking shots, which the BayHawks struggling doing last season. Very talkative in terms of asking coaches quetions on what to do.
Jackie Manuel (6-5, 205, SF, North Carolina). If anyone wonders if Manuel is stronger, all they had to do was see him keep Goldcamp, who has five inches and 30 pounds on him, from getting the ball in the post. The guy does so many little things, but showed the improved jump shot and even blocked Goldcamp’s lay up attempt from behind. He’s just a glue guy.