"It's All About The Game"

Practice Notes: Takeover 17u/16u Black 5.21.13






Ron Bailey, Publisher

Tournament week brings increased intensity.

May 24, 2013 - It’s tourney prep week for Team Takeover’s headliner teams. Though its 16u Black team is not traveling to Richmond this weekend, the 17u Black crew is certainly going to Minneapolis for EYBL action.

Both teams went at it with aplomb Tuesday evening, in both skill work and team play. The latter consisted of three teams playing simultaneously; two competing on one half of the court, the other waiting to defend after one of the first two either scored or got a stop. Few fouls were called in this competition, one that created constant, energized play. It’s a staple of Takeover’s game prep.

After the spirited and focused 1.5 hour session, several players, including alumni, discussed recruitment and other topics.

Kromah can go many places: A senior guard most recently of George Washington, 6’5”, 210 pound Lasan Kromah demonstrated to Atlantic 10 Conference foes he’s a guy that can not only shoot from distance, but get looks off the bounce. He’s a scorer, one that has built his body to accept contact over the years.

Having decided to leave GW for his fifth year – one granted through an extra year granted due to injury and having graduated - media reports have Kromah rejoining Karl Hobbs at UConn (Hobbs coached him his first two years at GW). Lasan didn’t confirm or deny it, but indicated the Huskies, Xavier and “some others” were all in play.

Kromah on the decision to leave: “I thought since I went four years there, it was a good time to explore other options”.

That's Lasan Kromah shooting, while Stan Robinson defends.

In Foggy Bottom Kromah developed his ball handling and shot creating skills. During this Takeover practice, he continued that, driving into the paint during drills, primarily against fellow Takeover alum Stan Robinson, a soon-to-be Indiana freshman. Their battles were illustrative to present Takeover guys, who must learn how hard you must play going forward.

Visitors: In addition to Kromah and Robinson, Josh Hart along with Victor Oladipo and Jerian Grant showed up. The last two didn’t play, arriving at the end of practice, but greeted everyone nevertheless.

Grant indicated he was home for awhile, where continued work on ball handling and shot creation would occur; earlier that day he went though paces at his alma mater DeMatha. Per the grapevine, Grant, a 6’3” guard at Notre Dame could very well be trying out for USA Basketball in late June for participation in the World University games.

Oladipo is expected to be a top selection in the NBA Draft next month. He continues to prepare for pre-draft workouts with National Basketball Association franchises in the DMV.

Robinson is also working on his game, in anticipation of arriving on Indiana’s campus this summer. During the practice he exhibited trademark defensive toughness, while also going at Kromah tooth and nail. Coaches such as 16u head guy Corey Alexander stressed to him repeatedly the need to finish with his off-hand, the right.

Hart, slated to arrive at Villanova in a few months, was well, Hart, driving defending and challenging everyone. His jump shot and ball handling work continues.

Player Notes:

Teron Oliver – 6’9”, 230 pound, Class of 2015 center, Montrose Christian (MD) - The likes of Virginia and Indiana are interested in this big guy, one that has changed his body, becoming more lean and mobile. It has resulted in better defensive range for Oliver; he’s more athletic.

“I didn’t really play as much” said Oliver after practice of attending Montrose Christian last year, though he “worked hard playing help side defense”. Resultantly, Oliver feels much better with defensive team concepts and assignments.

Oliver’s back to the basket game is “coming along pretty good”, and Takeover’s coaches, specifically 16u assistant Darryl Pure, are working hard to teach Teron’s its fundamentals and intricacies. Oliver inconsistently shoots mid-range face ups, but competes more regularly than previously.

He’s one to watch going forward.

Mamadou N’Diaye – 6’6.75”, 190 pound, Class of 2015 forward, Laurel HS (MD) – An athletic, instinctive player, N’Diaye defends, runs the floor, finishes around the rim and is active. He also constantly competes.

N’Diaye understands he must “work on my jumper and ball handling” for college, particularly if he doesn’t grow anymore, since up a level small forward would be best for his long, thinner body size/type.

Playing with Takeover has been “good” according to N’Diaye, since it provides “more challenges and better competition”.

Indiana and others are interested in N’Diaye, who also credits the work of his high school coach, Torrence Oxendine for improving. “He’s good at development” said Mamadou of Oxendine, Laurel’s head basketball coach and athletic director. “He just doesn’t work on your strengths, he works on weaknesses too”.

The combination of Oxendine and Takeover could be very beneficial for N’Diaye.

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