Dru Joyce Summer League Week 6 Recap
MarShon Brooks shows out in Cleveland.
Heading back to my hometown of Cleveland, a must-stop on any trip of the summer is the Cleveland Pro-Am, now entitled the Dru Joyce Summer League. Held at The Word church on the east side of the city, the summer league encompasses everything basketball is about—free admission, live music, a great atmosphere, tons of talent and outstanding food. On a Monday or Wednesday night, there isn’t a better place to be in Cleveland if you’re a basketball lover.
Now sanctioned by the NCAA, the Dru Joyce Summer League offers fans a glimpse at some of the top college players from area schools as well as Cleveland natives who have went to hoop at universities elsewhere. Always stacked with overseas pros, the league received appearances from LeBron James last summer and Kyrie Irving this summer. Mix in talent like that with some live music and amazing barbeque from B&M in the gym and you see why Ozell Dobbins is getting love from everyone all over Cleveland for what he has done with the league.
Here’s a look at some of the top players from week 6 of the Dru Joyce Summer League:
MarShon Brooks, 6-5, SG, Brooklyn Nets
The third leading scorer among NBA rookies this past season took it upon himself to put on a show in front of the Cleveland fans and with his 91 points over his two game stretch, he did not disappoint. Despite dropping 44 in the first game and 47 in his second, it appeared that he was looking to work on certain facets of his game, namely his shot from beyond the arc and post game. Mixed with the flurry of Js were a few slick drives to the cup in which he showed off his outstanding handle for an off-guard. While Joe Johnson appears to be holding down the fort in Brooklyn at the 2, expect MarShon to be right up there for NBA Sixth Man of the Year award for ’12-13.
Carl Jones, 5-11, PG, St. Joseph’s
St. Joe’s best guard since Jameer and Delonte made his return to his hometown of Cleveland with a bulked up frame and better ability to finish in the paint. Always known as one of the quicker players in the league, the scoring point seemed to have added a vastly improved ability to get buckets through contact. At just 170 pounds, he will need to continue to get stronger and improve upon his decision making, though that doesn’t change the fact that he is going to be one of the truly elite players in the A-10 and a guy who is firmly on the NBA radar.
Terry Rozier, 6-2, PG, Hargrave Military Academy (VA), 2013
Louisville’s top recruit had just received the bad news that he wasn’t going to make it academically earlier in the day, deciding to attend Hargrave Military Academy and become a member of the 2013 class. The bad news didn’t shake him though, as he showed everyone in the city why he was the top player in the state last year. Playing along side former Mr. Basketball and overseas vet Chet Mason for Team Jet, Rozier established himself as the top scorer amidst all of the pros. Still firmly committed to the ‘Ville, things could be mighty scary by the time he lands in the Big East with an added year of development at the point.
Romeo Travis, 6-6, PF, Overseas
One of the key figures in More Than A Game and LeBron James’ former running mates in high school, Romeo Travis had shed any rep that he may have had as one of the King’s sidekicks and has carved out an outstanding European career of his own. After a dominant career at Akron, he has worked his way up through the European ranks to the Israeli league this past season and it’s easy to see why. Even though he’s undersized for a 4-man, he does a great job rebounding the ball outside of his area and has showed an improved game facing up from the mid-post. Mix in some immense toughness (the man did trade blows with Sofoklis Schortsanitis), and it’s evident why the reigning MVP of the league has the MonStars right in contention again for another chip.
Chet Mason, 6-4, PG/SG, Overseas
A long-time overseas pro who has also spent time with the Cavs and in the D-League, Mason serves as one of the elder statesman of the league but can also get it done on the court. Teaming with Terry Rozier, the combo guard took a bit of a back door to his younger running mate and handed over the keys to Team Jet. Instead focusing on defense (he was MAC Defensive POY in college) and distributing the rock, Chet showed the leadership that only a player with his track record builds over the years. Don’t get it twisted though, he’s still got a lot of gas in the tank and nearly posterized an opposing guard who was running his mouth Expect Mason to sign a nice European contract any day now.
Eric Gaines, 6-4, SG/SF, Kent State
One of the most explosive athletes in the MAC, Gaines had the crowd buzzing about who the athletic guard who kept throwing down dunk after dunk in transition. He had no problem telling everyone about it, either. Word on the street is that Gaines won’t be returning to Kent next season, but with that type of athleticism and presence on the defensive end, he will have no problem finding a new home.