Happy Thursday Nova Nation! Yesterday Collin Gillespie and Jermaine Samuels gave us some Big East Basketball in July as members of Team USA in their scrimmage with East Coast Basketball.
Let’s play some basketball!— #BIGEASThoops (@BIGEASTMBB) July 24, 2019
Gillespie and Samuels both started for the Big East All-Star team, along with Seton Hall’s Myles Powell, Providence’s Alpha Diallo, and former Creighton center Geoffrey Groselle. Team USA won the game 102-64, but the two Villanova stars didn’t have great games.
Team USA vs East Coast: Villanova Players’ Stat Lines
Here are a few notes on what we saw play out in this final exhibition:
- For those of you who hate the burn offense, this was the game for you. Very up-tempo to match the international style on both sides of the ball. In fact, Ed Cooley said in an interview that they have been practicing with a 20 second shot clock just to enforce the urgency the team will need to play with.
- Gillespie played well defensively. The coaching staff is impementing a pressure defense and clearly wants him to take chances for steals (he and Jermaine both had three a piece) with help defense behind him. I wouldn’t say he’s become a lock down defender, but when he was getting beat it was more by design than because he couldn’t stay in front of his man.
- Speaking of Nova’s point guard, he’s clearly the guy Cooley wants to run everything through. Gillespie showed some good flashes of his ability to create for others with 5 assists.
- Gillespie did come out of the game with a wrist injury on a hard foul, but not before shooting two free throws. He then got it wrapped up and tried to go back in the game before the coaching staff held him on the sideline and let the backups finish out the contest.
- Samuels looked great, and played exclusively at the shooting guard and wing positions. While he didn’t have a great shooting night, his teammates found him for open looks and he wasn’t hesitant to shoot. This team was pretty deep and talented at the forward position, so it’ll be interesting to see if Samuels returns to his natural wing and guard positions with the Wildcats as well this season.
- The players have been making push-up bets on a half-court shot competition. If you miss after the other player makes, you owe them pushups. According to Jermaine Samuels, Myles Powell doesn’t owe any... Collin Gillespie owes his teammates over 400. Ouch.
The guys have a workout and a big dinner at Ed Cooley’s house tonight before heading to Peru for the competition. Best of luck to Team USA, and especially the Wildcat starters!
In other “news”, Kyle Lowry is committed to play for USA and coach Wright, Josh Hart’s podcast is first rate, and Villanova has itself a QB competition. Enjoy!
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