Checked out some pick-up games at Gampel today. Everyone was accounted for, as the players had their media guide pictures taken beforehand. Here are some observations:
***Ater Majok, now sporting corn rows, looked real good around the rim with some nifty putbacks, a few nice moves and some alley-oop jams. He could be the wild card for the Huskies this season once he's eligible in mid-December. But then, that's not exactly a news flash.
***Jerome Dyson looked good, knocking down some long-range jumpers. Didn't take it to the hole too much. He hurt his ankle early on and got some medical attention, but continued playing after that and seemed fine (though he did seem to be limping a bit when he was all done).
***Alex Oriakhi is a Man. Capital "M."
***I've been singing the praises all summer in this space of Darius Smith, and I'll continue to do so. He looked good, particularly defensively, made some nifty passes (and a few freshman mistakes). One thing is beyond doubt, however: Smith has got to put on some muscle. If he's more than 160 pounds right now, I'd be shocked.
***Kemba Walker knocked down a few outside jumpers, but missed badly on a few, too. If he can improve his outside shooting this season, that's a big plus.
***The games were pretty intense, particularly for pick-up games in early September. Lots of disputed foul calls, and some hard-nosed defense.
***Smith, Oriakhi and Jamaal Trice are rockin' the Mohawk look. Is it a freshman thing?
***Doug Wiggins played in the games. Looked good, for what that's worth.
***I'm not sold on Charles Okwandu as the starting center yet, but it was just a small sample. And no miracle improvement from Jonathan Mandeldove, either. Gavin Edwards didn't do much today. Again, a small sample.
***The Huskies' 2009-10 schedule will likely be released tomorrow (Thursday).
***Some interesting words from Stanley Robinson, on whether he ever intended on going to the NBA after last season: "I always wanted to come back, because I felt like I owed something to the program that I haven't shown them yet. I'm not in a rush, the NBA's going to be there. But Coach Calhoun, at the banquet (in May), he was saying, 'The scouts keep calling me, it's crazy, (saying) you're a top-15 prospect.' He was like, 'I'm glad I told you now, so you won't put your name in the NBA draft,' because the deadline had passed … But I was going to come back anyway."
Check out tomorrow's Register for a mini-feature on Stanley.