Made it over to the USC vs UC-Irvine game this past weekend at the Galen Center (USC won, 78-55).
It was my first opportunity to see USC freshman DeMar DeRozan. He's a talented SF who reminds me a lot of Vince Carter when he was at UNC.
DeRozan doesn't have Carter's shooting range, but he has a similar build and, like Carter, is incredibly athletic. The game seems to come easy to him.
DeRozan had a solid game, playing unselfishly and not trying to do too much. In fact, there was only once when it looked like he might have forced a shot a little bit.
He must improve on his rebounding for his position (he had 3 REBS in this game) and he needs to get to the line more (only 3 FTA vs UCI) . Playing for former NBA coach Tim Floyd will aid in his development and prepare him for the next level. Moreover, Coach Floyd will help DeRozan to become a better defender.
USC PG Daniel Hackett has great size and strength, but lacks lateral footspeed to play the point at NBA level. He's unselfish, takes good shots, and plays to help his team win. He'll be a solid NBDL prospect.
Taj Gibson is an athletic 4-man that reminded me of Justin Williams (Wyoming), who's on the fringe of an NBA roster.
Gibson, who spent the summer studying NBA rebounders like Dwight Howard and Dennis Rodman, is a good shot blocker and has the ability to range rebound, but he's not overly physical and is limited offensively. He's likely a NBDL or European prospect.
Hackett's backcourt mate, Dwight Lewis (pictured above), also had a good game, leading all scorers with 18. He also had 7 boards for the Trojans.
For UC Irvine, junior off-guard Darren Moore had a solid offensive game, getting to the rim and finishing. He rebounds well for his position. Moore spent last season at Citrus College, helping the Owls to a 35-1 record, after transferring from Northern Colorado where he played in 28 games as a freshman. He's a possible NBDL prospect.