Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Peak Shines in Summer League

After failing to make the NCAA tournament this past season for the first time since 2009, the Georgetown’s men basketball team is hoping that its talented recruiting class, ranked eighth in the country by ESPN, will help it regain its place among the best teams in the Big East Conference.

The first glimpse of these promising athletes came this summer in the 2014 Nike Pro-City League, formerly known as the Kenner League, in which all five of Georgetown’s Class of 2018 recruits participated, along with the rest of the returning Hoyas squad.

Formed in 1981, it is the only NCAA-sanctioned summer league in Washington, D.C., where high school, college and professional players can come together and play. Most Georgetown players have participated in the competition at least some point in their careers, including legends Allen Iverson, Alonzo Mourning (COL ’92) and Dikembe Mutombo (SLL ’91), and there are always surprise appearances from former players at the games.

This season started July 5 with games every weekend up until the championship game Aug. 10. The league had 12 teams split into two divisions of six: Air and Flight. Unlike in previous years, when all incoming freshmen were put together on The Tombs team, the five incoming players were split up among three teams because of an NCAA change. Teams were not allowed to have more than two current college players from the same school on each team, but incoming freshmen were not considered under that category until this year.

Isaac Copeland, ranked 16th on the 2014 ESPN 100 recruiting rankings and L.J. Peak, 31st in the rankings, played for The Tombs team. Tre Campbell, a local player from St. John’s College High School in D.C., and Paul White, 34th in the rankings, played for Clyde’s. Trey Mourning, son of NBA Hall of Famer Mourning, played for A. Wash Associates alongside Hoyas junior guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera.

Copeland, at 6 feet 9 inches, is known not only for his tall frame but for quick feet and leaping ability. The forward plays best when driving into the lane to reach the rim, grabbing rebounds and put-back dunks, an aspect of his game that was on display in many of the games this summer. Despite shooting just 41 percent from the field throughout the summer, Copeland managed to average 14.1 points per game, and converted an impressive 80 percent of his free-throw attempts. The next step for the promising freshman will be to utilize his ball-handling skills to run the floor and push the ball in transition. However, his athleticism is not his only strong suit, as he possesses a good midrange game and can improve his shooting by extending his range.

His teammate on The Tombs, Peak, was perhaps even more impressive this summer. His athleticism and aggressiveness allowed him to explode for more than 30 points twice while shooting more than 50 percent from the field, and it’s evident that this speed and aggressiveness will allow him to effectively attack the basket, draw fouls and get steals. Although he had the highest scoring average of any Hoya in the Kenner League, freshman or otherwise, Peak did display a propensity to rush into mistakes, as evidenced by his nearly three turnovers per game. He’ll probably fit in at the small forward position, or possibly as a shooting guard, depending on the progress of his ball control abilities.

As for Paul White, the 6-foot 8-inch power forward displayed a good set of fundamentals, versatility in the post and good decision-making. His length and good hands mean that he can defend the rim, and as he continues to get stronger it will allow him to battle under the rim more consistently with bigger players. Also in his arsenal is a midrange jumper that, if he can knock down more routinely, will expand his range, though he must improve on his two free-throw attempts per game.

Tre Campbell is very quick and this is his best asset. When he gets into a rhythm he can knock down shots and score with ease, scoring nearly 20 points three times this summer. However, he needs to add strength to be able to penetrate better. Lastly, Trey Mourning showcased solid fundamentals and the potential to grow into a contributing player off the bench as the season progresses, though an abysmal 28 percent shooting percentage will do him no favors in the battle for playing time.

All of the freshmen showed the type of skills that made them attractive to Georgetown in the recruiting process. However, the Kenner League does not have the quality of players that can simulate a game in the Big East, the experience nonetheless indicates this recruiting class can live up to its spot as the eighth-best in the country. The summer league, though, is too focused on individual play and doesn’t provide a cohesive team structure that would test other aspects of the players’ games. These freshman performances should give Hoya fans a lot to look forward to once the season starts.

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