Part II of some observations from Bryan Alexander's AAU event, the Adidas Summer Slam.
Illinois Hawks 58 - Indiana Elite: Seright 38
The Hawks rolled past Indiana Elite as they gradually gained momentum throughout the game. The contrast between the older Hawks team of juniors and seniors and the younger Indiana Elite team of all sophomores and one freshman was noticable. On top of their edge in age, the Hawks also contained the core of what might be considered the favorite to win an Illinois state title next season -- Bolingbrook High. Brook Osborn (2008, 5'5, West Point (IN)) led Indiana Elite with 12 points, followed by Kaylee May (2008, 5'9, Avon (IN)), Callie Curry (2008, 5'4, Brebeuf (IN)) and Taylor Miller (2008, 5'10, Pendleton Heights (IN)) with seven points a piece. Erica Carter (2006, 5'10, Naperville Central (IL)) led the Hawks with 16 points, followed by Brittney Thomas (2007, 5'10, Bolingbrook (IL)) with 12, Candace Norville (2006, 5'6, Batavia (IL)) with nine, and Elyse Vanbogaert (2006, 6'1, Aurora Rosary (IL)) and Mauvolyene Adams (2007, 6'1, Bolingbrook (IL)) with six each.
Brittney Thomas (Illinois Hawks, 2007, 5'10, Bolingbrook (IL)) - A player proficient at both guard positions showed her deadliest game is her pullup off the dribble from mid-range. Very tight defender who can stick inches off her assignment, and can stop momentum when assigned to a hot scorer. She's a handful to guard one-on-one with a quick step to the basket who doesn't overpenetrate when she gets there. She's usually the first one up the court out on the break, then the first one back on defense. Has both offensive talent and defensive talent, and will get unlimited attention from Division I schools.
Mauvolyene Adams (Illinois Hawks, 2007, 6'1, Bolingbrook (IL)) - A player you wait to see break loose and do something amazing. Has the swagger, but is still raw offensively. Played in the post and some power forward, and had a few showtime moves. Generally receives the ball in the post, turns to face, then makes her move. Plays like she doesn't want to play with her back to the basket, and I don't see her as a low post anyway. Defenders have too many opportunities to disrupt her down low as she needs to work on both her moves and her footwork. Used her strength to grab quite a few boards, and defenders aren't going to strip her too often. On defense when she gets her long arms out and down in a stance, it is intimidating for players hoping to drive around her. Better at defender a ball from the waist down, although she did have a couple of blocks that were whistled for fouls for her having a little too much body on them. She's best right now defending players on the drive, not as good with shooters. Absolutely the worst player I'm ever seen in faking a charge, and I say that not to be mean because Adams and the crowd had a couple laughs at herself on one occassion. Needs an acting class in this regard. You can see something special here though, and when her skills catch up to her athleticism she will really be something.
Elyse Vanbogaert (Illinois Hawks, 2006, 6'1, Aurora Rosary (IL)) - With all the potential Division I talent on this team, Vanbogaert may be the one to get the least amount of press but actually is the player that makes this Hawks team go. Her experience shows as the team moves better with her in the game. Was the other head to the two-headed post presence of this team. Vanbogaert can defend a post player. She's skilled at maintaining defensive position on a mobile post or power forward and is a workhorse on defense. Showed an array of high post screenwork and low post in-and-out ball movement. Vocal and tireless. Her offensive game wasn't showcased in this game, but made it possible for the two scoring guards, Erica Carter and Thomas, to be as open as they were.
Samantha Woods (Illinois Hawks, 2007, 6'3, Bolingbrook (IL)) - Former Fenwick player now getting some games in with her future teammates at Bolingbrook. Her role on this team was far from the under-the-basket role she had at Fenwick, and planted herself out at the small forward position with the Hawks. When she would get down low, she showed the strength of her game around the basket. Has very good hands catching in traffic. Her small forward role is a work in progress. Not real sure if she has the step to get past defenders on the perimeter and generally needs some space to operate. Dribble is a little high which will cause her problems. Not much success shooting beyond the three-point line in this game (0-for-2). A bright spot was her defense on the outside, and her long arms are intimidating to shooters on the perimeter. Indiana Elite had plenty of shooters, and Woods seemed to cause hesitation, as a 6'3 small forward would. Can't fault her for trying something new, but she is a productive post player and a rather unproductive small forward at this point.