The Wake Forest players were spread over the first two games tonight, which allowed me to slip out on the third one and go ahead and get this recap out.
The first game featured Travis McKie/Dre/Madison vs. CMM/Rountree/Fischer/Green. Once again, Travis McKie paced his team a 75-72 win with 27 points, 9 rebounds and 3 steals. Both teams of Wake players played very well and we will touch on more below.
The second game saw another tight game as well with C.J Harris and his team overcoming a 43-39 halftime deficit to take a slim 70-67 victory and secure second place for the playoffs that start Wednesday night at FCDS.
Game One- Modern Nissan 75- SalemSmiles Orthodontics 72
As mentioned above, Travis McKie led his team to a close victory over his teammates, but Andre Washington and Madison also shined as well for the team. Jones had arguably his best game of the entire Summer League with 16 points, 3 assists (5 turnovers), 4 rebounds and 3 steals. While he needs to cut down on the turnovers, the game was very high paced and he caused way more than the three steals he wound up with. He showed a little more of his jump shot, but really needs to focus on being a facilitator and distributor because that is where he can help this team with his minutes off of the bench.
'Dre chipped in another double-double with 11 points, 12 rebounds and 5 blocks. This time the double-double came at the expense of Daniel Green, which was a very interesting matchup all night long. It bears mentioning that 'Dre once again played all 40 minutes of a very high paced game and actually saved his last rebound for the end off of a missed Travis McKie free throw (AW would make one out of two to effectively ice the game). Travis did a great job of talking to him throughout the game and calming him down. He made a couple of absolutely huge plays and had very timely blocks throughout the game that were big momentum swings.
On the other end was CMM leading his squad with 22 points, 7 assists (4 turnovers), 5 rebounds and a steal. He showed more of the aggressiveness on the offensive side that I wanted to see, but with it came a lot of shaky ballhandling (which is to be expected). I think he may have a bit of TO problems when he first gets out on the court in the regular season, but it should be easily fixable once he adjusts his speed to the speed of the collegiate game.
Aaron Rountree once again put in a workmanlike night with 7 points, 3 assists (4 turnovers), 10 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. He hit a wide open three when nobody was guarding him (Travis let him shoot), and did a pretty fantastic job guarding Travis in the first half, limiting him to 9 points. Travis got his in the second half with 3 straight threes (two of which were rainbows just over Tree's outstretched fingers), but it was a great effort all night long.
Chase Fischer continued his steady play in the Summer League, but struggled a little bit down the stretch on his three-point shot when his team needed a couple of 3's. He wound up with 8 points, 4 assists (1 turnover), 2 rebounds, and 4 steals. He has intensified his efforts in getting down the lane and his hustle really paid off on his four steals throughout the game.
Finally, Daniel Green put up a solid 13 point, 11 rebound, 1 block, 1 steal effort primarily against Andre Washington. He had a couple of really nice putbacks in the second half off of misses from teammates that kept them in the game. The battle with 'Dre was high in intensity throughout and both showed a bit of a chip on their shoulder towards each other that has really been missing for Wake Forest big men in the past few years.
Game Two- Grace, Tisdale and Clifton 70- Mountain Fried Chicken 67
In a game that went back and forth all night, it was C.J. Harris that notched the two big free throws to give his team the 70-67 victory. C.J. finished with just 10 points and 3 assists, but played a critical role late in the game to insure his team got the victory with a three from the corner and clutch free throws.
Devin Thomas had, without a doubt, his best game of the Summer League so far, finishing with 12 points, 14 rebounds, 5 assists, a block and most importantly only 4 fouls. Thomas not only dominated the game with his rebounding and great timing on jumps, but also displayed the ability to pass out of the post to cutters and spotted up shooters that had previously gone unseen. We knew he had the up-and-unders and "garbage" like mentality on the basketball court, but the passing was good to see because when defenders collapsed down on him he was able to get the ball to the open shooter frequently.
Arnaud Moto also had a strong night for the team as well. He finished with 13 points and 6 rebounds, with a couple of emphatic slams that have become the norm over the past couple of weeks. Moto has a great eye for the glass and seemingly just knows where he needs to be to get the ball. He would have finished with a couple of more but he and Thomas got there at the same time and Moto deferred each time. It was nice to see two Wake Forest players get the ball at the same time for what seems like the first time in years. Moto's game is very reminiscent in my opinion of a freshman Travis McKie. He has shown that he can make the three ball, but it is questionable whether he can do it consistently. When he is at his best it is through slashing and rebounding, and there is a definite role on this team for what he brings.
Justin Manns led Mountain Fried Chicken with 18 points and 9 rebounds.
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