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More on Ramel in Portsmouth

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Earlier last night we brought you a report from Adam Reeves, a KSR reader who is in Portsmouth for the NBA tryout camp there taking place this week. Ramel Bradley and Joe Crawford are there trying to make their NBA dreams a reality. What follows is Adam’s take on the game and Ramel’s performance. In addition, remember to welcome Evan Hilbert and TJ Beisner of Wildcat Blitz to the Kentucky Sports Radio website as well. And finally, tomorrow we should have our Barnstorming schedule completed, with dates and times. Big day….

Reporting back after the first half of the Norfolk Naval Shipyard match up against Sales Systems Ltd. They really need mascots. (Just about anything would be better than the “Truckers.” I still cannot get past that).

Ramel Bradley opened up at point guard for Sales Systems Ltd, but didn’t see much action after being replaced only 5 minutes into the game. On his second trip down the floor he managed to get tangled up in a two man trap at the top of the key and turn the ball over. Thankfully he got a steal by getting back on D quickly.

As most generic sportscasters might say, “it was a tale of two halves for Kentucky guard Ramel Bradley.” After checking back into the game at the 7:20 mark, Ramel proceeded to be a little more active on the offensive end. After spending his brief debut setting up for 3 point jumpers, of which is missed on, Ramel turned on the aggressiveness and started driving to the basket. After starting a tepid 0-3, Ramel put the “Smooth” back in Ramel “Smooth” Bradley, and had a few nice drives to the hoop for lay ins.

Outside of his play, which on the whole I would call inconsistent, Ramel seemed to be enjoying himself, and frequently flashed the trademark smile he seems to be known for. At halftime, I spoke with Joe Crawford, and he seemed to think that Ramel just needed to find his niche.

Other observations from the first half:
Ramel seemd to stay matched up on Jason Richards from Davidson, and did a good job keeping him in check. You have to wonder how Davidson feels watching Kansas cut down the nets in the final four. My guess: not good.

There seems to be a strong UK fan contingent, and the two sitting next to me happen to be big fans of KSR. Far and away though, Deron Washigton from Virginia Tech has the biggest crowd following (whom I imagine didn’t realize that VT spring football had started. I’ll bet they enjoyed the NIT, though.)

One player who really stands out is Jiri (“Yuri”) Hubalek, from Iowa State, who I will henceforth refer to as Big Foreign White Dude (BFWD). At 6’11”, he can shoot the three and at one point even ran the break and fed Ramel a pass in the lane for an assist.

You know how I mentioned that Bo McCalleb’s family was a rather vocal presence. Well, his dad is now my favorite person here. He is decked out in a gold New Orlean’s Saints football jersey and etched into the side of his head, he has NBA cut into his haircut. He must be thinking long term. Gotta love the optimism though.

At the end of the half, with 20 second left, Ramel had the ball at the top of the key, and I think I had a flashback to the Gillispie inspired “kill the clock and my interest in basketball” run offense. Only this time, with 4 seconds left, Ramel’s drive to the basket ended in a shot that literally hit a player from the other team in the chest and bounced out. Needless to say, he looked kinda rusty on that one.

Ramel’s second half was about like his first half. He was out of action for the majority, starting and then finishing the half for his team at point guard. His outside shot wasn’t really falling for him tonight, and he wisely realized as much and started driving to the basket with marginal success. He had a couple nice layups in traffic to finish up with a couple more baskets. What is interesting is that you can see BCG’s style of play expressed through Ramel’s game. He didn’t push the ball too much in transition, and seemed very deliberative with the ball in his hands. I don’t know that this hurts or helps him, but it sure seemed familiar.

On the whole, I think this was probably not the outing Ramel Bradley wanted to have in his NBA try-out debut. He did do some things well, like his drives to the rim, but upon getting fouled, he couldn’t hit his free throws. That probably drew some negative attention from the scouts, but like one of them told me earlier, these first games are often written off due to nerves. This is just the first step in a lengthy process for both Joe and Ramel.

Off the court however, Ramel is everything you could want in a player it seems. He cheers on his adopted teammates from the bench, and seems genuinely into the game and the other guys on the floor. If the NBA scouts were paying attention to the details, Ramel did all the little things right, and on a night where your shots arent really falling, then that’s about all you can hope for.

Otherwise, there were a few players who jumped out at me. First, BFWD really impressed with his ability to score from inside and out. On the other hand though, I dont think the P.A. announcer got his name right the entire night. I bet he gets that a lot.

Second, the leading candidate in my opinion for the PIT MVP is Deron Washington. He was certainly the most eye catching player with a couple Dwight Howard impressions. One time, he took off from about the free throw line, and if you got points for style, he would have gotten one point. (He missed the dunk). One funny moment came on a jump ball situation when the refs actually made the players line up and jump the ball, something not really done in the college game. I think one player was never really sure what was going on, because as soon as the ref started to throw the ball up, he tipped it into the opposing player’s face. They may want to work on that for next time.

Overall this whole thing seems like a glorified pickup game. The first half reminded me of an awkward first date, where no one really knows what to do or say. Check back with the site tomorrow evening as Joe Crawford’s team plays at 7pm. In the mean time, I will be trying to find a more inspirational high school mascot to replace the Churchland High School “Truckers.”

Here is the Box Score:

VISITORS: NORFOLK NAVAL SHIPYARD
TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS
## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
02 RICHARDS, Jason….. * 0-2 0-1 0-0 0 3 3 1 0 5 1 0 2 24
10 WASHINGTON, Deron… * 7-19 1-5 7-8 0 9 9 0 22 3 0 3 1 29
23 FORBES, Gary…….. * 10-18 4-7 2-4 3 4 7 1 26 6 2 1 2 35
34 MARROW, Anthony….. * 4-13 1-5 2-2 0 2 2 2 11 2 3 0 1 30
44 ELEGAR, Frank……. * 5-9 0-0 2-4 4 5 9 3 12 1 0 0 0 25
03 GRAVES, A.J……… 2-3 2-3 0-0 0 3 3 2 6 2 0 0 2 19
04 BANKS, Adrian……. 4-8 1-1 0-0 2 0 2 0 9 2 0 1 1 18
22 DUNSTON, Bryant….. 4-9 0-0 2-2 4 3 7 2 10 0 1 2 1 20
TEAM……………. 4 3 7 1
Totals………….. 36-81 9-22 15-20 17 32 49 11 96 21 8 7 10 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 17-38 44.7% 2nd Half: 19-43 44.2% Game: 44.4% DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 5-13 38.5% 2nd Half: 4-9 44.4% Game: 40.9% REBS
F Throw % 1st Half: 7-7 100 % 2nd Half: 8-13 61.5% Game: 75.0% 1

——————————————————————————–
HOME TEAM: SALES SYSTEM
TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS
## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
02 LAING, Brian…….. * 4-15 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 1 8 1 0 0 0 25
04 HUBALEK, Jiri……. * 10-19 2-4 5-6 6 4 10 6 27 3 2 1 1 32
12 BRADLEY, Ramel…… * 5-12 0-1 2-6 0 1 1 0 12 1 1 0 0 22
13 HUNTER, Othello….. * 8-10 0-0 1-2 3 10 13 2 17 0 2 1 1 30
14 BURRELL, Stanley…. * 1-3 0-0 1-2 0 4 4 2 3 13 1 0 0 32
10 HALL, Marcus…….. 6-11 2-4 0-0 2 3 5 2 14 0 1 0 1 23
11 WILLIAMS, Leon…… 2-5 0-0 0-0 2 2 4 1 4 0 4 1 0 18
20 HAWKINS, Justin….. 1-8 1-3 0-0 2 1 3 2 3 2 0 0 0 18
TEAM……………. 3 6 9 1
Totals………….. 37-83 5-12 9-16 18 32 50 16 88 20 12 3 3 200

Article written by Matt Jones