Kenner League preview: Copeland, Watanabe standing out

Kenner League preview: Copeland, Watanabe standing out
July 25, 2014, 2:00 pm
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(Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports)

The Kenner League's fourth weekend takes place Saturday and Sunday at McDonough Arena on the Georgetown campus. Before we get to the specific games, here's a look at those who stood out last weekend.

Kenner League Players to watch:

Isaac Copeland, Georgetown: Prior to this year, all of Georgetown's freshmen would play for "The Tombs," giving fans a one-stop-shop chance to gauge the incoming talent. Now the NCAA has changed the game with a new rule that limits the amount of players from a specific college on a summer team to just two. While a bummer, that doesn't mean fans should stop paying attention to The Tombs this summer, not with Copeland and L.J. Peak on the squad.

The top-rated member of the Hoyas' heralded incoming freshman class, Copeland looks to be the most athletic member of Georgetown's frontcourt. Not all parts of the 6-foot-9, 210-pound forward's game were on display last Saturday, but Copeland flashed his impressive vertical leap on with dunk after another. The Raleigh native appears to be far more than just an athletic force. The smooth operator drained a 3-pointer, looked comfortable on the perimeter and with the ball in his hand. Because of his long-limbed and thin frame, he resembles former Georgetown star Otto Porter at times, but with more agility.

Rivals.com ranks Georgetown's five-member freshman class ninth in the nation. Among the individual players, Copeland ranks 23 while Peak, a dynamic swingman who has generated the most buzz during Kenner League, is 68.

Others: Just about every Georgetown player has made an appearance at Kenner League this summer with the notable exception of center Josh Smith. In terms of the upcoming season, incoming freshman Tre Campbell could have a sizeable role immediately based on the lack of guard depth behind Smith-Rivera and Trawick, who appears to be gunning for best player honors this summer.

Yuta Watanabe, George Washington - Getting a first glimpse of incoming freshmen is a true highlight and benefit of Kenner League action, at least for those tasked with covering  college basketball. This past Saturday was my first chance to watch the Japanese native in person. The 6-foot-8 forward made quite an impression. What's quite apparent is that Watanabe has a tremendous feel for the game, both as a scorer and passer. The lefty-shooter showed decent range with a step-back corner jumper. He even stood out on a miss. Watanabe missed a layup in traffic, but was the quickest off the bounce and jammed in the putback. We're not talking about a power player at this point - yes, rather thin - but we are looking at someone who should be able to contribute immediately in GW's rotation this season. On the same Kenner League team (A. Wash Associates) with fellow incoming freshman Anthony Swan and the Georgetown duo of D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera and Trey Mourning, Watanabe is scheduled to play Saturday at 4:45 p.m. and Sunday at 8 p.m.

Others: GW's leading returning scorer, Kethan Savage showed off his high-flying skills last weekend after missing the second half of last season with a foot injury. Swan also impressed alongside Watanabe. 

Kenner League preview:

The schedule is below. Click here for a look at which teams include specific Hoyas and Colonials, though not everyone shows for every game.

July 26, 2014 – Saturday

29 1:00pm HIGHER LEVEL VS ON POINT

30 2:15pm THE TOMBS VS DCX

31 3:30pm CLYDE’S VS LINCOLN PARK

32 4:45pm A.WASH ASSOCIATES VS OOHHS & AAHHS

33 6:00pm TEAM TAKEOVER VS SYMONDS ALL STARS

July 27, 2014 – Sunday

NO. TIME TEAM/LOCKER ROOM TEAM/LOCKER ROOM SCORE

34 3:00pm LINCOLN PARK VS DCX

35 4:15pm THE TOMBS VS HIGHER LEVEL

36 5:30pm CLYDE’S VS OOHHS & AAHHS

37 6:45pm PREMIER ATHLETICS VS ON POINT

38 8:00pm TEAM TAKEOVER VS A.WASH ASSOCIATES