Without further ado, I was able to watch the kid play! First, let me provide the context of the game. This was an NYC ALL-STAR game for seniors. That said, the kids surprisingly seemed to really want to win, they played hard, and actually hustled and played D. In fact, it was quite a refreshing change from the typical all-star game.
Now, let’s start with the physical attributes. I was impressed. I am 5’11” and I stood about 3 feet from Jermaine as he was casually shooting some 3s at halftime. He is AT LEAST 6’1”. If I had to guess, I would have said 6’2”. He is also cut for a kid his age but definitely has the frame to add muscle, which he will have to do in time.
I arrived a few minutes into the game and did not see Jermaine’s 1st quarter play, but his team was up 15 when I arrived and he was on the bench (both teams played their starters and then subbed that line for the backups; generally, lines played at the same time and they matched up the best lines against each other). In the second quarter Jermaine was 0-4 (0-3 from 3) with 1 turnover. That said, he played solid D, used his length to deny desure buie the ball. He was very solid defending the inbounds throughout the game as well, again very good with ball denial. His one turnover came off of a pick where he attacked the hoop, was surrounded in traffic, and made a poor pass.
In the 2nd half he definitely turned it on and shot 4/10 with 3 assists. 3 of his 4 makes were from downtown. He definitely loves the 3 ball. His other bucket was on what I thought was one of his more impressive plays. His team was down 5 with 2 to play, he showed that he wants the ball in his hands and wants to take the shots in the clutch. He came off a screen, attacked the rack with a quick cut to the hoop and used his strength and size advantage to draw a hard foul and get the and-1. HE ALSO HITS HIS FREE THROWS. 4/5 from what I saw!
Jermaine had 3 assists. But, to be honest, they were not so impressive. All 3 were to Matt Ryan, the Notre Dame recruit. 2 of the 3 were simple passes to Ryan who was trailing on the play and nailed very deep 3’s. The 3rd was another pass to Ryan who pump faked, side stepped and drained a deep 2.
He hustles on D. May not be the best defender when his man has the ball, but 1) his ball denial was great and 2) he hustled for and dove for 2 loose balls, one where he flat out dove for the save.
To me, his most impressive play came off an inbound where the opposition suddenly decided to press. Jermaine single handedly took the ball up displaying insane handle. He loves the behind the back dribble and uses his big frame and length to spin through defenders. He took on 3 guys with relative ease and had zero help. His handle was fantastic.
He will be another legit threat from downtown, no doubt.
He is a leader. Even in this all-star game, it was clear that when he stood on the court, the ball would go through him and that his team and the opposition knew he was the leader. Best player was Matt Ryan, but Jermaine was the leader.
He is a shoot first point guard. The main question on this board has been whether he is a “true point guard.” Based on the limited sample size I saw during this all-star game, I would say he is a true point in that he has legitimate handle. He is NOT a true point if you define true point as a pass first pg. He is a bit tall for a “true point.” He is more of today’s point guard in that he is long and looks for his shot before that of his team.
While his ball denial was very strong, he was a bit slow when guarding defenders straight up. They got by him with their first step. He was able to use his size and length and came from behind to block 1 shot, but generally this was his weakness. He also needs to work on fighting through screens as he went under the screen. This may have been due to his knowledge of the man he was guarding, who did not attempt to shoot 3's off screens.
ROOM FOR GROWTH:
He needs to add some muscle. The plus is that he has the frame to do this.
I would like to see him develop his passing, especially off the dribble. Defending his man one-on-one. He is quick in the open court but needs to work on his initial step to keep up with his man.
While I wanted a pass first "true point guard," I am very excited about Jermaine. I am happier than I thought I would be. He can really stroke the 3. Since it was an all-star game, the players did not go to the locker room at half and were shooting around for 15 minutes. He displayed amazing form. He was one of the few guys who took the time to shoot throughout the entire break rather than talking and basically hanging out with the guys. He focuse on his 3. He shot over 50% from beyond the arc during this shoot around. He is very tall and I look forward to learning his wingspan, as it appears to be above average for his size/position. He can definitely handle the ball and I look forward to watching this kid grow. I would be shocked if he doesn't log at least 10 min per game next season, and potentially more. I was skeptical going in, but have high hopes for Jermaine. He will be a great player for us in time. Again, being a freshman point guard is a tough transition. If he can limit turnovers, improve his man D, and learn to pass of the dribble, the sky is the limit because he can flat out stroke it. I am impressed with the hustle and just hope that his knee(s) can hold up with his aggressive play.
Very good get for Crews and Co. There is no way he is a 2-star. Definitely an under-the-radar potential diamond in the rough. That said, let's not blow this out of proportion guys, improvements need to be made, this is an INCREDIBLY SMALL sample size, and the transition to a college pg is tough.