While the show at the McDonald's All-American Game at Gund Arena in
Cleveland was largely stolen by LeBron James (and, to a lesser, but still
impressive extent, Charlie Villanueva, Luol Deng's HS teammate), I did get
the chance to check out Kris Humphries.
Kris had a solid game starting for the underdog West squad: 7-16 for 16
points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals in 23 minutes. The one item on
Kris's stat sheet that will jump out is the 6 turnovers. Kris has a very
distinctive pump-fake move when he drives to the basket. It is a very
exaggerated pump where Kris brings the ball up very high and then dips it
very low and to the right side as he makes his move. The ball was tipped
away by a defender on the way up several times, and several times a
help-defense guard would tip the ball away from behind. It is a minor
hitch and I'm sure the Duke staff can work it out with Kris.
You definitely got the sense that Kris wanted to direct the offense (not
that any of the other players were listening in this type of free-for-all
offensive game). He was continually talking to his teammates, pointing,
setting picks, etc. A few standout plays come to mind. On an inbounds
play under the basket Kris went over to the inbounder before the play and
whispered in his ear; from watching a few set Duke plays, I knew what was
coming next. Sure enough, Kris set a half-pick and then rolled right down
the center of the lane and jammed the inbounds lob pass. Very
Kris also had an impressive dunk put-back on a rebound where no one boxed
him out and he came flying down the lane to jam the ball.
I was impressed by Kris's strength--he's ripped. And he can jump. One time
a big man on the East squad grabbed a rebound, pump faked and Kris came
down from the top of the key on the help defense and flew through the air
slapping the backboard about halfway up (he missed the block but the
high-flying antics were impressive).
It also appears that Kris has some range, hitting a few mid-range jumpers,
though I think he missed the few 3-pointers he took. I thought a few shots
were ill-advised, but hey, it's the McDonald's All-American game.
Overall, Kris was pretty impressive and I would expect him to be a solid
contributor to the Duke team even as a freshman.
NOTES: It semed that Kris was sometimes frustrated by his teammates lack
of organization and some cheap hacking fouls. He's going to have to work
on a calmer demeanor in the ACC. Also, Luol Deng, who is injured, didn't play.
Duke Law, '00