Each and every year, hundreds of participants file into the gym at Basketball City in the Big Apple for a chance to compete and try out for a slew of NBA and D-League related personnel. For some, the opportunity is merely one to simply live out a lifelong pipe dream or grown man fantasy. For others, it's all about proving their worth and fighting for a chance at a better life and special livelihood.
It should noted, however, that scouts and other related staffers were more biased towards the taller participants from the day. After all, size is a hot commodity. While this year's overall talent level was up for debate when compared to that of the level of past years' events, tryout director Bob MacKinnon asserted, "I thought it went well. The games were good and there were definite prospects out there."
Tyrrel Tate, formerly of the Idaho Stampede
Coaches, scouts, and others all alike were convinced that Tate stood out as the top performer of the day. He ran away with such an honor, actually, with some stellar playmaking ability during game competition. His experience with the Stampede last season definitely paid off, as he boasted one of the more versatile skill-sets on display. He defended well, ran the floor, got teammates involved, and pushed the tempo.
Angelo Sharpless, Elizabeth City State University
Sharpless is ridiculously athletic. At 6'4" and 190 pounds, one might not expect him to have the type of jumping ability that he does. The guard is a sweet and savvy ball-handler, and is furthermore an explosive finisher at the rim. He gets after it on defense as well, able to pressure opposing ball-handlers. Such athleticism cannot be taught, so it's a good thing Sharpless boasts it already. A former Harlem Globetrotter, he could stand to refine his game a bit more and slow things down in the D-League.
Desmond Sain, Siena Heights University
Height is obviously a difficult thing to come by in the D-League, which makes it all the more scarce during the national tryout. Whereas Sain isn't likely to be posting up centers anytime soon, he's a very strong guard who enjoyed posting up smaller (and sometimes even taller) wing players. He was in attack mode throughout, and despite being just 6'4" and 190 pounds, was one of the taller players on his team. He played well in the pick and roll. Sain has experience playing in the IBA and various recreation & semi-pro leagues in Detroit.
Nicholas Davis, Queensborough Community College
Davis might not have the type of basketball experience that others boast via the collegiate or professional level, but that's what this event is truly all about. Above all else, Davis has a tremendously high basketball IQ. He lets the game come to him and isn't one to overreact or play erratically. Slow and steady wins the race, especially for a point guard hoping to run the floor and interact with his teammates. A very local floor leader, Davis had great chemistry with teammates he just met earlier that morning. He's someone a D-League team would benefit from having in camp.
Jerome Harris, BYU-Hawaii
Harris did some nice things on the court during game competition. He had a decent handle on the ball, and was very quick, agile, and displayed good instincts on the court. He shot well enough, but only did so more efficiently when shooting around the perimeter. The guard had difficulty finishing at the rim, as evidenced by a great charge taken by an opposing defender early in his first game. Still, he, like Tate, was one of the more versatile players. He has many different tools.
Other standouts: Khadim Ndiaye (St. John's University), Marcel Hyde (University of Toronto), Robert Hunt (Ventura College), Samuel Ouedraogo (LSA Alexandria), and Isaac O'Rouke (Johnson State College).