Adidas Nations: Jalen Poyser – Top Of His Game, Canada Needs The W
GARDEN GROVE, CA–California is the final stop of the summer on American Soil where North Pole Hoops sets it’s eyes on a large crop of talent from all over the world at Adidas Nations, where the youngest team at this event, Team Canada, finds itself with a 1-2 record after a loss to Team Howard and another to Team Lillard.
Both losses came against star studded American talent with players such as top ranked; Chase Jeter, Lonzo Ball, Jaylen Brown, De’Ron Davis and many others.
We brought some studs of our own to Adidas Nations, starting with the big 3 being; Dillon Brooks, Munis Tutu and Jalen Poyser.
The team as a whole is shaking off the jitters and getting a better feel for each other after an 85-68 win over Africa, a team that had earlier beat Team Howard.
At first everyone had their own agenda, playing a lot of one one one basketball which kept freezing the action on offense. Leave it to the number one point guard in the 2015 class Munis Tutu to solve that problem.
Tutu finished the game with 15 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists and 4 steals in 31 minutes of play. His speed in transition, combined with vision and passing ability on the move were tough to contain.
Head Coach Joey McKitterick on Tutu:
“He was a revelation to me, I can’t say enough about his game. He defends on one end, scores on the other, he’s a competitor and good teammate.”
Initiation of the extra pass started with Tutu and slowly began to rub off as teammates started to see the result, which was ultimately better looks than the ones they had been settling for.
Brooks and Poyser grabbed the bull by the horn on offense and combined for over 50 percent of the teams field goals…but who’s complaining, when you’re nailing 20 of 34 as a pair then you’ve earned that right.
Brooks finished the game against Africa with 28 points and Poyser with 23.
Poyser is playing some of the best basketball he’s played in years. He looks composed and is making great decisions off the bounce.
Catching up with him after the win, here’s what he had to say.
“I was thinking too much before and it was slowing my game down a little bit. I got to keep the mind set that I can beat anyone off the dribble and create for my teammates.”
Poyser is evolving and one can sense the maturity both on and off the court.
“Coach Joey told us to move the ball around more and get guys more involved but at the same time, he told me and Dillon not to shy away from beating our man when the opportunity presents itself.”
Joseph Chartouny is a Quebec prospect that we’ve been talking about all summer on the Adidas circuit. He started off hot in Cali but has sat out the last two games for cautionary reasons after catching an elbow to the head. Chartouny hopes to be back on what could be the final day today.
After losing Chartouny, Coach Joey McKitterick made some sound adjustments that allowed for backcourt pressure from Canada.
Jordan Aquino Serjue kept hands and feet active to poke away possessions from Africa and into the open court for Canada.
As for the young crop, for the 2017 and 2018 Canadian prospects (Christian David, Jordan Henry, Kentebe “Junior” Farquar) this will be a great learning experience for them. Their minutes are limited as they transition into playing against this high level competition who are also a few years older.
“Adidas Nations is essentially exposing these kids to what the next level looks like and what the players at the next level are like. The intensity is much higher than what they’re accustomed to, everyone is much stronger. Here they are going through everyday preparation as if they’re NBA prospects.”
Canada has one guaranteed game this morning at 10:15 against team Asia Pacific. They will need this win in order to try and come up with a 3rd or 4th place finish in the pool to advance.