I've been keeping up with the USA Basketball Trials especially since a Memphian, Miss Danielle Ballard, was an invitee. It has been pretty interesting what I've been reading.
After Day 1 of the Trials, it seemed Danielle was making her mark early and demonstrating that she should represent the RED, WHITE & BLUE..
from Peach State Hoops Keil Moore's evaluation:
Ballard is a new face in the USA Basketball system and it would not have been surprising to see her be a little nervous in her opening session. Ballard was a standout in the drill work as well as the five on five play. Her ability to create dribble penetration and as a result offense for herself and others made the game easier for her teammates. With a couple more sessions like the first one, Ballard may make it difficult for them to leave her off this roster.
Then I read ESPN HoopGurlz Kevin Powell's evaluation and it said the total opposite.
In order to position yourself to make such a high-profile team, the one thing that you cannot be is passive. The Memphis native took that approach early and found herself in catch-up mode throughout the trials. The lefty penetrator has a lot of talent but was unwilling to unleash her full array until too late in the trials and then forced things. Blessed with good quickness and very crafty ballhandling ability, Ballard seemed to play it safe and become a station-to- station maneuver of the ball as opposed to a whirling playmaker. She takes good care of the basketball and rarely turns it over. But in this environment, playmaking ability to turnover ratio is the great gauge; And Ballard was reluctant to make enough plays.
So now I am totally confused.. Did Danielle start out strong or start out slow???
Next up was ESPN Hoopgurlz Mark Lewis' evaluation and it was interesting how he summed the Trials up.
Whether it's a political election, a beauty pageant or the trials for one of the USA Basketball teams, there's always going to be debate and discussion about whether or not "they got it right." This year's U17 and U18 trials weren't so much a competition for a spot on either team as they were an audition for the roles the selection committee was looking to fill. Players who struggled found their way onto a roster and athletes who stood out went home scratching their heads.
There is one thing that I'm not confused about---I wasn't there---so I can't give you my opinion of the trial performances.. Also, I wasn't on the selection committee and neither were the people I quoted above (that I know of). Only the selection committee know what they were looking for.
I'm interested to know what you think. Leave a Comment.