The Life of a Freelance Basketball Scout – Game 6 & 7
December 8 – The Charm City College Classic
Morgan State vs Towson & Loyola Chicago vs Maryland
Being a forward thinker I asked my wife to drop me off and pick me up from this event in downtown Baltimore at the Royal Farms Arena or The Chicken Box, as some people say. Pretty self explanatory there….. The arena is shaped like a box and Royal Farms sells chicken (you’re welcome to all the slower thinkers out there). I did not want to deal with parking in the city and paying anything either. The other option was to take the light rail from Glen Burnie to Baltimore. It doesn’t cost much, but it’s a process to park there and load and wait and do it all again to leave, then get back in my vehicle to drive home. It’s much easier when you have capable loved ones willing to help out (thanks Kell, Winnie and Junior).
So the even was extremely well run by Charm City Charities. Checkout charmcitycharities.org They are a non-profit organization that looks to help the local youth by providing academic support, athletic training, overall wellness and mentorship.
I see this event really growing in the next few years. Maybe they can get a two-day tournament out of it. Maybe a whole weekend. Get 8 local teams, not including Maryland, because I doubt they would agree. A lot of the local teams play each-other anyway so why not do it all in one weekend and make some magic happen for the city of Baltimore. One of these days Maryland could have a showcase game at like 8 p.m. vs a Virginia, Villanova, West Virginia or someone who is somewhat local to draw a good crowd.
Shout out to BJ Smith, who is the starting shooting guard for the DMV Warriors of the ABA. This is the local pro team in Maryland that I scout for. BJ is an entrepreneur. He has his own clothing line, does tattoos, wellness and health products etc. He was volunteering with Charm City Charities to help organize and contribute to the event. His website is beyondthebasicbrand.com
It was also good to meet local media and college basketball fanatic Stephen Hiegel. He is a good guy and just started his website last season. His website is JustCollegeBasketball.com
The first game was Morgan State vs Towson. Two pretty contrasting styles of play. Towson is very methodical and a bit clunky at times on offense. That seems to be there identity recently. They are a very physical team, but lack in playmaking ability for teammates. Morgan State is a smaller, yet feisty team. They play around 10-12 guys, with 8 of those getting pretty significant minutes. Coach Todd Bozeman will not hesitate to chew one of his guys out and yank him out of the game real quick.
Towson played a decent first half. They attacked the basket well and got to the foul line. They controlled the tempo and flow of the game. The second half was a different story. Morgan employed a full court press and that gave Towson fits. They couldn’t handle it. Towson has lacked point guard depth the past few years. Tobias Howard had 6 turnovers of his own and he is the Tigers only true point guard. Morgan did a great job pressuring the ball. This was led by senior, point-guard Martez Cameron. Cameron is the engine for Morgan. He keeps things flowing and under control. They like to play fast and he is the one steady veteran presence to make sure the chaos is organized. Cameron had 14 points on the day, but his presence was felt more than just that. Freshman guard Sherwyn Devonish-Prince Jr. led both teams with 19 points. Prince is a scorer. That’s what he does and that’s all he looks to do. He can pass a little but he is not developed in that area yet. For Towson junior shooting guard Brian Fobbs was the brightest spot. He is a cold-blooded scorer. He is a big-bodied physical guard that can bully his way to the basket or step out and hit the three. Fobbs will fare very well in the Colonial Athletic Association for Towson.
The second game was Maryland vs the Fighting Sister Jean’s or Loyola Chicago. This game was pretty competitive until Maryland pulled away late into the second half. The defense was key for Maryland they held Loyola to just 41 points. Clayton Custer and Marques Townes were held to 9 points a piece. Big man Cameron Krutwig had 12 points and 8 rebounds. Custer the leader of the Ramblers was out of sync the whole game. He never really got it going and Cowan did a solid job defending him. Townes struggled shooting the ball and only found success when he drove to the basket, which is his best skill. He probably thought twice before doing so against Maryland’s size. The Terps had 13 blocks on the day and forced 19 turnovers….. so, that explains the rough day for Loyola right there. Krutwig had some success but overall missed some easy ones and seemed bothered by Bruno Fernando’s intensity on the defensive end. Despite 5 turnovers for Cowan he forced the pace in the second half and ended the game with 17 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists. Maryland was in control majority of the game. There never was much of a threat of a run on Loyola’s side. Maryland was playing very good defense and Loyola was struggling to make any type of shots.
There was one interesting point in the second half. It was after a timeout during an inbounds set for Maryland. Cowan found himself a wide-open three pointer right in front of Loyola’s bench. He ended up missing the shot, but I’ll be darned if it didn’t look like wild-man, Loyola coach Porter Moser almost caressed Cowan or whispered sweet nothings into his ear as he shot. Moser was so close to him it was wild! Refs were telling Moser to stay behind the coaches line all game and he would oblige while sweet-talking back to them. He is a coach oozing of passion for the game. He has put his time in before the success of last season. It was much deserved. He has no one but the good Lord and Sister Jean to thank for that.
SIDE NOTE – My toilet flooded recently. We had to get a plumbing company to come out. Well guess what….. It happened again Tuesday night, while I was on the toilet. You’re welcome for the visual.
This was after I had the stomach flu all day Monday. Mind you this was after eating almost a whole family size bag of crab chips with my son Junior, some popcorn (this popcorn is a special mix… spray butter, salt and vinegar chips and cayenne pepper sprinkled on), eating 6 chicken wings that were dry rub garlic parmesan (these were fresh then frozen then un-frozen and sat in the fridge for a few more days), while also having a few big cups of whiskey and coke and watching Home Alone 2……. It was the perfect storm. There were a lot of regrettable decisions made in that eating session.
It was no joke. I couldn’t get out of bed until around noon on Tuesday. I had to call out of work for 2 days.