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UAA Session III: A Florida Focus

By Rick Staudt, 06/03/17, 10:30AM CDT

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Team Breakdown

Breakdown came away from the Under Armor Association session in Los Angeles last weekend with an overall record of 11-1 after going 4-0 on the left coast.  Not only did they win their games by an average of over ten points a contest, Team Breakdown did so without the services of Louisville commit Anfernee Simons.  The squad elevated their play, both as a team and individually, and the result was the best overall record in the UAA.

In Game One, Breakdown defeated Philly Pride by eight, 68-60.  Despite being outrebounded by fifteen, Breakdown held Philly to just 38% overall from the field and a meager 25% from beyond the arc.  Breakdown forced 25 turnovers and combined those extra possessions into three additional made three pointers and five additional free throws.  Getting 19 points and 10 rebounds from Solomon Uyaelunmo was also a big factor in the win.

Game Two found Breakdown taking down New Heights by a score of 62-40.  The defense really stepped up in this contest as they held New Heights to 38% shooting overall and just 1-10 from three point range.  Throw in a 36-24 rebound advantage as well as 15 made free throws to New Heights’ five and it’s easy to see this was a complete game by Breakdown.

The team’s stellar “D” continued into Game Three against Canada Elite with a ten point 63-53 win.  Holding our neighbors to the north to just 34% shooting overall and just 17% from beyond the arc, Breakdown was able to overcome some offensive woes of their own (41% overall, 21% from three, and 58% from the foul line).  A 46-34 rebound advantage also helped.

Game Four was a bit tougher, a five point win over CBC 54-49.  While both teams shot poorly in the game, it was Breakdown’s ability to get to the free throw line as well as keep CBC off of it, that paved the way for their last win of the session.  Breakdown shot 26 free throws, making 11, while CBC shot and made just three free throws total.

Without Simons as a go-to scorer, the team appears to have relied on its defense and ability to draw fouls while on offense.  They forced an average of 17 turnovers a contest and limited the opposition to just 36% overall from the field and 23% from three point range.  Overall, Breakdown shot 50 more free throws than the opposition this past weekend, making 27 more.  Also, Breakdown made ten more field goals overall than their opponents while being outshot by them by eleven.

While Elijah Weaver didn’t necessarily up his scoring in the absence of Weaver, he was still a steadying influence.  He averaged just under fifteen points a game and grabbed four rebounds a contest.  His shooting percentages were lower than expected but he clearly impacted the game in more ways than the box score can attest.

Uyaelunmo was one rebound short of averaging a double-double out in Los Angeles.  Still, his 12.5 points and 9.8 rebounds a game went a long way to offsetting the loss of Simons for the weekend.  His ability to score inside as well as handle the ball out on the perimeter gives Breakdown a tough matchup for the opposition to account for.

While he hasn’t approached the stellar numbers he put up from Session I, Emmanuel Dowuona’s paint presence and rim protection is a big factor in Team Breakdown’s success.  At nearly eight points, seven rebounds and 2.5 blocks a game, Dowuona provides a solid interior complement to the likes of Weaver and Simons.

FLORIDA VIPERS

The Vipers dispatched opponents with ease in Los Angeles.  They finished 4-0 for the weekend and were one of several teams to finish 10-2 during the UAA regular season.  Coming out of the event, the Vipers looked as dominant as any team in the UAA.

Game One saw the Vipers dispatch a solid Louisiana Elite team by fourteen, 62-48.  While the Vipers offense wasn’t much to speak of, their defense held down the opposition.  Holding LA Elite to just 34.5% shooting from the field overall and 27% from three point range, the Vipers were able to overcome their own lack of offensive success (44% from the field and just 4-13 from three point range).

Game Two was more of the same against Team Felton, a 61-42 blowout.  The offense was better this time around as the Vipers had eleven more attempts that Team Felton, making seven more baskets.  A factor was the team’s 9-14 performance from beyond the arc, seven more made threes than by Team Felton.  The Vipers held Team Felton to under 40% shooting overall and just 18% (2-11) from beyond the arc.

Game Three was the team’s biggest win in terms of victory margin, a 31 point blowout of Playground Warriors.  It was one of those games where everything comes together.  Defensively, the Vipers had a rebound advantage of 34-25 and forced 20 turnovers while coughing the ball up just eight times.  They held the opposition to just 16 made field goals on 44 shots, and allowed only nine free throw attempts.  Offensively, their 32-59 success rate overall from the field and 7-15 from beyond the arc just screams efficiency.

The Vipers’ final UAA game against C2K Elite was just as dominant despite winning “by only” twenty points, 88-68.  Holding a team to just 41% shooting and outrebounding them by fifteen is usually a good formula for success.  But adding a 61% success rate on your offensive end (38-61) and scoring sixteen more baskets than the opponent is darn near a guarantee of victory.

Overall, The Vipers made 45 more baskets than their opponents this past weekend which equates to their 21 point average margin of victory.  They shot over 50% from the field and nearly 45% from beyond the arc over the course of four games while holding the opposition to below 38% from the field overall.  If you want to quibble, their 53% from the foul line as a team could be a chink in the armor.

It was an incredibly impressive weekend for Darius Days.  He had games of 22, 24, 23, and 30 points in Los Angeles, giving him an average of 24.8ppg for the weekend.  That is just over 10ppg more than he has averaged in the first two UAA sessions as well as his four game stint with Nike South Beach during session three of the EYBL.  Tack on his eight rebounds a game as well as his shooting above 50% from both the field overall and behind the three point line, and you have a guy who wishes the first July live period started tomorrow.

Silvio De Sousa continued his stellar play for the Vipers in L.A. He finished the four games with averages of 19ppg and just under 7 rpg.  He shot over 61% from the field and turned the lane area into his own private domain.  There is concern about his 7-18 free throw line performance but the Vipers have yet to find themselves in a close game where that has been a factor.

Keidron Smith continues to provide solid perimeter support for the Vipers.  He bumped his scoring average up to thirteen points a contest while his shooting numbers were a very good:  53% overall, 41% from three, and 71% from the foul line.  He also contributed three rebounds, two assists and almost two steals a contest.  He isn’t getting near enough the notoriety he should be for his solid play.