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First look Heels 2021 – Grades

Like preseason polls, preseason games and lineups give quite different looks from what we expect to see as the season progresses.  So goes preseason game evaluations.  After a coaching change, multiple transfers in and out, and freshman additions; new lineups and adjustments to style of play were expected.  Hubert Davis’ starting lineup in the Smith Center exhibition game against Elizabeth City State University included Armando Bacot, Dawson Garcia, RJ Davis, Caleb Love, and Kerwin Walton; with Brady Manek, Justin McKoy, Leaky Black, then Anthony Harris leading off the bench.  D’Marco Dunn and Dontrez Styles filled in for a few minutes before Davis cleared the bench with less than one minute remaining.  First reactions and ratings:

  • Team as a whole showed flashes of improvement.  Defense seemed a little uneven.  Seem to be stuck between deciding between getting out to run and waiting to set up in the half-court.  Team exhibition performance:  B minus.
  • Bacot – (A) – Looks like he’s already told the dealership which car to order.   
  • Walton – (D) – Did not look good.  Offense was off.  Did not see defensive improvement.   
  • Love – (C minus) – Hasn’t shown anything different yet.  Turnovers when primary ball handler is a concern.    
  • Davis – (B minus) – Early play as primary ball handler was promising.
  • Garcia – (B) – Good start offensively.  Need to be more aware on defense.
  • Manek – (A) – Better than expected.  Has a good motor on both ends of the court.
  • McKoy – (D) – Appeared to be lost on offense and defense. 
  • Black – (B) – Good energy off the bench.  Defense was steady.  Great outlet passes and push up the court after rebounds.  Had sneaky good all-around game though he only took one shot.  Best multi-position player. 
  • Harris – (C) – Gets in motion quickly.  A little out of control.  Looks confident.
  • Styles and Dunn – To be determined.  Unfair to rate with such limited playtime.