2011 Nike Hoop Summit: Bismack Biyombo Registers Triple-Double, Talks With SBNation.com

The Nike Hoop Summit -- an international basketball showcase held in Portland -- features the best Class of 2011's high school prospects from across the country and around the world.

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Bismack Biyombo Breaks Out At Nike Hoop Summit As NBA-Ready Right Now

PORTLAND, Ore. -- To see Bismack Biyombo smile from ear to ear through almost a half hour of postgame interviews on Saturday night was to know that the Nike Hoop Summit has solidified another young international player's NBA trajectory.

For Biyombo, a 6-foot-9, 243-pound forward from the Democratic Republic of Congo, it's a path more than a decade in the making. "I was 7-years-old [when I first saw an NBA game]," Biyombo told SBNation.com. "My daddy was a basketball player and he showed me a lot of NBA games. His favorite player was Karl Malone. He's very similar to Karl Malone. He's strong, he's big. Then he showed me Hakeem Olajuwon. I really wanted to play basketball because I was watching those guys, the way they played. The way they were intense, going to the boards, fighting every time, wanting to win the game every time." 

Intense, active on the glass, fighting every play -- Biyombo displayed all that and more in this year's Hoop Summit, as he went from scout's secret to high-rising sensation over the course of a week in Portland, posting eye-popping measurements early in the week and notching the first triple-double in the history of the game. Biyombo finished with 12 points, 11 rebounds and 10 blocks in 28 minutes for the World Team, which lost to Team USA 92-80 at the Rose Garden on Saturday night.

For international players like Biyombo, the result of this showcase is not nearly as important as how he looks head-to-head against his top American counterparts. In Anthony Davis, James McAdoo and Michael Gilchrist, Biyombo was facing three likely lottery picks in the 2012 NBA Draft. Biyombo was the clear standout.


Showcase games always devolve in one way or another, and the second half of Saturday's Hoop Summit became a contest of "Who can drive into the paint against Biyombo and not get immediately swatted." Media members were openly rooting for Biyombo to set the Hoop Summit's blocked shots record as he used his incredible 7-foot-7 wingspan to swallow shots on their way up, catch floaters at their apex and smother attempts at the rim. He succeeds on defense not only because of his length but because of his quickness off the floor: Biyombo plays defense above the rim and he can get there in a hurry. 

"It's incredible because you're a little bit in awe," said his coach for the week, Kevin Sutton. "You become a fan watching him play a little bit, it's hard as a coach because he does so many spectacular things ... He came off a plane and we asked him if wanted to practice. He had a long flight from Europe, he said he wanted to practice, he stepped on the court and had an immediate impact, jet lagged and tired. He's a phenomenal talent." 

Biyombo, like most of the game's participants, is listed at 18 years old, but he's played professionally in Spain for two seasons, has a massive, sculpted NBA-ready body right now and looked like a man among boys all week, drawing speculation from scouts, fans and media alike about whether he is older than he lets on. Biyombo brushed off the age question in an interview with SI.com.

"I don't care how old he is, Biyombo can play NBA-caliber defense right now," one NBA talent evaluator said on Sunday.

That was the general consensus. Biyombo is ready now, his stock solidified as a 2011 first round pick, with the immediate buzz in the building included the NBA's L-word: Lottery.

"He's raw offensively and needs some molding, but that's a pretty impressive piece of clay," said a league executive, who marveled at Biyombo's overall athleticism and competitive desire.

Biyombo, the ACB's leading shot blocker, is built like a truck, strong enough to defend most NBA power forwards on the low block and also agile enough to step out and ably defend the high post. He plugs in immediately as an eighth or ninth guy off the bench that brings second unit energy and generally wreaks havoc.

The questions for him at the NBA level all come on the offensive side. Biyombo's game is mostly limited to attempts around the rim or second chance opportunities on the offensive glass. and he didn't show an overwhelming amount of confidence in his range during practices this week. On Saturday, he was an efficient 5 for 7 from the field, including some authoritative dunks, but didn't show a full arsenal of moves. 

Biyombo knows he needs to fill out his offensive repertoire and continue to be diligent about his shot selection. "Sometimes I have bad shots," he said. "You just shoot the ball and you go, 'No, no, no, no, that was a bad shot.' Today offensively I can say I wasn't in the game."

He then explained that he was not expecting the double and triple teams that Team USA sent at him when he had the ball in the low bock. "They would double-team on me every time. Maybe they watched some video about me. They tried to find me, sometimes just triple guys around me. I was trying to get the ball, it was very difficult, they were big. With everybody that close to the basket, you try to force things. Even if you're trying to kick it out, they're denying the pass line. It was a little hard. "

All that attention was in stark contrast to how teams defend him in the ACB, where he averages 6.4 points and 5.1 rebounds for Fuenlabadra. "They just leave me alone [in Spain]," Biyombo said smiling as always. "I play one-on-one, I have so many chances to play, I have so many open shots, I have so many good shots. Today they really closed the basket, every time I have the ball in the low post, two guys around me, three guys around me. They played smart defense on me."

Biyombo said developing his offense will be a top priority in advance of next season. "I have all summer to work on that. I have a personal trainer, we're almost close to the summer, I will work on my offense and I'll be OK."

He was smiling when he said those words because, after the display he put on Saturday night, he couldn't stop.

Video of Bismack Biyombo at the Nike Hoop Summit from OregonLive.com.


Nike Hoop Summit 2011 Recap: USA Takes Down World Team, 92-80

The USA took down the World in the 2011 Nike Hoop Summit on Saturday night as the top college prospects showcased their talents in Portland. Led by Austin Rivers, the USA easily handled the World in a 92-80 win, thanks to four players in double-figures. Rivers scored a game-high 20 points to pace team USA in the win

Michael Gilchrist and Anthony Davis each scored 16 points for team USA, complimenting Rivers in the win. Quinn Cook added 12 points and Davis finished with a double-double, grabbing 12 rebounds to go with his 16 points. Tony Wroten Jr., from Seattle's Garfield High School, finished with a team-high five assists for the US squad.

Bismack Biyombo had a terrific all-around game for the world, finishing with a triple-double that included 12 points and 11 rebounds, along with a slew of blocks. His triple-double was the first in Hoops Summit history, a tremendous accomplishment considering the top-flight talent to play in the event over the years. Mateusz Ponitka had a team-high 17 points, with Kyle Wiltjer adding 12 points to the mix in the loss.

Ben Golliver will be back with a full recap of Saturday's game. For more information on the Nike Hoop Summit, visit the official website or check out the rest of our StoryStream.


2011 Nike Hoop Summit: James McAdoo No Longer Overlooked

PORTLAND, ORE. -- James McAdoo, one of the Class of 2011’s most NBA-ready prospects, also happens to be one of its most overlooked. How bad is it? He still has trouble convincing his high school friends how good he is. 

A 6-9, 220 pound forward from Norfolk, Va., who has committed to play basketball at North Carolina next season, McAdoo is in Portland to compete in Saturday’s Nike Hoop Summit. He’s fresh off scoring 17 points in last week’s McDonald’s All-American Game, where he won co-MVP honors along with Somerdale, N.J., forward Michael Gilchrist. Despite taking home the hardware, he said his friends back home haven’t yet come to terms with the fact that he’s on the same level as Gilchrist, whose been nationally known for years, or Winter Park, Fla., guard Austin Rivers, son of Celtics coach Doc Rivers.

"Even my friends love these guys like Rivers and Gilchrist," McAdoo joked on Thursday after an evening Hoop Summit practice at the Portland Trail Blazers practice facility. "I’m like, ‘These [players] are just my friends, hop off their nuts.’"

While McAdoo might not yet have the national name recognition of Gilchrist or Rivers, or the hype factor of 6-10 Chicago forward Anthony Davis, the Class of 2011’s top overall prospect, there are plenty of reasons his friends back home, and NBA observers, should be watching him carefully. DraftExpress.com recently placed him in the No. 4 spot in its 2012 NBA Draft and there is a lot to like.

While McAdoo said that he played all five positions at some point in high school, he translates as an inside-out power forward on the NBA level. His frame is big and solid for his age – he just turned 18 – but there’s certainly room for him to add additional weight. McAdoo is most comfortable facing the basket, but unlike many stretch forwards he rarely floats on the perimeter. He can handle the ball, get his own shot in the mid-range, has a solid first step and good body control to get to the basket plus the strength to finish in traffic. His rebounding instincts, timing and motor are very good, and he tucked home a number of putbacks from the weakside during a brief Thursday night scrimmage.  Defensively, he moves laterally on the perimeter well, maintains contact in the post and, most of all, is under control and coordinated in a way that many players who are his size at his age aren’t. There’s a smoothness factor on both ends, despite his willingness to do the dirty work.

"A lot of people call me a hybrid four," McAdoo said, shaking his head. "But I don’t know. Maybe I’ll become someone like a Zach Randolph or something. A big banger who can still shoot the ball. Or like a Marvin Williams, a guy who is a 3/4. Hopefully I can just improve my game, get bigger, gain some weight and just really come into my own … I don’t want to get stuck underneath the basket, though. I want to be able to have a multi-dimensional game. I think that can make me a better sell to an NBA team. … I have the ability to kick it into overdrive and really show out."

Multi-dimensional is en vogue in the NBA these days and, assessing his current package of skills, it’s fair to call McAdoo the most polished big man in the 2011 class right now. He also doesn’t lack for confidence. Asked what he hoped an NBA scout that sees him play this week would report back to their GMs, McAdoo smiled. "Hopefully he says ‘This cat McAdoo is the real deal.’

"With me, I don’t think you have any risks. A lot of guys here could be NBA MVP or they could also fall off the map just because you don’t really know with that transition to the college or the NBA. But I think with me, I’m a safe pick. I think I can be a franchise player, I can carry a team. I have that mental toughness and I’m a baller. My last name is McAdoo so you already know what you’re getting with that."

So, about that last name. While it’s been widely reported that Basketball Hall of Famer Bob McAdoo is James’ uncle, the younger McAdoo says the relationship isn’t that simple. "People always think Bob is my dad. I call him my uncle. He’s really like my, I don’t know, my dad’s great-great-great grandfather and his great-grandfather are like brothers, so I don’t know what makes us.  We’ve got a last name. All McAdoos are family."

Along with his last name and his family’s ties to the Chapel Hill area come great expectations for next season. McAdoo already has plans to report for summer pickup ball on June 12 and is anxious to show what he’s about to Tar Heels fans. "I'm a consistent presence on the floor that can score the ball as well as defend and hopefully be a stat sheet stuffer. … My goal for college is to average 20 and 10 as a freshman. No one ever does that. They might average 20 but they can never get 10 rebounds."

McAdoo is right: no one ever does that. Basketball-Reference shows just three players who have averaged 20 and 10 as a freshman in the last decade -- Kevin Durant, Michael Beasley and Kris Humphries -- and none played in the ACC. All three, interestingly, happen to be Hoop Summit alumni and impact players on the next level. This is the time to dream big.

Being around so many pros during Carolina’s summer runs, McAdoo admitted, has him thinking about that next level too. "Just seeing all the pro guys that came back, definitely made it real to me. They put so many guys in the NBA. Roy Williams does a great job of developing his players, the system they play is like a pro system. It’s definitely my dream, it’s what I put all these hours in for. Sure, a free education and attending North Carolina is a dream, but that next stepping stone would be to play professionally."

McAdoo said the high school showcase event circuit has made that NBA dream feel a lot more real. At least when he’s not at home. "Last week at the McDonald’s All-American game, they said 70 percent of guys that play in that game go on to play in the NBA," McAdoo said. "Here I am getting the co-MVP. You try not to think about [the NBA] too much. Sure, when your mom yells at you for not taking out the garbage, you’re like, ‘Come on, mom, cut me some slack. I did just get co-MVP.’"

As for finally getting the recognition he feels he deserves from his friends? That’s coming too. "My phone did blow up [after the McDonald’s game]. I actually had to get another phone, it’s crazy. So many people were calling me and texting me, I just shut that phone off and use this other phone now. It’s cool. I like it. It’s a lifestyle I could get used to living."

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