Abdul-Malik Abu Game

Today, while home from break, I visited Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, New Hampshire to watch a game against Cushing Academy. I figured it would be a good way to spend an afternoon since KUA is only about 25 minutes from my house, and they have Abdul-Malik Abu, one of the top targets for the Terps in the 2014 class. KUA won 62-59 in a highly-entertaining game.

Cushing Academy also has some highly-regarded players in 2013 Butler signee Andrew Chrabascz, 2014 Guard Kaleb Joseph, and 2015 Guard Jalen Adams. I'm not going to pretend to be a talent scout, but since I'm probably one of the only people on this site who will be able to see Abu in person, I figured I would give my two cents.

To begin, Abu was easily the best player on the court today. He scored in every way, passed well out of double teams, and was a force on defense. Most of the game he was guarded by Chrabascz, who is 6-7, 235ish, and couldn't do anything to stop Abu. On the first possession, he posted up and hit a soft turn around jumper with a hand in his face. A few possessions later on a missed free-throw he beat Chrabascz off the block and powered home a huge (like, HUGE) two-handed tip-slam. He also showed his perimeter skills by taking men off the dribble on numerous occasions, and hitting 3 out of 4 threes in the first half. He finished the half with 14 points, at least 5 rebounds and 2 blocks.

He started the second half off well, hitting a contested three and a deep 2 in the first few minutes. By this point KUA was up by about 15 with 10 minutes left. from there, however, he was quiet and barely touched the ball the rest of the game, mostly due to the fact that Cushing pressed and the KUA guards could barely get it past half court, let alone get the ball to him on the post.

One thing that was EXTREMELY impressive to me was his defensive ability. The blocked shots were clearly impressive (including a goaltending where he pinned the ball above the box on the backboard), but I was more impressed with his work against the pick and roll. Throughout the game, Cushing ran a P&R with Chrabascz and either Kaleb Joseph or Jalen Adams (both of whom are very quick), and many times Abu would switch onto the guard and seemed to have no trouble staying in front of them. His footwork was remarkable for a man his size, and he didn't commit a foul or get beat off the dribble on any of these occasions.

Cushing caught fire late and had the ball and a chance to win the game with 10 seconds left, trailing 60-59. Joseph beat his man and got into the lane, but Abu got a piece of the potential game-winning shot to seal the game. It was his third blocked shot. He finished with 21 points (or 20), at least 8 rebounds (4-5 offensive), 4+ assists, and 3 blocks.

After seeing this game, I REALLY want Abu. Granted, he's the only target I've seen in person, but he looks like he is going to be an exceptional player. His upside is huge, and he already has plenty of game and maturity (had at least 4 assists. passes very well out of post). He also only forced one or two shots. He probably only attempted 11 shots all game. Cushing was 9-0 on the year and was considered the top prep team in New England. They have very highly regarded prospects, and Abu was BY FAR the best player on the court the whole game.

This was also in a tiny KUA gym that doesn't hold more than 400 people (probably less). The court is pretty small as well, but i would think Abu would be even more effective on a regulation sized court where his athleticism could be fully put to use.

Celtics GM Danny Ainge was also in attendance, which was pretty cool. His son is a sophomore at KUA. He looked pretty good, had a really nice stroke, but was way to small to be much of a prospect at this point.

But that's what I took away from the game, I REALLY hope Abu ends up a Terp, because I think he is going to be very good.

This is my first fanpost, and first site activity in a while, but I hope this was up to par.

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