Pangos Camp a tale of Dockery jump shots Saturday

WEST DEPTFORD, NJ – Marcus Dockery got in front of the storm (due to hit the region Sunday) by about 24 hours Saturday afternoon and evening in the River Winds Community Center.

The 6-foot-1, left-handed sophomore from Roosevelt High in Washington, DC was raining jump shots on anyone and everyone who tried to check him during the first day’s action of the Pangos All-East Frosh/Soph Camp.

Dockery was assigned to the “North Carolina” squad (one of 20 for the approximate 190 or so players in attendance) but wasted little time springing into action with the “Virginia Commonwealth” team, scheduled on Court 1 just before UNC’s game.

For what it’s worth, he’s not the first guy to ever, uh, briefly “adopt” another team for a game or so at one of these events . . .

Anyway, by the time Dockery (pictured in the Twitter post of this report) had finished flicking that left wrist – from the deep corners, wings or out on top, the accuracy was every bit as pin point – he’d finished with five 3s for VCU.

He then hopped into “North Carolina’s” 30-second or so layup line, stayed on the floor for the center jump and then began knocking in deep jumpers with almost mundane consistency, and didn’t stop until he’d dropped seven more shots from behind the arc, mixing in a few layups for good measure.

If all parts of Dockery’s jump shots mechanics seemed remarkably consistent – as was the resulting accuracy – it wasn’t by chance.

Dockery (who spent his freshman year as a starting guard at Bishop Ireton in near-by Alexandria, VA) has a half-court in his backyard “and I try to get up at least 500 shots every morning before school and at least 500 more when I get home,” he said after the second game, almost matter-of-factly.

And, of course, “and that’s to go along with how many shots up I get up at school in the gym during practice,” he added.

A couple of hours later he was back on Court II (the main gym at the community center is split into two floors, with games running simultaneously; a third playing floor across the hall from the main court is also used every time this year for the camp) and led North Carolina to another victory with five more 3s.

He called it night after that game, giving him 17 3s in three games. Each player is on the floor for approximately half of the 40 minutes of running time.

Dockery (a starter for Under Armour-fronted DC Blue Devils’s “15s” team last spring and summer) and that jump shot will be on display again on Sunday’s second and final day of the camp, when each of the teams will play one more time this morning – beginning at 9:30. – before things concluding with all-star games at 1:15 and 2:15 this afternoon.

Other highlights from Saturday’s 20 games:

*In the VCU-Providence contest in which Dockery began his jump-shooting demonstration, 6-8 sophomore Jake Tavroff (Oceanside High in New York’s Long Island), and 6-6 freshman Tayquan Woodley (Philadelphia Neumann-Goretti) went head-to-head in a spirited display of low-post offensive skill that would have been the envy of a lot of very good high school seniors.

Tavroff dropped in a couple of sweet right-hand jump hooks in the first half. In a seminal moment of the second half, Woodley had taken that option away from his New York counterpart by boxing him in on left baseline, just outside of the key – and Tavroff countered with a jump hook with his left (off) hand over his right shoulder before Woodley could get his right hand up to pester the attempt.

After his unit had been subbed out (it happens about every five minutes in the games), Woodley – who had blocked a Tavroff jumper just a minute or so before Tavroff dipped into his bag of tricks for the lefty hook – shook his head and smiled.

“He knows how to play down there,” he said in genuine admiration.

Of course, Woodley also showed off stunning low-post ingenuity while never bringing the ball below his eyes after snagging passes and offensive rebounds and immediately getting the leather back up over the rim or on the glass and into the rim before Tavroff or any other opponent could alter the attempt.

“I was taught when I was very young to never bring the ball down low (making it fair game for smaller and pesky defenders to slap out of his hands),” said Woodley, who obviously paid close attention whenever he showed for his figurative “Basketball Fundamentals 101” lectures.

*As impressive as the Woodley-Tavroff hook-up was, it wasn’t played nearly as deep into the gym universe as the one later in the evening between sophomores in 6-9 Eduardo Andre (playing for Duke) and 7-2 Jordan Wilmore (Georgia Tech).

The left-handed Andre may have surrendered five or so inches to Wilmore (who attends Mt. Zion Prep in Baltimore) but he negated that Wilmore advantage by often beating him to spots on the floor and to the rim iwith his edge in lateral and vertical explosiveness.

Making Andre’s effort all the more remarkable is that he nearly literally went straight from Philadelphia International Airport, where he arrived early in the morning (originally from Angola, he lives in London but is making a brief stop here before continuing his journey to a school in Dallas).

Wilmore was able to reach over the top of Andre (who hit a 3 from the left wing late in the game) for some rebounds and also showed off his own set of left- (he’s a lefty) and right-handed hooks while showing remarkable speed for a fellow so tall and so young.

*One of the first three games on Saturday (as I mentioned, played at the same time on the three floors), proved a nice showcase for the skills of 6-7 Baltimore Dulaney sophomore Che Evans (who was very good here a year ago) and 6-6 Drissa Traore, a freshman from the African nation of Mali who lives in Harlem and attends Success Academy in New York.

They’re among the better “wing” prospects I’ve seen on the fall’s Pangos Frosh/Soph trail (which began in late September in Southern California before continuing to Dallas two weeks ago and Chicago last weekend).

*And no one played any harder and with more purpose at both ends of the floor during his two games Saturday than did 6-7 Ismael Plet, a sophomore at the Virginia Episcopal School (Lynchburg, VA).

He’s of Nigerian heritage but grew up in Amsterdam before enrolling at the Virginia school a year ago last summer.

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