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Dorian Finney-Smith Leads US to Victory (Photos Added)

Dorian Finney-Smith Leads US to Victory (Photos Added)

43 Photos have been added!*  DFS at the Capital Classic (PHOTOS)

Dorian Finney-Smith, a 2011 VT signee and Tech’s highest ranked recruit in almost 30 years, scored 16 points in 21 minutes of action as the US All-Stars pummeled the Capital All-Stars in the 38th annual Capital Classic in Upper Marlboro, MD.  The Washington Post credited him with 9 rebounds to boot.

Dodo was the highest ranked recruit in the game according to most recruiting services, and showed flashes of what excites many Hokie fans. His first hoop was a coast-to-coast drive and finger roll layup. He knocked down his first triple. DFS added another bucket and 2/4 from the foul line. He closed the half with a tip-in dunk to give him 9 points at the half. Dorian also got the biggest laugh, though at his expense – he clanked a dunk off the underneath part of the rim on a breakaway, sending the crowd and players into a hardy laugh. I hope it was a 12-foot high rim because he was well short.

Dorian cruised through the second half in the blowout. He showed a great spin move off the dribble to score in close. Then he beat his man with a great ball fake, went baseline, elevated to dunk with one hand, got fouled and had the shot partially blocked, but finished the shot and converted the 3-point play. Dodo added two more free throws to finish with 16 points by my count. He was 5/7 from the line, 1/2 from 3-point range, and approximately 5/11 from the field.

Dorian showed a lot of versatility. He played the wing at times, but also had to guard the Capital All-Stars’ center, a st. louis recruit who was listed at 7-foot but was closer to 6’9″.

While there wasn’t much intensity in the game, and DFS seemed to be conserving energy, here’s what I noted in my first in-person viewing:

  • Explosive leaper (despite the missed dunk).  Check out the lead photo in this article and on Flickr.  Dodo is up there with the birds. He’s going to posterize some guys. Not a Deron-like leaper, but he will be fun to watch. Roll the highlights.
  • Good penetrator. Can handle in traffic. Probably not good enough to bring the ball up the court, but what 6’7″ guys are other than Magic and Penny.
  • Needs to work on his outside shooting. I only got a small sample size, and I’m biased by what I’ve heard, but this isn’t his strength at this time. Didn’t get to see him shoot a midrange jumper.  Haven’t looked at the photos I took, you can see he leans back too much on his jumpshot (same issue Erick Green has).
  • Solid rebounder, especially on offense. Really attacks the tin. If teams don’t check him, he’ll be flushing missed shots. Positions himself well on defense and puts his body on his man. Aggressively goes after balls coming towards him, but wasn’t that active chasing down misses that weren’t right at him.  Needs that mentality he owns every miss.  But again, this was an all-star game.
  • Since this was an all-star game so I won’t even bother accessing his man defense, but he did battle the big man for the other team.
  • He’s very tall (legit 6’7″ – look at the photo of him next to me – I’m 6’1″ and he towers over me) and very smooth. Great athlete. Looks like the real deal but I’d like to see him in a meaningful game where the intensity is there. Seems like a team player, too. Actually passed the ball some (90% of the guys didn’t).

This post was written by:

- who has written 1216 posts on Tech Hoops.

Niemo is a member of the VT Class of '98. While not a professional journalist by any stretch, Niemo analyzes and breaks down every minute of Hokie hoop action. He also researches topics of interest such as Hokie recruits, program revenue, statistical data on the team, previews VT opponents, and discusses his favorite bourbons/Scotches. In addition to his passion for Hokie hoops, Niemo has attended 126 straight VT football home games (every game since '94), eclipsing the 100 mark in September of '09 and recently attended his 20th consecutive VT/uva game. During the final home basketball game of his senior year, he was brought onto the court and was awarded 2 passes to the Atlantic 10 Basketball Tournament in Philly during a timeout for being a "Super Fan" during his time at VT. The Hokie Bird made the award on behalf of Athletic Director Jim Weaver. Niemo was known to be in the front row of every home game with his familiar red afro hairdo.

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  • DuffHokie

    Did you get the arm curl?

    • Niemo

      Did not. We didn’t stay until the end. His unit came out with 6 minutes to go so we pulled a ‘dodger-fan’ move and headed for the exits (although we didn’t beat the tar out of someone on the way out, so not really a dodger-fan move).

  • Ryan W

    pretty exciting stuff…i can’t wait until next year. should be a good mix of youth and experience. interesting to see joe lunardi’s first bracketology. i know it means zero at this point but he had tech as a 6 seed. surprised we are getting that much respect with delaney and allen gone. north carolina could be scary next year, glad to see a lot of guys around the country coming back only for the fact that it will help delaney and allen in the draft.

  • DS88

    The picture looks like it could turn into “The Vince Carter Dunk”

  • chuck

    The photos upset me…nothing you did…excellent work Niemo…

    But the Capital Classic has just been marginalized over the years by the combination of AAU familiarity,lack of sponsors, multiple McD’s AA games, and other big city showcases.

    I actually played in the Suburban All-Stars game in 1993 at Cole Field House and stayed behind to watch the big game featuring Marcus Camby, James Collins, and Joe Smith (that’s two top two picks a year apart!)….

    It used to be the guys would choose between the Dapper Dan and the Capital Classic…and would still be allowed to play in the McDs game as well…but no more than two…now the rule is just one game permitted i believe. Michael Jordan held the record for pts scored in the Capital Classic until just a couple years ago…now it appears it’s played in front of tens of people in a regional gym….sigh.

    You say last night’s game was in Upper Marblboro? What the ____? Where? Oxon Hill High School? I’ll have to look that up.

    Pour a little beer on the curb…it’s been dying, but these photos confirm the game’s actual death.

    • Niemo

      Chuck – At the Show Place Arena, which is better known as an equestrian center. Yep, that’s how far it has fallen. I believe the Capital Classic used to have Nike sponsorship (may have even been the Jordan Brand game). Lebron played in it at the MCI Center and it was nearly a sellout. Once Nike pulled out about 5 years ago (if I’m correct in my recollection), that effectively killed the game.

  • chuck

    So did you maneuver around piles of manure?

    Jordan had an affinity for it, so his brand took over sponsorship after Nike abandoned it a few years back. But losing Nike alone wouldn’t have killed it…it had other sponsors bail too….

    But even he isn’t going to sink money into an event that become more of an All-Met classic after McDs kiped all the national talent…

    The times I went (all between 88 and 93) there was a buzz in Cole…the place was packed…big time coaches were there…K, Tarkanian, Boeheim….

    How was DFS competition? Challenging enough, or was he just a man among boys?

    • Niemo

      There were some guys there going to big name schools (syracuse, pitt, villanova (2), rutgers, wvu, clemson) but none of those guys were their star recruits. I’m not sure there was more than one other 4-star recruit (if that). Mostly 3-stars. But some of the guys did have legit size. Like you said, it was more of the All-Met team (minus the top tier stars) against a collection of 3-stars from the Northeast. DFS was the only guy south of NOVA in the game, I believe.

  • chuck

    BTW, why is it that all the kids today want to emulate the Lebron James fallaway (a vast gap exists between that of James and that of Jordan/Kobe) instead of the Ray Allen Lock the feet lean into it style jumper (the fundamental)….

    Hopefully DFS cures that….and hopefully he likes the contact at the collegiate level, and likes FTs as opposed to settling for jumpers.

  • LuvzAznChix

    This has nothing to do with our recruit…but please, please PLEEASE put D-Washington in the top 10 hokies of all time. Simply for the fact that he t-bagged paulus & bc alone should put him there =D Also, do you have any pics armcurling him???

    • Niemo

      Yeah, I arm-curled him. Should be on the Arm Curl Hall of Fame page (might be on Page 2 of it).

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