Second-year center Jahidi White scored a game-high 15 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the reserve-laden White team to a 73-66 victory over the Blue team in the Washington Wizards' first intrasquad scrimmage tonight at Shepherd College.
White, who at 290 pounds is 25 pounds lighter than last season, showed a much more diverse low-post offensive game while being a physical force on defense. The strong performance helped solidify his role as Ike Austin's backup.
"Jahidi played well," Wizards Coach Gar Heard said. "He scored some baskets and got some rebounds and was the most surprising guy on the floor."
Starting point guard Rod Strickland dominated at both ends of the court in limited playing time, scoring 13 points and registering six steals. Rookie Richard Hamilton, who played for injured guard Mitch Richmond (strained hamstring), looked comfortable and confident in scoring 12 points.
Power forwards Aaron Williams and Michael Smith each had their moments, grabbing five and four rebounds, respectively. Guards Laron Profit, Reggie Jordan and James Collins, battling for the fifth guard spot, all played well, Heard said.
Collins scored 12 points, mainly on breakaway baskets, and Profit added 10. Both saw action almost exclusively at shooting guard. Jordan, who played point guard, had five points, two assists and four rebounds. Backup point guard Chris Whitney also had 15 points.
Free agent power forward Gerard King, who spent last season with San Antonio, also impressed Heard, scoring eight points and grabbing five rebounds.
"Offensively I think we're right where I think we should be," Heard said. "Defensively and rebounding we still have a lot of work to do. That will happen. We've only had a couple days to work. We're going to get better."
Washington will have another scrimmage Saturday for season ticket holders.
Richmond is not expected to participate in Friday's drills because of a mildly strained right hamstring, Heard said. The injury is minor but Heard said he does not want Richmond to aggravate the injury. Richmond worked out on a StairMaster and a stationary bike while his teammates practiced. . . .
Strickland was limited in the morning workout because of leg soreness.