SUWANEE, Ga.--The adidas Superstar camp wrapped up Friday and several of the country's top prospects put the finishing touches on outstanding camp performances.
West Coast small forward still sitting on two favorites
California high riser Quincy Pondexter has enjoyed a strong performance this week. The 6-foot-7, 195-pounder currently has nine schools among his favorites with two in the lead for his signature.
"Arizona and Washington are pretty much neck and neck," Pondexter said. "They have been my favorites for a while and I love their programs but a couple of other schools have really closed the gap.
"Oregon, Kansas, UConn, Memphis, Tennessee, Georgia Tech and Arkansas are the schools I'm also going to look into. The reason Washington and Arizona standout is I love their environment. Both towns are similar to Fresno and I want to see how the other schools and towns compare to each other. I'm planning on waiting a while before I commit but it's possible that if I find the ideal place I could go ahead and make an announcement."
New York shooting guard has six school in front
Buffalo scorer Lazar Hayward plays summer ball in the long shadow of teammate Paul Harris. With Harris in Teaneck, N.J. at the ABCD camp and Hayward in Atlanta, the 6-foot-5, 190-pounder has had a chance to shine this week.
"I'm playing well and having a good time," Hayward said. "The competition is nice and I've played against some of the best players in the country. I wanted to play well because I saw the coaches in the stands watching me. I think I've done a good job of not being selfish and still playing within my game."
The list of suitors for Hayward has grown long with his strong summer to date, but six schools have moved ahead for his signature.
"Marquette, Pitt, Charlotte, Virginia, Michigan and UConn have started to get involved as of late," he said. "All have offered except UConn but they are showing a lot of interest the last month so I think they might go ahead and offer.
"All are pretty much even now because I want to take some visits in the Fall. I'm not in a big hurry because all of the schools have just begun to get serious with me. I'm interested to see who else is going to look at me."
Daniel Deane has offers; names favorites
Utah power forward Daniel Deane has been a workhorse on the boards this week and though the 6-foot-8, 230-pound banger has seen limited scoring opportunities, his play has been good enough to keep his favorites in the bleachers.
"Kansas, Utah, UCLA, Gonzaga and Stanford are my favorites and I'm pretty sure I've seen them all here watching me," Deane said. "I've already taken a visit to Kansas and I enjoyed that. It's a good program and I like the coaching staff. I've also been to Stanford and Gonzaga and I like that trips as well.
"This Fall, I'll visit UCLA and Utah and after that I'll sit down and make a decision. I don't have an overall favorite but all five are great programs."
Quick, fast and in a hurry
The Gerald Henderson, Brook Lopez and Eric Gordon game drew a smorgasbord of college coaches. Notables who were checking out their commitment and 2007 point Gordon were Thad Matta, Steve Alford, John Calipari, Lance Painter, Mike Brey, Tubby Smith and Mike Krzyzewski.
Speaking of Henderson, the Duke-bound small forward was at his best in front of his future head coach. With defenses beginning to cash it in, the 6-foot-5 bouncy athlete had a couple of high flying dunks in transition.
California point guard Derrick Jasper is one of the best rebounding guards in the nation. Not only does the 6-foot-5, 200-pounder not mind getting in range of a few flying elbows, but he seems fearless and if he pulls down the board look for him to shoot out on the break. While his outside shot leaves a lot to be desired, he has terrific floor vision and passing ability. He's also an outstanding on ball defender.
Memphis native Brandon Powell has been sighted at the adidas camp and he is doing what he does best score. The 6-foot-3, 185-pounder isn't gun shy, which is sometimes a problem and has the confidence and talent to fire his jumper from anywhere inside 25-feet.
Lawrence Westbrook continued his scoring barrage with 16 in the first session. The 6-foot guard is also making the extra pass and keeping his teammates involved.
Mitchell Carter, a 7-foot center, is down to Iowa and Wisconsin-Green Bay because those are the two showing the most interest.
Class of 2006 Chicago guard Chris Singletary hasn't seen a shot he didn't like but he is also finding open teammates and finished with 13 points, seven assists and five rebounds.
Minnesota power forward Xavier Crawford has a top four of Bradley, Utah, Kansas and Xavier. Bradley is the only offer for the 6-foot-10 athletic big man who enjoyed a good effort against Brook Lopez in Friday's opener.
An intriguing 2006 forward to keep and eye on is Andre Stephens who is undersized at his position but plays at such a high energy level that several D1 coaches have been impressed with his blue collar effort defensively and on the boards. Stephens, at 6-foot-7, 210-pounds, is receiving the most interest from Mississippi State, from which he claims an offer, Kentucky and LSU.
Hayward was a scoring machine with 18 points in his first game of the day. His outside shot is falling and he continues to attack the basket.
Josh Guillory has made the move from the west coast to Atlanta where he will prep next year. Georgetown, Georgia Tech, Marquette, Pepperdine and Miami are the schools that top his list.
Charlotte commitment Michael Beasley is putting on a clinic in Suwanee. The 6-foot-7, 210-pound small forward is dominating the game on both ends of the flavor and showing off not only his strong post moves put his turn-around and pull-up jumpers. On the glass it's no contest and in Thursday morning's effort he totaled 18 points and 12 rebounds.
Future Louisville Cardinal Nolan Smith has lost some weight or grown into those long legs and big feet. The 6-foot-5 combo guard is displaying his improved handle, which he uses well off the rebound, and is leading out on the break more than last year. He knocked down 12 with four boards and five assists early Thursday.
2007 center Boubacar Sylla is a raw but athletic post player who showed flashes of where he could be in the coming years. Not only is the 7-footer working hard on the blocks, he runs the floor well and has a nice feel for the game. Footwork is his biggest weakness right now but high majors will be knocking on his door.
Members of the "dunky bunch", those who appreciate a good lift and a rim rattling slam, should find South Carolina commitment Chadwick Gray fun to watch. The former FSU football commitment is 6-foot-5, 200-pounds and has terrific timing. A high level athlete, Gray also has the ability to knock down his jumper from outside the arc and is working on his handle for drives to the basket.
Josh Southern is an intriguing prospect because of his 6-foot-8 and solid build. He motors up and down the floor and plays at a high energy level. Another benefit is he doesn't mind contact which comes in handy when he's fighting for rebounds with taller players. One negative is he has a tendency to get into foul trouble.
2008 lead guard Larry Drews Jr. has a high basketball IQ and is already capable of running an offense due to his yo-yo handle and smart decision making. Drews, 5-foot-11, 155-pounds, is a pass-first player who also has the ability to shoot from anywhere on the floor or penetrate to the basket. He is a high-major prospect who will fill out and have his choice of colleges.
He might be young but 2009 shooting guard Roger Franklin has certainly held his own against some of the country's top prospects. Franklin, 6-foot-3, 180-pounds, has a sweet stroke from the outside and long range. He finds a way to score and if overplayed on the perimeter he will take two dribbles and show off his mid-range jumper.
Another 2009 prospect who will be a name to remember is Derrick Favors is a long, athletic pogo-stick who is at his best when filling the lane in transition and flying to the rim. His jumpshot shows promise and he shoots it well from 15-feet and in.