July 11, 2005

Nike evals and notes

Here are some quick evaluations of 15 of the top performers at the Nike All American Camp in Indianapolis, Ind.

Kevin Durant made it to the camp for the Friday night session and Saturday sessions, scoring from the perimeter both on the catch and the dribble. The long, smooth scorer is developing some very polished dribble moves. Still prefers to shoot over defenders than slashing by them and is reluctant to take his height advantage into the post. Defended and rebounded well in spurts but needs to eliminate lapses on the defensive side of the ball.

Brandan Wright had a very good week altering or blocking nearly every shot taken in the lane against him. Wright scored on numerous dunks and passed the ball well. He also displayed marked improvement with his right hand on the dribble and finish. Like Durant, tends to have lapses of passivity, and must improve his ability to score over defenders.

Derrick Rose is an amazingly solid point guard prospect for being so athletic. He does not just rely on athleticism but plays position defense both on and off the ball and makes the simple play instead of forcing the difficult play on offense. Also, rebounds his position very well.

Jerryd Bayless displayed a lethal pull up jumper with his jumping ability and lean back style on the shot. He also made some extraordinary passes in the open court and generally made good decisions with the ball. An exceptional athlete, Bayless does need to solidify his game around his highlight plays.

Tywon Lawson is as good a floor leader as they come. Very fast with the ball, but on many occasions at the camp was too fast with the ball, forcing ill advised plays. Must improve his erratic outside shot to take his game to the highest level. Did measure at 6-foot barefoot.

Sherron Collins, even more than Lawson, tends to play too fast with the ball and complicate the game more than necessary. A great talent, Collins shoots the ball better from the outside than Lawson, but does not defend as well and is more of a score first point guard.

John Kreft brought an aggressive, physical game to the Nike Camp. He attacked the rim and challenged shots around the basket. Showed a developing touch from the outside as well. But most importantly, the mobile and strong big man competed.

Jason Bennett proved nearly impossible to score on. Measured 7-foot-2 barefoot. His defense is still way ahead of his offense (does not have the best hands or feet). He is running the floor very well along with blocking shots and did show more poise with the ball in the post, finding cutters occasionally. Also, he showed some promise as a potential outside shooter.

DaJuan Summers filled it up from outside and also put the ball on the floor and scored. Looking bigger and athletic, Summers is a big time scorer as a combo forward. Passing skills do need to improve.

Landon Milbourne solidified himself as a small forward by draining shots from behind the arc throughout the camp. A very gifted basketball athlete, Milbourne has the tools to be very successful in the ACC.

Michael Washington is beginning to put his basketball abilities together, making him a tremendous combo forward prospect. His feel for the game is improving, and he is learning to compete on a consistent basis.

Obi Muonelo is a well rounded combo guard prospect in a man's body. Shot the ball pretty well from the outside and is nearly unstoppable when he attacks the basket. Very good defender and rebounder as well.

Patrick Christopher shot the ball as well from the outside as anyone in the camp. He exploded for big scoring totals in more than a couple games. Also, the athletic shooting guard attacked the boards and made some nice post feeds. Does need to improve his handle.

Ramar Smith has always been blessed with athletic ability, now he is proving that he knows how to play. One of the better competitors in the camp, Smith played hard and smart throughout the week. Displayed the ability to play the point, can lock down a scorer and is both attacking the basket and finishing with his left hand now. However, he is still not a threat to score from outside. Nonetheless, he is almost impossible to keep away from the rim.

Durrell Summers is a great leaper with solid skills with the ball. Can both get to the rim and shoot it from outside. Does need to improve on the defensive side of the ball. Has the potential to be an elite prospect in the 2007 class.

News and Notes:

Developing 2006 post player Brad Sheehan from Lathan, New York has picked up an offer from Syracuse and receiving interest from Georgetown according to his AAU coach Jim Hart. Sheehan, 6-foot-10, 212-pounds, was not receiving any recruiting attention until this summer. He moves well and has a nice touch but needs to get significantly stronger to perform on the high major level.

Another developing post player with strong early interest is 2007 prospect Jeremy Price. At 6-foot-7, 252-pounds and with a 6-foot-11 wing span, Price is tough around the basket. Foot speed and feel for the game need improving, but he already has offers from Indiana, Georgia and Alabama and is also listing Kansas and Virginia Tech.

One of the better big men in the 2007 class, Kosta Koufos expressed his desire to play his college ball relatively close to his North Canton, Ohio home. He presently has a top five of Duke, Maryland, Ohio State, Akron and Michigan and had this to say about the two in-state schools on his list.

"I don't really have a favorite, but I like Ohio State a lot," said Koufos. "Akron is close to home, and I love the coaches."

Emerging 2007 small forward prospect Robbie Hummel now has offers from Indiana, Iowa, Purdue, Northwestern and Xavier. More offers will be on the table soon.

Bryce Webster, who had to sit out the end of the camp with back spasms, is looking closely at Marquette, Boston College and Notre Dame along with Minnesota.

"I'm looking closely at the smaller private schools, since I go to high school at a smaller private school," said Webster.

2008 sensation Tyreke Evans struggled early in the camp as he was suffering from stomach problems. He picked up his play later in the camp and made the all star game.

Oak Hill has lost Kevin Durant for next year and is in jeopardy of losing point guard Tywon Lawson. Nonetheless, Coach Steve Smith is set to reload with the addition of Nolan Smith, Michael Beasley, Nate Miles, Jeff Allen and Albert Jackson.

Kyle Singler tore his miniscus in his knee during the first night of action and will be out for a month.

An adidas note

According to Coach John Jordan, Doneal Mack impressed the Florida coaching staff at the Superstar Camp. Coach Donavan put in a call to Coach Jordan shortly after the camp and sent an assistant coach to watch Mack workout in North Carolina. Florida is emerging as a leader, and Mack is expected to visit in August.

Rivals.com will continue its extensive summer coverage this week at the adidas Top Ten Camp, the adidas Showtime and the Nike Peach Jam. Please visit the In the Paint message board and ask questions about specific prospects.



 

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