June 25, 2006

adidas Phenom150 camp: Saturday

SAN DIEGO, CA - Finding big time performances has proven to be an easy task on the second day of the adidas Phenom150 camp. Stephan Van Treese dominated down low as he arrived to the camp a day late after visiting a Big Ten school. A number of other young prospects shined as well and put their respective names on our watch list going into the summer.

Big man makes big entrance

Stephan Van Treese arrived to the camp a day late because he was at Indiana University on Friday but the big man from Lawrence North (Ind.) High School stepped into the game situations with little problem on Saturday.

There isn't a better big man in the camp and there isn't a body that can stop him down low. He's just too big, too athletic and too broad to contain let alone stop.

He may have been the body that Greg Oden banged against in practice last year, but Van Treese has a Josh McRoberts quality to his game. Van Treese is bigger and stronger at this stage of the game the Duke big man. McRoberts could shooter it much better. But know this much: Van Treese is one of the top big men in his class, just like McRoberts was. Early offers from Ohio State, Indiana and Purdue certainly help prove that home.


Surprise, surprise


Events like the Phenom150 camp will almost certainly yield a name that will find its way to the high-major watch list. Brendan Lane of Rocklin (Calif.) High School was Saturday's guy.

The 6-foot-8, 190-pound forward emerged as one of the top big men at the camp because, well, he played like a big man. Lane ran the floor well, used his length to rebound and showed a good looking turn around jumper. He kept his motor running the entire game and keyed in on the things that were being coached his way.

Lane will play with the 17 and under NorCal Pharaohs at the Reebok Big Time tournament in Las Vegas next month.

Lane said he has heard from UCLA, Arizona, Florida and Fresno State early in the process. Florida invited him to its elite camp last week, he said, but couldn't make the cross-country trip.

One of the easiest ways to find the real prospects at a camp that has boast hundreds of players is finding those with the fundamentals of the game. Jump shooting is one of the best things to find. San Francisco guard Teandre Hubbard has one. And he had it working on Saturday afternoon.

The well-built 6-foot, 155-pound guard from Sacred Heart Cathedral was connecting from all points of the floor. Hubbard did a good job of going baseline and then stopping on a dime and sinking in a good looking jumper. Hubbard will play at UCLA's elite camp next week and has interest from the Bruins, Arizona, Notre Dame, Stanford and Washington, he said.

Stevie Rogers is the envy of the camp. As the point guard on one of the top two teams, Rogers has weapons at every position and he knows how to use them. The 5-foot-10, 140-pound point guard from Houston's Strake Jesuit High School was a blur with the ball and an excellent distributor on offense. It's no wonder why the Houstonians are calling him the next good floor general from the big Lone Star city. Rogers said Oklahoma, Illinois, Texas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M and Florida are showing an early interest.

Rogers's high school teammate Joey Brooks, a 6-foot-4 wing, has impressed with his crafty and athletic game. He attacked the basket with confidence and quickness. Brooks plays on the 17 and under T-Mac All-Stars team but has patiently waited his turn on the AAU circuit. Brooks has taken advantage of his opportunity so far at the camp.

Vondrae Tostenson of Creighton Prep in Omaha, Neb., is a two-sport prospect with interest from a number of big schools in each sport. The 6-foot-5 combo forward said he is hearing from the majority of the Big 12 for both sports. He recently attended Florida's team camp, and counts the Gators as well as Florida State, Miami, Kansas, Kansas State and Nebraska as his early suitors.



Notes from the notepad


Tucker Halpern, a 6-foot-7 prospect from Noble and Greenough School
(Boston, Mass.), was Mr. Fundamental at the power forward position. The righty scored with his off hand, ran the floor well, gave guards a good target to throw to on the blocks and even stepped out and sank a three-pointer. He isn't an explosive of an athlete but plays well enough and smart enough to make himself a valuable contributor at the camp.

Wyatt Smith, a 6-foot-4 wing, opened some eyes, with his good looking jumper. The lefty from Maryland is long, lanky and knocked down a couple of good looking jumpers from the elbow.

Jeronne Maymon is a long fluid athlete from Madison (Wisc.) Memorial High School and he has shown flashes of good things when we have watched him. Other coaches in the camp even said he might be one of the top five players at the camp. That is still up in the air but the 6-foot-6 forward does just about everything well.

With a majority of the camp watching Van Treese do his thing on the center court, Hollis Thompson took advantage of all of the eyes on his floor. Thompson, a 6-foot-6 forward, attacked the basket with the dribble and matched anyone with athleticism. He has been one of the bigger surprises of the camp. As a rebounder, he has carved his niche out on his squad.

Chad Adams, a 6-foot-5 wing from New Mexico, has had a good camp. He's always involved in plays in one way or another.

When it comes to finding pure prospects, Rome Draper might be one of the top guys here. He has the size (6-5), length, raw skills, athleticism and a good looking jumper. The Etiwanda (Calif.) High School product said his early recruitment has drawn the Pac-10.

When it comes to having those wow moments, Michael Dixon of Lee Summit (Mo.) High School was the one of the top guys on Saturday. The 6-footer exploded to the basket time and time again. He connected on several difficult shots and challenged opposing guards to stop him from getting into the paint.

Darian Kelly, one of the top 2009 guards in the camp, said his initial school list includes Kansas, Florida, Penn State and Missouri.


Hi my name is…


What a difference a year makes. The talent level between the players in the class of 2009 and class of 2010 is remarkably different. The rising freshmen class has yet to see any action at the high school level and it shows with the way the kids have been playing here. It's a step slower, kids aren't the athletes that the 2009 prospects are and the speed of the game is just a step behind.

With that in mind, finding top prospects in the 2010 class is a bit of an easier task here at the camp. The better players stand out much more than the older players and a number of kids made strong impressions.

Josh Selby has that 'it' factor to him. He has it; the confidence, the toughness, the size, the skills. It is all there. The 6-foot-1 guard from Baltimore is a good looking rebounding guard that passes the ball very well and found ways to get the ball through the rim.

Josh Turner had his own cheering section in the late evening session. The 6-foot-4 guard gave the peanut gallery plenty to yell about, too. The rising freshman played above the rim and even put a smile on the oppositions face at times. Physically, the Connecticut native is far more advanced than most kids his age here. And he plays like it. He has been one of the better prospects in his class so far.

Coming into the camp with a big reputation in the class of 2010, Tony Chenault lived up to the early chatter that follows him on Saturday. Simply put, Chenault made plays.

The Neumann-Goretti (Pa.) guard would have made his Philly friends proud with his tough and gritty play. He mixed up his offense with an array of moves but his bread and butter is getting into the lane and scoring on defenders. His passing ability stepped up a notch and distributed the ball pretty well.

He's not the most athletic guy in his class but he's a playmaker. There are skills there and after a high school career in the guard factory known as Philadelphia, he'll be a good looking Big East level guy that fits into the mold of Kyle Lowry and Sean Singletary.

Sticking with the Philadelphia chatter, Rakeem Brookins certainly earned the respect he gained on Saturday with his good play. He is a point guard that knows he is a point guard. Brookins was dropping assists and patiently took his shots, and converted more times than not. The 5-foot-10 floor general has that same Philly confidence that the Philly guys have.

Trey Zeigler, the son of UCLA assistant Ernie Zeigler, has been one of the top prospects so far in his class. The 6-foot-3 wing is bigger and stronger than most and he has used that too his advantage by muscling guys around down low. He has some point skills to him, too.

North Carolina wing Keith Jordan Downing is long, can shoot it, has great hands and sunk home a couple of three-pointers. He'll be one to watch in the Tar Heel State over the next couple of years.


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