National recruiting analyst Jerry Meyer spent a couple days at the LeBron James Skills Academy. Here is a breakdown of the top performers at the camp in the 2009 class.
LeBron James Skills Academy Top Performers: 2009 Class
PG John Wall, 6-4/184; Raleigh (N.C.) Word Of God Christian Academy
The big men in the camp garnered the headlines, but that didn't mean Wall wasn't sensational. He just didn't have the competition at his position to create much of a stir. Beyond his well-documented speed with the basketball, exceptional passing and finishing ability at the rim, Wall also knocked down 3-pointers (five in one game), was strong on the defensive boards and defended. He also led his team to victories in all but one game while playing like the No. 1 prospect in the country.
Cousins has established himself as the top offensive big man in the class. No player can match his strength and repertoire of offensive moves. Besides being able to score multiple ways with his back to the basket, Cousins - a UAB commitment - is a major threat in the high post. He is a tremendous passer, has legitimate 3-point range and can attack the basket off the dribble with power and precision. Now the question is if Cousins can match his offensive effort on the other end of the floor.
Oriakhi played with as much energy and passion as any player in the camp. He was relentless on the boards and proved to be one of the most difficult post players to score against. Offensively, he had a couple of offensive explosions where he consistently scored with his developing "go-to" move – a left-hand jump hook. He looked confident knocking down mid-range jumpers. The next step for Oriakhi – who has committed to Connecticut – is to cut down on turnovers.
After an explosive first day of the three-day camp, Henson – who has committed to North Carolina – was quite good (not spectacular) the second day, then saw limited minutes the last day with a slightly sprained ankle. Always having been an offensive talent ready to explode, Henson was most impressive with his effort on the defensive end, where he chased down rebounds and came out of position to block shots. His upside is tremendous with his length, mobility and ball skills, but he must bulk up physically in order to take full advantage of his assets.
It is tough to come up with a prospect in the 2009 class who impacts the game in more ways than Hamilton. Beyond the physically imposing nature of his game, Hamilton is extremely skilled with the basketball. He has top-notch instincts and sees the entire floor as a passer. As a scorer, he can hit from deep, thrives in mid-range and is a post-up threat. He also is one of the top perimeter rebounders in the class.
PF Dante Taylor, 6-8/230; Fort Washington (Md.) National Christian
If Taylor established one thing, it is that he knows how to score on Cousins - who was on the receiving end of two offensive outbursts by Taylor. Also establishing himself as a solid five-star prospect, Taylor was a force around the basket as a scorer and rebounder. Very fast up and down the court, Taylor also exhibited expanded range with his jumper.
One thing about Jennings that is a mainstay is his shooting stroke from deep. In fact, he is likely the top catch-and-shoot big man from 3-point range in this class. Jennings – a Clemson commitment – also rebounded at a high level and blocked a number of shots. In similar fashion to Henson, Jennings has a high ceiling but must get stronger and tougher.
In a camp dominated by the big men, Jenkins – who is headed to Vanderbilt – was one of the few guards who could be counted on to put up points every game. Establishing himself as perhaps the top shooter in the class, he made 3-pointers in bunches. Besides his quick-release jumper, Jenkins also contributed in other areas of the game with his high basketball IQ and hustle.