Teaneck, N.J.-The O.J. Mayo press conference at the Reebok ABCD Camp didn't live up to the hype, but Kevin Love did bring his A game to the afternoon session. But in the night cap, it was a slimmed down Tracy Smith who played toe to toe with Love.
While all the whispers in the basketball recruiting world have Mayo ultimately choosing between USC and a shoe contract, Mayo remained uncommitted during the first day of the ABCD Camp despite speculation that he would announce for USC. In fact, the ground rules of his press conference included a ban on any questions regarding his recruitment.
On the court, it was another top five prospect Kevin Love who stole the show with a 29 point outburst against Clint Chapman and Renardo Sidney. Chapman's finesse style was no match against Love in the first half, and Sidney did not have much luck guarding him in the second half.
Love drained multiple three-pointers and then when the defense pressed up against him, he put the ball on the floor and scored.
In his second outing of the night, Love started out strong against J.J. Hickson, but it was the surprise player of the day Tracy Smith who slowed Love down in the second half and led his team to a seven point victory.
Love ended up with a team high 16 points and game high 13 rebounds, while Smith tallied 20 points on 10 of 13 shooting.
Appearing around 50-pounds lighter than last summer, Smith was extremely quick to the rim going both left and right. Defensively, he had both the strength and quickness to contend with Love. In his afternoon game, Smith went for 18 points, leaving him the second highest scorer of the day behind the camp leading Love.
Hickson, who scored 6 points, led the game with 8 rebounds.
At the point guard position in this same game, Johnny Flynn went toe to toe with the elite 2008 point guard Brandon Jennings, slightly outplaying Jennings and also winning the game. Flynn scored 10 points on 4 of 9 shooting. Jennings had 6 points on 3 of 10 shooting.
Other top match ups
Tucker went for a game high 16 points, while also grabbing 6 rebounds. Legion struggled for 5 points and 2 rebounds against the stronger and more aggressive play of Tucker.
Turner bounced back from a poor game in the afternoon session to score 11 points on 4 of 6 shooting. Even more impressive was his defensive player, where he held King to 4 points on 2 of 8 shooting.
This one finished in a draw as Jordan outscored Aldrich 12 to 6, but Aldrich had 5 rebounds to Jordan's 2 rebounds and Jordan had 4 turnovers to Aldrich's 2 turnovers. Both players had 2 blocks.
Aldrich's go to move his developing into a left hand jump hook. He is shooting it both off the pivot and a spin after a bounce the other direction. He is working himself back into shape after suffering injuries and his down to his preferred playing weight of 245-pounds.
Besides Love in his afternoon game, no one shot the three ball as well as Jon Leuer, who displayed a pure shooting stroke.
Alex Tyus was quicker off the floor than any other player on Thursday. Tyus was also knocking down mid-range jumpers. He finished the day tied for fifth in scoring with a 15 points per game average.
Bill Walker went 1 of 2 from the three-point line in his first game, finishing with 14 points. In his second game, he passed the ball very well and locked up Leonard Washington on defense.
O.J. Mayo played his usual game with strength and confidence. With Jason Kidd in attendance for his night game, Mayo scored at least 20 points in a lopsided win.
No one passed the ball better than Rico Pickett, who had 7 assists in his first game of the day.
2008 wing William Buford did a little bit of everything on the court while scoring 16 points in his afternoon game.
Buford's teammate and 2008 prospect Darius Miller looked every bit like a high-major prospect with his rebounding ability and court vision as a passer.
Jeff Teague was impressive running his team while also scoring 16 points in his opening game.
Known for his shooting ability, Angel Garcia demonstrated a high level of court awareness with his passing.
Friday night showdown