The annual shoe camps are always filled with a little recruiting drama with prospects sometimes making announcements of college commitments. This year the news in that regard has been slow, but one bit of interesting recruiting news did leak out on Friday afternoon.
Eric Gordon, who is rated by Rivals.com as the 8th best prospect in the country, said on Friday that he is still committed to Illinois, but he is also giving consideration to his home state school.
"I am still solid with Illinois, but I am thinking about Indiana too. I am giving them a look. At this point, nothing has changed," Gordon said on Friday afternoon.
The Indianapolis native feels that with the coaching change that took place in Bloomington this spring that he should give them some consideration.
"I have looked at them for a long time because they are an in-state school. They have a good tradition and coach (Kelvin) Sampson is a good guy, so I think because he is the new coach there that I should give them a look."
The behind the scenes drama has not impacted Gordon's play here in Atlanta. He is still one of the two best players in the camp, along with Kansas State commit Michael Beasley, and rallied his team tonight to victory with a couple of rim rattling dunks, including one where he took off from just inside the free throw line in traffic.
World Traveler Gets His Legs Back
It has been a long with for 2008 prospect Emmanuel Negedu. Three weeks ago he headed back home to Nigeria to spend time with his family and he flew back to the U.S. earlier this week. The Brewster Academy prep looked a little jet lagged on Thursday afternoon, but he found his legs on Friday, and was the rebounding leader in the afternoon session.
"It was good to get back home for a couple of weeks and spend time with my family," Negedu said, "I hadn't picked up a basketball in three weeks either and it took me a game or two to get my game back."
He did that and more as he hammered home several big time dunks early on Friday.
Every year there are a few players who emerge at the shoe camps to move up from mid-major to high major prospects. At the Adidas Camp, that player might be Jake Kelly from Carmel, Indiana. Kelly came to Atlanta with offers from Xavier, Dayton, Western Kentucky, St. Louis, and Indiana State, but in the coming weeks he might be hearing for a couple of Big Ten schools thanks to his play the last couple of days.
"I came here last year and really did not play well at all. I have been waiting and working for a year to prove myself here at Adidas and hopefully, I am doing that this week," Kelly said.
If UMASS is looking for a player to take the last shot in a tie game, they just might have found one in their future point guard Joey Rodriguez. On Friday night with the score tied at 79, he knocked down a runner at the buzzer for the victory. Don't think that he is a shoot first point guard either, Rodriguez also dished out a session high ten assists in the game.
Two players putting up nice stat lines tonight were Antonio Jardine and Danny McElroy. Jardine, a 2007 commit to Syracuse, had 25 points and 6 rebounds. McElroy, a 6-foot-6 and 200 pound 2009 prospect from Cincinnati had 25 points and 6 boards.
The Beasley Show
It's pretty clear who the main attraction is down in Atlanta and that is Michael Beasley. After scoring 27 points against a team led by 2008 Ohio State commit B.J. Mullens, Beasley drew an overflow crowd to his court where his team played against a squad led by top 2009 prospect Terrence Boyd.
Beasley and Boyd have become good friends and with Boyd already holding a Kansas State offer, perhaps they could be thinking about being teammates in the future, that is if Beasley is in Manhattan long enough to play with him. One person hoping that is the case was sitting courtside, Kansas State coach Bob Huggins.