SUWANEE, Ga.--The gym doors opened at 9 a.m. at the adidas Superstar camp, and with coaches allowed to evaluate for the first time in July, the bleachers were packed with some of the biggest names in the college ranks. On display were some of the country's most talented players, including Thaddeus Young, Wayne Ellington, Stanley Robinson and 2007 standout Michael Beasley, among others.
Wednesday's Marque Match-up
The day's best head-to-head match-up came in the opening round Wednesday morning when recent Georgia Tech commitment Javaris Crittenton and North Carolina pledge Wayne Ellington, who are set to square off next year in the ACC, faced off on the court.
It's good to see two of the nation's top prospects go at each other the way Crittenton and Ellington did. Not only did they rise to the occasion offensively, but they also worked hard on the defensive end of the floor.
Ellington was hot early, mixing in a variety of long 3-pointers and strong drives to the basket, where he showed the ability to use his body to create contact and finish. The 6-foot-4, 190-pounder was perfect from the field in the first half with 20 points on 8-of-8 shooting, including four treys. It wasn't until the last shot of the third quarter, in fact, before Ellington finally missed. He finished with a game-high 32 points on 12-of-15 shooting. In addition, he recorded four rebounds and four steals.
Crittenton got off to a slow start, knocking down only 3-of-8 attempts in the first half. The second session was a different story, and the Atlanta native managed to pick up his offense while also holding Ellington to a reasonable half. All totaled, the 6-foot-4, 180-pound guard scored 24 points, shooting 9-of-15 from the floor. In addition to his impressive showing, he still managed to limit his turnovers while finishing with eight assists, although the number could have easily climbed to double figures with a little help from his teammates.
2007 standout names favorite
Indianapolis (Ind.) point guard Eric Gordon will be one of the most highly recruited prospects in the nation, and with good reason. Gordon, who stands at 6-foot-2, 175-pounds, is physically ready to play at the college level, with deep range on his jumper and a physical style that causes defenders to shy away from him. In addition, he already has offers from most of the nation's powers and has a list of six leading schools and an overall favorite.
"Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Miami, Notre Dame and Kentucky are my top schools. All of them have offered," Gordon said Wednesday. "There are several things I like about each school, but Illinois is my top choice right now.
"I like what they did last year and their style of play. They play an up-tempo style, and I like to push up the floor on both ends. Also, it's a good coaching staff and it's not far from home."
Gordon said he was taking his time in the recruiting process but he is looking for a few select things in a college.
"I want to have fun when I go to college, but I want to play for a basketball school," Gordon said. "I want to compete for a national championship and develop as a player. My ultimate goal is to play in the NBA."
Quick, Fast and in a Hurry
Stanley Robinson continued his impressive play. One of the most unnoticed aspects of his game is his ability to pass on the perimeter. His jumper was falling on Wednesday, and he's perhaps the top athlete in his class. While he is listing a handful of schools as his favorite, the most interested parties appear to be Alabama (Mark Gottfried), LSU (John Brady), Auburn (Brandon Johnson), Vanderbilt (Kevin Stalling) and Cincinnati (Andy Kennedy), all of whom were on hand for his morning performance.
Texas head coach Rick Barnes and LSU skipper John Brady were front and center for point guard D.J. Augustin, who has narrowed his choices down to the Tigers and the Longhorns. Augustin didn't have his best scoring performance while taking only six shots, but he did a nice job of controlling the offense and feeding his teammate Wayne Ellington, who was on fire. The Louisiana native finished with seven assists and one turnover.
Rivaling Ellington for top offensive performance was California native Calvin Haynes, who was unconscious from outside the arc in the first half of his opening performance, knocking down 5-of-6 3-pointers in the first half. He didn't see much action in the second half and finished with 20 points, but the smooth lefty proved he could stroke it and had enough handle to penetrate and dish.
California combo guard Trevon Willis claims offers from Connecticut and Miami with Virginia, Washington, UNLV and Wake Forest heading his wish list.
Colorado combo guard Matt Bouldin is interested in Gonzaga, California, Notre Dame, Boston College and North Carolina State.
Former Syracuse 2005 commitment Tiki Mayben, who will re-classify to the 2006 class, was a late arrival Tuesday night.
Memphis power forward Pierre Niles said he has knocked his list of favorites down to Arkansas and Memphis.
Duke commitment Gerald Henderson knocked down 14 points in one game on Wednesday. He was one of the top team players there and works hard on both ends of the floor.
New York native Antonio Pena has improved his handle and several times took his defender off the dribble. Long and athletic, he has a nice drop step and a face up jumper that keeps opponents honest. His list of favorites is long and included Georgia, Pittsburgh, St. John, Villanova, Louisville, Syracuse and Cincinnati.
Josh Southern a 6-foot-9 power forward from Saginaw, Michigan, has offers from Michigan State and Miami, with Xavier and Kentucky rounding out his list of early favorites. The 2007 post players had a host of college coaches in attendance for his Wednesday performance.
Eric Gordon scored 21 points and pulled down almost double digit rebounds in his team's win. He's staking a claim as one of the nation's top five 2007 prospects.
2008 small forward Howard Tompkins III from Lithonia, Georgia, is another promising underclassmen in the Peach State. Tompkins, 6-foot-7, 195-pounds, is a long, athletic prospect who runs the floor like a deer and shows a nice face-up game. If his post game develops he will be a match-up problem for future D-I coaches.