DeMarcus Nelson, a 6-foot-3, 195-pound shooting guard from Vallejo High School in Vallejo, California put together one of the best individual performances this past weekend at the USA Developmental Festival in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The future Duke BlueDevil got off to a fast start and did not finish dominating until the final game ended on Sunday.
To say that Nelson was simply fascinating would be an understatement. He averaged 25.4 points, 2.40 steals, 6.8 assists and hit 37% of his threes during the five games he participated in. Nelson was the overall leader in scoring, tied for second in steals, tied for second in assists and his 37% three-point field goal percentage was seventh best.
In Sundays Bronze Medal game against the East Squad, Nelson connected on nine of 21 shots, four out of nine three-pointers, five out of 10 free throws, grabbed 13 rebounds, scored a total of 27 points and played 42 minutes.
There is no doubt that Nelson has the ability to score from the outside, which is a dangerous part of his game, but he doesn’t limit himself to that one area. He has the ability to put the ball on the floor and attack the basket.
Many players don’t like the contact that comes with taking the ball to the hole, but Nelson won’t back away from any challenge.
“I wanted to come out here and continue too improve and show more people that I am a player,” Nelson said. “I am amongst the top players in the country, but I don’t get as much hype as other players do. This is one of the opportunities I found for myself to come out here to play my game and play hard.
“I think my teammates really helped me out this weekend,” he added. “They got me some good shots. It was a combination of me being aggressive and my teammates as well.”
It’s not like Nelson just started putting up these types of numbers. He has been one of the best players in the state of California for several years, but still doesn’t receive the attention he deserves.
“Most of the writers and scouts are on the East Coast, so they get to see the East Coast players more,” Nelson said. “The only times people see me is when I play in events like this or when I go to an event like ABCD. Other than that, I don’t get a lot of publicity.”
Every year about this time speculation about what players will test the NBA waters begin. Nelson has the game to be one of those players, but he is fully committed to the Duke coaching staff.
“Absolutely, I want to get to Duke so I can develop as a player,” he said. “I know there are some areas of my game that I want to improve on. As far as the NBA goes, I’m not thinking about it. If the NBA does come up, that’s a decision we’ll have to make when it comes.”
Before Nelson started focusing all of his attention towards basketball, he was an All-Star football and baseball player.
Rivals.com ranks Nelson No. 15 on the Rivals150 and the fourth best player at his position.