A crowd of young men stood around in the hallway at the Slam Dunk at the Beach tournament in Lewes, Delaware. The eyes were opened wide and the mouths dropped. Many of the high school basketball players were viewing for the first time the board on the wall that detailed what NBA team teams were in the stands watching the games. There were only a couple of teams from the NBA that weren't there.
This past weekend it was obvious that many of these scouts were there to watch Ozen High School center Kendrick Perkins, a 6-11 inside player who has a big man's mentality. Perkins loves to bang and use his wide 290-pound frame in the low post to outmuscle other opponents. He is one of the few big men on the high school level that receives pleasure in crushing a defender with this strength.
The night RivalsHoops.com watched Perkins play was against some stiff competition in Paterson Catholic High School and its 7-0 center Darryl Watkins. Both Watkins and Perkins played well. Perkins displayed some nice agility around the basket to go along with his power moves.
And the scouts were there to see Perkins and evaluate. As the opening tap was tossed, Indiana Pacers scout George Felton opened his notebook and started taking notes. The first note was a positive one -- a Perkins' turnaround hook that found the net.
Throughout the game, Felton and other NBA scouts could be seen taking notes as Perkins made moves around the basket. Should Memphis fans be worried? Of course they should, but it's out of John Calipari's hands. Unfortunately for Calipari and Memphis, they have already gone through this situation before. Could Perkins be an NBA draft possibility next June? Yes, he can, according to several scouts we have spoken to over the past month. Many believe Perkins would go high in the draft because he has such a big man's approach to his game.
How Perkins finishes up his season and whether he showcases his skills properly in such high profile games like the McDonald's All American game will also give us a more clear indication on his future thoughts.
For now, Perkins is very happy to be committed to the Memphis basketball program. But come this spring, he will have a difficult decision. The NBA scouts are certainly watching and taking notes. They are likely to be at most of Perkins' games this season. More notes will be taken and feedback will likely be given to Perkins before he makes his decision.
RivalsHoops.com will keep you posted throughout the winter regarding Perkins' status.