SUWANEE, GA. - The Suwanee Sports Academy is the place to be for all things adidas. This week it's the Top Ten camp, featuring some of the nation's top underclassmen. Action started Sunday night and continuing our nationwide coverage of the summer circuit, Rivals.com was on hand for the opening night. Here's a quick breakdown of those that stood out on Sunday and Monday.
Alabama big man enjoying the camp circuit
Riding the success of a good showing at the Nike All-American camp, Xavier Gibson out of Dothan, Alabama is proving that he's one of the top big men in his class. The rising sophomore is incredibly long, runs the floor like a deer and has a soft touch both inside the paint and as a face up shooter.
The 6-foot-9, 190-pounder still needs to work on his strength but his rapid improvement has the high-majors chasing. On Sunday night he told us he's hearing from Alabama, Auburn, Cincinnati, Miami and UNLV and his dream school is Georgia Tech. On Monday, Paul Hewitt and Florida State's Leonard Hamilton were sitting courtside watching the young Southern. The Tide, Hurricanes and Running Rebels also had assistants watching him.
Gibson has already matched up with two of the camp's top big men in James Hickson and Howard Tompkins, who was named to the adidas Superstar camp underclassmen all-star game last week. Gibson and Hickson traded buckets and he contained Tompkins, who scored both of his buckets on open three-point attempts.
Hickson, who played in the ABCD camp last week, looks a bit tired from the travels but he's still playing hard, rebounding incredibly well and even stepped out and knocked down a three.
Coaches will have another chance to see Gibson and his talented 2009 teammate Jarvis Jones as their Columbus Blazers squad play in the 17 and under open division at the adidas Showtime Nationals here in Suwanee.
Jones, a 6-foot-4 from Columbus (Ga.) Shaw High School, is a physical freak for his age and knows how to use it. He powers his way to the basket and isn't afraid to challenge any comer around the basket.
Best of the Midwest
Make sure you do a double take when looking at Kyle Pressley, a 6-foot-8 forward from Fort Wayne (Ind.) Lutheran. He could pass as Illinois commitment Richard Semrau and their games are similar at this stage of the game.
Pressley is a fine shooter for his size and likes to extend out to the wing for his offensive game. He can put it on the floor and go hard to the basket and does so when he has the right opportunity. Still lacking toughness inside, Pressley has time on his side.
The class of 2007 prospect has an offer from Valpo and interest from the likes of Illinois, Southern Illinois, Butler, Notre Dame, Purdue, Indiana and Missouri. Coaches from Valpo, Illinois, Southern Illinois and Purdue have all watched him early on at the camp. Pressley will play with Indiana Elite on the 16 and under circuit for the remainder of the month.
Zach House, a 6-foot-11 center from Rock Falls, Illinois, has a good Big Ten feel to his game. The class of 2007 prospect has a huge wingspan and doesn't deviate from the paint. He knows he's a center and stays put in the paint.
Somebody get some ice for Jeremey Montgomery's hand. It's the hottest one here. The 6-foot-2 shooting guard from the class of 2008 went off for seven trifectas on Sunday night. The lefty from Chicago (Ill.) Lincoln Park is a tremendous scorer from deep. He comes off screens, works off his defender and squares up for his dead eye range.
Odds & Ends
Qusaim Pugh, a 5-foot-10 point guard from Brooklyn, N.Y. has a great first step and speeds by anyone that tries to defend him. He'll be at Worcester Academy next year.
Playing for one of the top teams in the country, Nicholas Williams knows what it takes to compete at a high level. The 6-foot-6 class of 2008 small forward from LeFlore (Ala.) High School is a long-bodied kid that's active around the cup, a pesky defender that excels around the rim.
Tony Tucker, a 6-foot point guard from IMG in Florida, is a heady point guard that mixes his court management with a nice looking stroke from the wing.
Basketball runs though the Kurz family bloodline. With older brother Rob at Notre Dame and sister Laura at Duke, Chris Kurz has the bar set awfully high. The 6-foot-8 forward from the class of 2008 is much like his older siblings. He's long, can shoot the ball, possesses a nice handle and understands the game. The younger Kurz plays at Penn Charter in Philly.
Terrence Boyd gets to the basket whenever he wants. The class of 2009 prospect from Oklahoma via the D.C. area could be one of the best guard prospects from the nation's capitol in a while. He's incredibly strong for his age and loves to penetrate early and often. He was at Coastal Christian in Virginia last year but his whereabouts next year is still up in the air. He'll roll with the D.C. Assault for the summer.
Roscoe Davis, a 6-foot-10 power forward from Upper Marlboro, Mary., has really impressed with his impressive physique, ability to run the floor and overall athleticism. The class of 2008 prospect from St. Mary Ryken High School will be a major ACC/Big East target in the year's to come.
Christian Morris, a 6-foot-7 power forward from Bishop Lauglin High School in Brooklyn, has played well early on. He's a bruiser of a forward that punishes anyone that comes near him. He's got a soft touch from deep but don't leave him in single coverage on the blocks. He's got a lot of power in his game.
Coaches rolling into the Top Ten camp
If coaches look somewhat energized this week it's because of the proximity from the adidas events here in Suwanee and North Augusta, S.C. where the Nike Peach Jam is going on. Many are planning on making the two and a half hour drive between the events all week. Somebody trademark the trek down Interstate 20 as the "NCAA 500." In times past, coaches would make late night flights to get to the events. Now they can make the short drive. The only other major AAU tournament is the Breakdown Hoops Festival in Miami.
Notable head coaches in attendance from Sunday and Monday include Ole Miss head coach Rod Barnes, Georgia Tech's Paul Hewitt and Leonard Hamilton from FSU.
Arizona, Kansas, Florida, UCLA, South Florida, Virginia Tech, Georgetown, Mississippi State, UMass, Southern Illinois, East Carolina, Wichita State, Southern Missouri State, Jacksonville, Stetson, Georgia Southern and others are still strolling into Atlanta fighting through major delays at Hartsfield-Jackson airport and the always-heavy traffic on I-85 en route to the venue.