PHILADELPHIA - If Monday afternoon's games at Rbk U had a theme, it had to be centered around the youth of the camp. The young kids stepped it up and opened a lot of eyes with strong play from start to finish.
The kids are alright
Put the name John Wall on the high-major list for the class of 2009. The 6-foot-3 has sprinter speed and great body control when he changes of direction. Mix that all together and you have a player that was simply un-defendable from end to end. He's been the biggest revelation of the camp so far in terms of being an unknown on a national scale.
The speedster has people talking after his proficient 17 point (6-10 FG), six rebound, four assist and three steal performance against the likes of Kenny Boynton and Brandon Knight, two of the better guards in the camp.
When looking at the 2009 group of point guards, Wall fits in nicely with the elite prospects in his class. Expect Wall to see a lot of high-major interest and a long line of coaches in tow wherever he plays for the rest of the month.
Nolan Dennis isn't a new name in the class of 2009 and neither is his ability. Sometimes it is fun to sit back and enjoy what the versatile 6-foot-5 Texan can do. He was great with his 14 points (5-8 FG, 4-4 FT). Off to the famed St. Patrick's in New Jersey this fall, Dennis will have a chance to toughen up his game as the nationally-ranked program takes on the best of the best. Dennis is one of the most versatile players in his class and certainly played like that on Monday.
Boynton has struggled in the camp early on as his shots weren't falling and shot selection has been in question for the Miami area star. On Monday afternoon, Boynton looked more like the Boynton of the spring. He scored 18 points, including four of seven shooting from the floor. He and AAU teammate Eloy Vargas (who also had his best game of the tournament with 12 points and six rebounds) ran the pick and roll and were effective. Boynton, an up and down player by nature, has already had his down moments. Maybe his afternoon game will put him back on the upswing.
After working out a high thigh bruise during the game, Villanova commitment and Philadelphia native Maalik Wayns jumped into the game a little late but contributed right away with down right gritty play. The class of 2009 point guard shined as a scorer as he powered the lane with tight ball-handling. Wayns finished with 17 points (7-12 FG), five rebounds and a pair of steals. Looking at the box score from the morning, Wayns played well to the tune of 22 points.
NC State bound forward C.J. Leslie, a class of 2010 prospect, is about of intriguing as a prospect in the camp. He scored nine points and grabbed eight rebounds, rather modest numbers on the surface, but he's showing a lot of promise. For starters, the Holly Springs, N.C. native is a long 6-foot-8. He runs the floor incredibly well, has a soft touch, can reportedly shoot it from the wing and is a long defender. By the time his skinny frame fills out, Leslie could be a very impressive player in the long term.
Another 2010 prospect, Joe Jackson, is making a name for himself in the camp. In the afternoon game, the Memphis (Tenn.) White Station guard scored 14 points (7-9 FG) and did it by using his blazing speed and creative ball-handling. The 5-foot-8 speedster possesses little, if any, bulk on his frame but he doesn't mind the action around the paint. Jackson took a little while to get rolling, but when he did, he was really good.
Game by game, Georgia wing Ari Stewart is putting it all together. The Nike Hoop Jamboree star is maintaining his reputation as a premiere scorer. The Marietta Wheeler product scored an impressive 14 points (7-9 FG) and had a couple of step back baseline jumpers that were simply un-defendable. Stewart is one of the biggest risers in the class of 2009 this summer and he's continuing his climb with great showings at the right time.
Class of 2008 top performers
With his future head coach Mark Few watching, Gonzaga bound center Andy Poling had one of the best games any big man has had in the camp so far. The 6-foot-10 center scored 14 points and grabbed 13 rebounds (including seven offensive) in an important win in the afternoon. He would not be stopped in the paint and played like a big man should. Poling was big in the paint, played strong and made it difficult for the opposition to be effective.
Quietly, California wing Renaldo Woolridge is having himself quite the event so far in Philly. The 6-foot-7 wing is hitting shots, making plays and stepping up at the right time and the right place. Coming into the camp, he had good offers but not in bulk. With a number of head coaches constantly watching, like Herb Sendek of Arizona State, that should change this month. Woolridge is playing too good not to earn the offers.
From a consistency standpoint, there might not be a more productive elite level guard than Elliot Williams at the elite camps. The Memphis native is always good for big time points at an effective shooting percentage. He scores with ease but does it with power, athleticism and speed. Williams scored 17 loud points on seven of 13 shooting and scored on three three-pointers.
Speaking of loud, that is the level that Terrence Jennings plays above the rim. The Sacramento, Calif., native dunked his way to 19 points in a defeat. He does his very best to score one particular way and that is with two hands at the rim. In this setting, he's doing a great job of putting the ball through the iron with authority.
The D1 Greyhounds duo of William Buford and Darius Miller was outstanding in an 11 point afternoon win. Buford continues to shine as one of the true elite scorers at the two while Miller was great around the rim. Buford scored 19 points and grabbed six rebounds while Miller put in 17 and seven.
"I'm interested in…"
Nolan Dennis has Texas, Arizona, North Carolina, Duke, Georgetown and Ohio State in hot pursuit.
The list for Gig Harbor, Wash., forward Clarence Trent is Arkansas, Kentucky, Connecticut, Florida and Kansas.
Rising sophomore Joe Jackson is young but he has a long list of high-majors looking at him early. Memphis, Mississippi, Louisville, Tennessee, Louisville, Connecticut, UCLA and Arizona have shown interest.
Kansas, Alabama, UCLA, Florida, Baylor, Louisville and Connecticut are on the short list for Dallas big man J'mison Morgan.
Georgia point guard Mfon Udofia said Duke, Florida, Ohio State, Georgia Tech, Georgia, Florida State and Auburn are showing interest.
AAU teammate and home town friend Taariq Muhammad says Wake Forest, Florida, Georgetown, Xavier and South Carolina are looking hard.