USA BBall: Bossi's third session takeaways
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The third session of USA Basketball's Developmental Camp wrapped up early Sunday afternoon with some intense scrimmaging. National Basketball Analyst Eric Bossi has five takeaways from the mornings action and buzz around the gym.
1. KELDON JOHNSON'S RECRUITMENT LOOKING LIKE A TOSS UP
USA Basketball is as well as I have ever seen Keldon Johnson play. The five-star has always been a tough scorer at the rim and from mid range. He's also had big time confidence. But, he's been dangerous as a three-point shooter and is in great physical condition allowing him to dominate. Then there's his recruitment.
Through the spring, the summer and into the early fall the feel has always been that Texas is the clear favorite to land Johnson. He has a strong relationship with the Longhorns staff and they have been recruiting him his entire high school career. Because of that he may very well end up in Austin.
However, at this point Johnson's recruitment is looking like more and more of a tossup. Some feel Maryland has made a big run, others say it's N.C. State to watch out for and Kentucky continues to loom large as a potential destination. I wouldn't be surprised if Johnson has a pick within the next week or two but I do think there's some serious jockeying for position going on behind the scenes with him and that there's going to be lots of speculation about different leaders until he announces.
2. ZION WILLIAMSON GOES ZION WILLIAMSON
Before the weekend started, I wrote that Zion Williamson may have the most to prove of anybody at USA Basketball. He was good on Saturday but during the Sunday morning session he was ridiculously good.
He handled the ball, made some slick passes and of course played way above the rim. He loves contact and is proving to be a pretty fierce competitor. Then there are sequences like one where he recovered to volleyball spike a layup attempt off the backboard, come down the ball and then go coast to coast through traffic for a huge two handed dunk. It was right out of young Charles Barkley's playbook.
What's becoming really interesting to watch with Zion is his recruitment. He was at Kansas last weekend and hits Kentucky this coming weekend. The other team that seems to be emerging as a serious contender is Clemson. There's been some talk the past few weeks that they were gaining momentum but the feel around the gym in Colorado Springs has been that it isn't just talk and that Clemson needs to be accounted for in Williamson's recruitment.
3. POTENTIAL PACKAGE DEALS IN PLAY FOR ROMEO LANGFORD
I don't know if you could qualify either of these as true package deals, but five-star point guard Darius Garland and five-star combo guard Quentin Grimes are both players that Langford appears to have strong on and off the floor chemistry with.
So, for something to happen with Garland it would have to be either Indiana, UCLA or Vanderbilt while the only finalist Langford shares with Grimes is Kansas. It's at least something to keep an eye on.
On the floor in Colorado Springs, I think Langford has gotten better each session. He has been driving to the rim, his shot is starting to fall and what I love about him that never really gets discussed is that he is potentially elite as a wing defender because of his length and lateral quickness.
4. FIVE-STAR JORDAN BROWN SETTING VISITS
Brown told me that he has now scheduled official visits with St. John's and UCLA. He'll hit St. John's next weekend before heading down to Westwood on the weekend of October 20th.
A solid low post scorer with athleticism, great hands and touch to 12 feet, Brown had his best session on Sunday morning. Currently, he's in no rush to make a decision and said that the option of waiting until the spring is still in play.
5. THERE'S A TEAM TO BEAT FOR DE'VION HARMON
A veteran of USA Basketball events, four-star point guard De'Vion Harmon has put in some serious work since the end of the summer.
The 2019 floor general has always been tough to the rim, strong and an aggressive defender. This weekend, though, he's showed tremendous improvement as a jump shooter from mid range and deep and he's added levels to his game. He told me he had to make himself more versatile and that the expanded perimeter game was also helping to limit wear and tear his body was getting because of all the contact he takes going to the rim.
On the recruiting front, Oklahoma has emerged as a pretty clear favorite at this juncture. Harmon has been on campus six or seven times and didn't deny that the Sooners led when asked if it was fair to consider them the leaders after all of the visits.