Local Hoopsters Shine at Fullcourt Press Camp

The Arizona Magic dominated the competition at the Fullcourt Press All-West Camp, going undefeated and placing a few players in the top 20 all-star game. Here's a deeper, exclusive look at the individuals that comprise this squad and how they performed in their five-win day on Sunday.

The only rising senior playing on the Arizona Magic squad this summer is Ty Morrison and even he might be done for the AAU season with an apparent stress fracture in his foot. All of the other guys on the team are going to be juniors next year, save 2006 star Christian Polk. The Magic went undefeated in seven games at this recent event and are poised for a huge Adidas Big Time Tournament in Las Vegas next week. Almost every player on the team has Division-one potential, and several guys on the team will likely play at the high major level in college. Lawrence Hill, Christian Polk and Daren Jordan all made the "Cream of the Crop" Top 20 game and were among the better players at the event.

2005 Recruits

Lawrence Hill - This long, versatile 6-7 forward is going to be a fan favorite at whatever university he eventually winds up at. Hill is a consummate teammate who does a little bit of everything on the court. He's the team's best all-around defender, rebounder and one of the top two shot blockers along with Morrison. This young man boasts a weighted GPA well in excess of 4.0 and consequently plays intelligently on the court, anticipating and jumping into passing lanes, seeing the floor well and using both hands on the offensive end. He also posses tremendous body control. He's a very capable three-point shooter, though he has somewhat of a slow mechanism and doesn't get much elevation on the shot. Hill is a high major talent who was among the top five performers at the camp. Stanford and Arizona are the schools that interest him the most at this point, and a Stanford assistant was shadowing him much of Sunday.

Daren Jordan - A tough, hard-nosed competitor who works hard at all times and plays with a great deal of emotion. Jordan has a nice skill set and is one of the best true point guards to come out of Arizona in recent years. At about 5-11 he has pretty good size and decent athleticism, but what stands out most about him is his ability to run a team and his never-say-die attitude -- which actually got him kicked out of one game on Sunday for an elbow toss. Jordan has a nice handle, and a fairly accurate jump shot, though it's more of a set shot that needs some refinement. He's at his best creating for himself and his teammates off the dribble and relentlessly pursues creating high percentage shots by breaking down his defender. He has the bulldoggish, aggressive play of someone from the East Coast and he apparently spent some time living in New York. Jordan is a solid mid major prospect at this point with the ability to go higher if he can continue to polish his playmaking skills.

Joey Shaw - A long, willowy wing, at about 6-5, Shaw has a very youthful appearance and he appears to have a lot of natural physical development ahead of him in the next couple of years. His buoyant, smooth court disposition makes him an intriguing prospect to keep an eye on. Shaw is only moderately athletic, but he moves very well and can shoot the ball out to 20 feet. He'll need to continue to work on his ball and court skills and his tendency to float around a little bit, but he should be a mid-major prospect at a bare minimum if his body naturally matures as I suspect it will.

Kaleo Kina - This 6-2 combo guard showed nice ball skills and court awareness, not to mention an unexpected burst and the ability to play at different speeds. He really gets the most out of his natural abilities and can do a little bit of everything on the perimeter including playing tenacious on-ball defense. Kina has a nice looking shot out to the three point line and he can score on an array of moves around the basket off of dribble penetration. Kina likely projects at the low major level, but some further refinement at the point guard position could solidify that and even push him up a notch.

Nkem Ojougboh - This was my first look at Ojougboh and I came away relatively impressive with his size, coordination and particularly his extremely long arms, which may indicate a growth spurt in his future. Ojougboh is a raw talent, doesn't do too much on the court, but he is a fine physical specimen to work with. The next year will be crucial in this young man's development and he could improve substantially in the near future. It's difficult to project where he'll end up at this point, but Ojougboh is yet another D-1 caliber player on the Arizona Magic squad.

Eli Davis - I'd never seen this guy play and apparently he was just moved up to the top Magic squad. Davis is a sturdy, well-built 6-4 with a workmanlike approach and a knack for the basketball. He has a good feel for the game and gets a lot done on instinct. He'll likely be a small forward at the college level, and as such he'll need some further development with his perimeter skills, but Davis has low major potential.

Ray Murdock - This guy is a lot like Davis in terms of size and his ability to get a lot out of what he has to offer physically. Murdock also possesses a knack for the basketball, but he is a more polished scorer than Davis at this point. He'll also likely be forced to play the small forward position at the next level, but on the AAU circuit, Murdock and Davis and co-exist on the court simultaneously on the wing. Murdock is another player with a chance to play at the low major level.

2006 Recruit

Christian Polk- This youngster blew us away at the Pangos All-American camp earlier this spring and he did nothing to dissuade us from our initial impression on Sunday. Polk is rare in his ability and willingness to exploit opponents in the middle of the offensive half-court. Whether it's via a pull up jumper, a runner or even a turn around jumper, Polk showcases, and indeed excels, in an area of play that many of his peers frustratingly overlook entirely. While he isn't a great leaper, Polk possesses tremendous body control and an excellent separation dribble, plus the ability to pull up off of the dribble from anywhere on the court and hit, even when he isn't square to the hoop. A long 6-3, Polk has the size and offensive repertoire needed to play off of the ball and yet he possesses the ball skills and demeanor of someone who'll no problem playing point guard at the next level. He'll be an elite major recruit as a combo guard and quite possibly the highest profile guard to come out of Arizona since Mike Bibby.

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