Nike Camp Day One: Review

The first day of competition at the Nike All-Star Camp in Indianapolis featured a number of promising players, as well as some major disappointments. Overall, most recruiting experts agree that the overall talent level at the camp is down. There appears to be less superstar caliber players than in years past.

The biggest news of the morning had to be the play of Amare Stoudemire, a 6-9 powerhouse from Orlando (Cypress Creek), Fla. Stoudamire, who many believe is the best player in the class, made most observers believe he will strongly considering a jump to the pros. In fact, Stoudemire's family handed out press kits to the media with the business card of his public relations firm.

Stoudemire is very strong, but his offensive game is limited to the thunderous slam-dunk. No player in the camp has been able to contain him on the low blocks, but that seems to be the extent of his offensive repetoir. His team lost their first game of the day, but cruised in the second contest.

Stoudamire wore jersey number 95 and was joined by 6-7 teammates Yusuf Baker, Orlando (Evans) and Rashard Sullivan, Ft. Lauderdale (St. Thomas Aquinas). The three wear sequential jersey numbers, and the powerful trio often slammed home dunks on sequential possesions

Jarrett Jack, a 6-2 point from Fort Washington, Maryland who will attend Worcester Academy in Massachusetts, showed that he was one of the better point guards in this class. Many of the big boys are calling. Michigan State, Georgia Tech and Cincinnati are showing a lot of interest.

"My strengths are setting people up," Jack said. "Getting people open looks. I like to get in the lane and then dish to set people up."

Jack is the first cousin of Duke's Chris Duhon, but Jack isn't interested in the Blue Devils.

"I'd come in and be part of the group. Sean Dockery committed there the other day, plus Chris is still there. They are kind of like Arizona, they are loaded at point guard."

Arizona recruit Chris Rodgers had an important announcement.

"I'm 6-5 with my shoes on," Rodgers told reporters who disparaged his height. "At least I'm right there."

Rodgers and Texas' Bracey Wright, a 6-2 two-guard from Carrolton (The Colony), Tex., form a great backcourt duo and played very well in two contests. While Rodgers has already given Arizona a verbal commitment, Wright has hinted that he is very close to becoming a Hoosier.

"I'm not going to make a decision right now," Wright said. "My parents still need to talk to Coach Davis. I felt real comfortable with him. If every thing goes right it (the commitment) could be here or in the next couple of weeks."

Whereas Rodgers is a skilled decision-maker, Wright is a pure scorer. He can hit the three-pointer or create a shot off the dribble. He loves to use his explosive first step and drive the baseline.

Other players making a splash include forward Evan Burns from Los Angeles (Fairfax), Carolina post player Shavlik Randolph from Raleigh (Broughton) and Kaleena Azubuike a wing from Tulsa (Victory Christian).

Indiana could be on the verge of a monster recruiting class. The Hoosiers should land Wright and are almost certain to get Sean May, a 6-7 multi-skilled big man from Bloomington (North), Ind. May's father attended IU and helped lead the Hoosier to and undefeated season and a National Championship.

May is a load when working in the post, but his bulk can be deceptive. May can put the ball on the floor as good as any wing and hits the three like two-guard. If IU lands May and Wright, and looks like a done deal, the Hoosiers will have a lethal inside-outside combination for the next couple of years.

One Arizona recruit, Seattle wing Brandon Roy, left the camp with a knee injury. It's hoped a MRI will reveal the extent of the injury on Monday.

Adam Zahn, the younger brother of Arizona power forward Andrew Zahn, is having a good camp. Adam is more of wing forward, has good leaping ability and can put the ball on the floor and create. However, he's not quick enough to be considered by the Wildcats. Pepperdine is the leader.

Ricky Cornette, a 6-9 power forward from Homewood (Christian Academy), Ill., is getting some looks from the UA coaching staff. It was hoped Cornette could play either forward spot, but he's dispelled any thought of that ever happening. Cornette is a very good power forward, but he has no skills when working on the perimeter. He does not handle the ball well enough and his outside jumper is practically nonexistent. Cornette could never guard some of the quicker wings at the next level. I would expect Arizona to get off him real soon.

Brandon Lincoln, a 6-3 wing forward from Portland (Jefferson), Ore., is having a "good" camp. I say "good" because Lincoln is getting used almost exclusively at the point and is doing a good if not spectacular job of running the offense. On the other hand, the Arizona is looking at Lincoln as wing and it's difficult to evaluate his talent when playing at the point.

Lincoln might simply be too short to fill the spot the Wildcats are attempting to fill, and he's not real aggressive. However, Lincoln is a very good athlete and has the ball skills and shooting ability to make some team a great find.

Hassan Adams, a 6-4 wing from Los Angeles (Westchester), Calif., had an outstanding first day here and will certainly a player the Wildcats become involved with. Adams can shoot the three and is very quick off the dribble, However, Adams is not always the aggressor and that has those evaluating his talent a little skeptical.

Another player getting a hard look is Andre Iguodala, a 6-5 wing from Springfield (Lanphier), Ill. Iguodala has great ball skills, can put it on the floor and create or he can hit the three-pointer. He's also a great athlete who loves the transition game and knows how to finish.

Iguodala will certainly get more attention, not only from the Wildcats but others.

The Wildcats are also evaluating Mike Hall, a 6-7 forward from Calumet Park (Alan B. Shepard), Ill. I didn't get the opportunity to watch Hall in a game situation but I did observe his morning workouts. He has good ball skills and great footwork but during the time I was watching he showed more ability as a four man than a wing.

Although not from the Class of 2002, three other big men had very outing during the first day of camp.

Akini Adkins, a 6-7 power forward from Tallahassee (Florida), Fla., might very well be one of the quickest big men at the camp. He runs the floor like a guard and uses his superior foot speed to beat his man when working in the post. And he explodes off the floor for rebounds.

Shagari Alleyne, a 7-3 center from New York (Rice), NY, has coaches thinking back to the days of Lew Alcindor, aka Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Alleyne is not near as polished as Jabbar was at this stage of his career, but his great hands and imposing height advantage make him almost impossible to defend. If Alleyne can gain a little more coordination, he will be one of the dominant players in the Class of 2003 and might never see a college basketball court.

Ndudi Ebi, a 6-8 center from Houston (Westbury Christian), Tex., is another with a chance to play at the elite level. Ebi has very good post moves and can shoot facing the basket. He's very active on the glass at both ends of the court and runs well.


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