Nike Camp: Day Two evaluations

The Nike Camp opened with player interviews for the media present and then played some practice games this evening. The colleges aren't allowed to watch the players until tomorrow, so tonight's practice session was open to only family and members of the media. Every July, I'm eager to see the new crop of talent. There are always some surprises and this opening day was no different.

The rap sheet wouldn't be complete if I didn't include both the highlights and "lowlights" of tonight's performances. So let's get started.

Best player I saw today:
Malik Hairston, 6-5 wing from Detroit (Renaissance), Mich.

Hairston is quick, athletic and shoots the lights out. At least, he shot well today. He was 4-for-4, including 3-of-3 three-points.

The player I was most anxious to see:
Maarty Leunen, a 6-8 combo-forward from Redmond (HS), Ore.

Leunen reminds me of Jud Buechler in many ways. He's more of a three man, but he can also take his game inside and works hard on the glass. He can hit the three, he's athletic and he has a great basketball IQ.

A player I had heard a lot about and wanted to see:
Rudy Gay, a 6-8 combo-forward from Severn (Archbishop Spaulding), Md.

Gay was everything I heard: quick, athletic and capable of playing inside or on the perimeter. He has very good court awareness, handles the ball well and rebounds strong at both ends of the court. He's probably a more polished four man at this time, but he has the tools to play on the perimeter at the next level.

Best player I hadn't heard of:
Magnum Rolle, 6-11 center/forward from Freeport, Grand Bahamas.

Rolle is long, athletic and has a very nice inside/outside game. He can hit the jumper out to three-point range or play in post, and he goes aggressively to the glass. He reminds me a lot Channing Frye when he was in high school. In fact, Frye is coaching his team at the Nike Camp.

Most disappointing player Arizona is looking at:
Isaiah Swann, 6-2 combo-guard from Chatham (Hargrave Academy), Va.

Swann, No. 30 rated player, would like to be a scorer, but on the offensive end he plays out of control much of the time. He has the body of a Khalid Reeves, but he's not as athletic or talented. Maybe it was just a bad day.

Another disappointment:
Daniel Gibson, a 6-2 point guard from Houston (Jesse Jones), Tex.

It might be that Gibson, who has given Texas an early commitment, also simply had an off day. He played much better last year at this camp and I was expecting to see a more polished point guard leading his team. He made good decisions when passing the ball, but he took bad shots and his shots didn't fall.

Some young notables from the Class of 2005:
Marcus Johnson, a 6-5 wing from Los Angeles (Westchester), Calif. Johnson is a great athlete, gets out in transition and knows how to finish. His outside shot is good, but not great, and he has a nose for the basket. The kid can put up some numbers.
Martell Webster, a 6-6 wing forward from Edmond (Seattle Prep), Wash.
I'll admit it's the first time I saw Webster play, but he just might be as good a prospect as Marvin Williams. And that's saying a lot. Webster is silky smooth and knows how to put points on the board. He can hit the perimeter shot or take it off the dribble. I was really impressed!!!

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