Wing players and big men shine at ABCD

Yesterday's report on the Adidas ABCD Camp focused on a couple of big men and wing players making a reputation for themselves. Sometimes things change, and other times we just add a name or two to the list. We've added more big men and at least one more wing. And that's not all.

Dwight Howard, a 6-10 center from Atlanta (SW Atlanta Christian), Ga., has solidified his No. 1 overall ranking on the Top 50. Howard is so good it's quite likely he'll skip college and go directly to the NBA. After all, isn't that the rule more than the exception for talented big men today?

Howard has great quickness and superior offensive skills. He has all the tools to be a dominant big man immediately at the college level, if he ever plays a game for any of the schools chasing him. He lists Arkansas, Duke, Florida, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina and NC State.

Glen Davis, at 6-8 and 325 from Baton Rouge (LSU University Lab),La., is a monster in the paint. He knows how to position his body to move his defender out of the paint and score around the basket. He has a nice face up jumper, but most of his work is done with his back to the basket. Davis is considering UConn, Florida State, Indiana, Louisville, LSU, Miami (Fla.) and Mississippi State.

Davis and Howard both list the Hoosiers, but IU recently received a verbal from D.J. White and the Hoosiers might be off the market. White, a 6-8 PF from Tuscaloosa (Hillcrest), Ala., is competing at the Nike Camp.

The Wildcat coaching staff is taking a look at Chester (C.J.) Giles, a 6-9 PF from Seattle (Rainier Beach), Wash. Giles has the offensive skills to get it done. However, the Cats want to see more of him at the summer camp setting and measure his skills against elite level competition. Giles lists ASU, USC, Washington, Oregon, Oregon St., Kansas, and Washington St. Arizona hasn't really gotten involved, but one would think Giles would give the UA a look if it comes calling.

Lorenzo Mata, a 6-9 center/power forward from South Gate (HS), Calif., continues to impress. Mata blew up this past season and has built on his reputation during the spring and summer workouts. He has most of the Pac-10 schools and Texas Tech calling.

"He didn't get much recognition until this spring," said Sal Serrano, his coach at South Gate High. "He really improved his game over the last year and surprised a lot of people."

Mata has shown he can play at the top level. At 225 pounds, he's strong enough to bang against smaller defenders yet quick enough to outmaneuver slower opponents.

Serrano also said Mata has been very humble about his sudden rise to national attention.

"He's an only child," Serrano said. "His mother and stepfather have done a very good job. He's very down to earth. He hasn't let all the exposure go to his head. His feet are well grounded."

The Arizona coaching staff is also looking for a wing and combo-guard.

Yesterday it was wing forward Alex Galindo who drew rave reveiws at the ABCD Camp. Today it was J.R. Smith, Galindo's 6-5 teammate at Newark (St. Benedict Prep), NJ.

Smith is a super-athletic wing who loves the transition game. He runs the wing, goes to the basket with authority and can finish with the best of them. He has great ball skills and uses his quickness and athleticism to get to the basket. He's not as good a pure shooter as Galindo, but he hits the three at a respectable percentage.

"Right now J.R. is ahead of Alex (Galindo) in his development as a player," said Dan Hurley, head coach at St. Benedict. "J.R. is such a tremendous athlete and playing the two together has been good for us. Alex has learned a lot from J.R."

Smith, the No. 2 SG on Top 50 and No. 14 overall player, lists Louisville, UConn, Duke, Maryland, North Carolina and Villanova. If Arizona is serious about Smith, it might be difficult to catch up against that kind of competition.

Shaun Livingston, a 6-7 point guard from Peoria (HS), Ill., has struggled somewhat at ABCD. He sprained his ankle at the USA Basketball tryouts and the layoff might be affecting his play.

Livingston lists Duke, Arizona and Illinois as his top three, but we hear North Carolina is getting involved. That should make it very interesting.

Sebastian Telfair, a 5-11 point from Brooklyn (Lincoln), NY., and the No. 2 point behind Livingston, leads the camp in assists (7 apg) and has actually outplayed his counterpart thus far. Telfair, who is never at a lack for confidence, has reportedly let it be known that he will likely put his name in the NBA Draft after he completes his high school career.

Telfair lists Georgia Tech, Seton Hall, Kentucky, St. John's, Duke, Syracuse, Louisville, Pittsburgh and even Arizona. Some are recruiting him with the expectation that he'll go to college, while others (Arizona in particular) are not recruiting him at all.

Most observers will tell Telfair he needs the experience he could get at the college level.

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