USA Festival: Darrell Arthur

SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- Some of the nation's top high schoolers are on the campus of San Diego State University this week for the USA Basketball Youth Development Festival, which is now a part of the International Sports Invitational. IC correspondent Monte Macias provides an in-depth report on big man Darrell Arthur

Darrell Arthur

Tues. 6/7/05 – USA White 112, China 59

The first thing that struck me about Arthur was his frame. He's 6-9 and has a long, lean build with broad shoulders. He's already somewhat filled out, but there's room to add even more muscle. He's very similar physically to Jawad Williams, with the kind of frame he can build on.

Arthur was active defensively, with his long arms in the passing lanes every time down. He grabbed a handful of boards by crashing hard, but failed to box out a number of times. It never became a problem against the rail-thin Chinese front line, but it's something he'll need to work on.

Offensively, Arthur came into his own as the game went on. He opened with a baseline jumper from 17' which went about 19'. But the form was textbook with a high release point, so I wrote it off to jitters. He proved me right soon after, with a pure looking three-pointer from 23'. Most of his offensive production, however, came in the paint. He was always in the mix on the boards, getting a number of put-backs and tips. He also showed the ability to make the right pass, on the break as well as within the offense.

Others of note: Although Greg Oden played predictably well, the gym was buzzing about the two 2007 players on the floor. F Kyle Singler shot lights-out, putting up 20 pts. on 7-9 shooting in only 15 mins. F Bill Walker put on his show from the inside, rather than the outside. I counted eight monster dunks, including one from the dotted line over two helpless defenders and one stunned teammate. I have never seen any human that high in the air.

Wed. 6/8/05 – USA White 105, Canada 69

Arthur was all over the passing lanes once again, and wound up with three steals to go with countless deflections. He played good position defense against a Canadian front line that was much bigger and better than the Chinese team's; and he challenged shots from the wing with abandon. He didn't have any blocks, but he did alter or bother quite a few attempts.

On the offensive end, he once again showed good form on his jumper, and canned a few from mid-range. He also showed he could create his own shot, when he drove his man into the paint, spun around and knocked down the fade-away – again, very reminiscent of Jawad Williams.

Others of note: F Paul Harris took over the game early. He did whatever he wanted on the court – buckets, boards, defense. He reminds me of P.J. Tucker but with a quicker dribble… PG Scottie Reynolds showed great energy on both ends of the floor, setting up his teammates for shots, and spurring the break with his steals. Very vocal, a good floor general… Canadian PG Junior Cadougan has held his own thus far against the likes of DJ Augustin, Michael Conley, and Javaris Crittenton. The amazing thing is that he's only fourteen years old.

Arthur Postgame Quotes

Which schools are you still considering?
Arthur: I'm wide open right now. I could go anywhere, I'm not sure yet.

There are rumors that some Midwest schools are leading at this time, is that true?
Arthur: You could say the Big 12 is leading right now, but I'm wide open.

What's your timeframe to narrow that decision down a bit?
Arthur: I'd probably say the fall. I'd like to narrow it down by then. I'll take my visits in the fall.

You seem to have both PF and WF skills right now – which position do you plan to play in college?
Arthur: Any position at all. Whatever they ask me to do, I'll do.

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