ABCD Camp Day 1 Recap

TEANECK-The Reebok ABCD Camp began for the media. Fairleigh Dickenson is not a basketball powerhouse most years, however, the talent showed up to play in the small New Jersey school. Five of Arizona's ‘Super Seven' recruits were present at the event and they did not disappoint. Cat Tracks was on hand to get all the first hand stats and quotes from the players.

In one of the biggest games of the day, talented prospect Kevin Love, joined by Lance Thomas and Darrell Arthur took on a team comprising seven footer, and NBA ready, Greg Oden, Elgin Bailey, and James Harden. Oden's team prevailed 67-55 in the game as Oden contributed 12 points and nine rebounds. As good as Love is, he was unable to overcome Oden's impressive size and ability. He scored seven points and added just three rebounds.

Bailey added eight points and four rebounds to the winning end alongside Harden's two rebounds and two assists. Thomas led the way for the losing team scoring 12 points, while Arthur had a quiet game only tallying two rebounds.

Due to the new 19-year old age minimum of the NBA, Love will be going to college despite being one of the best post players in the country or any age. Love's strengths lie in part with his ability to be aggressive, and dominate down low from his huge 6-9, 250-pound frame. Love, despite being a wide-body, is fairly athletic. On Wednesday some of his shots were just not falling due to being guarded by the best player in the country, Love showed a ton of upside and ability to do wonders in college. The comparisons to Elton Brand are apt, though Love is a better back to the basket player.

Thomas attacked hard in all aspects. He has good height and is wildly athletic, but needs to bulk up especially in his arms if he is to be a four in college. He showed a lot of hustle and he crashed the boards hard on every shot.

Harden was one of the players at the Arizona Elite Camp last weekend. He had a good showing there and played well on Wednesday. He liked his visit to Tucson. He loved the facilities and the staff, but was not thrilled with the hot weather last weekend.

In one of the first games of the day, Portland natives Seth Tarver and Phil Nelson faced off with SoCal big Alex Stepheson. Stepheson and his teammates came away with the victory in overtime. Rather than a normal, timed overtime period, the winner is declared after one team scores three points in overtime. A three pointer by Edwin Rios ended the overtime quickly. Stepheson had a great game scoring 14 points and grabbing six rebounds.

Stepheson is tall with a strong upper body and had a couple of strong moves to the basket. Tarver had a good game as well scoring 10 points along with four rebounds and two steals. Tarver was clearly one of the most athletic players on the court and was able to move well without the ball and keep his composure under pressure. Nelson however had a disappointing game only scoring three points and two rebounds.

Stepheson is listing the Wildcats, UCLA, Washington, North Carolina and Wake Forest. He's been to a few of the schools on an unofficial, but will take all his official visits before settling on a school. Later in the night Stepheson went up against Oden. He was the lone player of the day to go head to head with the monster. Although he worked hard against the seven-footer, Oden was just too big and too strong. Stepheson is a good ball player, but Oden is on another level.

Tarver still likes the Cats and they are his leader at this point, but he did mention that he likes Oregon State, especially since his brother is heading to the Jay John's squad this fall. Tarver is patient in waiting for the recruiting process to play out and that could benefit him as the Cats seem to have players like Thomas and Chase Budinger rated a bit higher.

Another impressive performance came from 2008 PG Brandon Jennings who in his first game scored ten points, three rebounds, two assists, five steals and one block all at a mere 6-1, which may be an overstatement. Jennings' positive attitude, amazing speed, and the way he uses his height and quickness to his, and his team's, advantage. He's a high energy guy who tired out the defenses and made him one of the most fun players to watch.

Arizona commit Jordan Hill also attended the camp and tallied four points, three rebounds, and four blocks. These stats are quite deceiving as Hill was one of the best players on the court. With Hill it is all about upside He has a great stroke but the shots just weren't falling. He hustled hard all game and has great vision of the court. Hill loves Arizona and commented about his future plans. He also discussed his feelings regarding the school's president Peter Likins.

"On my visit I met the President of the University," said Hill. "He was cool. He seemed like a pretty nice guy."

Hill told Cat Tracks that he is planning to major in computer science upon his arrival to the UA.

One of Hill's teammates at the camp was Malik Story. Story was only able to tally three points and two rebounds, but the talent he has is evident for all to see. He has great hands, crashes the boards hard and is active defensively. He has a terrific stroke, but needs to improve his quickness to be an elite player in the 2008 class.

Another player on that same team was Earl Clark who was putting on a clinic scoring 12 points his first game showing the Teaneck crowd how agile he is, moving very well both with and without the ball.

UA target Daniel Hackett was at the Arizona Elite camp last weekend and showed a lot of upside at the camp today. Hackett sports a very nice build and fights well on the inside. He contributed nine points for his team. His great speed, defense, and vision of the court set him apart from many other players. Hackett appeared to always be one step ahead every time down the court today. Combine his performance here with his showing in Tucson last weekend and you may have a guy who will rise in the 2007 class.

Taylor King also had a good performance. King totaled eight points and eight rebounds in his first game and worked very hard all day. The former UCLA commit recently is now looking mainly at five schools.

"I am highly interested in North Carolina, Arizona, Gonzaga, Villanova, and Syracuse," King said.

One of the most fun moments was when freshman-to-be Lance Stepheson went head-to-head with O.J. Mayo. The 2009 prospect did not back down and went at 2007's top dog. It was a great 1-on-1 battle and the crowd on hand was electric. At one point Stephenson was guarding another player and Mayo backed up, pointed at Stepheson and commanded that the youngster "get over here". The young guard obliged and Mayo proceeded to drain a three over the player.

You get the feeling that not many players will do that to Stephenson in the future. He's a prospect to really keep an eye on.

Chase Budinger was at the camp on Tuesday, but was only in attendance for one day. He has an injured wrist and is going to rest up so that he can play in some upcoming volleyball events.

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