This group of players are guys I have seen play a lot. Most of them have been on the scene for some time.
"Big Jeff" gets a little bit better each time I see him. He was solid in Las Vegas playing second fiddle to Brandon Jennings. This weekend he was very impressive. He should have looked good being the biggest player in the camp, but his athleticism, improved moves and shot blocking ability make him a guy that could have NBA aspirations in the future.
I really liked Gaddy after the Vegas and I like him more now. He's a pure point guard who has a nice shooting touch. Although young, he's got good height and length and could get a tad bigger. He's clearly "Arizona good" and showed why he earned an offer last month. Expect the Cats to be in the mix for his services.
Heading into the weekend I liked Thompson. Three days later I love the 2009 wing. He played with so much confidence and energy. Although he has to refine his offensive game, he can shoot the ball, battles down low and has no problems working on defense. He's got great length and size and you can see why he's rated as a five-star guy.
Sure he's yet to play a high school game, but he can play. A lot can happen between now and his senior year, but he's far more complete than most players his age. He's already got the height and build of a college player, so he won't run into the problems some other young guards with a lot of hype have faced. His feel for the game is also fantastic. He flat out knows how to play and makes good decisions.
These are guys I have not seen a lot of or did things I had not seem them do before.
David Wear and Travis Wear
The Wear twins were impressive from day one. Their mix of size and athleticism were rare for young players. Over the past couple of years they have improved, but not necessarily at the rate that you might expect of elite players. Both players had great camps. They spent more time playing inside than I saw them do with their Pump ‘N Run AAU team. Quite simply they are post players with the skills to step outside. When aggressive on the inside their ability to shoot and their athleticism make them tough to stop. Both are good shooters and can put the ball on the floor, but that should compliment their game, not dominate it.
The Arizona commit had a great spring but a lackluster summer. He was invisible on the P-Miller All-Stars and did not have enough of a supporting cast to shine with the Arizona Magic in late July. Lavender was good this past weekend. He was aggressive and actually a little more selfish, which is actually a compliment for Lavender as he is often too quick to pass up a shot. His defense was sound and his jumper was falling. He has a lot of tools to work with and allowed the coaches to coach him up.
When I first saw Siva he was athletic but forgettable. The more I saw him over the summer the better I liked him. He was very impressive over the weekend. He played more of a point guard role than I was used to and showed that he could make some big time passes. He also shot better than I had seen him. I still wonder if he really is a point guard, but he proved he can play with the big boys.
I have always liked the potential of the Mater Dei PG. He was especially impressive considering he was overcoming a serious arm injury. He seemed bolstered by the fact that he didn't have to defer to other players as he does in AAU ball. His shot was very good and he is a good up-tempo passer. I really liked what I saw.
Part two of this story will focus on players who I had never seen previously, as well as a few players who were merely steady.