Indianapolis--Basically in the evening, the teams at Nike laced them up and started scrimmaging. Here are our first thoughts on some players from the camp.
Rudy Gay, SF--The impression he made this evening was a lasting one. Gay seemingly gets bigger each time out. He grabbed traffic rebounds, used his long arms and body to his advantage and was overall very impressive. We have got him in the Top 25, but he is going likely be a kid who rises even higher after the summer. He runs, jumps, shoots mid-range Js and looks the part.
Al Horford, PF--Coming into the camp everyone knew he could rebound and generally gets after it pretty good. He sought out his offense and really was able to accomplish some things on the offensive end. He was consistently getting into his post moves (the hook shot looked good) and he just looked like he wanted it. Nice opening effort.
D.J. White vs. Brian Johnson--Nice little opening battle in a major camp. Let's not kid ourselves here; both of these guys are pretty darn good. On this day, White's athleticism was able to create some issues for Johnson. DJ is coming off a great week at USA Camp and he's so bouncy that he is going to get a lot of favorable matchups at both ends. Plus, his face-up jumper is very reliable.
Amir Johnson, C-PF: Supposedly he wasn't playing his best ball coming into the camp. Well, he looked pretty good from his fine passing skills in the low and high post to his range (He hit a three). It was a nice opening effort.
Martell Webster, SF-SG: It has been a while since we have seen him, but he is still a man and he has gotten bigger. This guy has a bright future and his body is strong and athletic.
Derrick Caracter, PF--I'll try and paint a picture of him for those who haven't seen him. First of all, he is 6-9 and 287 pounds. Now, this cat is really nimble, not a good leaper, but nimble. He is comfortable handling it some and is simply the best passing big man I have seen at that age. Can't wait for the matchup with Greg Oden should it ever materialize.
*Robert Rothbart is seriously over 7-0 tall and that's a good thing. However, right now he has issues with contact and that's a bad thing. He's got tools, but his body needs strength and weight.
*Marquise Gray, in many ways, is a clone of Donnell Harvey. He is ultra-athletic and one of the best rebounders in his class. He gets boards he's got no business getting. One area of improvement will have to come in post defense where his athleticism helps less if kids can catch it on the block against him.
*Paul Delaney of Georgia is a super athlete.
*Gerry Corcoran is one of our favorite shooters. However, he can get himself into trouble when he tries to create. He's best when he sitting back busting zones.
*A.J. Price really wants to be a point guard in the worst way and he just might pull it off. He's a superior passer in transition where he's very comfortable. He did some nice working creating for others off the drive.
Jamelle Cornley has a few broken bones in his left hand. We knew he was a warrior before the injury so we weren't surprised to learn he's going to gut it out and play.