The games don't officially begin until July 8, but unofficially, there was some basketball being played at IUPUI. We parked ourselves at Court No. 3 and watched a few teams parade in front, giving us a preview of the next few days.
2002 Standouts We Watched
Torin Francis, PF/C His offense continues to improve. Today, he hit some short-range jumpers and even popped a few from the free-throw line. He was active on the glass and looked poised for a big week.
Delco Rowley, PF He came out guns blazing with a burst of energy. He actually hit some 3s (we didn't know he could do this), made a few catch and shoot jumpers and tossed in a couple of big-time finishes.
Eric Williams, C This kid brings a tremendous value to the table. He simply catches, turns and scores. It isn't rocket science and this guy is going to be a heckuva college basketball player.
DeAngelo Alexander, SG A few big-time reverses in traffic and he effectively caught our eye. Like I said yesterday, he could be in line for a big summer.
Brandon Cotton, SG He wasn't on the original roster and we had to search around to find out who he was, but thankfully we got some answers. This explosive athlete looks like he can shoot it and if he's a rising junior like we were told, that's great news.
Roy Hibbert, C He's one of the biggest players here. The kid is going to be a big-time player. Tonight, he blocked some shots, got on the boards and generally played like a 6-11 sophomore prospect should. The future is oh-so bright.
Wes Wilkinson, PF Here's one for you. Did you know that Nebraska has a commitment from this 6-9, 194-pounder? Now, here's the skinny. He's actually pretty good; a little light but good. He hit a 3, tipped one in at the cup and generally showed a lot of skill. If he can introduce himself to Nebraska's award-winning weight room he'll be a nice Big 12 player in a few years.
Justin Johnson, SF/PF Observers have been waiting for him to play with some passion and on this day, he finally showed some spark. He hit a few medium-range jumpers and was active. Can he keep it up?
Bernard Cote, PF What got into this Canadian? He busted a pair of 3s in the game we watched. If he parlays a strong Friday into a good Saturday and mixes in some post moves we'd consider it a successful camp.
News and Notes
The battle for No. 1 will be waged on Saturday as Shavlik Randolph and Amare Stoudemire hook up in a controlled scrimmage. Friday's Round One had to go to Stoudemire based solely on strength. Randolph had some trouble with him on the blocks but was able to use his skill to score a few hoops. Stoudemire is just too strong. … Rumors that Shelden Williams committed to Duke and Curtis Sumpter verballed to Villanova proved to be absolutely false. … Oregon head coach Ernie Kent and Richmond lead man John Beilein both have sons playing at camp. … Myth: Rashad McCants and JJ Redick are adversaries. Truth: Rashad McCants and JJ Redick are actually very good friends. …
Good news for Indiana. Sean May and John Gilchrist are on the same camp team. More good news, Jared Jeffries is the assistant coach. …
Good news for Duke. Shavlik Randolph and JJ Redick are camp teammates.
Memphis: Combo guard Jeremy Hunt committed on Wednesday to the Tigers.