Nike Camp: Part II

INDIANAPOLIS – For now, it's Amare Stoudemire's world and the rest of us are merely occupying space in it. Stoudemire was his usual powerful self Saturday night. Here's an update from the evening session of games at Nike Camp.

2002 Top Performers

Amare Stoudemire Watching Stoudemire play in the paint is like standing in front of a shark tank during feeding time. It's all power and explosion and he's going to be tough to stop. One college coach asked who would do the best job of guarding him. I didn't have an answer for that one. He's just too powerful. If he catches it low, smart players bail to avoid the poster dunk. He dominated in Indy last July and he could be on his way to doing it once again.

Yusuf Baker Thumbs up to this kid. Baker appears to be fully recovered from ACL/MCL surgery. Schools are going to add him to their list of forwards to watch. He scores in the paint but most impressively skies for tough rebounds and plays extremely hard. Great to see a kid comeback from a major injury the way he has.

Chris Rodgers He was one of those guys who we didn't devote a lot of time to today, but each time I looked over at his court he was getting it done. Again, it was that first quick step that did in defenders. He was also hitting his jumper, which is key to the whole package.

2003 Top Performers

Dwan Youman Obviously, this guard has a lot of athletic ability. However, he had some trouble finishing … that is until he decided to throw down a nasty dunk. Youman was impressive in that he connected on mid and deep jumpers. He delivered passes into the post and showed good defensive anticipation. He wasn't without his flaws but his mistakes were of the aggressive nature. He's going to be a real high-major prospect.

Michael Bush He's strong and powerful. Bush made some deep shots, but he was tough in the paint off the drive. He's so strong and defenders go up with him but they can't seem to impede his progress to the rack.

Corey Gibbs He's listed at 6-6 and 224 pounds. He's bouncy, attacks the hoop and can shoot it medium-range with some confidence. He looks like a four-man but it may be a little early to tell for sure.

Brandon Cotton This shooting guard was at it again. His stroke is sweet. Yesterday he flashed the deep game and today it was more medium-range stuff on the move and floaters in the lane. This guy is really good.


What would you say to a 6-8, 160 pound spot up 3-point shooter? Sean Phaler is thin. No, he's frail. But, he can shoot it from downtown. The whole trick is that he has to be open because he doesn't seem comfortable if you get out on him and make him put it on the floor. However, he makes the open ones. …

News and Notes ….

The big news of the day was that the Shavlik Randolph vs. Amare Stoudemire encounter didn't go off. Apparently, Randolph's foot injury was acting up and he was held out from the afternoon drills and didn't play in the evening. Something tells me that when the coaches enter the building on Sunday he'll be ready to roll.

Word from a few campers we talked to still puts Bracey Wright in an Indiana uniform along with Sean May and … John Gilchrist.

Forward Tyler Best is contemplating a decision. Does he go high-major and risk pine time early or does he take the mid-major route with a little more guaranteed playing time? If he goes mid-major, Indiana State and Ball State will battle. If it's higher, UConn, Florida, Miami, Illinois and Purdue are showing interest. …

GA SF Derrick Broom says he's looking at NC State, Notre Dame, Alabama, Vanderbilt, Georgia and Clemson. Broom can score and he likes to shoot it on the move. He's not sure who has made offers and is still nursing an ankle injury he sustained at the Atlanta Basketball Classic.

JJ Redick and Jeff Horner are on the same camp team. At one point Saturday night, they were both hot from the perimeter. However, their teammates didn't feed them the basketball. This is a problem. Kids can look just as good making great passes to open shooters as the shooters connecting on the shots.

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