First Half Best of the Best

DURHAM, N.C. – Basically, the summer of 2002 is broken down into two phases. The first phase – Nike, adidas, Peach Jam, Three Stripes – is complete and ended with the start of the July 15 dead period. Here's a quick review of what happened so far.

Commitments Rolling In

As expected, we've seen the number of July commitments increase exponentially. With the dead period upon us, college coaches won't be able to get prospects onto their campus so to get a commitment between July 15 and July 24 you better be good on the phones.

Phase I Player of the Summer

This one is incredibly easy. Junior LeBron James is the best player in the country and he dazzled at ABCD Camp. There's no reason to think he'll tail off at all this month. His impact at a major camp as a junior was something to marvel at. He was the best player there. The seniors knew it; the media knew it and the college coaches realized they'd never see him play a day of college buckets. He'd win a lot of the following categories but we need to hand out some accolades to other deserving categories.

Honorable Mention

Rashad McCants, SF/SG Prior to the Charlotte Royals first round playoff exit at the Peach Jam, McCants had his boys rolling. At Nike, he kicked butt and continued to stay hot right through Augusta.

Amare Stoudemire, C Hey, he's assumed the position of top prospect in the class. No one has more off the court distractions than Stoudemire and it's a credit to the person that he's been able to keep the basketball side in perspective.

Best Finishers – The Guys Who Get To The Rim And Score

1. Hassan Adams, SG/SF

Best of the Rest SF Matt Trannon, SF Derrick Byars, SF Lester Abram, SF Bobby Jones, SF/SG Rashad McCants

Top Assist Men In Traffic – These Guys Drive And Find Their Friends

1. PG Dee Brown

Best of the Rest PG Elijah Ingram, PG Raymond Felton, PG Daniel Horton, PG Taurean Minor (2003)

Best Shooters – Don't Leave Them Open

1. SG JJ Redick

Best of the Rest: SF Steve Novak, SG Michael Ford, SG Chris McCray, SG Bracey Wright, CG Chris Rodgers, PG Jeff Horner, SG Rashad Anderson, SG Michael Bush (2003), SG Collin Falls (2003), SG JR Reynolds (2003), PG Brandon Cotton (2003), SG Michael Jones (2003)

Best Scorers – These Kids Score And Find Different Ways To Do It

1. SF Evan Burns

Best of the Rest SF Francisco Garcia, SF Kennedy Winston, PF Chris Bosh, SF JR Morris, SG Marshall Strickland, SG Maurice Ager

Best Rebounders – Better Get A Body On Them

1. C Amare Stoudemire

Best of the Rest PF Jason Fraser, PF Torin Francis, PF Chris Bosh, PF Yusuf Baker, SF Lenny Cooke, PF Leon Powe (2003), PF Kevin Bookout

Best Shot Blockers – These Kids Change The Game

1. C Amare Stoudemire

Best of the Rest Keith Butler, Roy Hibbert (2004), C Eric Davis

Best Low Post Scorers – These Kids Create Ways To Score

1. C/PF Kendrick Perkins (2003),

Best of the Rest PF Sean May, PF Shavlik Randolph, PF Michael Williams (2004), C Michael Thompson, C Eric Williams, PF Torin Francis

Most Surprising – Better Than Expected

1. PG Armando Surrat

Best of the Rest SF Antoine Wright, C Julius Lamptey, SF Alex Carmona, SG Adam Haluska, PG Todd Galloway, SF Elijah Clark (2003), SG/SF Marcellus Kemp, PF Brad Buckman, PF/SF Charlie Villanueva (2003), SF Richard Cheney, PF Almany Thiero, F Eric Hicks, SG Randy Foye, PF Sean Mallon

Best Passer

1. LeBron James (2003)

Best of the Rest SF Lenny Cooke, PG Sebastian Telfair (2004), PG Gerry McNamara, PG Raymond Felton, PG Daniel Horton, PG Sean Dockery, PG Donnie McGrath, F Tim Doyle, PF Sean May

Leaders – Guys You Want To Go To War With

1. SF/SG Rashad McCants

Best of the Rest PG John Gilchrist, PG/SG Chris Rodgers, PG Deron Williams, PF Leon Powe (2003)

Best Defenders – They Take You Out Of Your Game

1. SF Andre Iguodala

Best of the Rest SF Lester Abram, SF LeBron James (2003), PF Torin Francis, C Amare Stoudemire

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