Brad Buckman, PF, Pump and Run Somehow, we were a little slow in catching onto this guy. Against DC Assault, Buckman was sensational and proved all of the chatter about him being a Top 25 player correct. The reality is that while there are 25 guys with larger names, there probably aren't 25 better players in the class. This forward is athletic, can handle it some, blocks shots, shoots to medium-range and scores in the post. He's about to rocket his way up the charts because we don't think this was the performance of a lifetime, he's just that good.
Daniel Horton, PG, Texas Blue Chip Against LeBron James and Co., the word was that Horton won the game for Texas. He hit for 35 in the contest. Now, in the nightcap when his team was upset, he struggled some but the word from his morning game was that he played extremely well.
Anthony Roberson, PG, Michigan Hurricanes The offense was there for "Peeper" especially in the first half. He scored it from seemingly everywhere and was still able to get his teammates involved. He's a great fit for Florida and a legitimate offensive weapon. This was one of his best summer performances.
Marcellus Kemp, SF/SG, Seattle Rotary He's coming off a great ABCD Camp where he opened some eyes and he continues to do so. Kemp shot it well from 3-point range but also proved himself as a versatile scorer off the bounce, in the paint and from medium-range with his jumper. He's heating up.
Spencer Ford, SF, New Orleans Jazz He played in the first game of the day and he was very good. The 6-5 small forward is athlete, can run and finds ways to score. Today, he ran the floor, was the point man on the break and guided home some long-range shots. The perimeter part of his game is vastly improved.
Sean Dockery, PG, Illinois Fire It's been a lukewarm spring and summer for Dockery, but on this occasion he was getting it done. He had a strong first half in the game we watched and was very good at both ends. Still, he's not a great shooter but he makes some for himself. His offense off the bounce looked good today and his defense was there. Nice effort; one of his better games in the last few months that we've witnessed.
The Las Vegas Rebels weren't supposed to beat Texas Blue Chip. The Richmond Squires shouldn't have beaten Beach Ball Select either. Well, that's why they play the pool play games; anything can happen. Blue Chip needed a Chris Bosh dunk at the buzzer to force overtime with the Las Vegas Rebels before finally succumbing to the hometown boys. … We didn't see the game, but reportedly Raymond Felton missed a few free throws in the closing seconds as Beach Ball fell. Felton's armor is relatively inpenetrable, but the charity stripe bit him at the Boo Williams event and apparently bested him in Vegas too. … Speaking of free throws, Maurice Ager and Roberson missed the front ends of some one-and-one situations against Emerald City. The Hurricanes didn't lose, but they certainly could have.
2003 Top Performers
Mike Jones, SG, Donyell Marshall Foundation If the Mike Jones fan club needed a president, I might have to volunteer. He was great at Nike and was one of the best underclassmen we saw all day long in Vegas. He's a big-time athlete who has plenty of offense and is going to be recruited at the highest level.
Leon Powe, PF, Oakland Slam and Jam The out-manned Double Pump All-Stars started talking trash to Powe. That lasted until he decided to drive baseline and throw down a nasty jam on top of basically their whole team. He's a top five player in his class and that's not debatable.
David Padgett, C, Pump and Run This was the best he's played all summer long. Against DC Assault, he was terrific, especially in the first half. He was making jumpers and blocking shots. But, he was also running the floor and finishing plays with slam dunks. He's more confident than he was a few months ago and it shows.
Aaron Brooks, PG, Seattle Rotary Before it's all over, he'll make a bid to be considered among some of the better PGs in his class. He's still in work in progress and needs to improve his perimeter game but he's a relentless defender. He's also overly quick and does a nice job running a team. He didn't crack under some intense pressure from the Illinois Fire backcourt.
Ed Turner, SF/SG, Donyell Marshall Foundation Here's a kid who is a skinny scorer. Mid-major teams are trying to play defense against some of their high-major brethren.
Marquis Kately, SF, Oakland Slam and Jam He didn't carry much of a national reputation to Vegas, but this athletic swingman can play. He is a very good rebounder for his position and he's going to have a chance to impress some Pac-10 folks.
Ted Skuchas, C, Sam Rines He's probably not as advanced as Craig Forth was at the same stage, but he is improving. He has some offense and always has been a solid rebounder/rejector. With more intensity, the results would probably be a little more noticeable. He's a good long-term investment.
Melvin Buckley, SF, Illinois Fire We didn't realize that at adidas Camp, Buckley recently had surgery on his finger. Someone with through a finger on his shooting hand and he needed surgery. On Thursday, he scored efficiently, connecting on a few perimeter shots and getting a few hoops in the paint. Not a great performance, but an efficient one that he can build on.
Omar Williams, SF, Sam Rines Here's a guy who is quietly receiving a lot of attention from schools across the board. He's skinny like Turner but athletic and bouncy. He has some offense and schools are intrigued by him.
Chris Burras, SF, Illinois Fire This kid is a worker. He's 6-5 but seemingly loves to make things happen on the blocks where he's comfortable posting up. He's athletic enough to go off the dribble, loves to rebound and finds a way to score via hustle.