NBPA Camp: Thursday AM, Part II

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- The opening session of NBPA Top 100 camp was led by five-star forward Kevon Looney and California native Trey Kell. Larry Austin and Montaque Gill-Caesar also performed well in their first games at camp.

Kevon Looney, PF – It's a relief when the best player on the floor is also the hardest playing prospect. Looney, a 6-foot-8 power forward, had a major impact in his opening round camp game, primarily because of the effort and energy he played with. At 6-foot-8, he's skilled, but he's also an aggressive athlete that plays with toughness. He rebounded in and out of his area with tenacity. Scoring wise he hit a three, connected on mid-range shots and finished in the paint.

Larry Austin, PG – In camp settings it's always nice to see a point guard run a team well. Austin, an Illinois native, did just that. He pushed the tempo when he had an opportunity, but looked to create for his teammates. Sure he mixed in a couple of jump shots – he hit one three – but where he was most valuable was finding teammates for open looks and putting them in position to score.

Abdul-Malik Abu, PF – Piggybacking off his strong spring, Malik-Abu started off camp with a quality outing. The hard playing 6-foot-7 power forward was active in the paint, battled with the opposition for rebounds and found ways to score. He's confident and effective shooting mid-range jump shots, but he also has a right jump hook. Malik-Abu was strong in the paint and was able to secure put back opportunities as well.

Trey Kell, SG – The surprise of the opening session was the play of this 6-foot-4 shooting guard from the west coast. Kell made a pair of mid-range pull-ups and a pair of threes, to go with a two finishes at the rim. In a class that lacks depth at the shooting guard position, it's good to see a new one emerge. He's a scorer that showed good skill and understanding of the game. He's certainly one I'll be paying close attention to the rest of camp.

Montaque Gill-Caesar, SF – Although he didn't get many scoring opportunities in his opening round game, Gill-Caesar certainly took advantage of them when he did. Gill-Caesar, a strongly built 6-foot-5 wing out of Huntington (W.V.) Prep, hit three mid-range pull-up jumpers and had a strong take to the rim. Gill-Caesar has shown consistency with his middle game and is turning into an all around scorer. He had an efficient and effective opening round game.

Jaylen Brown, SF – Picking up where he left off at Nike Elite 100 last week, Brown, a 6-foot-6 strongly built wing prospect, put up double figure points during his first game of camp. A terrific athlete, Brown is equipped to score off strong drives, which he did Thursday morning, but he's also gaining consistency with his mid-range jump shot.

Thon Maker, C – This is the third week in a row I've evaluated Maker and what impresses every time out is how hard he plays. Whether his shots are falling or not, he always plays with energy. At 7-feet tall, Maker impacts the game in a major way on the defensive end. He uses his length and athleticism to block shots and despite lacking strength he reels in a number of rebounds. Offensively he's fairly skilled and has good touch on his shots. He was inconsistent on that end Thursday morning, but still hit a right hook and had a few put backs.

Caleb Swanigan, C – The Indiana native made plays in the paint for his camp team Thursday morning. At 6-foot-8, 280-pounds, Swanigan is a load to handle inside. Sure he'll need to get in better shape going forward, but he's tough to defend, as he has great hands, good touch inside and maneuvers well around the basket. He used both hands to score at the rim and even made a sweet post feed to a teammate.

*Defensively Trayvon Reed can have a major impact on the game. Reed stands 7-feet tall and has extreme length. He made life difficult for Thon Maker and Tanveer Bhullar in the opening round game, as he got his hands on a number of their shot attempts.

*The key component to Brandone Francis' game is his ability to pass the basketball. He has terrific court vision and although I won't classify him as a point guard, he's one of the better passers in high school basketball. His jump shots weren't going down in game one, but he found another way to impact the game.

*2016 wing Josh Langford made some plays during the opening session. The 6-foot-4 guard is a very good athlete. He hit a pull-up from 15, scored off a post up and had an adjusting finishing in transition. He's one of the better wing prospects in the 2016 class.

*Tyler Dorsey is one of the premier shooting guards in the 2015 class. He's had a great spring and was solid on opening day. To go with his ability to put up points in a hurry, he has good vision and is a good passer.

*Louisville commit Quentin Snider didn't connect on either three-point attempt in his opening game, but he did score from mid-range and at the rim. He was able to get into the paint when he needed to and created some shot opportunities for teammates.

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