Reebok: Day Three Notebook

PHILADELPHIA — The Reebok Breakout Classic concluded on Friday evening, as the camp ended with an all-star game that punctuated three days of strong play in the Northeast.

Rashad Vaughn proved why he may have been the best talent at the event. The Minnesota guard poured in 33 points in the all-star game, even while guarded for stretches by top-five guard Emmanuel Mudiay. Vaughn mostly did his damage from behind the three-point stripe, knocking in deep -- I mean very, very deep -- threes throughout the game.

Although he did catch and shoot on occasion, as usual Vaughn entered his shooting motion off the dribble. That's a habit he'll need to curb, at least a little, for college, given that pressure defenders will take advantage of the time his dribbling affords them to jam his open looks. Of course, he's quick and strong enough to get to the rim as well.

Meanwhile, Mudiay himself bounced back in the second half. He scored many of his 20 points at the rim against non-existent defense – it was an all-star game, after all – but he also doled out nine assists and some in very impressive fashion. His jump shot remains problematic and he must work vigilantly to address that shortcoming in upcoming seasons, but he's so strong and athletic that only in the best guys in the most competitive situations will cause him trouble.

Junior wing Derrick Jones also excelled. The Breakout turned into a big week for him, because he proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that he's a handful against national competition even as a rising junior. Key for him now will be to improve his ball-handling, as that's his critical area of need. Still, his athleticism, length and jump shoot all look high-major, and he has the offers (as reported yesterday, from Syracuse, Kentucky and others) to reinforce the point.

Tyler Lydon also deserves a mention. He actually was quiet during the all-star game, but his body of work at the camp merits publicity. The slender big forward possesses significant face-up skills, including a tight jump shot and handle. He's also a fine passer and is at least reasonably athletic, so he can compensate somewhat for his lack of strength. His future defensive placement remains a mystery — he's not quick enough to defend wings and not strong enough in the post — but offensively he displays very positive signs. Just a junior, he already sports offers from Providence, Boston College, Iowa and others.

HUMPHREY CONTINUES GAINING STEAM

Michael Humphrey was one of the camp's big winners. He emerged from a relative shadow within his own state and now boasts national credibility — and offers.

"USC came in and offered, I've been told Texas has offered and Iowa, Oklahoma State and Weber State have, too," he said. "I also got a call from Indiana, but they haven't offered yet."

Don't look for the tidal surge to subside anytime soon. In addition to his hoops talent, which included tremendous offensive consistency as well as strong rebounding work, Humphrey boasts a 3.9 (on an honors scale) GPA and thus enjoys intangibles appeal as well.

Given that he stands 6-9, Humphrey's presence on a football field as anything other than a punter surprises. He's a quarterback who recognizes that his knees likely will treat him better on the hardwood than the gridiron, but the perceives benefit from the sport and plans to play once again as a senior.

"I'm definitely just doing basketball in college, but football helps me with my footwork and just being physical," he said.

He added that he doesn't have a timetable and that he'll continue to receive incoming suitors during this period of rapid recruiting expansion.

COMINGS AND GOINGS

John Calipari arrived for a brief time Friday evening to observe the all-star game. His attentions have been directed at Vaughn, Mudiay, Jones and others. … Some coaches sitting courtside complained that a lack of frontcourt depth made evaluating the big men here extremely difficult. That's true in a direct sense, but indirectly some of the guys are quite vetted and served as trial horses for the stock-risers such as Humphrey and Makinde London. …

TRANSITION TIME

We aren't finished with Philadelphia just yet. The Showdown will tip off over the next two days and feature roughly 20 of the Breakout campers. It's a team event largely consisting of Northeastern teams along with some imports from the South.

Watching some of the same players in a team, rather than camp, environment will be useful for creating evaluation balance.


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