Nike Camp Recap: Day One

INDIANAPOLIS – Players scrimmaged with their respective teams at Nike Camp Saturday evening. Per usual, it seems like the fellas are holding back the energy level until the college coaches enter the building Monday morning. Here's our first installment from Nike.

Will Anyone But Ebi Step Up?

After a brief and albeit incomplete look at the Nike campers during scrimmages on Saturday night, we ask the following question: Will any player not named Ndudi Ebi in the Class of 2003 rise to the occasion and separate themselves from the pack? Aside from LeBron James (not in attendance) and Ebi, two players who clearly have separated themselves from the pack, this class needs a hero. There's plenty of publicity out there for the taking. Maybe by the end of Nike and adidas camp, a player or two will elevate their games and enter into elite status.

The Latest LeBron James Rumor

We heard it yesterday before leaving home base and it was somewhat prevalent today in Indy. We are hearing from onlookers at both the major shoe camps that LeBron James might spend two days at Nike and two at adidas, despite not being able to play due to injury. Stranger things have happened. Stay tuned.

Scrimmage Report: Who Caught Our Eye?

There's a camp team that actually has Ra'Sean Dickey and Kalen Grimes on the roster. On Saturday night, the pair of 2004 princes' of power got after it. Dickey attacked the rim with some success and Grimes did the same. It'll be interesting to watch if these two get on the floor together which would be bad news another team. … Kansas State committed PG Dez Willingham has a nice knack for passing the basketball; especially in traffic on the bounce. … Nike Hoop Jamboree star Demond Carter (Class of 2006) had the place buzzing again with talk of how savvy and gifted he is. …

Vakeaton Wafer was at it again. For those who are seeing him for the first time, the reports were all positive. The kid simply has a great burst of acceleration to the rim. … Thumbs up to 2003 forward Keith Wooden. In the game we watched, he was active, scored inside and showed post offense. … Longar Longar from Minnesota challenged every shot in the paint as if he took it as an insult that someone would think about getting off a shot with him in the neighborhood. His offense is raw, but that defense is something. … 2003 guard Demetric Bennett must have had a good night. We know he made a bunch of 3s in the game we watched and others were quick to report the same from other courts. … Gotta love the upside of Luol Deng. He's a big time athlete with a high ceiling. … 8th grader Derrick Caracter got a big piece of a Ken Harris shot in action we saw. Swatting away shots is nothing new for a 286 pounder who once blocked Al Jefferson on back-to-back possessions at Boo Williams. …

We loved the energy and intensity that Akini Adkins played with Saturday night. He's a little taller than we last saw him. He battled and converted some crafty moves. Adkins has to be playing with a heavy heart. In April, his brother and son of Tallahassee Wildcats coach John Adkins, was murdered. Nice to see him doing well at camp. … Churchill Odia Ehis, a guard listed as being from rom Lagos, Nigeria, is at camp. The Nigerian, whom we would assume knows few of his teammates, wasted little time in getting acquainted with the rims at IUPUI. Of all the guys we watched on Saturday, he seemed to be the biggest offensive freelancer of them all. If he felt he was open, he let it rip. …

2004's Cornelius Ingram is a big time player. We would expect he'll confirm that for good by the end of camp. …

Saturday's All-Effort Team

Paul Milsap, a power forward and rising senior, busted his tail in the scrimmages. Milsap might have had some problems finishing but it wasn't for lack of effort. If Saturday night is any indication, he's going to have a good week. Currently, a number of schools are on the fence with him; some feels he's a mid-major while others might be thinking he could go higher. All this means that this week is important to the Louisiana Select forward and on Saturday he played with urgency and intensity. … Arnaud Dahi let it all hang out on the court. The 2003 forward remained active, made plays, passed the basketball and generally got his hands on a lot of basketballs. … We had to do a double-take and a heat check on Grant Billmeier. The St. Patrick center played the best we've seen him all spring. He made a hook shot and medium-jumper off the turnaround. While rejecting a shot or two and staying active on the glass, he had a nice run. He's not very fleet of foot, but Billmeier played hard on Saturday. …

Injured, Missing and In Some Cases Out

Brandon Cotton returned home to Michigan with a foot injury. Last week, he missed USA Basketball due to an illness in the family. Tough month for The Family's lead guard. … Jermareo Davidson, a 2003 forward, turned an ankle Friday night. He did not play on Saturday … Superstar Al Jefferson is scheduled to arrive on Sunday. …

NOTES – There weren't a lot of 3s made on Saturday night but one of them came from a surprising source. Shagari Alleyne, all 7-3 of him, banged a corner 3-pointer. There was no celebration from the big fella. He knew it from the release. … Bloomington Red SG Grant Gibson was in Arizona yesterday when he got the call from Nike. Gibson, previously an alternate for the camp, was invited yesterday and made it town on Saturday. …


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