On Monday morning, hundreds of college coaches, armed with available scholarships, will ascend into the gym at IUPUI. At that point, they'll be looking for a better overall showing than the first two days of camp. Unfortunately, most of the kids haven't realized that just because the college coaches aren't in attendance doesn't mean someone isn't watching. Someone, albeit NBA scouts or recruiting analysts, is always watching.
Ebi, Deng Matchup Fails To Materialize
Much like those cheap firecrackers your father tried to pass off on you as bottle rockets, the Ndudi Ebi vs. Luol Deng matchup was a dud. For starters, rarely did the two stars guard each other. Then, neither turned in their best efforts. Ebi left a lot of balls on the rim. Remember now, he wanted to matchup with Deng and Duke recruit Kris Humphries. The Nike brass apparently obliged him, putting both players in his camp rotation. However, his first head to head confrontation really did little for either player.
Deng did draw a pair of offensive fouls on Ebi. He also showed a few flashes of why he's so highly regarded, but all in all, this one did little to hold one's attention. One a positive note for college basketball, with many NBA types in the audience, these guys did little to spark interest from the play-for-pay leaguers.
Renaldo Balkman, SF: Generally, in a camp setting, very little defense is played. With that said, it's often times quite easy to spot good defenders. Balkman has the makings of a solid defender. His weak side shot blocking display was impressive. So was his overall hustle. He didn't have the greatest offensive game when we watched but he made it happen with his defense.
Shagari Alleyne, C: After what had to be a disappointing effort last week in Colorado Springs, Alleyne looks to be righting the ship. He came out strong from the gates in the nightcap; though his second half left something to be desired. Big Shagari had the offense going. He made a short jumper, got himself some dunks and looked pretty good.
Ousmane Barro, C: Offensively, Barro wasn't ready to play against big Shagari. However, once Alleyne went to the bench, Barro found a comfort zone. The Illinois Fire prospect is developing on offense but really getting after it on the glass and in the shot blocking department. Our first viewing was a positive one. You have to like his strong frame and long torso. Still developing, but one to watch.
It seemed like every time we looked down to identify a player from a roster, it was a member of the Class of 2004. This group is going to push the older kids at camp in a big way.
Jason Rich, SG: He was great at the Hoop Jamboree and he's starting to feel it here. The versatile and ultra-athletic Rich can play on the perimeter but is doubly dangerous when he dives to the blocks where he's comfortable shooting fadeaway jumpers right over defenders.
Corey Brewer, SF: Here's a young man who is making the most of chance. Originally an alternate for this camp, Brewer played with intensity, energy and athleticism today. He did a little bit of everything while announcing his presence. This is a great looking young prospect.
Isaiah Swann, SG: The natural scorer had it rolling in the evening. Swann made jumpers, pull-ups and showed how versatile he is on offense.
NOTES: 2004 forward Shawne Williams spells his first name a little unconventionally. The "E" on the end of his first name is byproduct of a conversation his mother had with the doctor who gave birth to him. Apparently, the doctor spelled his first name the same way and Williams' mom gave him the OK to sign off on the same name for her son. …
Patrick Ewing – yeah, the NBA center – was in attendance. His son, Patrick Ewing, Jr., is in camp. The younger Ewing played well with dad looking on. He had an amazing follow dunk in traffic. … Shooters weren't exactly tickling the twine today at Nike but Blake Ahearn had his stroke working in the first half of a game. He should receive mid-major attention throughout the summer.
We didn't get a chance to watch, but apparently Tack Minor was having himself a day. The word was that Minor was working on his distributing skills.