ABCD Camp: Day Two

HACKENSACK, N.J. – Charlie Villanueva was good but not great Monday in the first two sessions of ABCD Camp here at Fairleigh Dickinson's Rothman Center. But he made Tuesday his own personal canvas.

"I think I'm playing all right," said the 6-10 SF from Blairstown (NJ) Blair Academy. "This is my third year here. So I'm a veteran. The first year I was nervous. The second year I was so-so. No I feel like I'm confident."

And plenty good.

The versatile Brooklyn native tallied 25 and nine rebounds in his first game on Tuesday. He had 20 and 12 in the nightcap. Villanueva finished the second day of action second in the whole camp in scoring (19.5) and fifth in rebounding (8.8).

His player rating of 35.5 was second only to phenomenal Washington State rising junior Marvin Williams, Jr., whose 35.9 rating was tops on the ABCD chart.

"I'm just trying to play aggressive and go inside and outside," he said. "I'm trying to make my team better."

He'll certainly make some college program better – if he ever gets to a campus. His final five: St. John's, Seton Hall, Villanova, Illinois and UCLA. That five, of course, in addition to the NBA possibility.

"If it's there – if given that opportunity – I'll take it," Villanueva said. "But right now it looks like I'll go to college. Right now I don't think I'm ready for the NBA. I need to just get physically stronger."

2003 Checklist

Ivan Harris, SF/PF: Might be the best rising senior in this camp in terms of production over the first two days. Honest to God. The combo forward from Springfield (OH) South was awesome two weeks ago in Colorado Springs – and he's been all business here as well. He scored 25 points in Tuesday's night session, using his variety of old-school mid-range scoring moves with either hand. He's leading the camp in scoring going into Wednesday morning. He's scheduled to attend Mouth of Wilson (VA) Oak Hill Academy for his senior season.

James Lang, C: The big guy from Birmingham (AL) Central Park Christian had a monster game of 18 points and 14 rebounds in his afternoon game. Which is what he does all the time. He eats rebounds, he blocks shots, and he cleans up garbage around the basket. It sounds like Louisville leads Alabama for his services – and that a commitment might be pending.

Artie Bowers, SG: The Delaware native who plays his school ball for Danny Hurley at Newark (NJ) St. Benedict's recorded 17 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals in his Tuesday afternoon outing. He's been active all camp long, running the floor, constantly around loose balls and hitting his shots.

2004 Checklist

Darius Washington, PG: The publicity-starved point out of Orlando (FL) Edgewater had 21 points, four assists and no turnover in his much-anticipated individual matchup Tuesday night with Sebastian Telfair. The Coney Island hypee, meanwhile, had 16 points, six assists and two turnovers.

Marvin Williams, Jr., SF: He simply continued on Tuesday what he started on Monday. The 6-7 stud from Bremerton (WA) High had 13 points and 10 boards in the afternoon session. He finished the day with as the top-rated player – regardless of class – in the entire camp.

Joshua Wright, PG: Get ready to run. The lightning-quick rising junior from Utica (NY) Proctor pushes the issue with the dribble. He had a brilliant 10-point, 10-assist performance in Tuesday's night session.

Notes

Malick Badiane, a 6-11 post player from Thies, Senegal, was terrific on Monday, and he was just as good on Tuesday. He's one of the best big men in the camp. No lie – big, long and skilled. Word has it that he's going to be at Oak Hill this coming year. …

Jackie Butler and Mohamed Abukar took 12 shots all day. In two whole games. The point guard running with their unit? None other than the supposedly pass-first Telfair. … Aaron Brooks, man: The little dude from Seattle just knows how to play the point. … Same goes for Bronx bowling ball Daon Merritt. … Mustafa Shakur took the first two days of this camp to be silently effective. … St. John's-bound rising senior LaMont Hamilton – an underrated post from Brooklyn – is the second-leading rebounder here so far. …

The best thing about David Burgess? The 6-10 rising junior from Irvine (CA) High hangs around the blocks and absolutely hammers the glass. He's averaging a camp-best 8.5 caroms a game right now. … The heavy hitters started showing up Tuesday afternoon. Dan Wetzel of CBS SportsLine.com and Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News were in the house.

Michael Kruse writes for Basketball America and BasketballAmerica.com.


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