Chris Braswell is making up for lost time.
The 6-foot-8, 230-pound rising junior at DeMatha (Md.), who transferred from Suitland High (Md.) after averaging 14 points and 8 boards his freshman campaign, has become one of the most sought-after players in the northeast in the Class of 2008.
And for good reason.
Braswell has the entire package. He's got size, the work ethic and also the demeanor.
He came to the ABCD Camp because he had to attend summer school on Friday, but he wasted little time making an impact. In his first game, he displayed a wide array of skills that could make him a McDonald's All-American.
``My mom didn't like the academics at Suitland, so that's why I switched schools," Braswell said. "It was kind of hard at first going from a public school to a private school, but it'll help me be prepared for college."
Braswell, 16, is a guy who's strong in the post and that's one of the main things that's going to make him such a commodity when coaches begin to focus on the Class of 2008. However, he can also step out and make shots – but his biggest asset right now is his defense.
``I thought I did well in April," said Braswell, who plays with Triple Threat. "Consistently trying to help the team win and trying to be a leader. The one thing I needed to do better at is finishing in the post."
``I want to go somewhere where there's a family environment," he said. "But playing time and academics are also going to be important."
Derek Selvig, F – We're going to give the kid from Montana his props. He's gotten much better since the camp improved and has a lot of versatility to his game. He handles the ball from the perimeter and can shoot it – and did a nice job battling the much-wider Kevin Love in the post. He's a kid that should be in demand because of his potential.
Ravern Johnson, F – The Mississippi State-bound forward has plenty of talent, but he doesn't always play hard. On Saturday night, he looked every bit of a guy who can make an instant impact when he gets to Starkville, making shots from all over the court.
James Harden, SG – Finally, the California wing is getting a chance to show what he can do. Brandon Jennings is getting him the ball and he's delivering. It took him a little while to get acclimated to camp ball, but Harden did a nice job on Saturday being more aggressive and taking the ball to the basket. Jeff Jones, SG – The one-time Maryland commit was moved to the first and third quarters, which means that he didn't play with Brandon Jennings and Kevin Love, and the switch paid immediate dividends. Here's a guy who needs his touches and he showed that with an impressive performance on Saturday. Is a big-time scorer, but needs to get into a rhythm.
Kodi Augustus, F – The Louisiana native played with more intensity on Saturday, but we'd still like to see him get in the paint more and try to get more done inside rather than trying to spend so much time on the perimeter. He's a talent and with his body, he could be a steal for someone at the end of the day.
DeAndre Jordan, PF/C – The long Texan has started to really hit his stride. According to those in attendance for the afternoon session, he was brilliant in a head-to-head matchup with Kevin Love. He didn't let up in the evening session, either, and continues to show he can thrive against top-notch competition.
Bill Walker, SF – While no one has really emerged as the top player at the camp, we might be inclined to give Walker that honor after three days. He's so athletic and plays with so much tenacity – and he's been able to keep defenders honest by knocking down shots from 18 feet. The only thing we'd like to see is for him to tone down the amount of times he complains to officials.
Alex Tyus, F – A year ago, he made a splash here with his active play and ability to get things done all over the court. On Saturday, it was déjà vu – as the high-flying combo forward was everywhere and extremely impressive. He plays with such a high energy level that one coach compared him to Lance Thomas.
Alex Legion, SG – The Michigan native is back among the elite players in the class. He's got the confidence back and his game looks like it did a year ago. He can pull-up, slice to the basket and knock down shots from long range. One of the most complete offensive players around – and has even shown he can handle the ball with Derrick Rose on the sidelines.
Jeff Teague, PG – He's a guy whose been thought of primarily as a mid-major point guard, but he's done a nice job here getting to the basket and making things happen. We're guessing some high-majors will start to go after him with the lack of quality floor leaders still on the board.
Eric Wallace, SF – He is playing like there is a huge weight off his chest after making the decision to attend Virginia. You can tell he's having fun – and it's translating onto the court. He still needs a little polish to his game, but he's athletic, plays hard and has looked more like the player who had a great debut at ABCD a couple years ago than the one who struggled last year.
Corey Chandler, PG – What a pickup for Fred Hill and Rutgers. He committed more than a year ago and is going to be a big-time player. He can do just about everything from the guard spot – score, pass, he's got quickness and also displayed the ability to pressure the ball.
EASTERN INVITATIONAL ALL-STAR GAME PERFORMERS
Malcolm Grant, PG – The Villanova-bound guard, who will head to Winchendon (Mass.) next year for a season in the prep ranks, was dominant in the second half in nearly leading his team from a near-30 point deficit to a victory in the Eastern Invitational All-Star Game. Grant connected on six trifectas and finished with 26 points.
Paris Horne, SG – The Delaware native really came on after the break. He found a way to get to the basket and make things happen. He's reportedly headed for a year in the preps and will then get plenty of looks from mids and some from high-majors because of his ability to do a little of everything.
Todd O'Brien, C – He's got a good body, does a nice job on the boards and runs the court well – and he's 6-10. Mid-majors will be drooling over this kid, but we expect some higher schools to take a look because of his skill package (he can step out and knock down shots from mid-range).
Justin Sofman, SG – One coach compared him to Mike Gansey. We see a little bit of that in the St. Thomas More-bound guard, but he's not nearly as athletic. Plays with a high IQ and does a little bit of everything.
Kraidon Woods, PF – Here's another guy that is headed to Villanova, but he'll spend next year at the Hill School. Looks extremely good in an all-star setting because of his athleticism. Runs the court, blocks shots – but needs to work on developing some low-post moves and/or a consistent mid-range game.
Tyrone Nash, F – He had a huge weight on his shoulders coming in with the decision either to go to prep school or to Kentucky on the horizon. Nash earned a spot in the all-star game and was solid in the finale.
Olu Ashaolu, F – The athletic and physical Canadian has really started to change his game. Before, it was all power and he was more of a straight power forward. Now, he's added perimeter skills to his game and isn't completely reliant on getting to the basket to score. He's starting to make shots from mid-range and that will make him difficult to stop.
Ashaolu said he's looking at LSU, Stanford, North Carolina, Memphis, Syracuse and UConn. … Selvig mentioned that he likes Montana, but is also looking at Utah State and Nevada. … Darnell Dodson, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard out of Eleanor Roosevelt (Md.), is not in attendance – but sources said he's committed to Pittsburgh.
Devin Ebanks confirmed that he will definitely attend The Patterson School (N.C.) and be reclassified into the Class of 2008.
Coaches in the Gym at Eastern Invitational – John Beilein, Tom Pecora, Pat Kennedy, Joe Jones, Anthony Grant, Kevin Nickelberry, Cliff Warren, Jim Larranaga, Bobby Cremins, Bill Herrion, Karl Hobbs, Dennis Wolff.