LeBron Academy: Day 2 (Part B)

AKRON, Ohio – We're big into measuring the senior bigs against John Riek and on Sunday Greg Monroe took his turn with the Sudanese shot blocker.

Greg Monroe vs. John Riek (2009) – As the elder statesman Monroe set the tone for the matchup by declining an opening tip handshake from Riek (maybe he didn't see the offering?) and then coming out of the gate strong.

Monroe never guarded Riek and his highlight was pulling the 7-footer away from the bucket for a dribble-drive dunk. On the flipside, Riek swatted Monroe thrice. Monroe's passing was exceptional. Without much head-to-head stuff at both ends, you gotta tag this a draw.


Riek Continues Ascent (Kelly Kline)

Demar DeRozan, SF/SG – He's strung consecutive day performances together which is a good sign. DeRozan has a pro game strut, a perimeter package he's crafted out of the Kobe school of jump shooting and a fairly live body. In the evening game he was toying with guys and the stands were buzzing. The camp saw what a Top 10 player looks like as DeRozan was dominant.

Samardo Samuels, C – The big fella strung together a series of attacking moves that resulted in eye catching finishes. Even more impressive was that he began attacking Michael Dunigan, one of the largest human beings on the summer circuit and a pretty good player in his own right.

Brad Tinsley, CG – Most of the points and combos are spoken for at this camp. Tinsley isn't and there's an established collection of schools trailing him. He's a heady player with a good pace to his game and a reliable jumper. Needs work on finishing off his drives.

Ralph Sampson, C – We like to check in on old Ralph at every event and monitor his progress. Here at camp he's had his ups and down but is fighting that battle to get better. Some college guys think he's soft and while he could stand to play with more physicality we would disagree on the label.

This is a kid continuing along in his development and making strides each step. "Soft" guys don't read rebounds and chase them down. Now Sampson could be more consistent but due to the progress he's shown patience has been earned and the school who values him as an investment should get dividends later.


Echenique Gets Defensive
Greg Echenique, C – Against Riek he was able to establish his base and fend off the post. One Big East assistant referred to him as "Ramon Rivas" and that's an appropriate comparison. He converted in his area with strength and the power is a plus.

Hollis Thompson, SF – Not many guys can claim to be better each event then they were at the previous stop. Thompson's package of talent, size and academics should make him one of the most recruitable athletes in his class. Vegas handicaps this one as a UCLA-Duke tussle early on.

David Wear, PF – Thought this session was his best effort. He started off making relocation shots on the perimeter before posting up off the block and scoring. The college guys want to see him and his brother mix it up a little more inside and in this game David achieved a nice balance.

There's a noteworthy tidbit on Demar DeRozan. He said once and for all he's firmly committed to Southern Cal and that's where he's headed. … File this away: we've heard from more than one coach that John Riek's credentials as a member of the Class of 2009 could be in jeopardy. We've heard mid-year 2007 and 2008 as possibilities. …

Forget that Scotty Hopson was once again sensational during the games. We submit he was the most impressive performer in the wing skill drills. He had a great approach toward the instructions and his execution was strong. Rising star. … Iman Shumpert's best camp game was preceded by a strong morning skill session against Kemba Walker. …


Hopson Hot Again
Sometimes guys don't play to their capabilities for reasons we don't see on the court. Case in point Ed Davis: he's the subject of a lively recruiting battle between major powers and an in-state program that must have him. We've seen him play at a much higher level and he has the look of a kid with a lot on his mind. …

Greg Monroe and Tyreke Evans, two of the highest-rated prospects in the nation, are on the same team. In their first game on Sunday, their squad had a 100 hung on them and lost by at least 20. To their credit, especially Evans who played well in the nightcap, they won by 20 the next time around. …

Rashanti Harris had one of the biggest rejections of the camp when he met Ed Davis at the rim and sent it back. … Anthony Crater definitely looked like he was having a good time sharing the basketball and making strong decisions in the evening game. … Michael Dunigan stepped out and drained a free throw line jumper; that's a new area for him and a promising tidbit. …

Matthew Humphrey's camp effort has been very good. He's vocal, showing signs of being a leader and doing a nice job of mixing in drives with the catch and shoots. … It's amazing the amount of basketball knowledge Riek is soaking up in a short period of time. He's done an excellent job of not repeating mistakes made last month. …

Morning Skill Work – Stanford's Trent Johnson and UCLA's Ben Howland were front and center for the Wear Twins. …

Afternoon Game – Frank Martin was front and center for Wesley Witherspoon, one of the Wildcats key 2008 targets. … Greg Monroe's impressive crowd which was one of the year's best: Mike Krzyzewski, Rick Pitino, Bill Self, Rick Barnes, John Thompson and John Brady. … Maryland was tracking Sean Mosley. …

Greg Monroe said Georgetown, Duke, Louisville, Kentucky, Kansas, Texas, LSU and Southern Cal are on him hard. …

"I'd trade my whole team for Demar DeRozan. He's a monster."

  • Submitted by an assistant coach of a Sweet 16 team from last season


    This concludes Telep's coverage from the LeBron Academy. On Monday we'll be in Philly for Reebok U while Evan Daniels anchors the remaining day at LeBron.

  • Scout Hoops Top Stories