Hoop Jamboree: The Wings

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – For three days, Josh Selby went about the business of getting buckets. On championship Sunday, he weaved himself into the historical lore of the Hoop Jamboree with a game-winning shot and a championship.

The strength and depth of the 2008 Nike Hoop Jamboree could be found in the wing players. The top 10 scorers – sometimes at the expense of the bigs – were all wing players.

At previous Hoop Jamborees, it was standard practice for a big guy to set the tone for the week. That wasn't the case this time around as Josh Selby got off to a fast start and closed with flair.

The top performer for the event, Selby stroked a 3-pointer in the camp semifinals to beat a team previously unbeaten during the week. The Baltimore guard then proceeded to hang another "W" in the win column and walked away as the top performer on the team that captured the camp championship.

The Point Guards

Crafted from the quick, fast and in a hurry mold of points, Josh Selby was the numero uno performer for the week. His lightning quick darts to the hoop were augmented by a jumper that he got off when he wanted. Selby smiled more than we'd seen in previous viewings . Shot selection was the area for improvement we'd offer up. His talent level is extremely high and this was a signature event for him. It should pump up his tires pretty good.


Rivers Competes Hard
The next two point guards are kids you're going to hear a lot from in coming years. Austin Rivers (2011, Florida) and Marquis Teague (2011, Indiana) will wage war many times in the coming years.

Rivers is the ultimate competitor. In an era where young kids define themselves by rankings, Rivers' standard is wins and losses. His feel and approach are advanced for a kid so young. Meanwhile, Teague gets in the paint when he wants and he's also very competitive.

Pe'Shon Howard (2010, Virginia) led the camp in scoring.

BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR – Tyler Thornton (2010, D.C.), Tracy Abrams (2011, Illinois), Jamal Branch (2011, Texas), Markel Starks (2010, D.C.), Juwan Staten (2010, Ohio), K.C. Ross-Miller (2010, Texas), Cezar Guerrero (2011, California).

The Shooting Guards

The options at this spot were endless. Far and away the biggest surprise for us at camp was the play of Daniel Bejarano (Arizona, 2010). Each camp has its player who meets and exceeds expectations and this is the guy for us. A warrior in a guard's body, he smoked 3-pointers, rebounded and shook every hand in the building. Simply put, we didn't see anyone outplay him at his position and there was stiff competition.


Bejarano Excelled

Andre Dawkins (2010, Virginia) got it done. We knew he could shoot and in this setting he was able to get himself to the cup and finish. He proved he's a cut better athletically than most at his position and he buried shots all week.

Jelan Kendrick (2010, Georgia) played a unique roll at camp. On a loaded team, Kendrick was able to run the point and gain valuable experience with the ball in his hands. He'll need to work on handling under duress but Kendrick walked away from the Hoop Jam as one of the most intriguing prospects there, a young man capable of playing multiple collegiate positions.

Three Chicagoans – Crandall Head, Anthony Johnson and Wayne Blackshear – showed well. Head, a 2010 standout, was easily one of the more naturally gifted wings in attendance. The challenge for him will be slowing down and finding a speed suited to his high-flying athleticism and ability to get to the rim. Blackshear (2011) began putting it together as the camp unwound and showed enough flashes of his smooth scoring ability.

Johnson sports a deadly pull-up and range on his jumper. Wired to score, he can get a shot when he needs to. The next step will be developing his overall feel as a passer and picking his spots to hunt his shot.

Keith Appling (2010, Michigan) once again slipped past defenders for hoops. He's becoming a dangerous, hard-to-guard scorer. James Bell (2010, Florida) turned in one of his better post-high school events.

BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR – Kentavious Caldwell (2011, Georgia), Taran Bouie (New York, 2010), Stacey Poole (Florida, 2010), Andre Hollins (2011, Tennessee).

The Small Forwards

This category was owned by Harrison Barnes (2010, Iowa). We knew he was good and he exceeded expectations. There's a quiet confidence to his game. A good shooter from a lot of different spots, he's got an extra gear athletically he can pull out when needed. Barnes has great pace and feel to his game as well. He's on track to be one of the elite players in the country.


Barnes Was Top Performer
While Barnes was the top performer at this position, the top overall prospect at the spot is likely to be Michael Gilchrist (2011, New Jersey). At this stage, he's best suited as a slasher. Once he rounds out his game (and that'll happen) the sky is the limit as he projects to be a Top 10 prospect in his class.

After Bejarano, maybe the next biggest surprise was Shaquille Thomas (2010, New Jersey). Thomas is a better shooter than previously thought, long and has an outstanding demeanor for the position.

Terrance Jones (Oregon, 2010) dominated the first night of camp with his competitiveness. Long, strong and ultra-athletic, you couldn't find 5 better long-term prospects at camp then him. He shoots a set shot, can handle it and makes plays for others. Expect big things.

Travis McKie (2010, Virginia) was steady during the week and finished in the Top 10 in scoring. Josh Langford (2010, Alabama) was a baseline artist who played in attack mode as he used his left-handed strength to his advantage.

BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR – Mychal Ammons (2011, Mississippi), DeMarcus Harrison (2010, South Carolina), Alandise Harris (2010, Arkansas).


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