NBA Camp: Day 1 Rundown, Part B

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Myck Kabongo and B.J. Young, two of the top players in camp, locked up Thursday night and it was pleasurable to the eye.

Myck Kabongo vs. B.J. Young: When it tipped, neither player knew what he was up against. Kabongo's been king of the camp and Young was right behind him at the point entering Friday's evening game. Young shot first and went straight into attack mode. Kabongo got the wake up call and it didn't take long for him to be fully engaged. Each guy can cook it and Young may even be tougher to the rim but in terms of overall floor game, Kabongo's the guy. Not only was he sharp with his own game but he operates with complete command of his team. There isn't a more respected player in camp.

Michael Gbinije, SF: The Duke-bound wing turned in a nice opening day. There's a smooth, economical presence in his game. Even with Wayne Blackshear on him, Gbinije was able to score from the perimeter and polish off a few drives. There's nothing overly flashy to his game but as we've said this spring, he's gradually becoming more comfortable being aggressive.

B.J. Young, PG (morning): He's never played a full season or been all-conference but, he's got all-american talent. In the morning session on Court 1, there wasn't a more difficult guy to guard or player who got to the rim better than Young. Ryan Arcidiacono (yes, I have to look that up every time I write it) gave him all he had and actually did a good job of providing resistance but Young's that quick.

Marquis Rankin, PG: Mr. Rankin may indeed be back. The old Marquis made an appearance in the morning session and he looked good. The speed was there in a big way and his competitive edge was as well. He's been riddled with injuries in the last year but his opening game was strong.

Dai-Jon Parker, SG: In terms of fast twitch muscles, he's got plenty of extra athletic fibers. Parker wants to go fast and if he can't get to the rim, he'll snap off his jumper. The next step is playing at different paces because offensively, he's a load to deal with.

Levi Randolph, SG/PG: He's cast in a combo role at camp and it fits him well. Randolph has great guard size and a basketball IQ. His college value is high because he transitions from scorer to creator. Having to guard points at camp will help him get better. He was one of the morning's top performers.

DeAndre Daniels, PF/SF: Excellent first half because he achieved balance in the paint and on the perimeter. Athletically he can get himself just about anywhere on the court. It'll be interesting to see if he can create separation between himself and the rest of the guys at his position.

Hunter Mickelson vs. Cody Zeller: Two of the longer players in camp locked up at night. Mickelson didn't post big numbers but he hustled and made plays. Despite a lack of strength, he's distinguished himself as a grinder. Even versus Zeller he worked and competed. Zeller's a more skilled player away from the basket but both guys need to be guarded in different spots because of their skills. Zeller probably won the first half, while Mickelson hit more fairways in the second.

Isaiah Austin vs. Kaleb Tarczewski: Because of the setting, there was a legitimate matchup and it was fought in the paint, on Kaleb's turf. These are two of the better bigs in 2012 and both look every bit of 7 feet. Tarczewski didn't finish a lot of plays but it was the effort and fact that he has offense with upside. Plus, it was against Austin who has a standing reach of 9-3. Austin, who excelled at Pangos early in the month, is the better shot blocker and more offensively diverse of the two. He made a 3 but this one was conducted around the bucket, where Tarczewski is more comfortable. Great opportunity to see of the classes better prospects.

Nick Faust was hot in the first half of his morning game and stroked a trio of deep 3s. … Tyrone Johnson's defensive length, communication and energy were outstanding. He's the kind of guy you can win with. … We've billed Branden Dawson as the best offensive rebounder in this class and all he did was live up to the hype in the first session. … Bernard Sullivan earned an invite in late May and came out strong in his first contest. The signature is a spinner in the lane he goes to a lot. … Tracy Abrams came straight from USA Basketball and he did so armed with confidence. Abrams had it flowing from deep and looks like one of the more improved players from the spring. … Chris Jones, what can we say, he's one of the smallest guys here but he's also one of the camp's toughest kids. He made some acrobatic shots and an assortment of pull-ups. …

Loved the guard play in the first session. Tyrone Johnson came out and played defense. Junior Marcus Paige brought continuity to an offense and Arcidiancono fared well. … Blackshear drew nice reviews in each session and he's been a balanced player at camp and very good teammate. … Adeji Baru might be the king of the camp's extra sessions. He's also one of the best big men passers. … Landen Lucas may have been frustrated with his touches but it didn't stop him from getting water for every one of his teammates during a break. … Love the toughness of Jahi Carson. … Anthony Gill had a tough evening matchup against Austin and his Inspector Gadget arms. Gill, to his credit went right after Austin. What the big fella didn't send back, Gill was alert enough to stick with the play and fight for boards and stickbacks. … Julian Royal found the balance in his game during the evening session. If he's been looking for the mix of post and perimeter, he found it Thursday night. …

Jerry Stackhouse played the majority of the campers one on one during his station. "Stack" was gassed but everybody who wanted a shot at him got one. Pretty cool stuff. … Rodney Purvis, a late addition to camp, proved he belongs. …

Tarczewski said Kansas is on him hard and he attended their elite camp. Indiana, Georgetown, Arizona, West Virginia, Michigan and Providence are involved. … Nick Faust has offers from Penn State, Maryland, Marquette, UNLV and Virginia Tech. Buzz Williams is the head coaching doing the most with him. …


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