King City: Day 1 Rundown

CLEVELAND – The King City Classic was the place to be on Thursday. LeBron was there and so were most of the high dollar head coaches in the country. From Nick Faust to Rodney Purvis, here's the scoop on what could be LeBron's last event in Cleveland.

Nick Faust, SG: There are guys who receives invites to camps like this because they have big reps and then there are guys who earn their way in. Faust is the latter. Named the most promising prospect at NBA Camp, he's not ready to rest on his success. In the final game of the night, Faust was awesome. He drove from the wing and crunched a one-handed dunk, slicing along the baseline. History tells us to value the late bloomer and Faust will earn yet another rankings bump.

Anthony Davis, PF: The college guys who had heard but not seen what we've been talking about received the long version today. Davis seems to have an inside line on the best senior prospect and player in the building. His second game featured everything from the pinning of shots, diverse offense to hustle plays. Inserted into our Top 5 before July, we have no problem extending a thank you for holding up his end of the bargain.

Kentavious Caldwell, SG: Every time you watch him you see another part of his game. As strong a scorer, he's a sneaky defensive player. You can tell his personality is starting to open up as he's more vocal now than he was in May. At day's end, he'll be known first for his stroke but it's not the only strong part of his game.

Trevor Cooney, SG: If you value basketball players, you will like him. If it's run/jump athletes you favor, he's not your guy. We've got him a shade too low at No. 71. Cooney rolled into the building with the swagger of a guy who worked hard to make the USA U18 game. He had a tremendous first half and gives you all he has on defense in addition to his stroke. In the second, he let frustration set in and didn't replicate the effort. It's those moments when missing a shot bugs him that he's got to let go. When he rolls out the swagger, he's a very good college player.

Jabari Brown, SG: A groin injury bothered him at NBA Camp but at the King City he was back to his old ways in terms of his smooth, compact 3-point stroke. Brown's strong and athletic. The next step is mixing in more off the dribble, which he's capable of doing. However, as a sniper, he was big time for two games today!

Josiah Turner, CG: Admittedly, he's been a tough evaluation. Combo? Point? Shooting guard? He's all of the above but in the afternoon he was a "guard" that did a little of everything so maybe that's his calling card. Getting by his man is no problem. He was good as a passer and athletically, he's at the top of the charts for guards. In short, you take him, pair him with a few more guards and you've got a high level backcourt.

Kyle Wiltjer (2011) vs. Perry Ellis (2012): We write about them in tandem only because they were in the same game not because they checked each other. However, each turned in a versatile performance. It would appear that we've got Ellis a shade too low but we'll adjust as needed. He's coming into his own in terms of his confidence and his game. When he balances the post with perimeter, he typically finds his grove. Wiltjer wanted to be a good insider at this camp and while he fired 3s in his first game, he stuck to the plan in the 2nd and was very effective. Wiljter posted aggressively, dropped a baby hook and looked the part of a Top 25 talent.

Branden Dawson, SF: His first game of the day featured a trio of makes behind the arc. His second wasn't bad either. When a guy boxed out America's best offensive rebounder, he actually looked at the kid with an element of shock. The college coaches seemed surprised and encouraged by his perimeter success on this day. This is one of those kids everyone in the building agrees they'd love to have. Good day for Dawson who had eyeballs on him.

Sidiki Johnson, PF: We're big into crediting the guys who go hard. In the morning, with his future coach watching, Johnson's effort level was very good. He's a bullish guy when he wants to be and today it was working for him.

Jahii Carson, PG: It's a good day when you're one of the smallest guys in the building and you get to throw down a dunk. He had a big closing game and with a lot of eyes on him proved he can score it.

Jamal Branch, PG: He's been to a series of camps and doggone if you can't see the improvement in his game. Six months ago, we don't recall him having a floater (he does now). He was non-verbal (he's opening up) and while adding offensive elements, he's taking on a bigger presence with the running of his team. Like the progress. He got hurt in the last game.

Dajuan Coleman, C: The beauty of Coleman is that you don't have to look hard to find him. He's the kid banging bodies inside and working hard on the glass. He likes being a big guy (believe me, many don't) and uses his size well. He was a beast on the glass and fought hard in the morning.

Khem Birch, PF/C: Often times people will ask, "Why is so and so ranked so high, he's doesn't always score." Well, when you are looking at young bigs you look for aspects of their game and need to be content to watch (and hope) other things emerge. Birch, in the morning session, was the best rebounder we saw. What was impressive was how he boarded: in traffic and out of his area. The offense will come. Right now he chases shots, runs the floor and tracks boards. As the day went on, Birch began asserting himself more and more. He plays like a young Derrick Favors. He's been one of the most impressive guys here thus far.

Rodney Purvis, SG: His infectious smile infiltrated camp on day one. Fresh off an outstanding NBA Camp, Purvis was back at it Thursday. The kid from Raleigh tends to get compared to John Wall, which is a compliment. But, he's more D-Wade than Wall. Purvis can shoot, score and though he's always had a big rep, he's getting better. Spending time with Chris Paul this summer seems to have empowered him and while he revels in being "Young Buck" he's now opposed to educating the older guys on his talent level.

Bernard Sullivan (ankle) and Zach Peters are sitting out today. … Zach Price is transferring to Jeffersontown in Kentucky. … Anthony Davis was committed but in a kind of sort of way to his final 3. "I don't know. It could change." Stay tuned. …

Myck Kabongo may have had the busiest spring and summer of anyone. He's earned his stripes and the praise heaped on him. Now, he's got to simplify things. In the morning, Kabongo played at warp speed. He's quick, but he doesn't need to play so fast all the time. The beauty of his game is he's got different gears. … Sam Thompson has a basketball IQ and grows every time we see him. … Nick Johnson's stroke looked excellent in the morning. …

Want to make an impression? How about a runner to win it at the buzzer. See E. Victor Nickerson! … You know, we just aren't really sure how to classify Michael Carter-Williams. He's a tough one. He has elements of three positions in his game. Today he was a passer and rebounder. Truly unique player. … Michael Gbinije won't be a "loud guy" at camps BUT he was efficient again today. Made his jumpers, finished through contact. …

P.J. Hairston, according to one Nike insider, was the toast of a session at the Skills Academy. Sometimes we take for granted how physically strong and gifted he is. Mix in range and the ability to get buckets and you have a guy who factors big into UNC's plan. … Trey McDonald looks the part and also looks like he can evolve into a player. He's got size, skill to shoot it to 15 feet and upside. Upside for a developing big isn't a bad thing. He's a guy, with improvement, could wind up being a sleeper. …

Rodney Purvis is going to have a nice list. Early mentions include Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Louisville. … Rodney Hood lists Florida State, Georgia Tech, Marquette, Georgetown, Ohio State, Mississippi State. The Hoyas, according to Hood, are coming the hardest. …

Bernard Sullivan is hearing from Duke, Wake Forest, Virginia, Penn State and Rutgers. … Caldwell said Georgia is coming the hardest with Tennessee, Florida State, Clemson, Alabama and more he couldn't remember. …

Jabarie Hinds lists Oklahoma State, St. John's and Wake Forest as schools that are committed to him. … Trey McDonald lists Western Michigan, Central Michigan, Dayton, Oakland, Iowa, Arkansas, Miami, DePaul. … Amir Williams has Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Texas, UCLA, Duke, Purdue, Connecticut, LSU, Florida and Miami. … Birch said St. John's, West Virginia, Ohio State, Iowa, Providence and Pitt coming the hardest. Arizona, Kansas, UConn, Texas and Iowa in the mix. … Dominique Pointer has Detroit, Dayton and some interest from Michigan State. …

Perry Ellis said Kansas was the first to offer him a schollies as a freshman. Kansas State, Memphis (sister attended), Kentucky, Oklahoma, Wake Forest, Stanford and North Carolina are interested. … E. Victor Nickerson has offers from Charlotte, UTEP, Mercer, Florida State and Richmond. Georgia is looking. What's the "E" stand for? Well, many of his family members has names that began with "E" and when his mom balked, grandma asked for the initial to be used. Learn something new every day! …

Toddrick Gotcher, a late invitee, has a jump shot. He also has interest from Texas Tech and Baylor. …


Scout Hoops Top Stories