With over 30 teams from Illinois and Northwest Indiana represented over two days at Attack Athletics on the west side of Chicago, new DePaul coach Oliver Purnell successfully completed the school's first High School Team Camp.
The camp no doubt helped make inroads on the local recruiting scene, which is what Purnell set out to accomplish. The camp provided Purnell and his staff an opportunity to evaluate the local talent and build recruiting relationships.
One of the local players who DePaul is trying to make inroads with is Anthony Davis. While he played limited minutes with Perspectives High School, 2011 big man Anthony Davis demonstrated why he has exploded on the national scene and is regarded as a five star prospect by Scout.com. Davis was named Most Outstanding Player at last week's NBPA Top 100 Camp.
While Davis and his family are still new to the recruiting process, DePaul is in the hunt for his services along with schools like Louisville, Kentucky, Ohio State, and Syracuse.
Davis showed how he can single-handedly dominate a game with his long wingspan and skills. He is without a doubt one of the most skilled big men the Chicago area has seen in a long time.
Someone who isn't new to the recruiting process is 2011 four star forward Mike Shaw. Shaw has been attracting college interest since he was in the eighth grade with the Mac Irvin Fire AAU program. Shaw is the type of recruit who can help Purnell turn DePaul around in the Big East.
Shaw led DeLaSalle to the final eight of the team camp before being upset by Hyde Park. With the return of rising senior Dre Henley from prep school, DeLaSalle looks to be solid at every position and will be one of the top programs in the state in the 2010-11 season.
One of Shaw's teammates on the Mac Irvin Fire is Jamie Crockett. Crockett verbally committed to Purnell to become his first recruit in the class of 2011 last month. While Crockett was limited with a sore shoulder, he began to show at the camp yesterday that he has some perimeter game to go with his assault-the-rim style of play on the interior.
Brehm Prep point guard Bruce Barron picked up a scholarship offer from Purnell on Monday. Barron, who is from Carbondale, Illinois, started the camp off on Monday morning in a 39-25 win over Brooks and Wisconsin-bound point guard George Marshall. Barron showed that he is capable of distributing the ball as a floor leader as well as scoring. After that performance on Monday, Barron gave WeAreDePaul.com a top four list of DePaul, Marquette, Oklahoma State, and Purdue.
Barron had quite a scare on Tuesday morning. After hitting his chin on the floor in a game against Hales Franciscan, he blacked out and was taken by Chicago paramedics to a local hospital where Bruce was treated with six stitches to his chin. Barron returned to Attack Athletics later in the afternoon in better spirits.
Barron then left for the airport for a flight to Seattle where he plans to compete with the Seattle-based Friends of Hoop (FOH) AAU program during the July evaluation period.
One of the most incredible sights of the camp was seeing a Farragut team which put just four players on the floor against a fully-stocked Gary Bowman team and leading by as many as 25 points in the second half!
Another incredible site was Glenbrook North coach Dave Weber (and brother of Illini coach Bruce Weber) sporting a Blue Demons T-shirt on Tuesday.
Evanston forward James Farr is one of the most underrated players in the state of Illinois. He has made great strides in the past three months. His only scholarship offer has come from Boise State. After seeing Farr play at both the Northern Illinois and DePaul team camps in the last week, we can say that more schools will be jumping in on the below the radar prospect.
Simeon High School won the Michigan State shootout last weekend without the services of Class of 2013 stud Jabari Parker. With Parker and 2013 big man Steve Taylor in the lineup, the Wolverines played well but were upset and eliminated from Tuesday's playoffs by Hyde Park led by Aqui Shareef.
Hyde Park head coach Donnie Kirksey was an assistant coach at DePaul under Pat Kennedy and has a good squad returning for this season. Kirksey still wears his DePaul Conference USA ring on his hand. That ring proved to be a good luck charm for him on Tuesday.
Afterwards, Kirksey expressed his pleasure with DePaul's first camp to Cavan Walsh from ChicagoHoops.com.
"The team camp was very good and very competitive. This is the first time for DePaul doing something like this, and it was definitely a success. The facility was great. I was pleased with everything with the teams and players that all played and competed in the event. DePaul definitely made some inroads with CPS schools and coaches," said Kirksey.
One of the best players of the camp didn't suit up for his team. Louisville commit Wayne Blackshear came to the camp, but did not play with his Morgan Park squad which featured DePaul assistant coach Billy Garrett's son – Billy Garrett, Jr. in the backcourt. The Mustangs advanced all the way to the Final Four of the camp without Blackshear.
Speaking of the Final Four, the camp's Final Four consisted of all Public League teams – Hyde Park, Marshall, Morgan Park, and Orr.
Orr High School took home the camp championship trophy after their 28-21 win over Hyde Park. Orr had the advantage of adding rising senior guard Macari Brooks who transferred from Brehm Prep after spending just a couple of days there last week.
Plenty of DePaul Alumni came out to support Purnell and his first camp. Among the former Blue Demons present were Andre Brown, Dave Corzine, Kevin Edwards, Lemone Lampley, LeVar Seals, and Bobby Simmons.
Quite a number of current Blue Demons came out to help work the camp too. In the gym were Michael Bizoukas, Devin Hill, Jeremiah Kelly, Mike Stovall, and recently arrived freshman Moses Morgan
Special thanks to Coach Purnell, associate head coach Ron Bradley, assistant coaches Brian Ellerbe and Billy Garrett, and staff members Josh Postorino, David Booth, Andy Farrell, and Brandon Bailey for what was well-organized and well-run event.
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