Telep- NBA Camp: Day One

<b>RICHMOND, Va. –</b> The first day of the NBA Players Association Camp was Saturday. We blew into town with just enough time to spare to catch the evening session and a terrific effort from Eric Devendorf.

NBA Camp, Day I (evening session)

2005 Checklist

Eric Devendorf vs. Brandon Rush: There was talk from the morning session that Rush bested senior Tasmin Mitchell. Well, if he did, then Rush might have used up all his energy early because Devendorf got him in the nightcap. In a camp game, Devendorf went for 18 points (8-for-11) and Rush mustered up just a few buckets.

Devendorf demonstrated that he's a complete guard as he did it at both ends. Rush had trouble guarding him and Devendorf went right to the basket more than once. Meanwhile, Devendorf guarded Rush strong and impeded his progress to the rim. There's a debate raging in the Midwest: Devendorf or Chris Douglas-Roberts? Right now, it's an extremely close call, in one man's opinion.

Monta Ellis vs. Mario Chalmers: It looked like a Richter Scale game on paper, but it didn't materialize. After a drab first half with little action, the participants got more involved to the tune of 5 second half points for Chalmers and 8 for Ellis. These guys are at or near the top of the charts at their respective positions, but this was no LeBron vs. Lenny tilt. To his credit, Chalmers really worked defensively on whoever he was guarding. Unfortunately, most of the time he and Ellis weren't checking each other.

Alfred Aboya, C: Others on our network have seen him, but this was my first look at him. He's a physical specimen whose defense and rebounding are definitely ahead of his offense. However, Aboya is approaching the camp as a learning experience. "I'm a good listener," Aboya said. "I pay attention. I want to learn as much as I can from the pros."

Coming off knee surgery and considering this was his first true taste of elite level competition, you can tell he's got talent. He's strong, fairly athletic and goes hard. The offensive projection/production will determine his recruitment.

A.J. Abrams, PG: We've heard the reviews about his big scoring outburst at other events and those numbers are a direct result of two things: 1) an accurate shot and 2) a quick release. Both of which were on display Saturday night. The real question about his is simple: can he physically do it in the Big 12?

DeAndre Thomas, PF: He's really a guard trapped in a center's body. At 6-7 and pushing 300 pounds, it's tough to fathom that statement but it's the truth. He's got outstanding feet, soft hands and a good touch for a post player. He's unselfish and feels the game. If he can make a commitment to conditioning his recruitment would go up accordingly.

2007 Checklist

Bill Walker, SF: It's tough to imagine that he's the No. 2 rated player on his high school team behind O.J. Mayo, but that's just bad timing. This guy is the real deal. On Saturday night, he exploded to the rim for finishes and when he's making his jumper like he did in the camp game we watched then he's on a completely different level. The windmill was a nice touch.

News & Notes

Quinton Thorton, a forward out of Orlando, Fla., has an offer from St. Joe's on the table. He's hearing from Tennessee, Florida, Minnesota, Florida State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Purdue, Kentucky and Illinois. Schools undoubtedly want to evaluate him during July. …

Eric Devendorf will announce at ABCD Camp where he intends to attend college. Syracuse, Michigan State and Florida are the iron clad three. Devendorf said that if he had to pick right now, he couldn't. However, he'll have a week off after USA Basketball before ABCD and that's when he intends to come to peace with a decision. …

On the injured list is big man Rousean Cromwell and wing Joe Krabbenhoft. Kevin Rogers missed a flight and is expected to be a no-show at camp. … "I got that school in my heart," Alfred Aboya said of Georgetown. He also likes Virginia, Kansas and Stanford. …

Scout's Seat

Bill Walker caught an alley oop that was thrown behind him. Yes, he caught it and threw it down with authority. … Jerel McNeal and Javaris Crittendon both ran the point for their camp teams. We understand Georgia Tech is big on Crittendon running their team one day. … Anthony Mason Jr. is a player but today at camp he got caught up in the one-on-one aspect of offense and wasn't able to accomplish much. …

In addition to being a big time shooter, A.J. Abrams is going to be a steal machine. Why? The hands. They are very, very quick. … Mamadi Diane is going to get his share of high-major burn because he can shoot the ball with skill, especially from mid-range and on the baseline. He hunts those shots. …

Jerrett Smith performed well as a point guard and guy who got guys shot today. The one area he's got to work on is finishing plays. … Mario Chalmers was the best defensive guard we saw Saturday night. Sure, he'll gamble a little but don't all the great defensive players cheat every now and then? … This is the first time in a while the Delk Twins aren't on the same team. Richard Delk looked good Saturday night. …

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