Nike Hoop Jamboree Recap

ST. LOUIS – The annual Nike Hoop Jamboree inevitably sets the stage and introduces a few underclassmen to the nation. Last year Greg Oden and Tyler Hansbrough used the camp to springboard themselves into the spotlight. So, who were this year's studs?

In previous years, guys like Greg Oden, Richard Hendrix and Tyler Hansbrough dominated the Nike Hoop Jamboree. While there wasn't a truly dominant player at the camp, there were some big time prospects.

Cole Aldrich, a 6-foot-10, 230+ pound center out of Minnesota was arguably the top prospect at the camp. Aldrich (Class of 2007) has all the tools to be the next big thing out of his state. Strong and powerful, he turned it on once the games began.

Spencer Hawes, a 6-11 big man and a member of the Class of 2006 isn't the best prospect on his high school team (see Martell Webster). However, Hawes was so good at disguising which is his dominant hand; one person was compelled to ask him if he was left or right-handed. Skilled and tall, he's a name you need to become familiar with.

Keeping with the theme of big men in the Class of 2006, Utah product Daniel Deane was this year's version of Jon Brockman at the camp. Deane outhustled, outscored and outworked most of the campers. He's a sturdy 6-8, 225 and competes each time out.

Wayne Chism, a 6-8 power forward from Jackson, Tenn., was another 2006 star. He arrived late to the camp but caught up quickly with a diverse inside-outside game. Most in attendance had no idea he was that proficient with his shot from the perimeter (see a trio of 3's in one game).

Over at Montrose Christian, there's a stud 2007 power forward and his name is Herb Pope. He's got a narrow body but he's extremely long and finishes everything. When he extends inside, it's over. He came on very strong as camp closed.

Two guards separated themselves from the remainder of the camp. The sheriff of the bunch was Chicago standout Derrick Rose (2007). The 6-2 Simeon product is strong, talented and tough to guard. From the perimeter or in the paint, he was a total stud.

Lawrence Westbrook, one of the highest scoring guards on the West Coast and a member of the Class of 2006, proved to maybe the toughest guard to handle in one on one situations. He's only 5-11 but very strong and finishes with the best of them.

Alex Tyus, a 6-8 forward from the 2006 class, distinguished himself. His play was consistent and his athleticism evident. Speaking of athletes, 2006 shooting guard Marcus Johnson out of Ohio might have been the most explosive guard at the camp. The first step he's got is big time.

Jerome Dyson, a native of Maryland who goes to school in New Hampshire, really turned it on after the halfway mark at camp. The rising junior scored it and shot it with the best two guards at the event.

2006 shooting guard Jermaine Beal had his nose broken the first day of the camp. He then had a choice: sit out the camp or go with the Rip Hamilton look. He elected to don the facemask and not only was his play outstanding, but he gets the bonus points for gutting it out, just like Rip.

Other Notables – 2006 forward Jarod Leonard, 2006 center Tyrone McNeal, 2007 wing Kyle Singler, 2006 F Joe Watkins, 2006 F Raymar Morgan, 2007 SF Leonard Washington, 2006 PF Dajuan Summers, 2007 SG Durrell Summers.

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