News and Notes Part I
Friday saw plenty of big time matchups, as Chinese players Zhi Luo, along
with Houston's Rashad Woods, took on Chinese wing Yi Li's team, junior SG Paul Harris and forwards Kendric Price and Michael Beasley went against 2007 SG Nolan Smith and backcourt partner K'Len Morris, guards Terrance Williams and Javaris
Crittendon faced off, as did the top 2 PGs in the class of 2005 Greg Paulus and
Mario Chalmers, and that was just in the afternoon session. Here are some
observations from the day.
Puerto Rican F Ricky Sanchez was suffering from stomach problems, and did not
play. He was on his way back home Saturday to join the national team, so his
playing action was limited, but there were several college coaches who saw him,
including Bobby Knight.
Terrance Williams and his team continued to struggle, and were beaten easily,
as Jevaris Crittenodn posted 18 points and 4 assists. Crittendon, a junior 6'4
PG, has played well in his hometown, and is among the elite in his class in
spite of one of the uglier deep jumpers here.
Of the 3 Chinese players able to make it to camp, big man Gu Liye injured his
ankle early on, ending his action, but Zhi Luo and Yi Li have both played very
well. Luo is a steady, smart 6'2 PG, while Li is 6'7 with G skills and the frame
of a SF. He's extremely thin, and needs to improve his body, and understanding
of the game, but has the skills to be a top notch perimeter player.
Luo's teammate, Rashad Woods, went for 26 against Li's squad, going inside
and outside, keeping his name where it's been both days, right around the top of
the scoring leaders in every session played.
Fresno, Cali. junior C Robin Lopez continued with his impressive performance,
dominating the paint. Both he, and twin brother Brook (distinguished by Robin
have a mini-afro of curly locks, while Brook is closely cut) are long, agile,
and have good athletic skills. Both also could use increased strength and weight
to play down low, but will still be among the elite in their class. Brook plays
a bit more of a perimeter game, while Robin displays more intensity on the floor
and strong post technique.
Harris, at 6'4 and built like a linebacker, attacks the lane hard with a
solid handle and overpowers people once he gets there. An excellent scorer in
traffic, the Niagara Falls native ended with 21 points against Smith, who had
A 6'3 sophomore from Chevy Chase, Mary., Smith displayed an explosive cross
over and smooth pull up jumper, and should just get better as he gets older, and
bigger. His teammate, K'Len Morris, has also looked good. Morris, out of Grand
Blanc, Mich., rebounds well for a 6'4 G, and also has a solid handle and jumper,
and plays similar to former Florida G Brett Nelson.
Harris is playing with a pair of high major players, Price and Beasley. A 6'9
F, Price is slender and needs to add a lot of weight, but has a strong handle,
good jumper, and excellent athleticism. With a final two of Michigan and
Georgia, either Tommy Amaker or Dennis Felton is going to get a good project to
develop. Michael Beasley, a 6'8 F who will begin high school at IMG Academy in
Florida this fall, did not play like someone who's never been to high school.
Strong, with good athleticism, Beasley made a case to be the top player in his
class. Capable of doing pretty much anything one could ask for on the floor,
Beasley can handle, shoot, post up, and make plays defensively, and he already
has a top two in mind, Syracuse and UNC-Charlotte.
With plenty of talented underclassman in attendance, one of the best is
Memphis F Pierre Niles. 6'7 and over 240 pounds, Niles has more than enough
power to work on the blocks, and snare rebounds. He also possesses amazing
agility for someone so young and so large that allows him to step outside, and
abuse bigger players with his dribble and jumper.
The two top seniors in camp, Greg Paulus and Mario Chalmers squared off, with
Paulus' team taking the victory. Both will challenge for a starting role once
arriving on campus, Chalmers with Kansas and Paulus with Duke. Chalmers has
superior athletic ability and skills, while Paulus is the better leader and
smarter player. Paulus also uses his size and strength to bully smaller PGs, as
he did in his evening matchup with 2006's top PG, DJ Augustine.
Augustine may be small, but he's lightning quick, and plays a game similar to
Chalmers had a marquee matchup of his own again in the evening, as his team
easily knocked off Seattle G Terrance Williams' squad.
Two other players who impressed in the evening were Anthony Mason, Jr. and
An'juan Wilderness. Wilderness, a 6'5 junior SF from Atlanta, displayed a solid
handle, and the quickness to defend on the outside.
Mason, Jr., a 6'7 senior SF, has been a strong rebounder, and played well on
News and Notes from Adidas Camp in Ga. Part II
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