NBPA Recap- Illini Targets

Late last week, 100 of the nation's finest high school basketball players assembled in Charlottesville, Va. for the 2009 NBPA Top 100 Camp. Among the group were a handful of Illinois commitments and targets.

By the time camp wrapped up on Saturday night, the 2009 NBPA Top 100 Camp had set a pretty high standard. Likely the top event of the grassroots circuit so far, the 2009 edition was also one of, if not the, best years ever for the camp. Loaded with talent and filled with kids who competed from beginning to end, a small, but talented, contingent of Illinois commitments and potential recruits helped contribute to the strength of the camp.

Illinois Interests At NBPA

Crandall Head- Making his first appearance on the grassroots circuit in a while, many evaluators were anxious to get a look at Head. Noted for his length and athleticism in the past, the 6-foot-3 shooting guard didn't disappoint in those areas. Additionally, he moves his feet well laterally and has very quick hands allowing him to defend multiple positions on the perimeter where he could emerge as a true stopper if he wants to. As a jump shooter, his mechanics seem to switch from shot to shot resulting in some pretty makes and some very bad misses from deep. As he shakes the rust off, Head continues to project as a guy with significant upside once he puts it all together.

Jereme Richmond- Richmond entered camp with a reputation for being one of the premier players at any position in the class of 2009, he left having backed it up. A long and versatile 6-foot-6 wing, he's comfortable scoring at the rim, posting up in the mid to high post and he can knock down shots from deep. He rebounds his position well and is capable of getting where he needs to be quickly off the dribble thanks to a quick first step and long strides. His attitude and demeanor have been the subject of question in the past but there were no signs of any issues during the camp. He was justifiably voted into the camp all-star game by his peers.

Meyers Leonard- Fighting through flu-like symptoms, Leonard deserves credit for exhibiting some toughness when he could have taken it easy. A fine athlete who runs the floor with long and easy strides, his added strength is really helping him on the interior. While he wasn't the beneficiary of a lot of touches, he was active on the glass and as a straight up or help side shot blocker. With his soft touch and ability to finish with either hand, he's going to be a dangerous scorer as he becomes more confident with his footwork.

Dominique Ferguson- After a pretty slow start to the camp, Ferguson got things going a bit on Friday and Saturday. At 6-foot-8, he's got a long wingspan, good athleticism and excellent quickness in the post. At the same time, he's got just enough perimeter skill to be dangerous, but mostly to himself. A four man all the way, he got going once he got out of the trap of trying to prove that he can play on the perimeter. He's certainly skilled enough to shoot some mid range jumpers and attack off the dribble. But, he was (and is) at his best when fighting for rebounds, swatting shots and spinning for dunks on the interior.

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