Lorenzo Mata, PF: His stock is on the rise, there's no debate there. Mata is who he is. He's tough inside and very efficient. The high-majors are starting to get the wheels in motion and make their moves with him. Should have been an all-star.
Dwight Howard, C: Put yourself in his shoes. There are guards jacking shots on him all over the place. His touches are limited and it would be tough to call this his shining moment. Still, he's averaging 13 and 9 boards. We don't put a ton of accuracy in the statistics that are being produced here but if you halfway trust them, he's shooting 71% from the field.
Andre Blatche, C: There's a reason we've been telling you about him since April. There are guys with better reps and bigger national names but do they really have his hands, feel inside and ability to block shots? We love him and he had 13, 10 and 7 in the morning session.
Brandon Rush, SF: OK, we're convinced. This guy can really go. He's been one of the best players here that we've seen in the last two days. The effort and results have been there.
Joakim Noah didn't get dunked on but he was in the vicinity when Brandon Rush threw down one of the more nasty efforts at the camp. I can see exactly where Rick Pitino is coming from when he took Terrance Farley. The big man must get stronger to finish better but the size and tools are there.
Glenn Miles has done a nice job of leveraging his athleticism against other guards this week. Plus, he's pretty long. One can make the argument that in terms of big men outside the Top 10, Randolph Morris has as much chance to explode one of these days and make a significant impact on college basketball as anybody.
Jason Horton's gift does not lie in scoring, but rather in running a team and distributing. You can see how poised he is even in a wide-open, gunfight style of play. If Babacar Thiam can ever develop a jumpshot he'd be a guy who plays at the high-major level.
There's no doubt about it, Dwight Howard has to be the most humble kid we've ever ranked No. 1 in the country. Spend five minutes with him and you'd never get the sense you were talking with a sure-fire lottery pick down the road. Humble as humble can be.
News & Notes
Word on the streets is that Arizona is starting to get serious about Lorenzo Mata. Jamie Dixon and Herb Sendek were front and center for Gavin Grant today. Chamberlain Oguchi says New Mexico is no longer trailing him but Kansas State, DePaul, Wisconsin, Georgia, Indiana, Cincinnati and Vanderbilt are.
Anthony Ivory committed to Providence the other day. He's a 6-8, 300 pounder. Rodney Tention was in the building representing Arizona with Lorenzo Mata. Stan Heath was spotted watching Marcus Monk. Glen Davis' list has Indiana for hoops and Miami, LSU, Oklahoma and Georgia for football.
Joakim Noah has offers from Providence, West Virginia, Seton Hall and Rutgers. His list isn't set and it's about to have more added to it. Shane Foster likes Kansas, Marquette and Florida best but also lists Boston College, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt, Illinois and LSU. He wants to visit five schools.
"I'm thinking about it. I don't ever want to have to sit on the bench." -- Glen Davis on whether or not he'll give up football
"I talked to the DJ. He says he's got some down South stuff to play for me." - "Big Baby" on what he'll dance to at the all-star game.