TOP PERFORMERS ON DAY TWO
Brandon Rush- Sooner or later it was going to happen, and everybody in the building was eagerly anticipating a Rush explosion. Through his first three games of camp Rush had played very well, but the 6-6 wing had yet to author one of his signature explosions. On Friday night it happened as he delighted the fans with high flying jams -- including a nasty windmill -- NBA range threes, loud blockd shots, slick passes and ankle breaking crossovers. The critics are starting to crawl back into their holes at this point because there is no doubt about it that the kid can play.
Shawne Williams- All things being equal, and given consistent effort Williams is one of the few members of the class of 2005 with as much potential as Rush. At 6-8 he has the ability to stroke jumpers all the way out to 22 feet and he is an explosive finisher in traffic or on the break. He has added significant muscle since last summer and is rapidly improving his ball handling ability and decision making ability.
Byron Eaton- It wasn’t a huge scoring day for the 5-10 bull from Dallas, but more importantly it was an under control day where he made his teammates better. He can get into the lane at will with his strength and quickness and when he is dishing the ball and getting others involved he looks like a McDonald’s All-American. He is getting into better basketball shape and his jump shot looks better and better with each viewing.
Shelton Brown- Only a member of the class of 2007, this 5-11 PG from Bowman (SC) High has a chance to be a special player someday. He’s as quick as they come and has the ball on a string that he uses to toy with defenders. He generally makes good decisions, can make a few jump shots and is already an elite level run and jump athlete. Remember him down the road.
Ricky Torres- When it comes to shooters, you won’t find many who can ring it up from any distance as well as the 6-4 Torres can. As an added bonus, he flashed an ability to create his own shot and get to the rim where he finished with authority on a few occasions. It looks like the Bronx (NY) St. Raymond’s product is Pitt’s to lose at this point.
Billy Walker- O.J. Mayo’s teammate at Cincinnati (OH) North College Hill and fellow member of the class of 2007 is a flat out freak. The 6-4 wing has a body to die for, jumps out of U.S. airspace and he actually has some pretty good skills to go along with it. He hit several jump shots off of screens and the bounce and also got some work done on the glass.
Joey Shaw- He’s quiet, smooth and very effective operating off of the wing and it is about time that the 6-6 WF from Chandler (AZ) High started getting a little more love. He doesn’t blow you away with athleticism, but isn’t a slouch, he is just fundamentally sound and plays a good all around game. He’s most dangerous as a shooter or filling lanes on the fast break and he is cementing himself as a top 75 type in 2005.
Kiwan Smith- Talk about erupting onto the scene, the 6-6 Smith’s aerial antics literally had children and adults dancing with glee in the stands. He is a guy who’ll do a fifth year at Laurinburg (NC) Charter next year and his play at ABCD should launch him into the top 50 nationally. He attacks the rim with criminal intent but is also a dangerous jump shooter who loves to cheat from the weak side for blocks and steals on the defensive end.
Leo Criswell- There aren’t many guys who are boosting their stock as quickly or as impressively as Criswell has. He alters the game on both ends of the court because of his athleticism and very unique skill set. Simply put, 6-9 kids aren’t supposed to do things like throw no look between the leg bounce passes or lead the camp in steals. He takes big men off the dribble with ease and has played aggressively in the post for two straight days, something he has never shown a willingness to do. He’s arguably one of the top ten players in camp and is putting on a hamburger type performance. Each time he takes the court more coaches show up to see what his game is all about.
Derrick Caracter- Recently the 6-8 BF from 2006 had not played anywhere near the level of hype that surrounds his game. He’s spent the last two days reminding people that yes he is an elite prospect with incredible footwork, skills and passing ability. Now, he does need to shed at least 20 pounds or so, but it is hard to knock anything about the big kid from New Jersey’s play at ABCD.
Courtney Fells- Herb Sendek and N.C. State scored themselves a nice recruit when they picked up the Shannon (MS) native. He is a long and athletic 6-5 WG with a beautiful jump shot and lots of room for improvement. He can be very good on the defensive end and could have an impact in the ACC as a freshman.
Alex Legion- Yet another 2007 kid who is proving he is for real is this 6-4 WG from Detroit (MI) Country Day. He shoots the ball, he handles the ball and he isn’t afraid to go get some rebounds or play defense. The sky is the limit for this talented young man and it is going to be a lot of fun to watch him develop.