KANSAS TARGETS AT THE NBPA
Dwight Lewis - It has to be an interesting experience for Lewis. On one hand, you can’t help but appreciate how talented a guy like OJ Mayo is. On the other hand, when you are a guy in Lewis’s situation and fresh off a long layoff you want to get some touches. Unfortunately for Lewis, the touches have been few and far between. His stroke looks really nice on mid-range jumpers and he’s got a nice frame, but hasn’t had many opportunities to show what his game is all about.
Derrick Jasper - Not discussed that much as a Kansas target, but he’s out there and there is some mutual interest between the two. What you have to appreciate about Jasper is that he’s 6-5, can run the point legitimately and he seems to make his teammates better. He’s probably not a big scorer from day one on the next level, but Jasper has the type of frame that can take a hit and allow him to finish.
Tre’Von Willis - Not a primary target, the 6-3 WG has indicated some interest in Kansas. Thursday, he’d probably just like to forget about. Willis struggled through a rough day handling the ball and shooting. It looks like he’s filled out in the last year and has perhaps gotten a bit heavy legged.
Perry Stevenson - There hasn’t been a ton of conversation between the Kansas and Stevenson camps, but he’s definitely a guy the Jayhawk staff is keeping tabs on. Stevenson had a nice day working the glass, dunking in traffic and even hitting a few short jumpers. He runs the court very well and the only sticking point is his woefully thin frame. The thing about his game is that no matter how much weight he gives, he finds ways to put up numbers.
Daniel Deane - Perhaps like Samson, the key to Deane’s strength was in his long locks. Gone is his Utah-shag – replaced by a crew cut – and the 6-8 BF struggled without it. A fierce competitor who is a skilled shooter and has several post moves, he’s struggled to finish down low and appeared frustrated at times. Tomorrow will tell whether he can tweak his game so that he finds easier baskets. No word on when a decision will be made.
Quincy Pondexter - Last year, about this time, the knock on Pondexter was that he was a nice athlete who lacked aggressiveness. This year, Pondexter has been almost too aggressive on dizzying drives to the basket. He’s bulked up some and is much more confident with his dribble. His jumper comes and goes but he stays in the game thanks to his activity level.
Gary Johnson - Had as good a day as anybody in Richmond. The tough 6-7 ½ BF used his strength and quickness in the block to go by, around and through anybody in his way. He’s got a little Joey Graham in his game and is pretty effective on midrange jump shots. Looked big ol’ Ray Hall in the face, smiled and then proceeded to punk the somewhat lumbering big man. Rather than use his decided quickness advantage on Hall, Johnson took it right at him and defied Hall to shut him down. Never happened.
OTHER NEWS AND NOTES
To say that scouts in attendance were disappointed to find out that Thaddeus Young was out with an injury is an understatement. He’s still in town hanging out and attending the class sessions, but it is too bad he is hobbling around in a walking boot on his right foot.
Once 6-10 WF Kevin Durant got a few jumpers to fall it was on during a solid 19 point and eight board effort Thursday afternoon. He’s learning that he can make things easier by establishing himself with his incredibly polished mid-range game.
Having himself a solid day was 6-4 WG Obi Muenelo. Confident and strong, the broad shouldered Oklahoman got into the lane early and often. He hits just enough jumpers to keep defenders on his heels and could see his stock rising soon….
One of the more pleasant surprises of the day was future St. John Red Storm PG Douggie Wiggins. The 6-0 PG from East Hartford CT is going to make Norm Roberts smile because there is little doubt he stole one from UConn. Quick, smart and plays the game and his personality is not lacking for wattage.
A player who has seen his stock go up all spring is 6-8 WF Earl Clark. He may not be a top 10 player in his class yet, but down the road he could end up as one of the top 10 NBA prospects in the class. He handles, passes, and even shows signs of a back to the basket game.
Recent Louisville commitment Jerry Smith has shown some nice feel when it comes to getting his shots. However, the 6-2 WG is less than 100 percent and you could see the rust of his three month layoff.
He’s left out of the Kansas targets section because we didn’t watch him today, but Cole Aldrich certainly an impression on everybody who watched him. The big fella is making a name for himself because of the way he’s dumped on people in the low post.