Among players of Kansas interest, Daniel Deane has strung together two big games in a row, Cole Aldrich continues to impress, Gary Johnson is beasting on people and Dwight Lewis cruises on. On the national front it’s been all about OJ Mayo and sweet shooting big man Kevin Durant.
KANSAS PROSPECTS AT NBPA
Daniel Deane - Give the 6-8 BF from Utah some well deserved credit for adjusting his game and putting up numbers. On Friday evening the tough 230 pounder tangled with Cole Aldrich and touched him up for 18 points and eight boards. Aldrich got 18 and seven himself, but Deane took the momentum and built on it Saturday. He scored on several tough interior baskets, stepped out and hit some threes and even went straight up and over 6-9 Villanova commitment Kraidon Woods for a two handed smash. He’s proving that he can play with anybody in the country and has played the role of a top 50 type prospect for the last few games.
Cole Aldrich - Fatigue is starting to set in for the 6-10 240 pounder, but that doesn’t take away from how strong he’s played. He has scored with either hand around the basket, plays physical and has been surprisingly quick up and down the floor. Aldrich is one of the most popular players in camp with the media because of his easy-going attitude.
Brandon Jennings - Only a rising sophomore, this quick lefty has established himself as one of the top five PG’s in camp. A creative ball-handler who is jet quick with crossovers and step backs that free him to dish or drain his deadly jumper. It’s still very early, but it is hard to imagine that there are many, if any, better PG’s out there in his class.
Quincy Pondexter - The quick 6-6 WF from Cali has seen his stock on the rise lately, and it is well deserved. He’s equally effective working the right or the left side of the court and is much more aggressive than in the past. He’s starting to fill out physically and the added strength has helped his confidence.
Gary Johnson - There haven’t been many players in camp who have been more physical than Johnson. He’s happy to use his sturdy 220 pound frame to his advantage and also brings quickness and touch to the table. After completely disrespecting Ray Hall the other night, Johnson took another guy on the Kansas radar – talented 6-9 BF Julian Vaughn – to the proverbial woodshed. He’s got a body-type similar to Joey Graham and plays a little like him as well. Chalk it up as a very impressive week for this Houston stud.
Darrell Arthur - Friday night Slimm Shady basically went without a touch and was visibly upset while throwing up a goose egg. Understand, that the 6-9 BF/WF rarely shows emotion so the fire that he came out with on Saturday was a surprise. He wasn’t just fired up, Arthur was smoking hot from three point range and drained four straight pretty jumpers from beyond 20 feet. A truly graceful athlete, it is just a matter of making sure the player switch is always turned on.
OTHER STANDOUTS AT NBPA
Some folks have labeled the event “Camp OJ”, and it is true that 6-5 WG/PG OJ Mayo has dominated whoever and whenever he’s wanted to. Everything he does is so polished and there isn’t anybody left who questions his talents. He and Kevin Durant locked horns in a very entertaining Saturday afternoon matchup. They each took turns draining deep threes and scoring off of clever drives. Surprisingly the 6-10 Durant did a very good job of moving his feet and keeping OJ in front of him. Sticking with Durant, he scored 27 points in a classic offensive display Friday night. He also showed out on the defensive end doing a nice job hanging with sensational North Carolina bound guard Wayne Ellington.
Kevin Love has been his usual impressive self. He’s dominating on the glass, burying jump shots from all over the court and showing off his skilled passing. St. Louis native Alex Tyus will be transferring to Cincinnati (OH) Harmony for his senior year. A long armed 6-7 combo forward, Tyus has had a very nice camp and is winning over observers. He’s active and plays tough defense and you’ve got to appreciate a kid who hand wrote a letter to the camp directors to thank them for including him. This summer he’ll be at ABCD Camp and will run with OJ Mayo and Billy Walker on the D1 Greyhounds.
St. John’s head coach Norm Roberts and his staff have to be pretty happy with the job they did in locking up PG Doug Wiggins. They flat out stole one from underneath UConn’s nose. He’s a shake and bake guy off the dribble who plays with lots of energy and gets others involved. Anybody with Stanford on their schedule once the Lopez twins is going to hate seeing the talented Californian twins. Both Brook and Robin are confident defensive and offensive players and although they look a little mechanical, they are much more fluid than they look.