The head Jayhawk is still in town on Friday making sure he doesn’t miss on anybody, but for now here’s a list on some of the guys he followed on Thursday and some of the other happenings at Nike.
KANSAS TARGETS AT NIKE
George Goode - Look for Goode’s recruitment to get much more crowded in a hurry as he picked the perfect time to have his breakout performance on a national stage. The slender 6-7 wing got his jumper rolling on Thursday night and scored -- according to those at the scorer’s table at least -- 18 straight points for his team during a furious four or five minute flurry. Three balls were dropping with ease, he got loose for some dunks and did a nice job on the board. At his size he’s got the ability to play inside and out and he’s starting to develop the confidence of a big time player. Kansas will certainly be back out to watch him, and often, during July.
Sherron Collins - Whether or not they can make up enough ground to really make a move on him is a valid question, but there is no doubting that Kansas is making a major push for Collins. Both Self and Dooley were up front and personal for each of Collins’ Thursday games -- along with Bruce Weber, Steve Alford, Dave Leito and Mike Davis -- and the 5-11 PG scintillated. There hasn’t been a player yet who has proved capable of stopping him off the dribble and they aren’t just getting beaten, they are getting embarrassed. The best way to understand how devastating he’s been is to take stock of the faces of those who have watched him because they obviously felt bad for the guys that were trying to stop him. He’s also capable of hitting jumpers and is clearly one of the top two PG’s in camp.
Derrick Rose - Another relatively quiet day for the 6-2 PG out of Chicago. Now, he certainly showed some flashes of brilliance and has a gear that no other 2007 guard -- with the exception of Jerryd Bayless -- can reach in terms of speed with the ball. One thing is for sure, he is a pure point guy who is devoted to getting his teammates involved and for that reason a lot of what he does might go unnoticed or underappreciated.
Jerryd Bayless - There isn’t any possible way that Bayless’ performance could go underappreciated. Thanks to his play at Nike one could make the argument that only O.J. Mayo surpasses him at the guard position in 2007. He’s an absolute scoring machine who has a complete offensive arsenal. Combine his slick handle, precision dishes off the bounce and mind blowing athleticism (how else do you describe a 6-2 kid who can go up from a virtual standstill position, catch an off target alley-oop and reverse jam it with two hands) and you’ve got one impressive player. It’s scary to think that he’s doing all of this on a bum ankle.
Brandan Wright - After taking some time to get going the 6-10 BF put together one of his best outings ever on Thursday night. He is unreal running the court and uses every inch of his long arms to extend over and around defenders. He cashed in a few short jumpers, swatted shots and was chin checking defenders with an array of dunks.
Jeremy Price - He isn’t the flashiest kid around, but man is the 6-8 BF from the class of 2007 effective. He’s got a big ol’ rear that he uses to his advantage while establishing position in the low post and is surprisingly quick once he gets the ball. He’ll need to extend his range a little bit more but he’s proving to be a legit top 50 player nationally for his class.
Xavier Henry - When you haven’t even made it to high school yet, all you need to do is hold your own to impress. The long and slender 6-5 wing has done that and plenty more. His lefty stroke is a bit unorthodox but his age and lack of physical maturity plays a big part in that. He puts the ball on the floor very well, gets to the rim, finishes with dunks and plays the game with a gigantic grin on his face.
Patrick Christopher - As dangerous a three point shooter as there is in the country, the 6-4 WG continues to elevate his stock. When he gets an open look from deep you can go ahead and run the other direction because he isn’t going to miss very many of them. Outstanding athlete who needs to show a little more off of the dribble and will be even more dangerous once he plays in consistent stretches rather than spurts.
OTHER NEWS AND NOTES FROM NIKE
Spencer Hawes isn’t exactly thrilled about a lack of touches but he continues to play hard. He’s hoping to cut down his list of schools to four after next weeks Peach Jam but isn’t sure if he can do it. He refused to speculate about which schools will make it and everybody in the gym has a different top four for him. One things for sure, he’s well aware of who is watcing.
“You look up in the stands and take mental notes on who is watching, you can’t help it,” said Hawes. “But, once the game starts it’s not a major deal and you get used to playing in front of a lot of coaches.”
It is tough decide which city’s players have represented the best because there are a few towns that have been putting in work. However, no city has seen their players perform better than Detroit. Ramar Smith, Tajuan Porter, Durrell Summers, Kalin Lucas and Devon Searcy among others have all impressed with what they are capable of. Keep an eye on 2007 products Lucas and Summers because they are both potential stars. …For the first time since 1997 Nike Camp will also feature some all-star games and they take place on Saturday night. They’ll mix up kids from all classes and if there isn’t a head to head matchup between Sherron Collins and Tywon Lawson there just might be a riot. … Illinois got a terrific big man with lots of room to expand his game in Brian Carlwell. The improving lefty is huge, has soft hands and wants to be a player. …
Another 2006 guard making a big name for himself is Jerome Dyson. The 6-2 jitterbug with a dangerous jumper doesn’t make many appearances on the national circuit but there is little doubt he could play just about anywhere in the country. … Young Jai Lucas had a good day and pleased coaches with his play against Tywon Lawson. He may only be 5-9 and 144 pounds, but nobody can question his toughness. …Dunk of the day – and perhaps the camp – goes to Pitt commitment Gilbert Brown. The 6-5 wing exploded out of nowhere to throw down a serious two handed facial on stunned big man Albert Jackson. It was one of those jams where the gym goes eerily silent for a second before erupting with cheers. …