COLLINS AND ARTHUR ON MONDAY
Sherron Collins - Even those who have watched Collins for a while have been surprised with how much he’s involved others and made getting to the rim look effortless. He’s been picking his spots offensively, rather than forcing things, and as a result he’s getting pretty much anything he wants done when needed. His explosion off the floor for jump shots is very impressive and he’ll become an even more dangerous shooter once he learns to keep his right elbow in as he lines up his shot.
Darrell Arthur - So far, Arthur is the only player on the West who has even come close to stopping offensive ace Kevin Durant from scoring. His combination of size, coordination, quickness and leaping ability is something that not many others can claim. As usual he hit on some turnaround jumpers from the low block, but it was the defensive rebounds that he turned into full court drives and conversions in traffic that really drew some attention. Had he put down his attempted catch the ball off a bounce and wrap it around the back dunk they could have ended the competition on the spot.
MORE MONDAY NOTEABLES
Demond Carter - He got off to a rough start on Sunday, but “Tweety” was pretty darn good on Monday. He hit a ton of jumpers during practice and also threw some beautiful passes in transition. At this point he seems to be a little more comfortable when he plays off of the ball but he’s working hard to develop more of a PG mentality. After scoring a mind numbing 7,000 plus points during his high school career he fell just short in the three point contest losing on a last second Wayne Ellington money ball.
Javaris Crittenton - He isn’t going to be Jarrett Jack like so many people seem to be expecting him to be, but the Georgia Tech bound guard is an impact player. Standing 6-4 with a terrific frame and big time athleticism, he’s a dynamite defender and really gets on the glass. His bread and butter is working off of screens and slithering into the lane for soaring floaters.
Vernon Macklin - It’s really going to be interesting to see how “Ticket” fits in at Georgetown next year. He’s a thoroughbred athlete who finishes around the rim and gets out in transition, but his arsenal of skill moves is a bit lacking at times. His jump shot needs an overhaul but his shot blocking and rebounding will allow him to make an instant impact on what will be a pretty deep Hoya front line.
Kevin Durant, Chase Budinger, Gerald Henderson - For this writer’s money, Durant, Budinger and Henderson have been the most impressive players through two days of practice. Durant’s ability to put the ball on the floor, mid range game, and ability to stroke home deep jumpers is borderline mind boggling. The almost 6-10 wing who doesn’t turn 18 until September stumbled a bit in the three point contest, but he’s been otherwise sublime. Budinger came up just short of Henderson in the dunk contest when his reverse through the leg jam failed to match up to the perfect score Henderson got on a windmill catch off a toss and bounce, but he has nothing to be ashamed of. Were NBA scouts still allowed to attend practices, he’d be all the rage. Henderson has been the complete package on both ends of the court and he carries himself with confidence and grace that you don’t usually find in high school seniors.