Class of 2003:
JR Giddens: 6-5 WF, Athletes First
Giddens kept up his impressive performance at Nike Camp once he arrived in North Augusta. He played several solid games, but he showed his true talents in a contest late in the tournament. Over a few minute stretch in the second half, Giddens took over, nailing a couple threes, disrupting on defense, and gliding to the hoop for some acrobatic lay ups that demonstrated his exceptional athletic ability. I think he's a future star for the Jayhawks.
DJ Strawberry: 6-3 WG, California Team Select
I didn't get a chance to see as much of Strawberry as I would have liked, but what I saw gave a decent impression of his game. DJ (who is the spitting image of his father) has a good build, and likes to attack the hoop off the dribble. He's also a capable shooter out to three point land, and has a good handle. That his recruitment is starting to take off, with teams like Kansas and Maryland in the mix, is a testament to his skills as an off-guard.
Jeremy Case: 6-1 WG/PG, Athletes First
Case wasn't overly impressive, but he brings skills to the table that will mesh well with his teammates and will provide solid depth for Kansas. He has a good outside shot and makes sound decisions on the floor. However, it's hard to ignore that he didn't see much floor time for Athletes First when their games were on the line. Still, I think he'll be a solid contributor in Lawrence.
Ekene Ibekwe: 6-8 WF/BF, California Team Select
Ibekwe is an exceptional athlete. Wiry thin at 6-8, his game is still better when he's playing in the paint. He's a great leaper and has a good handle, but despite his perimeter skills, it's when he concentrates on playing the post that he's the most successful. More landlocked forwards have a tough time keeping up with his bouncy nature in the paint.
Class of 2004:
Kevin Langford: 6-7 WF/BF, Team Texas
Keith's younger brother looks to be a talent in his own right. Langford is tall and lanky, but not painfully thin like some of his peers. He's got a nice jump shot with range, is active on the floor, and is a solid all-around player. He has a wicked hitch in his free throw, but it's nothing that a little coaching can't solve - after all, he's still just a rising junior.
Darnell Jackson: 6-8 BF, Athletes First
Jackson has wide shoulders and a big body primed for bruising in the paint. However, in addition to his obvious advantages in the post, he also flashed a nice-looking 14 foot turnaround jump shot. He's definitely loaded with potential, and should be a nice player by the time college rolls around.
(c) Jeff Markman, 2002. Photos by Jeff Markman, Volball.com, Originally posted July 25, 2002.