ABCD: Day One

<b>TEANECK, NJ</b> Complete recap of the first day of action at the Reebok ABCD Camp, including recruiting tidbits, prospect evaluations, top underclassmen and more.

You've got to give credit to Sonny Vaccaro and the Reebok grassroots folks. Just a year after making the transition from adidas to Reebok, Vaccaro and company have assembled the deepest, most talented field of campers this week.

Not only is the nation's top prospect regardless of class present in Greg Oden, whom Vaccaro pried from Nike) but guys like Tasmin Mitchell, O.J. Mayo, Brandon Rush, Derrick Character and a host of other talented prospects. Though boasting many of the top rising seniors in the nation, it's the underclassmen that make ABCD special.

Here's a sampling of why ABCD is the premier camp in the nation.

The Next Lebron?

O.J. Mayo is a fantastic talent on the court, that's no secret and it isn't in question. But off the court, behind the scenes at ABCD, Mayo was perhaps the most popular (excepting Greg Oden) player for the assembled media contingent.

Following a late afternoon game, the 6-foot-4 guard was surrounded by a large pack of scribes and television types peppering him with questions about college, the NBA and his future. Keep in mind, Mayo still has three years remaining in high school, as he'll only be a sophomore this fall. Still, Mayo handled the situation with poise and confidence, suggesting maturity beyond his young age.

One of the camp's leaders by several statistical measures, including scoring, assists and overall player rating, Mayo said he's simply focused on enjoying the moment and having some fun this week.

"Right now I'm just trying to play hard and have some fun out there on the court," Mayo said.

Considering the increasing trend of high schoolers entering the NBA Draft directly from high school, it's a logical assumption to think Mayo will eventually follow suit. For his part, however, Mayo continues to insist he's all about college.

"Lebron set the stakes even higher last year and it's really a compliment to be talked about going in the draft early," Mayo explained. "But I really would like to attend college and that is my main objective right now."

Mayo finished with 15 points and 8 assists in the first game and wrapped up too late for statistics in the night session.

Morton and Minor, redoux?

As Inside The Ville's John Carey so aptly asked, would you rather have Greg Minor or Dwayne Morton if forced to choose?

Don't understand? John breaks it down like this, likening Bryan Harvey to Minor and Marcus Johnson with Morton.

And it's not a bad analogy either. Harvey is an athletic and physical guard with good skills and deep range, while Johnson is lithe and quick but perhaps not as skilled with the ball or his shooting as is Harvey.

Harvey had 16 points (14 in the opening game), 8 rebounds and 2 steals (6-19 FG, 3-8 3FG) in the two games on Thursday, while teammate and fellow Louisville recruit Johnson finished with 30 points (18 in the nightcap), 4 rebounds and 1 steal (13-16 FG, 3-6 3FG).

Following their first game of the day, Johnson again listed Louisville, Syracuse and Connecticut as his favorites, while Harvey mentioned Connecticut and Louisville, among others. John Carey will have a full report on both prospects.

Cardinal Commits in Action

Louisville commits Andre McGee and Clarence Holloway showed the promise that has them considered among the top players in the class of 2005 on Thursday.

With U of L head coach Rick Pitino watching Holloway played well in the nightcap against the Warriors, posting 8 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 block. Holloway showed good hands, a solid drop step from both blocks and a soft touch inside 15 feet. He also is a solid rebounder and even rattled the rim a few times with the dunk. With a good strength and conditioning program in college, Holloway certainly has NBA potential.

McGee, despite being banged up physically, displayed flashes of why the Louisville coaches are so excited about his recent commitment. Having strained his back muscles two weeks back (which required ice pack treatment between sessions) and then tweaking an ankle at the start of the evening session, McGee was certainly limited on opening day.

Still, it's clear McGee is Louisville's point guard of the future. He's quick, penetrates at will, finds open people and can bury the three point shot. And even though the big men on his team had some trouble holding onto the ball, McGee is clearly adept as an interior passer when he gets in the lane.

Statistically, it wasn't a great day for McGee (1-10 FG, 1-6 3FG), but he still ranks among the top ten in camp with 10 assists and 4 steals. He also committed just two turnovers on the day.

Pitino Eyes Several Prospects

Besides keeping tabs on Holloway and McGee, U of L head coach Rick Pitino appeared to peer in the direction of forwards Brandon Rush, Jonathan Huffman and Marcus Johnson and guard Bryan Harvey during Thursday's action.

Rush was impressive, finishing with 22 points, 12 rebounds and 6 blocks in two games. Hufffman, who scored 14 points in his final game of the day, is an excellent three-point shooter and possesses solid ball handling skills for a 6-foot-11 prospect. Following the night cap, Rush said Oklahoma and Indiana were his current favorites, while his high school coach, Tony Fozard, explained that Louisville had the edge in Rush's recruitment provided college is his destination. "Louisville probably has the edge with Brandon because of Coach Pitino and his style of play," Fozard said.

Top Underclassmen

Tory Jackson, PG, (2006), Martez Walker, SG (2008), Curtis Kelly, C (2006), Cory Fisher, PG (2007), Taylor King, SF (2007), Dallas Lauderdale, PF, (2007), Billy Walker, SG (2007), O.J. Mayo, SG, (2007), Marshall Moses, SF, (2007), Eric Wallace, F, (2007), Lance Thomas, PF, (2006)


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