NBA Camp: Recruiting News and Notes

RICHMOND, VA - Jampacked recruiting news and notes on Taj Gibson, Brandon Jennings, Earl Clark, Keenan Ellis, and Jeremy Franklin from the NBA Players Association Top 100 Camp.

RICHMOND, VA - Taj Gibson has picked up where he left off last month at the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions.

Gibson, who was named to the All-Tournament team at the TOC over the Memorial Day weekend in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, hasn't missed a beat through the first three games of the NBA Players Association Top 100 Camp in Richmond, Virginia this week.

An athletic 6-foot-8 power forward/center prospect, Gibson is adept at blocking shots in the paint. He runs the court well,and has a knack for finishing with authority in transition. He's even flashed some fairly good post moves, a soft midrange jump shot, and a quick first step on the baseline.

Thursday night, Gibson enjoyed his best effort of the camp against 6-foot-9 Arizona commit Jordan Hill. In the nightcap, Gibson scored 16 points (five dunks), grabbed eight rebounds and blocked three shots. He ran the court, knocked in a 12 foot baseline jumper, and hit a pull up bank shot on the break.

He's already a Big East recruiting priority, and you can bet his recruitment will heat up considerably in July.


Earl Clark said Thursday that his top two schools are Villanova and Louisville with the Wildcats currently holding the edge.

Villanova and Louisville top Clark's

"I talk to them (Villanova) the most," he said. "They have a real family atmosphere and I like where their program is going. I've developed a good relationship with their coaching staff and I like what they're talking about."

Clark, who is teamed with Louisville commits Edgar Sosa and Jerry Smith this week, admitted that the duo, especially Sosa, has worked hard to influence his decision this week.

"Edgar's been talking to me about going to Louisville with him, and I like playing on the same team with him," Clark said.

Has Sosa's sales pitch paid dividends for the Cardinals? "We'll see," he responded.

Keenan Ellis, a lanky 6-foot-9 rising junior from Indianapolis, listed Kentucky, Michigan, Indiana, Louisville, and Xavier as his current top five schools, and said the Wildcats, Hoosiers and Cardinals were his three favorites.

"Kentucky is the school I'm hearing the most from right now," Ellis said. "And I get mail from Louisville every now and then."

Ellis also said that he, along with AAU teammates O.J. Mayo and Bill Walker, often discuss attending the same college. If that were to happen, according to Ellis, either Louisville, Connecticut and Florida A&M would be the choice.

So why the inclusion of Florida A&M?

"It's an all black school and we could help put them on the map," Ellis said, admitting he had no idea where the school was actually located.

Jeremy Franklin, a 6-foot-4 guard from San Leandro, California, really likes Louisville. In fact, the Cardinals are the rising juniors favorite program, according to his father.

"He really likes Louisville's style of play and coach Pitino," Franklin's father said.

Franklin was very impressive in the days final matchup, going for 14-18 points with a couple of three-pointers.

The most difficult part of Jerry Smith's decision? "It was easy saying yes to Louisville," said Jerry Smith, Sr. "But the most difficult part of the decision was saying no to Wisconsin and Wake Forest."


Stanley Robinson, a 6-foot-8 forward from Birmingham, AL, is having an excellent week. He's athletic, finishes around the rim, and even showed an effective jump shot Thursday.

Brandon Jennings, a 6-foot rising sophomore from Compton, CA, destroyed acclaimed Arizona point guard prospect Jerryd Bayless in a Thursday night matchup. Consider it a knockout for Jennings, who has to rank among the top point guards in the Class of 2008 nationally. He's quick, can push tempo and really knows how to deliver the rock. He even flashed his scoring skills in the morning game, taking over on offense with his relentless scoring juants to the basket.

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