Louisville assistant Steve Masiello spent both the afternoon and night sessions on Friday tracking a small group of players, namely Derrick Caracter, Earl Clark and the Cincinnati trio - otherwise known as O.J. Mayo, Bill Walker and Keenan Ellis. Masiello, who spent most of the day in the coaches bleacher behind the baskets, took a stand - literally - as close as he could get for the nightcap matchup between Caracter and 7-0 Greg Oden.
The 6-4 Mayo stuffed the stat sheet in the afternoon game, dropping 26 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and three steals on the Hawks. He also shot the ball extremely well, making 4-8 three's.
In the night cap, 6-4 guard Paul Harris - with a little help - shut down the talented Mayo, limiting him to an unheard of 2 points. Though Mayo was held in check, his team won a close one in overtime when Bill Walker nailed a deep three-pointer from the wing - it was one of the few outside jump shots we've seen the 6-5 athlete take all week...most of the time Walker prefers to drive and dunk.
Martez Walker played much better on the camps final full day than he did on Thursday. In the afternoon, the 6-5 sophomore has six points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist and two steals. Against the Earl Clark and the Cavs Friday night, Walker had one of his better - if not his best game - of the week, scoring nine points on 4-8 shooting from the field, including a nifty three-pointer off the bounce.
Derrick Caracter had 8 points, 3 rebounds and one blocked shot Friday afternoon against the Wizards. With 10 blocked shots this week, Caracter is one of the leading shot blockers in camp.
Corey Stokes continued his solid play, dropping 2-5 three's in the afternoon game for nine points. Stokes has also proven he's one of the best perimeter rebounders in the country, averaging nearly five boards per contest.
Though Brandon Jennings had a hard time scoring Friday, he's still one of the camps leaders in two important categories - assists (3.6) and steals (2.6).
6-9 forward/guard Renardo Sidney is the best freshman in the nation. Long and athletic, Sidney has averaged 11.2 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. He reminds of former Kentucky standout and NBA star Antoine Walker because of his rare combination of perimeter skills and scoring acumen in the paint.
Several other young players have made a good impression this week, including 6-4 guard Lance Stevenson from Queens, NY, 6-2 point guard Darius Gabriel from Queens, NY, 6-3 guard Willie Warren from Cedar Hill, TX, 6-8 center Drew Gordon from San Jose, CA, and 6-9 Elgin Bailey from Baton Rouge, LA.
On the recruiting front, word around camp is that Louisville is in great shape to land Derrick Caracter - possibly in the very near future.
Derrick Caracter on his matchup with Greg Oden: "I knew my game plan was to use my quickness and get him off his feet. He's a hell of a player. He can run, jump and score. He's the complete package. I think he got the upper hand tonight by going inside.