Samuels, Evans clash at Lebron James Camp

AKRON, OH – The action got underway Saturday afternoon at the Lebron James Skills Academy. The first day highlight? A big-time matchup between Samardo Samuels and Willie Warren vs. Greg Monroe and Tyreke Evans. Who came out on top? has the scoop, plus an extensive recruiting notebook and player breakdowns.

It doesn't get much better than Samardo Samuels and Willie Warren vs. Greg Monroe and Tyreke Evans. That's right,'s No.'s 1, 6, 8 and 24-ranked prospects in the Class of 2008 went head-to-head Saturday night at the Lebron James Skills Academy in Akron, Ohio.

In the end, Samuels, a 6-8, 255-pound Louisville commit, helped lead his Kentucky team to a 96-92 victory over Monroe,'s top-ranked player, and Evans, Louisville's top recruit. Samuels had a big game. He scored 14 points, hauled in double-figure rebounds and blocked the 6-foot-5 Evans twice.

"I think I did good – a lot better than I did this morning," Samuels said after his squad's big victory. "I think I'm starting to get a better feel for the guys they put around me. I think I've got to start screening more to get open and avoid the double-team."

Warren, who is also being recruited by Louisville, pitched in a couple three's, and Al-Farouq Aminu scored over 20 points (official stats from the event aren't made public) for the victors.

Those his team lost the game, Evans gave a valiant effort. He scored a team-high 20 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out four assists. Trailing by 10 with just under three minutes remaining in the contest, Evans hit a pair of big buckets to help his team whittle the deficit down to two in the game's final minute.

Evans and Monroe couldn't stop Samuels
and company.

Monroe finished with ten points and hammered home a monster slam on the break in the first half.

"It's always fun – I mean the competition," Samuels said. "Those are two good players – very talented. I liked the challenge of going against the best players."

A slew of big-time college coaches looked on in Rhodes Arena. LSU's John Brady, Kansas' Bill Self, Duke's Coach K, Villanova's Jay Wright, North Carolina's Roy Williams, Florida's Billy Donovan and Kentucky's Billy Gillespie were on hand. Assistants from Louisville (Steve Masiello and Walter McCarty), Texas and Georgetown were also present and counted.


Samardo Samuels: Samuels started the day slow playing against 7-1 John Riek. Riek's length caused some problems for Samuels around the paint, particularly on offense. But Samuels figured out the solution in the second half, drawing Riek away from the basket and using his quickness and finesse moves to get some easy baskets. Samuels ran the court hard all day long, showed he can get position on the block when he wants it, and rebounded with authority. Against Monroe, Samuels showed why he's a Top 5 prospect – in one sequence, Samuels stuck a jumper over Monroe's outstretched arms, raced back on defense to grab transition rebound, then led the break and finished with a monster slam.

Tyreke Evans:Against, Warren, one of the strongest and most athletic guards in the country, Evans proved that no one can stop him from getting to the basket. He repeatedly got to the basket in the night cap, slicing up the opponent's defense. Evans also did a good job on the boards and finding his open teammates.

Deshawn Painter: This Class of 2009 stud put on an impressive display of rebounding and perimeter shooting in the day's first contest against Samuels. Long and wiry at 6-foot-9, Painter knocked in several jumpers in the 15-18 foot range and also was aggressive on the boards.

Willie Warren: Like Evans, Warren knows how to get in the paint and finish. He's strong, has a soft touch on floaters in the lane and can really push the tempo in the open court. There's been some questions about his outside shooting, but he hit several deep three's on the camp's first day.

Lamont Jones said he's a solid
Louisville commitment.


Louisville assistants Steve Masiello and Walter McCarty represented the Cardinals on the first day of action. As you'd expect, the pair tracked Samuels, Evans, Monroe and Warren the entire day. The Louisville duo also appeared to have eyes on Deshawn Painter, Lamont Jones, a 2009 Louisville commit, and Demarcus Cousins, a 6-10 2009 stud.

Tyreke Evans told that he currently has no favorites and his Top 5 are: Louisville, Villanova, Texas, Memphis and North Carolina.

Deshawn Painter said he's hearing from Ohio State, Florida, Louisville, Virginia, Virginia Tech, North Carolina and Maryland the most. "I don't have any favorites," Painter said. "It's a little too early."

Demarcus Cousins list UAB on the top of his list, followed by North Carolina, Texas, Florida, Louisville and Memphis.

Cardinal Authority Top Stories