NBA Camp: Thursday Morning Notebook

Charlottesville -- The NBA Top 100 Camp began Thursday morning and several Louisville prospects shined. Chane Behanan had a monster performance, Ryan Taylor hustled for loose balls and rebounds and two elite national prospects told that they plan to visit Louisville in June.

The NBA Camp Media Packet lists 11 "Premier Matchups" for Thursday mornings session.

One of those matchups is Wayne Blackshear, a UofL commit, vs. Jabari Brown, a 6'4, 205, SG from Oakland, California. Blackshear's Jazz played the Rockets in the first camp session, who also featured Louisville commitments Zach Price and Ryan Taylor.

Price and Taylor won the game, but Blackshear was solid. The 6'5 Top 20 prospect got after it defensively with hard ball pressure and disrupted the passing lanes for a few steals and break away dunks. Early in the game, Blackshear took Brown, a tough 205-pound shooting guard, down to the rim for easy shot attempts. Though he didn't force things offensively, Blackshear was clearly an elite prospect on the court.

Wayne Blackshear said his commitment to Louisville is solid.
We'll say this for Ryan Taylor: Nobody in camp plays harder or expends more effort on the defensive end of the court. He also likely leads camp in sweeping up the floor, getting down and dirty for loose balls in traffic. Offensively, Taylor converted a slashing drive through the lane and drained a baseline jumper near the three-point line. The nagging question about Taylor: Is he skilled enough offensively to become more than a role player at Louisville?

Price showed off his passing skills from the post, feeding his guards for open three-pointers. Price, who needs to strength his hands, particularly when rebounding in a crowd, showed deft touch a his midrange baseline turnaround jump shot. Price also drew fouls and converted at a solid clip from the line.

Jakarr Sampson, a 6-foot-8, 190-pound small forward from Akron, OH, told Wednesday evening that Louisville, Xavier and Baylor are the three schools at the top of his list.

Extremely long, Sampson has outstanding potential. This week, he'll try to improve his stock even more against the nation's best talent lineup here at the NBA Camp, which feature 100 of the nation's best players.

Sampson will visit Louisville next week with AAU teammate Zach Price, who has already committed to the Cardinals. Sampson told he'd welcome the opportunity to play with his friend at the next level.

Sampson, who scored 11 points in the opening session, made a big-time drive and finish from the wing that gets you excited about his potential as a prospect. There are few 6'8 guys that are as quick with the basketball as Jakarr Sampson. Quick, quick first step. He also flashed an outstanding spin move in the lane to create his own shot opportunity.

Louisville is also targeting Chane Behanan, an undersized power forward from Bowling Green, Ky. Behanan measured in at 6-foot-6 Wednesday and weighted 253-pounds. The word is that Louisville would love to get commitments from Sampson and Behanan at forward in the Class of 2011. Behanan led his team to a lopsided win with a huge 14 -point multiple rebound effort in the first session game of the NBA Top 100 Camp. Behanan had a monster slam off an offensive rebound as a highlight. At 253, Behanan needs to shed some weight but he played well against top level competition Thursday. Behanan told that Louisville and West Virginia are his top two. He'll visit both schools this summer.

According to NBA Camp Player Director Dave Telep, nearly 69 campers showed up before Thursday morning's session began for voluntary workouts. Among them: Wayne Blackshear, Zach Price and Jakarr Sampson.

Remember former UK standout Dirk Minniefield? His son, Darin, is here for the NBA Camp. Minniefield is a 6-0, 135-pound Class of 2013 standout from Sugarland (TX) Bellaire.

Duece Bello is an elite level athlete who finishes plays around the rim. Bello, a 6'4 guard from NC, visited Louisville last season.

Anthony Davis, one of the top prospects in the nation, told that he plans to visit Louisville this month. Davis scored 11 points in the morning session.

Morning Session Recaps

Lakers 78
Spurs 67

The Lakers overcame a low scoring first quarter and a furious late Spurs rally to capture the opening game of the 2010 NBPA Top 100 Players Camp 78-67. Sterling guard play from the Lakers, Marcus Paige and Levi Randolph, kept the Spurs at bay despite some outstanding backcourt action of their own. Sidiki Johnson led the Lakers with 16 points on the day followed closely in the scoring column by Brandon Dawson with 14 and big Bernard Sullivan with 12. Michael Chandler was high man for the Spurs netting 14 points with Kevin Ware adding 11 points in the loss.

Rockets 100
Jazz 75

Amile Jefferson showed a solid all around effort leading the scoring charge with 15 points and guiding his Rockets to a 100-75 trumpeting of the Jazz. Balanced scoring was the order of the day for the Rockets with Myles Mack adding 14, Rodney Purvis netting 13 and Zach Price and Jarnell Stokes dangling 11 each. Tyler Lewis and Jahii Carson were top scorers for the Jazz with 13 apiece while Adjehi Baru played an outstanding game blocking shots and finishing with 12 points in the loss.

Cavs 76
Hornets 68

Myck Kabongo showed his unmatched leadership skills providing steady scoring and nasty defensive pressure helping his Cavs sting the Hornets 76-68. A close game throughout was brought to one with a Derrick Wilson three at the buzzer, but the Kabongo factor reared its talented head again pushing the Cavs to victory. Dorian Finney-Smith led the Cavs with 15 points and Kabongo finished with 12 in the win. Austin Etherington added 11 for the victorious Cavs. D'Angelo Harrison led the Hornets with 14 points while Nick Jacobs was big on the boards keeping the game close and finished with 10 points. Robert Carter also cracked double digits for the Hornets with 10.

Pistons 90
Celtics 78

Nick Faust dropped 17 and "Mighty" Chris Jones added 13 as the Pistons dispatched the Celtics 90-78 in 11:45 game action. DeAndre Daniels and Joseph Uchebo finished with apiece for the Pistons. Tracy Abrams led the Celtics with 16 points while B.J. Young added 14 in the loss.

Hawks 103
Magic 77

The Hawks unleashed the dogs and disillusioned the Magic 103-77 behind a very balanced scoring attack led by Nik Stauskas with 17 large. Josiah Turner added 15 on an array of breakaway lay-ins and short jumpers and big Chane Behanan was a monster in the paint cashing in for 14 points and double digits caroms. Rashad Madden contributed 13 points and Anthony Davis added 11 in the win. P.J. Hairston was the lone bright spot for the Magic finishing with a game high 18 points in the loss.

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