NBA Camp: The Behanan Show

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Chane Behanan Experience is in full bloom at NBA Camp.


Chane Behanan, PF: He's about to shed the undersized label for a new one: big timer from the NBA camp. Behanan's been a beast here. Watching him sprint down the floor in transition told the story. He's been a load to deal with from mid-range and around the bucket. His confidence is through the roof and he's easily been amongst the handful of top performers here.

Wayne Blackshear, SG: The stroke has always been the calling card and his high school season proved he can score it big time. Blackshear came to NBA Camp with a mature approach. He wanted to showcase the overall game and its looked good. He's been active on defense and rock solid in each outing. What isn't reported is that Blackshear is hurting. The plan was to sit him out Friday night's game for Saturday's playoff run. At halftime he told his coach to scrap the plan and he went out and played well. At 7 a.m. on Saturday he was up early for another workout.

Jamal Branch, PG: He's achieved noticeable improvement since the spring. Branch is evolving at the point and is an excellent passer with either hand. He's been encouraged to be more vocal and that aspect of his game is improved.

Deuce Bello, SF: Obviously he's a leaper, by now everyone has figured that out. What caused a dip in the rankings in the last 12 months was his lack of an established jump shot. At camp, he's been encouraged by the coaches to trust his jumpers and take quality shots. He elevates well and has played with a purpose, the ink has been justified.

Anthony Davis, PF: After a month of nagging injuries, he made his way to Charlottesville and strung together a group of strong outings. Not only one of the best performers, but easily one of the handful of top prospects at camp. He's getting to loose balls and working hard for boards in traffic. Workmanlike camp effort and instead of relying on his "upside" he's fulfilling his potential.

Ben McLemore, SG/SF: Friday was his best day. McLemore's new to this type of experience and he's gradually adjusting. An athletic player, he's a threat because of his weaponry. Not only can he make perimeter shots, but he's an athletic driver with the ability to create his own shot and slash.

C.J. Barksdale, PF: He's going to walk out of the JPJ Arena with a tremendous amount of confidence. Barksdale's been consistent in the paint with his touch, hooks and work on the boards. One play summed up his entire camp: with time running down he caught it on the wing, drove strong to dunk, got crushed and made a pivotal free throw. He's played with a great deal of motivation here.

J.P. Tokoto, SF: He's in one of those funks you don't wish on anyone. Plain and simple: he's lost his confidence. At this same camp last year, Kyrie Irving struggled to get his mojo back but eventually worked it out. Tokoto's pressing and he's tight. It's unthinkable for a player his caliber not to score in three games. He got on the board in the final Friday session which was good to see. This is a mental issue and he's fighting it hard. To his credit, and this speaks volumes, he's been accessible to the media and made no excuses.

The best outlet passer in camp appears to be Landen Lucas. He's not a bad passer from the high post either. Guys like this are make their bones in college basketball as someone you can run offense through. He thinks the game; only a junior. … Derrick Randle and Nick Jacobs tangled in a matchup of undersized posts. Jacobs has more offense (a nifty hook). Randle is an area power forward. He blocks shots that come at him and corrals rebounds in his zone. …

Gary Bell has a rep as a defender. At the end of regulation, he guarded Marcus Paige and then helped down in the lane. It was a high level defensive play that speaks to his IQ and ability. …

… The biggest shot of the day we saw was an overtime dagger delivered by Rodney Hood. … Myck Kabongo's been sensational. However, everyone has something to work on and Kabongo missed a few key free throws on Friday. Unprompted, he walked up to coach Pat Clatchey and asked what time he could get to the gym. "I've got free throws to shoot." …

You don't always get to read about stuff like this but when you hear the stories, they are worth passing on. Myck Kabongo and Amir Garrett rose early Saturday morning and knocked on doors looking for guys to work out with. Kabongo got to the gym and spent the morning in the training room with a fever of 101. That's about the only thing that's slowed him down this week. … Garrett spent 20 minutes with a speed and explosion trainer working on his footwork. Simultaneously, Cody Zeller and Marshall Plumlee put in extra work with NBA coaches in the paint. … Brian Cook and Matt Carroll said Marcus Paige was the best one on one camper they had. Paige was the king of the court in his drills. …

Dai-Jon Parker has a top four of Virginia Tech, Northwestern, Florida State and Ohio State. There Peach State schools are noticeably absent from his list. "I gotta get out of Georgia," Parker said. …

Media director Penny Rogers said the most requested campers are Marshall Plumlee, Anthony Davis and Tokoto. … Tyronne Johnson has Villanova, Georgetown and Rutgers on him strong. West Virginia, Connecticut, Miami, Georgia Tech, Kansas and Oklahoma State on his list. … Branden Dawson said he'll wait until next spring and will definitely visit Purdue, Georgetown, Marquette and Michigan State. UCLA, Louisville and Arizona are on the list. … Behanan lists Louisville, West Virginia, Cincinnati, Texas, Kansas, Georgia, UConn and Purdue. …


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