|This story originally published on Scouthoops.com|
Each year, the Nike Hoop Jamboree gives us a sneak peak at the up and coming talent. This time around in St. Louis, over 120 members of the 2007, 2008 and 2009 classes gathered for four days worth of basketball and instruction.
In past seasons, the camp yielded dominant performances from guys like Greg Oden, Ndudi Ebi and Tyler Hansbrough. This time around there wasn't a dominant performer but there sure was a wealth of talent in the gym.
When it was all said and done, power forward Kosta Koufus emerged as the guy who had the best overall camp. The top point guard nod went to Kalin Lucas. A youngster who hasn't played in high school yet but has some great genes, made waves as a shooting guard; Xavier Henry (Class of 2009) looked outstanding all weekend. Jeremy Price was outstanding at the center spot but he wasn't alone. Here's a glance at the movers and shakers from the weekend.
This was a deep and talented bunch. The consensus was that Jeremy Price (2007) consistently played the best ball of the guys at his position. A strong finisher down low, Price shined in 3-on-3 events and game action. Braxton Dupree (2007) conjures images of a younger Sean May. Blessed with great hands around the basket and a strong finishing touch, he's got a body like May and was very productive.
Semardo Samuels (2008, pictured) is big, strong and gets nasty in the paint. Without question he was one of the elite posts here. Xavier Gibson (2008) is a shot blocker who surprised us with a burgeoning inside game. Finally, DeAndre Jordan was the player with the biggest reputation amongst the centers but in terms of production, lagged behind the guys we mentioned, which frankly was surprising. However, it does prove how strong the guys are at the top of this list.
Kosta Koufus (2007) did it all: he handled it, shot it from deep and dunked inside. Koufus is 6-foot-10+ and claims to still be growing. One thing is for sure, his rep is on the rise as he was the catalyst of the power forward division.
This was a talented group. From Chris Braswell (2008) to Angel Garcia (2008), there was great size and skill work at this position. LaRon Dendy (2007) shined and JaJuan Johnson (2007), the veteran of a JV team last season, is a name to listen for in the future.
Be On The Lookout For: Michael Holmes (2007), Chris Barnes (2007), Billy Cole (2007), Matt Simpkins, Christian Siakim (2007) and Richard Jackson (2007).
Nobody proved to be more athletic in the entire camp than Chris Wright (2007). The Ohio product was at times a showstopper. He was amongst the very best prospects at the camp. George Goode (2007) fared extremely well and Robbie Hummel (2007) proved to have a reliable stroke on the perimeter and an innate feel for the game. Ravern Johnson (2007) came out of nowhere and Leon Powell (2007) was active and athletic all week long.
Xavier Henry (2009) is one of the best in his class that we've seen. With a father who played at Kansas and a brother who was recently selected in the first round of the MLB Draft, it's no surprise that at 6-foot-4 he's a big time player. Speaking of big timers, how about Willie Warren (2008) and sweet shooting Lance Storrs (2007), Paul Williams (2008) and Sean Mosley (2008) are big time rising sophs as well is hot shooting Michael Harthun (2008) from the West Coast.
The position wasn't particularly deep at camp in comparison to the others but the play of Kalin Lucas (2007, pictured) would have
stood out among any group the Hoop Jam has seen as he was the consensus top dog at his spot.
Calling Nick Calathes (2007) a point guard might be premature for the combo but since everyone loved playing with him and he's good enough to transition to the spot, we'll project him there for now. Frankie Sullivan (2008) was the most physically gifted PG at camp as he's a jet who can score.
Be On The Lookout For: Maurice Miller (2007), Isaiah Thomas (2007), Brock Young (2007), Jamelle McMillan (2007), Shelton Brown (2007), Talor Battle (2007, injured first day), Etoile Imama and Darryl Bryant (2008).