ABCD: Raymond Felton
When the game is on the line, Raymond Felton is at his best.
Throughout the spring and summer circuit thus far, Felton has repeatedly turned his game up a notch in the final minutes and led his team to victory.
It was more of the same on Monday night at the ABCD Camp.
Felton was matched up with Duke-bound point guard Sean Dockery, and while the two didn't go head-to-head until the final quarter, Felton made the big play in the final seconds.
After trailing late, Felton's Wizards took a two-point lead with 10 seconds remaining. Felton stepped in front of Dockery, stealing the inbounds pass and sealing the 80-76 win.
"Nobody can stop me from where I want to go and what I want to do," Felton said.
Felton had a game-high 16 points and three assists, according to the always suspect official stat count, shooting 3-3 from beyond the arc and 5-15 from the field. Dockery was held to nine points on 4-18 shooting, though he did record six assists.
Felton and Dockery are actually good friends - "best of buddies," as Felton puts it - though eight long miles will separate them in a little over a year.
"We're buddies," Dockery said, "but pretty soon he's going to be a rival."
It's been four games and four wins for Felton through the first two days at ABCD, against talented opponents like Dockery, Elijah Ingram, Sebastian Telfair and Allen Ray. The much-anticipated battle with Anthony Roberson is tomorrow night.
"I'm not saying I'm better than any of these guys, but I'm holding my ground," Felton said.
And it's kind of him to be so modest. Dockery, on the other hand, was willing to give an honest answer.
"They're a lot of point guards," Dockery said, "and he's the best."
For Felton, being a star in South Carolina has brought the attention of the local media, some of whom aren't too thrilled he chose the Tar Heels over the hometown Gamecocks.
A writer at The Columbia State made numerous attempts to keep alive rumors that Felton could opt out of his commitment to Carolina and commit to USC. After Felton was finally able to put those rumors to rest, another writer at the State wrote an article that Felton was considering entering the NBA Draft - an article that was circulated nationally through the wire services.
"I don't know what they're trying to do," Felton said. "I didn't say it the way they [published] it. I just said that it's my ultimate goal to go to the NBA, but I'm going to college for at least 1-2 years - and hopefully four. I'm going to get my education, regardless.
"I'm not even thinking about going to the NBA right now."