Nike Camp: Centers


1. Amare Stoudemire -- Man-child; Sean Kemp-like aggression; Chris Webber-like around the hoop; soap opera. Only player at Nike who should skip college; and no longer a Memphis commitment for those college coaches looking for big men (lol) says Marc Little, his P.R. guy.

2. Torin Francis -- Stud player in the paint, even showed off some outside shooting skills. Wow, what a future. [Editor's Note: Francis is more commonly considered a power forward.]

3. Michael Thompson -- After watching him since Sept. '99, he played the best I've ever seen him play. Was great inside, stronger and more self-assured. Too bad he never got to face Stoudemire and Francis and see how he stacks up with the best.

4. Eric Williams -- Apparent Wake Forest commitment, he does one thing really well, get position and score. He's not that athletic and doesn't run the floor well at all, but he's nimble around the basket and knows not to float to the perimeter.

5. Julius Lamptey -- Didn't really have a big camp but at 6-11, 317 pounds colleges are going to want him. Surprisingly, he let much smaller players slow him down or block his shot and didn't play with a lot of toughness or passion at times. But he's huge...and that's all that matters these days. He'll make a college coach earn his money in trying to develop him.

6. Keith Butler -- Another player who needs to be developed. He's so long and tall and plays hard just isn't near a finished product yet. Supposedly needs another year of prep school and might end up in the Class of 2003.

7. Moulaye Niang -- It might take him time but he's going to be good. He works so hard on his game and showed great flashes. Needs strength badly.

8. Aliou Kane -- Easily passes the looks test as he's a big, strong dude. Still raw, especially on offense but he'll get recruited by most of the high majors.

9. Kevin Field -- A big imposing player, yet can step out and shoot with range. Hard worker, who needs a lot of coaching but should make a Pac-10 coach very happy.

10. Aaron Spears -- He's lost a lot of weight apparently and at 6-8, 260 pounds, he's starting to come on. He'll need to do some academic work but for Conf. USA or Big Ten programs, he'll be a prime target.

11. Ray Enright -- Nebraska commitment works hard and has a good future ahead of him but is still learning what he can do with his big, wide body.

12. Almany Thiero -- More power forward size, I just wanted to get him on a list. But he's definitely a center on offense as he isn't much effective outside of five feet from the basket. Still incredibly raw and not that knowledgeable about post play and passing to teammates, but he's got a great body for the game and plays hard.

General comment -- The tall kids develop at a different rate than others so it will be interesting to see which of these kids really wants to be a basketball player and will work hard. The trio of Stoudemire, Francis and Thompson just dominated all week long.

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