NBPA: Wed. Evening Notes

RICHMOND, Va. -- The competitive play picked up Wednesday evening at the NBPA Top 100 Camp. <i>Inside Carolina</i> was in attendance at the Siegel Center ... (Pictured: Cedric Simmons and D.J. White)

D.J. White ate up Cedric Simmons on defense. The elite prospect was swatting his shots left and right, while snagging a good number of boards in the process. White rarely puts up huge numbers in AAU ball (at least when we‘ve been watching), but it's because he lets the game come to him and doesn't try to take 20 shots. With his mobility and skills, he won't be falling out of the Top 10 anytime soon. As for Simmons, while he can throw down vicious dunks and is pretty athletic, he's still a work in progress. He mishandled his share of passes and traveled on several occasions, but the upside is clearly there for him to make an impact in the ACC down the road.

Our notes on J.R. Smith tonight are pretty much what you already know -- he's a breathtaking athlete. The high-flying highlights came one after another (we caught the breakaway windmill slam on film - see below). His ball handling keeps getting better and the form on the three-pointer looks good. And he was sporting Carolina Blue sneakers.


J.R. Smith

Robert Swift bested Al Jefferson. I didn't see Jefferson score a point when guarded by Swift. Swift suffocated the 6-9, 265-pounder with relentless post defense and outhustled him in transition. When he got the ball down low, Swift either scored or got to the free throw line where he made the best of his opportunities.

Michigan State's PG of the future is nasty. Drew Neitzel is similar to Mike Nardi, but better and quicker. He really showed that he was a winner today. He gave Shaun Livingston all that he could handle and beat the 6-7 superstar off the dribble quite a few times. He's a great passer and keeps his team under control. The kid is a winner.

David Burgess had some good moments. The kid is big, physical, aggressive and stays in the paint. Not the best athlete, but he'll be a nice college center.

James Mays is like Bobby Jacobs, the event promoter of Slam Dunk to the Beach. He's so active, energetic and all over the place. If basketball doesn't work out for Mays, he could be one of those flying mascots at an NBA game. This kid has Mountain Dew Code Red energy.

Zam Frederick likes to shoot. And shoot a lot. The stocky 6-1, 205-pounder from South Carolina has nice range and likes to let them fly. When he's on -- he's terrific. But he's not always on.

Mohammed Tangara had some nice moments. One player called him a "freak of nature with unlimited energy." There are a lot of high-major schools on his trail, and it's because of his athleticism and aggressiveness -- and potential.

James Gist is a great transition player. The kid eats the glass. Great offensive rebounder. Maryland picked up a good one in Gist. He's so long and really positions his body quickly and well when the shots go up.

Dwight Howard had some moments again tonight. From running the floor scoring easy baskets to rejecting weak junk in the lane. He's been the best big man of the camp so far. Other players are raving about Howard. NBA scouts are as well.

Not a great night for 6-0 PG Rico Tucker. The San Diego leaper is a phenomenal athlete, but his jump shot was MIA tonight, and he'll need that to fall in order to stay a Top 100 prospect.


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