Nike: Tuesday News & Notes

INDIANAPOLIS -- The first full day of scrimmages ended Tuesday, but several of the same questions remained at the Nike Camp in Indianapolis.

Between Monday and Tuesday's scrimmages, scouts have had the opportunity to watch all but one team. And Tuesday, the college coaches (including UNC's Joe Holladay) joined the fun at IUPUI.

Brian Johnson, UNC's top post prospect in the Class of 2004, learned two things during the first few days at camp. His team is devoid of talent, and he didn't get destroyed by Al Jefferson (Arkansas commit).

Johnson scored four points – one on a dive into the lane for a basket, and other was a jump shot from the elbow near the free-throw line. He unofficially totaled one steal, one block and one rebound in about 24 minutes of action. Jefferson finished with nine points and two rebounds as his team won 70-42.

Johnson's team doesn't have a true point guard and little size. To lose by 28 points to Jefferson's team, which doesn't even feature several big-name players is telling. In the unfortunate news department, anticipated showdowns between Johnson and LaMarcus Aldridge (Texas commitment) and D.J. White (Indiana commitment), have been stymied, as only Johnson has been able to stay healthy.

Conversely, Richard Hendrix destroyed Illinois' Shaun Pruitt on Monday, as the Alabama junior power forward is part of a super-talented frontline of Marquise Gray and Shawne Williams. Hendrix owned the paint en route to 10 points and three blocks. He was relentless and proved to be everything a college coach could want in a power forward.

With UCLA commitment Jordan Farmar running the show, rising junior's Monta Ellis and Louis Williams played off the ball to mixed results.

Williams went scoreless in a game against Greg Paulus' team Monday, taking just two shots. However, he rebounded for a nice game Tuesday as he's not forcing the action.

In the same game against Paulos' team, Ellis scored three points, but earned with his passing, defensive play and quickness. Ellis could be the quickest player in the camp.

Paulus played a steady game, rarely looking for his shot. He hit an early three-pointer and had a nifty layup to finish with five points. Between Paulus, Williams and Ellis, Paulus is natural point guard in the group.

Josh McRoberts, a rising junior from Indiana, could be dubbed "Baby Shavlik," for his resemblance to Duke's Shavlik Randolph. However, his game is evolving more into ex-Arizona star Luke Walton. Unselfish to a fault, McRoberts' passing is advanced for his age and helps make up for his lack of strength. In Tuesday's game, McRoberts finished with four points but had several sharp passes.

Also on Tuesday, rising senior Ra'Sean Dickey had four points, though the 6-foot-9 post player played with more aggressiveness than in past viewings.

Rising junior Martell Webster was outstanding as usual, finishing with two 3-pointers and 10 points against Dickey's team. Webster is the ideal small forward target and is down to Arizona (the leader), Missouri and North Carolina. He has special player written all over him.

Curry on fire: Not to forget JamesOn Curry, the rising senior proved to any critics that said he could be slipping in the rankings with a spectacular showing in the 3-on-3 tournament Tuesday.

The UNC commitment teamed up with Al Jefferson, Orlando's Brandon Johnson and South Dakota's Joe Krabbenhoft to go 6-0 in the tournament.

Curry lit up Indiana commitment Robert Vaden for 11 points, including three 3-pointers as he only missed one shot. Against Demond Carter, a rising sophomore from Louisiana, Curry went 3 for 4 with two 3-pointers. And in the last game, Curry was matched up against the much taller Robert Kurz (Notre Dame commitment), and hit the game-winning 3-pointer to preserve the perfect record.

Possible new recruit: Detroit star combo guard Joe Crawford announced he was de-committing from Michigan. Crawford, a likely top 25 candidate, named North Carolina among his new list of colleges.


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