Often times a highly anticipated head-to-head pairing will fizzle rather than sizzle because those involved get too caught up in the moment and forget there are others out there with them. Luckily for those watching 6-0 PG Tywon Lawson and 5-11 PG Sherron Collins go head-to-head that wasn't the case.
Like a pair of heavyweight prize fighters, the dynamic guards felt each other out in the early stages and made sure not to expose themselves to a knockout blow. Early on Collins did appear a little more aggressive as he scored seven fairly quick points and proved that he can play under control just as easily as he can entertain crowds with his dribbling and aerial antics.
Picking up steam as the game drew on, Lawson became more of a factor late in the game and his three pointer with around 20 seconds to go gave his team a two point lead. Not only did Lawson hit the big shot, he managed to draw a foul on Collins but missed the free throw. Without missing a beat, Collins raced down the court and used his deadly crossover to get into the lane and score a deuce sending the game to overtime.
While Collins team won the game in sudden death, the head-to-head matchup ended up in a virtual draw. Lawson went for 11 points, two assists, two turnovers, three rebounds and a steal while Collins had nine points, two assists, three turnovers a rebound and two steals. It was interesting to watch two guys who are used to doing whatever they went when they want tone things down and play more of a controlled and calculated game but the raging debate about which is better continues on. For the record, both are incredible guards and you couldn't go wrong with either.
MORE CAROLINA TARGETS AT NIKE CAMP
Spencer Hawes - It was a bit of an up and down day for Hawes. The 6-11 native of Seattle was terrific in three-on-three games where he splashed home medium range jumpers and converted on jump hooks with either hand. In the five-on-five games he made a few more jumpers, ran the floor for some easy dunks and blocked a few shots. On the other hand, he was also the victim of a pair of facials courtesy of terrific 6-4 WG Durrell Summers and Hawes even got hung on the rim during a failed open court dunk attempt where he looked to have lost his footing on the way up.
According to Hawes he'd really like to slice his list down from eight to a more manageable number. "I want to do it when I get back from Peach Jam," said Hawes. "I think four would be a nice number but I don't know if I can do it just yet. It may have to wait until after the evaluation period."
Tyreke Evans - After being sidelined by a stomach virus during the first few days of camp, the 6-4 WG announced his presence in a big way Friday afternoon. The rising sophomore went nuts for 20 plus during his first camp game as he drilled jumpers from all over the court and used his tricky ball handling to get into the lane. He plays with a little wiggle and doesn't lack for confidence at all. Head Coach Roy Williams made sure that he was visible for the performance.
William Graves - How about a little love for Graves who played by far his best game of camp on Friday afternoon. The thick wing was swishing deep jumpers but everybody already knows he's capable of doing that. The most promising aspect of his performance was that he got in the lane and used his strength to his advantage for some easy scores. When he plays with effort and gets on the glass you can see why the Heels made an early move to secure the in-state product.
Gary Johnson - Just another day at the office for the efficient and productive 6-7 BF from Houston. He's all about creating contact and getting to the rim where he has a knack for finishing with either hand. Because he can step out and make 15-foot jumpers he becomes an awkward matchup for other big men and he's been exploiting defenders all week long.
Duke Crews - It is very obvious that the 6-6 BF from Hampton has been frustrated with his play. Lots of balls that usually go in are rolling off of the rim and he even missed a few of his signature dunks. However, the effort is still there and Friday was easily his best day of camp and he looked like he may be starting to find his groove. Even coaches who aren't recruiting him are eager to talk about how hard he plays and the way he tries to beast on anybody in his way.
Jerryd Bayless - The 6-2 guard from Phoenix was on his way to getting the better of Sherron Collins when he got a little too excited and started talking trash. Generally Collins is a cool customer who doesn't let trash talk get to him but once Bayless glared at him after a flying reverse jam Collins kicked it into a gear that produced the loudest ovations of the camp. First Collins put what may have been the sickest one-on-one move ever witnessed at camp on Bayless with an indescribable crossover/spin/crossover/spin and reverse layup that happened too quickly for comprehension. Then on the next trip down the court Collins nearly put Bayless to the floor with a crossover from right to left, sliced down the lane and elevated for a powerful hanging one handed jam. The best part about it, he never said a word to Bayless about it because his actions said more than any words could have.