Whispers from the NBPA Camp

The NBPA Camp this week in Richmond, Va. isn't open to the public and will only be open to the media for a few small windows on Friday and Saturday (and stayed tuned for our coverage). However, in the meantime, <i>IC</i> has obtained some behind-the-scenes info from the camp ...


* Trevor Ariza threw down one of the biggest dunks of the week -- only to be outdone by Al Jefferson, whose fierce dunk left the basket structure shaking for what seemed like minutes on-end.

* Speaking of Jefferson, he's clearly one of the best players at the camp. The big post player, only a rising junior, has been unstoppable. That included a matchup with Brian Johnson, but Jefferson's combination of size and agility was too much for Johnson to handle.

* However, that is not a knock on Johnson, as Jefferson dominated each one of his talented opponents this spring -- and will likely do the same this summer. Johnson himself is earning some high praise this week. He's reportedly been very active and his ability to run the floor has led to some important baskets. Johnson's biggest asset, however, is his developed game on the low blocks. "He's one of the most skilled big men here," said a camp source.

* Olu Famutimi has had a few big days. As he showed at the TOC, the perimeter jumper has taken his game to the next level. This week he's shaking defenders, dunking on big men and hitting those jump shots.

* Famutimi is teamed with Jefferson, Ray Reed, Marcus Williams and Taurean Green. They are clearly the camp's top team and the safe bet is on them to go undefeated.

* Martin Iti has been tearing it up, according to our sources. The big and tough center has been going strong to the basket, dunking on folks and blocking shots all over the place. In the words of someone in attendance - "He's killing people!"

* Jamon Gordon has been playing real well. Very under control. Making his shots and showing wise shot selection. He's very athletic and can flush on some heads too. Looks like he's gaining momentum since his all-star showing at Five Star last week.

* Shane Morrison, a 5-10 Canadian point guard has been showing some good skills. He's a really athletic point who shoots it pretty well and is savvy. He's strong going to the basket as well despite his smallish frame. With a relatively thin 2003 PG class, Morrison could become a highly coveted prospect by the end of the summer -- if not sooner.

* Another post player who's playing well is 6-10 Jersey center Aaron Gray.

* According to our sources, Lodrick and Rodrick Stewart have been working on what analysts' call their short comings -- shot selection and patience. Both have been showing tremendous improvement in both categories. Rodrick had a thunderous dunk off the backboard in traffic over not one but two post players. Gulp!

* 6-foot-3 rising senior Andre Ingram has looked solid despite the tight rims in the Siegal Center. The noted three-point-ace saw three of his treys rim out yesterday -- shots that looked to be heading through the nylon.

* Other names of note that are there include Ekene Ibekwe, Marcus Ginyard, Hassan Fofana, Jarrod Boswell, Mohammed Akubar, Zam Frederick, Brandon Bass, Gerald Brown and Mike Kearse, to name a few.

* Check back this weekend for IC's on-scene coverage of the NBPA Camp ...

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