NBA Camp: Evaluations

Now that the 2006 edition of the NBPA Top 100 camp is officially in the books, it's time to take a look back at the players in attendance. While there wasn't a particularly large group of players who appear to be on the UNC radar, there were some of note. As an added bonus, we'll cover a few other players who impressed in Richmond as well.

Samardo Samuels - Considered one of the top five players in the class of 2008, and continuing to prominently list UNC, Samuels is going through a period where people really seem to be looking to pick his game apart. It's become fashionable to question his upside or to say he's near his ceiling as a player, but the fact is that it's way too early to determine that. Will he stay a top five guy in his class? Maybe not, but that doesn't mean he isn't a tremendous prospect with plenty of room to grow.

As almost any evaluation you read regarding him will say, he's got an impressive physique that he uses to create contact around the hoop. Perhaps more important is that he looks to have actually lost some weight and leaned up which has allowed him to be quicker around the hoop. He's got good touch to 10 feet on short jumpers and shoots his free throws well but sometimes forces things from outside of the lane. He's not a super leaper, but he does explode off the floor and that quickness off the floor combined with his long arms allows him to dunk on people and blocks shots. Further development of his skills in the low post – perhaps developing a move or two to his right shoulder, as he turns to his left one almost exclusively – will be important but this is a guy who is still an elite level recruit.

Anthony Randolph - The long and skinny lefty has a world of potential locked up inside his 6-10 frame. He's a capable ball handler who is very comfortable going right or left, shoots with ease out to 21 feet and gets up and down the floor in the a hurry thanks to long and swift strides where his feet barely seem to touch the ground. Like many young guys with that much talent, he'll tend to float in and out of games and he seems entirely intent on doing his damage from the perimeter versus going inside and using his length. On those occasions that he does post up, he makes clever use of head fakes, up and under moves and a pretty jump hook. The number one priority for Randolph is to do anything in his power to add strength. Next, he's got to turn his game up to full volume at all times so that he can exploit his skills. Nobody is trying to turn him into a banger, but what currently separates him the most from a guy like Kevin Durant is that Durant was looking to drop 40 on everybody he plays. If Randolph develops that attitude, look out.

Ed Davis - He doesn't exactly look like a banger because of his skinny frame, but the smooth southpaw really surprises with his tenacity around the rim and inside the paint. The 6-8 forward is gifted with exceptional quickness around the hoop, above average anticipation for where missed shots will land and a pair of terrific hands. He bounds up and down the court with ease and is quite comfortable on either block with his back to the hoop as he spins to flip up easy turnaround jumpers and soft banks off of the glass. More often than not he's going to have a decided quickness advantage and he's starting to show signs that he's going to use it from the free throw area where he can shot fake and blow by defenders for easy jams off one or two dribble drives.

Delvon Roe - Another gifted lefty from the class of 2008, the one-on-one battle waged by Roe with Davis was one of the most entertaining of camp. A bit more solidly built, Roe is a polished scorer who reminds a bit of Antawn Jamison. He's quick and decisive in the post where he gets his shoulder underneath his man on spins to the hoop which allows him to get an easy path to the hoop while drawing a ton of fouls. Take away the hoop and he'll spin the other way or step back for his pretty jumper. Maybe his most endearing quality, though, is that he has the skills to score from the perimeter, but he doesn't hang out by the three-point line hunting shots. Instead, he gets easy baskets inside, knocks down a few mid-range jumpers and only then will he move out to try his luck on open three pointers. His ball handling is an area that needs improvement but it's pretty tough to pick at any areas of this fundamentally sound big man's game.

Terrelle Pryor - Yet another class of 2008 standout, this broad shouldered and long armed forward is a transition ace. He runs the floor for easy jams, starts the break with crisp outlet passes and has the toughness to score on the interior against bigger players. At 6-6 it's going to be important for him to focus on his ball handling and jump shooting if he really wants to play on the perimeter full time. His shot has good mechanics for the most part, but he stops his hand short on his follow through and often fades away completely wasting any help his legs are giving him with his shot. At this point he's clearly one of the top guys in his class on physical and athletic potential alone, but people will pass him if he's not careful.

OTHER STANDOUTS

James Anderson - The humble, soft spoken winger from the Arkansas/Louisiana border may have improved his stock as much as anybody in camp. A dangerous shooter with range and big time athleticism off of the bounce, Anderson plays both ends of the court and he comes without any hint of ego.

Evan Turner - When you consider that he's basically only played one year of varsity hoops and that he played on the interior, Turner's potential on the wing is hard to deny. He's long, moves well laterally and is a terrific decision maker and defender. His shot is a bit flat from outside of 15 feet, but this kid is improving rapidly and will be a big timer down the road because of his fundamentals and all-around game.

Patrick Patterson - An argument could easily be made that the 6-8 workhorse was the camp's most consistent performer. He owns the glass on both ends of the court, likes to scrap in the paint, explodes for monster dunks and easily swishes home jumpers from 10-15 feet. His style of play makes him a fit for almost any system in the country and he's not just kidding when he says winning is all he cares about.

Karron Johnson - A member of the class of 2009, the Richmond native looked comfortable on his home turf. A terrific athlete with power and explosion around the hoop, it would be easy for him to rely completely on his athleticism and tenacity. What separates him, though, from most his age is that he doesn't fall into that trap of doing so. Good feel for the game and a nice looking mid-range stroke. Lots will change over the next few years, but it's hard to imagine there are 10 players in his class better than him at this stage.

Corey Stokes - Villanova has a big time scorer in that Mitch Richmond or Martell Webster mold with Stokes. He's a bruising and sweet-stroking wing who has greatly improved his ability to attack off the dribble. His misses from deep were few and far between and the ball wasn't just going through the rim, it was ripping through the net and rarely even grazing rim.

Kalin Lucas - Probably the top PG in the entire camp, the future Michigan State Spartan controls the game on both ends. He's quick but really understands how changing speeds can cause headaches for opponents. A very good shooter, he'll fire up a jumper when he needs to but he's all about getting his teammates involved.

DeAndre Jordan - Still growing, the lefty is almost seven feet tall and he's got length to go along with it. He's still maturing emotionally, but nobody could complain about how much more aggressive he looked than earlier this spring. He tries to dunk everything within six feet of the rim, runs the floor well and is developing a nice spinning jump hook. He's starting to realize his potential and the results are impressive.


Inside Carolina Top Stories