NBPA: UNC Recruit Evaluations

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. --- The 2009 NBPA Top 100 Camp wrapped up over the weekend with Kendall Marshall leading his team to the championship. While the future Tar Heel enjoyed a fine week, he was far from the only UNC commitment or target making noise at the loaded event.

Kendall Marshall - Leading his team to an undefeated record and the camp championship, Marshall was a solid choice as the camp's MVP. At this point, it's tough to say much more about the job the southpaw floor general does leading his team and getting the ball to the right guys at the right time. He plays under control, mixes in his pull-up jumper to keep defenders honest and has a quiet confidence about him that his teammates seem to feed off of. Looking ahead, continued development of that pull-up jumper along with mixing in a few more drives to his off (right) hand will be important to his continued success. All in all, it was a great camp for Marshall.

Reggie Bullock - As the camp wore on, Bullock came alive. Not the most talkative guy and not somebody who leaps out at you athletically, but he is a smooth scorer with plus size and an underrated ability to create his own shot. Too often, dribbling the ball a lot is equated with creating shots. In reality, a good shot creator should never need more than two or sometimes three dribbles to free himself for a look and Bullock excels here. He also excels moving away from the ball to create easy catch and shoot opportunities. He looks to be adding strength and was more in attack mode – getting on the offensive glass, charging the hoop in transition – than he's been sometimes in the past. He certainly backed up, and further solidified, his reputation as one of the top wings in the class of 2010.

C.J. Leslie - No matter how many times a scout watches Leslie play, his game remains one that is tough to get a true handle on. On one hand he's a graceful athlete who can run, sky for dunks, change directions quickly and has tremendous quickness. On the other hand, he's a bit lean for a power forward and goes through stretches where it seems like he's allergic to playing in the paint. Challenged by Texas bound Tristan Thompson, Leslie manned up and got more physical and active in the post, but sometimes against lesser players he disappeared. When he's at his best -- and this was certainly true at NBPA -- it's because he's using his quickness and length to his advantage on the interior first before moving out to the perimeter to attack off of the dribble. When he struggles, it's because he's hunting jumpers, over-handling the ball and not scrapping on the interior.

Harrison Barnes - Given his lofty standards, Barnes' outing at the NBPA Camp could be looked at as "average" by some. Or, you could factor in the steady diet of top wings he faced and figure that he was just a few missed jumpers and free throws away from having a "great" camp. The bottom line is that this is a kid who requested that he be tested in every game and wants to be challenged as often as possible. In an age where so many kids are caught up trying to protect their rankings or reputations, his active seeking of competition is very welcomed. Looking at his game more specifically, Barnes went to work in the mid and high post when the jumper wasn't falling from deep. There, he's capable of spinning by defenders to finish at the rim or using an unstoppable turnaround jumper that he can hit turning to either shoulder. Dribbling into trouble when double teamed remains an area that he will have to improve upon but we're talking about a pretty complete guy here.

Terrence Jones - Playing primarily at the four and on the interior, it was interesting to see how Jones would respond when asked to play a different way than he's accustomed to. Rather than sulk that he didn't get to handle the ball on the perimeter as much as he is used to, Jones got to work on the offensive glass, hit turnaround jumpers and looked quite comfortable playing as a more traditional four. He's not an off the charts guy in terms of measurable athleticism (vertical, end to end speed) but he's very fluid, has terrific instincts and is quite clever in how he uses his body to create advantages at different spots on the floor.

Casey Prather - Talk about a kid who grew stronger as the camp wore on, Prather's conditioning is incredible. While most other kids were sucking wind, Prather seemed to only get stronger, more active and more accurate with his shot as camp wound down on Saturday. Not a particularly great ball handler or shooter from deep for a wing, Prather did knock down plenty of mid range jumpers while being very active on the glass and in transition as a slashing finisher. In a big time setting, he put together his most complete and versatile performance yet and looked a lot more like the guy who drew raves this winter than he has at times earlier this spring.

Roscoe Smith - He's long, he's athletic and he really likes to chat on the floor, that much is certain. Exactly where he fits in the next level is up for debate. While he will knock down a three pointer from time to time and is a capable slasher, his overall perimeter package appears to be in need of some fine tuning. On the interior, he's an active shot blocker, rebounds and uses his quickness against other players. In fact, after watching him more closely in Charlottesville, the question that needs to be asked is whether or not Smith is really a small or power forward?

P.J. Hairston- A week after seeing just about everything he launched swish through the nets at the Nike Hoop Jamboree, Hairston struggled with his shot in one day of play in Charlottesville. Not only that, bigger defenders seemed to cause him some trouble in finding space to shoot and he wasn't always able to effectively counter defenders off of the dribble. He suffered a pretty nasty groin injury that cut his camp short after the opening day of games and put him on crutches.

C.J. Barksdale - A long and slender insider, Barksdale played hard but looked a bit lost at camp. He runs the floor, uses his bounce and long arms to get on the glass and plays hard, but he looks to be a year or so away. For now, it looks like he needs to focus on adding strength and developing some skills facing the hoop between 10 and 15 feet. He may very well have those skills already, but if he does he never had the opportunity to showcase them at the NBPA Camp.

Michael Gbinije - Prior to going down with injury, Gbinije was well on his way to having a stellar camp. A smart player who doesn't waste a lot of motion, he only seemed to dribble with purpose, hit his open shots and leaked out in transition for easy dunk attempts. A good -- but not overwhelming -- athlete, he's very good about catching the ball and getting into position to make a basketball move. Effectively uses jab steps and really rips the ball through when he swings to start a drive. At times he is a little bit stiff (stands straight up and down a lot) and looks somewhat mechanical, but he's a very talented and fundamentally sound young wing with an outstanding hoops IQ.


Inside Carolina Top Stories