Top Talents on Display in Indy

One of the great unsung benefits of your <i>TheBootleg.com</i> premium subscription is the in-depth and breaking recruiting coverage from national and regional experts. This week in Indianapolis, Dave Telep is at the Nike All-American Camp is in Indianapolis (IN) reporting on more top hoops recruits than you can imagine. His three days of jam-packed reports are here...

Day One - News & Notes

2004 Checklist

Rudy Gay, SF: The impression he made this evening was a lasting one. Gay seemingly gets bigger each time out. He grabbed traffic rebounds, used his long arms and body to his advantage and was overall very impressive. We've got him in the Top 25 but he's going likely be a kid who rises even higher after the summer. He runs, jumps, shoots mid-range Js and looks the part.

Al Horford, PF: Coming into the camp everyone knew he could rebound and generally gets after it pretty good. Today, he sought out his offense and really was able to accomplish some things on the offensive end. He was consistently getting into his post moves – the hook shot looked good – and he just looked like he wanted it. Nice opening effort.

D.J. White vs. Brian Johnson: Nice little opening battle in a major camp. Let's not kid ourselves here; both of these guys are pretty darn good. On this day, White's athleticism was able to create some issues for Johnson. DJ is coming off a great week at USA Camp and he's so bouncy that he's going to get a lot of favorable matchups at both ends. Plus, his face-up jumper is very reliable.

2005 Checklist

Amir Johnson, C-PF: Supposedly he wasn't playing his best ball coming into the camp. Well, he looked pretty good tonight. From his fine passing skills in the low and high post to his range – he hit a 3 – it was a nice opening effort.

Martell Webster, SF-SG: It's been a while since we've seen him but he's still a man and he's gotten bigger. This guy has a bright future and his body is strong and athletic.

2006 Checklist

Derrick Caracter, PF: I'll try and paint a picture of him for those who haven't seen him. First of all, he's 6-9 and 287 pounds. Now, this cat is really nimble, not a good leaper, but nimble. He's comfortable handling it some and is simply the best passing big man I've seen at that age. Can't wait for the matchup with Greg Oden should it ever materialize.

Scout's Perspective

Robert Rothbart is seriously over 7-0 tall and that's a good thing. However, right now he has issues with contact and that's a bad thing. He's got tools, but his body needs strength and weight. …. Darris Nichols, a West Virginia commitment, really shot it well from deep and mid-range in the game we watched. …

Marquise Gray, in many ways, is a clone of Donnell Harvey. He's ultra-athletic and one of the best rebounders in his class. He gets boards he's got no business getting. One area of improvement will have to come in post defense where his athleticism helps less if kids can catch it on the block against him. … Paul Delaney of Georgia is a super athlete. …

Gerry Corcoran is one of our favorite shooters. However, he can get himself into trouble when he tries to create. He's best when he sitting back busting zones. … A.J. Price really wants to be a point guard in the worst way and he just might pull it off. He's a superior passer in transition where he's very comfortable. Tonight, he did some nice working creating for others off the drive. …

Injury Report: Lamarcus Aldridge is here but he was last seen on crutches this evening. Apparently he injured his foot in Texas and will have x-rays taken on Monday. … Jamelle Cornley has a few broken bones in his left hand. We knew he was a warrior before the injury so we weren't surprised to learn he's going to gut it out and play. …


Day One - Inside the Press Room

Inside Word

South Carolina had a chance to hire Zam Frederick's father, a former Gamecock and current high school coach. He was not hired by USC and now the guard is favoring Kentucky and Georgia Tech over Connecticut, Stanford, Georgia and South Carolina. Zam says that he's got offers from each school and wants to commit in early August. …

Here's one for you: A.J. Ratliff, an uncommitted guard and one of the top players in Indiana, wanted to be a Hoosier but that was before James Hardy and Robert Vaden pledged their allegiances. … Who's in great position with Isaiah Swann? Try Cincinnati, Maryland, Connecticut, Florida State and Arizona. … Darnell Jackson has liked Oklahoma since he was a little kid. …

Arizona missed on Marvin Williams so sources tell us Mohamed Tangara, Malik Hairston, Shaun Livingston and Jeremis Smith have risen up the hit list. Livingston heads such list. … Point guard Trent Meacham is playing for a scholarship this week. He's got interest from tons of schools but this week is where colleges finally get to put a face to the guy they send letters to.

School Lists:

Ratliff is seriously considering Marquette, Kansas, Iowa, Purdue, Xavier and North Carolina State. His goal is to leave Nike Camp as the No. 1 target of each of those schools. … Guard Matthew Barrow likes Connecticut, Oklahoma, Tulane, Florida, DePaul, LSU and Western Kentucky though he's not sure who has offered. …

North Carolina guard Chris Gaynor has offers from Radford, Elon and Robert Morris. Lehigh, UNC-Wilmington and UT-Chattanooga are still evaluating him and Georgia recently called on him. Gaynor is a member of the Kappa Magic AAU team. … Georgia Stars senior guard Ryan Lamb lists Marshall, Siena, Clemson, Tulsa, Nebraska and Furman as some programs he's interested in. … Gary Patterson of Bishop Knoll High lists Butler, Western Michigan, Western Kentucky, Xavier, UIC, Evansville, Central Michigan, San Francisco and Indiana State. …

Trent Meacham's list includes Purdue, Marquette, Kansas State, Ohio State, Vanderbilt, Dayton, Butler, Northern Illinois. … High up on Alex Gordon's list are Vanderbilt, Ohio State, SMU and Minnesota. Also in the mix are Alabama (even after the commitments), Arkansas and Florida State. …

Dominic James, a junior from Indiana, lists Indiana, Xavier and the entire Big Ten. … Rico Tucker who is originally from Ohio, likes Missouri, Kansas, Indiana, Georgia, Tennessee, Boston College, San Diego and Gonzaga. San Diego, Gonzaga and Minnesota have offered. …

Louis Williams really has trimmed his school list to three: Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee. What's important? Location and comfort. He says no one is pressuring him for a commitment. … Jason Rich's list remains at seven: Florida, UConn, Kentucky, Indiana, Kansas, Southern Cal and Georgia Tech. …

Darnell Jackson is listing Arizona, Kansas, Purdue, Illinois, Oklahoma and New Mexico. … Akida McClain, a forward from Pittsburgh, is listing Duquesne, Loyola, College of Charleston, Robert Morris, Penn State and Akron. …

Quotable:

"I'm the best shooting guard in the nation. I'm confident because I've been working." – A.J. Ratliff

Strong words like that must be backed up. We'll let you know how he does.


Day Two - News & Notes

2004 Checklist

Rudy Gay, SF: Though we didn't get to see this one first hand, The Sporting News' Mike DeCourcy did and he couldn't rave enough about Gay (which is how we felt yesterday). Apparently he did everything from rebound in traffic, to drill jumpers and for his encore guarded Ra'Sean Dickey in the post. Should he play like this the rest of the way, he'll be the story of the camp.

Corey Brewer, SF: The Gators newest recruit was big time. Let's start with his defense which was stellar. However, he took the cake when he stole and alley oop pass at the rim. To sum up his offense we'll start the nasty dunk he threw down on DeAaron Williams. He drilled a few 3s, crashed the glass for a follow dunk and was overall outstanding.

A.J. Price, G: We missed the game but he drew rave reviews for his play again tonight. Go figure, a guard from New York doing well at a camp? We've heard this before.

Dion Dowell, SF: If he is in fact Texas' No. 4 recruit, that speaks volumes for the Longhorns class. This guy was draining 3s, mid-range jumpers and passing the basketball like he's played with his camp teammates for years.

Magnum Rolle, PF: Apparently he's from the Bahamas but he may be playing high school hoops in the States. Anyway, we've got to spend more time watching him because he's a talent. He played a lot on the wing and at 6-10 wasn't about of place.

2005 Checklist

Greg Paulus, PG: He participated in what was an ugly camp game but it wasn't his fault. During his runs he handled the ball extremely well but passed it even better. He was zipping big time assists all over the place and his athletic reverse finish was a new one.

Scout's Perspective

Matt Terwilliger's long anticipated maturation process is underway. His body is finally catching up to his game and that's great news for Ohio State. … Tyler Hansbrough flashed a little of the nastiness he displayed at the Hoop Jamboree. … Greg Paulus' special gift is his court vision. This Steve Blake-play-a-like finds kids all the time. …

Roy Hibbert has great size but his offense remains mechanical. It's time to turn up the intensity. … Junior center Tyrell Biggs would out of his element. The 282 pounder fired a few 3s and strayed way too much from the basket for our tastes. … Ron Coleman looked really aggressive tonight. He did some nice work from the post. …

Rico Tucker, a guard, has some serious rise to his game. Big time hops. … We didn't see the game but reports were that Shawne Williams was excellent for the second straight evening. … Guess who was at it again? That's right Steven Hill is rejecting shots at a pretty good rate here. …

Admirably, JamesOn Curry ran the point tonight and he'll have to do that a lot on his camp team. It's a shame that in a lot of camp situations he gets cast in the role of point guard. He passed the ball well but there isn't much relief on his team that will allow him to slide over to his natural position. …

Junior Yamene Coleman ranks as one of the best tippers at the rim we've seen. … K.C. Rivers is like a point forward. Actually, he's a tough guy to categorize in a position sense but he can ball and his speed caught us by surprise tonight. … We hear that Jason Rich strung together a nice game. Apparently he was impressive with his poise and balance. …

More News & Notes:

Here's a sneak peek at the Oak Hill's lineup next season: Josh Smith, Dayshaun Wright, Rajon Rondo, K.C. Rivers and a 6-11 import from Senegal. Don't worry, there will be more. … It's a good year for uniforms at the Nike Camp. … Joe Crawford arrives at camp today. He was slowed down by a summer school exam. … Best nickname here: 2006 power forward Durrell Arthur. To his friends he's "Slim Shady." … It's important to note that power forward Brian Johnson is not 100% this week. …


Day Two - Inside The Press Room

Commitments

The worst kept secret in college basketball hit the airwaves tonight. D.J. White's press conference took place and the national Top 10 recruit announced he would attend Indiana. Sporting a Hoosiers cap, White deftly fielded questions. His commitment is the biggest recruiting news to hit Bloomington since the Jared Jeffries announcement.

"I told them I want to come but I haven't committed," Robert Dozier said of Memphis. Should his mother give her seal of approval down the road, he'll be a Tiger. Dozier said he wasn't considering anyone else at this time. Sounds like a commitment is imminent to us? "I'm going to commit to Memphis by the end of the summer."

Inside Word:

Charles Thomas gave us a school list that consisted of just two: Oklahoma and Florida State. He's got his reasons for liking both. "I've seen the facilities [at Oklahoma]," Thomas said. "Wow! They were building things left and right." As for FSU, Leonard Hamilton coached his cousin Mario Bland in college. …

Last month there were some rumblings about K.C. Rivers possibly committing early to Wake Forest. He addressed that rumor today. "It's safe to say that they lead but it's hard to say when I'll commit." Rivers said that the Deacs, North Carolina State and North Carolina are in the mix. …

Marquise Gray appearances on the circuit are rare but he's here this week and he'll be at the Hoopfest with Flint Affiliation next. … Carmelo Anthony and Rudy gay had a little chat before the forward left for camp. Basically, there's a lot of similarities in how they hit growth spurts at the same time and how their stars were on the rise heading into July. Don't think for a second "Melo" isn't whispering Syracuse in his ear. Sources told us Gay is listening intently. … We asked Ollie Bailey, one of the most competitive guys here, who he wants a piece of and he quickly responded with DJ White. …

School Lists:

Junior power forward Keith Brumbaugh already likes Florida, Florida State, Indiana and Arizona. … Monta Ellis, one of the finest junior guards in the country likes Alabama, Texas, North Carolina and Duke. … Robert Clark said he's pretty open but told us that Iowa, Florida State and Western Kentucky are aggressively recruiting him. … We told you to watch out for the Orangemen with Rudy Gay. Also on the list are Maryland, Indiana, Villanova, Connecticut, Arizona and Virginia. …

Power forward Robinson Louisme likes Tulane (offer), Miami (offer), South Florida (offer) and Boston College (offer). … Forward Ollie Bailey has offers from Rutgers and Purdue. Also in the mix are Marquette, Seton Hall and Connecticut. … Junior power forward Tyler Hansbrough likes Michigan State, Missouri, North Carolina, Arizona, Arkansas and Florida. …

Jerome Johnson couldn't believe he measured in at 6-6 and frankly, that could be an inch shy without shoes but … Johnson has recently visited Penn State, Providence and Northeastern unofficially. … Channing Toney's famous father Andrew – you know the 76ers and Celtics? – is a player himself. He likes Georgia, Arkansas, Tennessee, Connecticut, Georgetown, UAB and USL (dad's alma mater). … Junior Martell Webster is hearing from Arizona, Washington, UCLA, Maryland, Indiana, Missouri, UNC and Duke. …

Jerome Habel has a scholarship offer from Virginia Commonwealth. He's perplexed by the lack of interest in him and quite honestly, so are we. Why wouldn't you want a 6-9 shot blocker and rebounder? … Williams Thomas, a power forward out of Mount St. Joe in Baltimore is hearing from Virginia Tech, Richmond, Rutgers and Nebraska but doesn't have any offers. …

Quotable

I'm not spilling any beans now. I want to go on my visits. Brian Johnson's comment to a rumor circulating that UNC was about to get a commitment.


Day Three - News & Notes

2004 Checklist

Al Jefferson, PF: He arrived a tad late for the camp but it didn't take long for him to announce his presence. He hit up a team for 26 points and 9 boards. Aside from the fadeaway 3-pointer, consecutive sweet hook shots over Charles Rhodes and the monster dunk off the dribble, it was just another day at the office in the afternoon. In the evening, Greg Oden slowed the train some and didn't allow Jefferson to run roughshod over the camp just yet.

Charles Thomas, PF: The high school version of Charlie Oakley. He's a "manimal" (not sure if that's a word) in the first session of games. He's simply a junkyard dog guy who battles, fights and claws for everything. Plus, his perimeter touch is reliable.

Daniel Gibson, PG: He hit a few jumpers in the second half of his game but it was a dunk that typified his afternoon session. The Texas-bound guard threw down a monster jam on top of Mohamed Tangara of all people that pretty much halted action on the court adjacent to their game.

Shawne Williams, SF: Athletically, he does things other guys can't come close to pulling off. It wasn't so much his scoring that stood out as it was his ability to get things done. For instance, on the break he's going full speed, angles around a defender and zips a bounce pass to a streaking teammate for a hoop. Plus, he's a terrific finisher in transition.

Dayshaun Wright, PF: When he's rebounding like he did today, you gotta love him. Call him undersized but don't question his desire. If he develops a reliable mid-range game, lookout.

Malik Hairston, SF: He's played well here but we've seen him play even better. Still, he traffic rebounded well and finished strong. He also completed a series of tough drives.

Al Horford, PF: For whatever reason, he makes our report everyday. He continues to bust his tail at both ends and with his dad, a former NBA player in the stands, he's thriving. He threw down a nasty dunk on two guys and he's playing with great confidence.

A.J. Price, PG: He's having a helluva camp. He's on a team loaded with great guards but he's been the best one. His playmaking is coming around and that stroke, oh that stroke, is so nice.

2005 Checklist

Richard Hendrix, PF: You can't help but be impressed with what he's done with his game. His ability to walk out and nail mid-range jump shots has added an entirely different dimension to his power game. The young man is playing with a lot of confidence.

Martell Webster, SG: The game is coming so easy to him right now. His jumper was on big time in the evening session. He'll bounce it once and stroke it deep off the dribble and he'll bang ‘em from mid-range all day long. Big time.

Josh McRoberts: Boy can he run the floor and get it done. He's much more athletic than you think at first glance. We're talking about an elite level big man here.

2006 Checklist

Greg Oden, C: Jefferson was having a huge day before he ran into Oden at night. The sophomore made it difficult for "Big Al" to impose his will. Oden's range, athleticism, height and shot blocking abilities slowed Al down quite a bit.

Scout's Perspective

Junior Luke Zeller has a gift for being patient. He'll wait to make his move until he's sized up his options. He's not slow to get to his offense, just very smart and patient. Terrific prospect. … Mohamed Tangara is just scratching the surface. He's ready to be coached and will do whatever you ask him to. …

We wrote about him the other day but it's time to mention it again. Paul Delaney of Georgia is one athletically gifted dude. … Speaking of athletes, Isaiah Swann never fails to use his athleticism to stand out in a crowd. … When Texas recruit Connor Atchley stepped out and dropped a three ball, once again the Longhorns class looked even better. …

Junior center Eric Boateng is going to be big time. He's long, rangy and is proving to be one tough defender. Two weeks at the Hoop Jamboree, Boateng played well against Oden. When given his chance against Jefferson, he held his ground and competed well. … Davis Nwankwo is having a nice camp. He's very skilled at sealing his man inside. …

Alex Gordon doesn't wow you but he's consistent. He'll bang 3s and won't go wild from the point position. Nice player. … We'll give credit when it's due and Robert Rothbart gets a thumbs up for turning up the intensity level today. He made some nice contested finishes. …

3-on-3 Notes (Morning Session)

Once again Al Horford was all about effort. He's really solidifying his place in the Top 100. … Shaun Pruitt was good in the 3-on-3. He played with intensity and purpose and worked hard to score. … Robert Rothbart looked more comfortable in the open setting than in a traditional game. He was able to play more on the perimeter and that opened up his game. … Matt Terwilliger's upper body got him places in the paint and his stroke was on target. …


Day Three - The Business of Basketball

Crawford Opens Recruitment

Whether or not Joe Crawford is the best shooting guard in the country is to be determined. However, one thing became clear on Tuesday: Crawford is no longer committed to Michigan. The guard backed out of his verbal to the Wolverines and will re-open his recruitment. What does this mean for Michigan? Well, it's a tough blow but expect the Wolverines to move front and center in the recruitment of Malik Hairston. He's now a viable target of Tommy Amaker. …. While we're on the commitment subject, Robert Dozier held a presser and made it official for Memphis. … Faces In The Crowd

Rudy Gay and Isaiah Swann drew a crowd of head coaches that included Jim Boeheim, Rick Pitino, Tubby Smith, Bob Huggins, Jim Calhoun and Gary Williams. … Florida State skipper Leonard Hamilton was front and center for Charles Thomas. Now, yesterday Thomas told us FSU and Oklahoma were the two to beat but we keep hearing not to discount Mississippi; Rod Barnes was there today. …

East Carolina head coach Bill Herrion was in the stands evaluation Jason Thompson. … Western Kentucky head coach Darrin Horn put some time in with recruit Ty Rodgers. … Kansas head man Bill Self took in the games of Kalen Grimes and Darnell Jackson along with Malik Hairston. …

John Calipari, Buzz Peterson and Bob Huggins watched Shawne Williams. … Lorenzo Romar was in the stands evaluating Jon Brockman. … Mike Krzyzewski followed around Josh McRoberts during the morning three on three session. … Todd Lickliter was chasing Gary Patterson around today. … Rick Pitino was showing Brian Johnson in the morning. …

Ben Howland was front and center for Malik Hairston's final game of the day. So was Tommy Amaker and that's a developing story. … Cal's Ben Braun was spotted taking in a Maarty Leunen game. … A.J. Ratliff made a 3-pointer from just inside halfcourt to win his final game of the day. Head coaches like Herb Sendek, Bill Self, Jim Calhoun and Steve Alford liked what they saw. …

News & Notes

The Xavier Musketeers and guard Darryl Garrett have parted ways. Garrett will not be part of the "X" recruiting class. … Jerome Habel's lone scholarship offer yesterday increased by two today. Reportedly, Dayton and Western Kentucky are going to pony up to the table and put forth a grant. … Look for Josh Smith to commit to Indiana on Thursday. Wow, the Hoosiers are hot. …

Kalen Grimes would like to decide prior to his high school season. He's looking hard at Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and now Georgia Tech. He's originally from Atlanta. Word of caution to the schools recruiting him: if they pressure him to commit he's going to look elsewhere. …

Robinson Louisme didn't play in the evening and neither did D.J. White. Both are injured and their status is unknown. … Outside of camp, Dwan Youmans is on Northeastern's campus and is headed to the school.

ABCD Report

We'll be in New Jersey for the final two days of the adidas ABCD Camp. However, we were able to glean some news from Teaneck today. Apparently Dwight Howard is the consensus top dog there. Sebastian Telfair is leading the camp in assists. Andre McGee, Robert Swift and DeMarcus Nelson are 1-2-3 in scoring. Mike Williams is continuing his red-hot play and Shaun Livingston has been slow to get out of the gate with Darius Washington faring well against him on Tuesday.


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