Top Prospects from HiPo Camp

Early last week, Stanford Basketball wrapped up their overnight High Potential Camp. They were fortunate to be able to bring in some of their top recruits from the 2006 class, including several who you have not previously heard much about. Also one SoCal recruit from the 2007 class grabbed our attention. Read on for notes on their performances and projections, plus photos.

After watching a number of team games, three-on-three competitions and one-on-one competitions, here are the top prospects coming out of last week's High Potential Camp.  We will follow up with individual reports on these recruits, and they will be some of the top names we watch and track during this July evaluation period.

O.J. Avworo - 6'0" PG
Alief Elsik HS (Houston, Tex.)

His reputation as a pass-first point guard who does not score was seriously challenged at this camp.  Showed a great jumper in one-on-one competitions and broke defenders down off the dribble.  He won the one-on-one competition at camp in the highest league, and he won handily.  Very good athlete.  You haven't heard of him before, but Avworo definitely belongs on the radar as one of the top players to watch in July.

Landry Fields - 6'3" SG
Los Alamitos HS (Los Alamitos, Calif.)

He has every bit of the baby face that you see in this photo.  He is visibly physically immature and looks too young to be in this class.  Indeed, he turned 17 on the final day of camp.  When you project players out to what they will become, Fields may have been the #1 prospect at the camp.  Remarkable feel for the game, skilled and has a nice stroke.  A springy player, he is already a good athlete.

Joe Harden - 6'6" SF
St. Mary's HS (Stockton, Calif.)

Harden has grown and improved since I last saw him.  He is an aggressive and talented playmaker attacking the basket, who can finish around the rim.  Good handle at his size, he brought the ball up the court on most possessions for his team.  I also liked his work on the offensive boards.  He plays hard and tired by the last day, losing some of his effectiveness, but what I saw earlier I liked quite a bit.

Will Paul - 6'9" PF
Calallen HS (Corpus Christi, Tex.)

Paul has flown surprisingly under the radar of recruiting services, due in part to living in Corpus Christi - not a hoops hotbeds in Texas.  But Stanford has been high on him since his camp last year.  Skilled forward who can face the basket and shoot the ball at a high level.  This camp showed me a skilled game in the low post with his back to the basket as well.  The one disappointment, however, was his injured ankle, which he brought to camp and further aggravated.  Bum wheel limited his time and effectiveness.

Nate Schulte - 6'4" SF
Palo Verde HS (Las Vegas, Nev.)

The obvious question with this camp roster was to compare Schulte and Harden - both wing players Stanford is evaluating.  Harden is bigger and more athletic, but Schulte is one of the toughest players in the 2006 class, which comes through whenever he plays.  If he had another two inches, he would be a high-major prospect.  The question is whether the Cardinal want to bring his toughness to the team as a role player, or if he slides to the high end of the WCC and becomes a "high-major killer" a la Travis Niesen.

(2007) Tyler Bernardini - 6'5" SF
Francis W. Parker School (San Diego, Calif.)

The best of the underclassmen, by far, Bernardini now looks like one of the top prospects for us to watch in the rising junior class.  His profile is a little sleepy right now, after he lost most of his sophomore season to injury.  But if he plays in July like he played at Stanford, you will hear much more about him.  Skilled and fluid playmaker who can control a game.  Still growing, so it is tough to project his position and what kind of player he will be in college.


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