While the two other concurrent shoe camps put on by Reebok and Adidas have about 180 players total , Nike decided to cut down its list of participants to about 120.
The games have been reduced to just two courts, which makes it cozy.
But for a west coast recruiting analyst, it's just not the same. A Nike Camp usually had about 30-40 west coast kids.
This year's camp has only eight west coast players. Reebok has about 25 and the Adidas Camp in Georgia approximately 50 to 60.
And one of those eight players – and probably the best prospect, junior forward Kyle Singler – is out with a possible torn meniscus in his knee.
Spencer Hawes, 6-11 senior center, Seattle (Wash.) Prep. He's not touching the ball much either, and he's trying to be aggressive and play hard while running around and setting screens. In Friday's three-on-three, though, Hawes was dominating. He has such an offensive repetoire, at one point hitting a turnaround jump hook from about 10 feet with his left hand. He also plays his butt off, hustling for rebounds and playing tough defense. More on Hawes below.
Chace Stanback, 6-5 junior shooting guard, Los Angeles (Calif.) Fairfax. Another player who's trying to pass the ball here, finding cutters and feeding the post. He's one of the few players I noticed in the first day that took only good shots. And he's crashing the boards for rebounds. He's skinny, as we know, but his great natural feel for the game really stands out here, if you know what you're looking for. Friday, in the three-on-threes, Stanback was dominating, taking the ball to the rim, rebounding, and passing very effectively, workin essentially as his teams point guard. Stanback is showing here that he's clearly an elite national prospect.
Jerryd Bayless, 6-2 senior combo guard, Phoenix (Ariz.) St. Mary's. Bayless, this spring, was showing signs of selfishness, which was tragic for someone so talented. On Thursday here, in an extreme selfish environment, he did take a few shots, but he also did give up the ball, passing it well, and wowing the crowd with his athleticism. You can probably expect Bayless to see the likes of Duke, North Carolina and every heavy hitter in the country on him after this.
Jerren Shipp, 6-3 senior shooting guard, Los Angeles (Calif.) Fairfax. The youngest Shipp brother is playing well. He's always been a good shooter, but as his body has improved and trimmed down, he's doing more. Here he's taking the ball to the basket aggressively – and successfully.
Other west coasters:
Patrick Christopher, 6-4 SR SG, Lakewood (Calif.) Mayfair. The Cal can shoot, and he's shooting the ball practically every time he touches it here.
Kevin Coble, 6-7 senior PF, Scottsdale (Ariz.) Scottsdale Christian
Jaydee Luster, 5-8 JR PG, San Diego (Calif.) Hoover
The Word Going Around:
Stanford is the school that is the metaphoric first domino in recruiting with the west coast class of 2006.
It seems many programs are waiting to see what Stanford is going to do on prospects Joe Harden, the 6-5 wing from Stockton (Calif.) St. Mary's who is competing at the adidas Superstar Camp. Scools like New Mexico, UC Santa Barbara, Santa Clara and Loyola Marymount are waiting to see if Stanford will offer Harden.
It's kind of the same situation with Andreas Schreiber, the 6-8 power forward from Los Angeles (Calif.) Brentwood who is also at the adidas camp. Stanford is also considering Schreiber, making the likes of UCSB, LMU and others wait as Schreiber waits on a potential Cardinal offer.
Speaking of Stanford, the word is that they're doing well with elite Spencer Hawes, the 6-11 center from Seattle (Wash.) Prep. While many have thought that North Carolina would be hard to beat, or hometown Washington, the feeling is that Stanford is a major player.
We have heard, though, that Hawes is at the top of UNC's wish list of big men.
Oregon State coach Jay John was following around 6-10 senior center Jamie Vanderbeken, from Belleville (Ont., Canada) Quinte School. Vanderbeken is skilled, but lacks aggressiveness at this point. UCLA is also taking a look at Vanderbeken.
One bit of news from the Reebok ABCD is that Deon Thompson, the 6-8 power forward from Torrance (Calif.) High, is play well enough that Kentucky looks to get involved in his recruitment.