Landesberg Begins to Emerge as 2008 Elite

One of the best things about the annual onslaught of summer sneaker camps is that they offer scouts and coaches alike the opportunity to gage the ability of unknown commodities against proven talent. One such player who is making a case for himself as a top prospect in the class of 2008 is 6-6 wing Sylvan Landesberg.

After a rough start to the week at ABCD, Landesberg emerged as a consistent scoring threat and all-around player over the last two days.

At first glance, it looked like Landesberg was on his way to playing himself into ABCD oblivion. To call his first three games "rough" would be a massive understatement. He struggled to assert himself in a three-guard offense dominated by Tremaine Butler and Rashon Dwight, and made only 3 of 19 shots to start the week. Even more troublesome was the fact that he looked lost and uncomfortable on the court.

To his credit however, he kept playing hard. The turning point was when he started to make a concerted effort to adjust his style of play during the 4th game of the camp. After going scoreless early in the game, he decided to press the issue by driving into the paint, and the result was a beautiful running lefty baby-hook. This one shot seemed to infuse him with confidence, and he went on to score 11 points with 5 rebounds, while also knocking down his first trifecta of the camp.

Landesberg used this first modicum of success as a stepping-stone to greater heights. Over the next two games, he began to showcase a more polished all-around game. He put a solid 12 point, 5 rebound, 3 assist effort on Saturday afternoon, then followed that up with an excellent 19 point, 6 rebound, 2 assist showing in the nightcap.

Landesberg's recent play will likely help him cement a place in the top 50 rankings for the class of 2008. Syracuse and Connecticut are already interested in this intriguing player, and more Big East schools are bound to follow. If he continues to improve at his current rate, he will become one of New York City's most highly regarded players.

The biggest change in his game came with his regards to his overall approach. Instead of hanging out on the perimeter and launching ill-advised long-range shots, he began driving to the basket. Once the ball is in his hands and he makes a move to the hoop, he is very creative. His strong court vision allows him to make pinpoint passes off the dribble, and his ability to improvise is readily apparent by the way he changes shot angles in mid-air. He uses a lot of double-clutch moves and is not afraid to launch from his hip if the defender cuts off the usual approach to the basket.

Landesberg is not a top level athlete, but he is very fluid and runs extremely well. He doesn't play above the rim, but he has become more and more effective in transition as he's gotten more comfortable and confident. His ability to put the ball on the floor and either find teammates or create scoring opportunities for himself is reminiscent of former ABCD campers David Lighty and Daniel Hackett.

He showcases a deceptive hesitation dribble that allows him to get into the teeth of the defense and draw helpside defenders. He made one slick wrap-around pass to teammate Wayne Wangmene after using this move early in game #6. His smooth ballhandling abilities have also earned him comparisons to current UNC guard Danny Green.

Despite entering the camp with the reputation of being a strong perimeter shooter, Landesberg has really struggled from beyond the arc. He has made only 1 of 10 threes and rarely connected on any shots outside of 15 feet. He does not shoot a traditional jump shot from the perimeter, instead relying on a set-shot that he has repeatedly rushed throughout the camp. In general, he has a tendency to "long-arm" the shot, which leads to poor rotation and low accuracy. Many of his misses were left or right of the basket due to these imperfect mechanics.

When he takes a few steps inside the arc, his accuracy improves considerably. Once inside the paint, his shot is still a little quirky, but it tends to go in with regularity. As he continues to gain consistency, his ranking will continue to go up, with just as much regularity. Keep an eye out for this emerging talent, as the recruiting race for Landesberg promises to be very active and interesting!

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