The annual NBPA Top 100 Camp got off to a flying start in Charlottesville, Va. on Thursday. Among those putting in the most work was future Tennessee Volunteer Josh Selby who scored at will off of the dribble during two games. Of course, Selby wasn't the only player of interest to Tennessee fans who hit the floor on Thursday.
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Josh Selby- It didn't go so well for his team in the second game of the day, but Selby was two for two with impressive outings on Thursday. As he usually does, the Baltimore combo guard attacked the rim with reckless abandon and used his athleticism and toughness to finish amongst bigger players. Mixing in a few deep jumpers, Selby was effective in pretty much any area when it comes to getting his offense. As a playmaker, Selby was a willing disher even if his teammates weren't always finishing off what he left them. No matter how you slice it, he was one of Thursday's top 5-10 players.
Jordan McRae- All in all it was a pretty quiet day for McRae in Charlottesville. His quickness, length and athleticism will always stand out, but you have to wonder how much his lack of bulk hurts him in a camp setting like NBPA. Faced with a long day of games, drills, practice and classroom settings, McRae looked pretty drained by the day's end. Clearly, adding strength is a priority because all of the other tools to help out -- including an effective stroke from deep -- on the next level are there.
Tarik Black- If you appreciate toughness and just doing what it takes to get the job done, then it's hard not to appreciate what Black does. Standing a little more than 6-foot-7 or so at the most, he's probably more of a natural center than a power forward. Still, that doesn't stop the young man from getting quite a bit done around the rim on both ends of the floor. A throwback guy who isn't afraid to give a "playoff foul", there's no weak stuff allowed in his neighborhood.
Joe Jackson- There's two things that you simply can't do with Jackson. 1) You cannot question his toughness. 2) You cannot sleep on his quickness. If a defender takes his eyes off him or wanders for even the smallest fraction of a second, Good Night! Much tougher attacking the rim than a guy with a frame as slight as his should be, Jackson is a natural scorer. His jumper isn't perfectly textbook, but it's a lot better than given credit for and the key is that defenders have to respect him as a shooter because if he gets on a roll, then there's no hope in stopping him. As usual, his playmaking for others remains a little underrated.
Dominique Ferguson- It was a pretty quiet day for Ferguson who never really seemed to find his rhythm. A long and explosive athlete who does his best work from 15 feet and in, he spent much of his time looking to attack from the perimeter. He got loose for a few tip-ins and transition finishes, but in order for him to be at his best he's got to look to play from the inside/out versus playing from the outside/in.
Jayvaughn Pinkston - Absent for the first game of the day while finishing up some school responsibilities in New York, he made his presence felt during the evening session. A strong and tough kid, he is what he is. That is, an undersized four man who makes his living by beasting opponents around the basket and being much more explosive than you might expect looking at him. He can knock down some open jumpers, but the way he moves, the way he plays and what he does best all say that he's a four man on the high school and college level.