Nike First Night: West Coast and UCLA Perspective

It was only a short session of practice games, but here are some of the first-night impressions from the 2003 Nike All-America Camp. <b>Jordan Farmar</b> looks very good, as does Los Angeles junior post <b>Amir Johnson</b>...

Sunday night was the first glimpse of the Nike campers in an informal game/practice session.

It certainly was only enough to give you a first, quick impression of the players, and that's about it.

From a west coast perspective, the number of campers was significantly down from past years. Usually the west coast has about 30 or so participants but this year only 21, with two not participating Sunday.

West coast Campers:

Rico Tucker, 5-11 SR PG, San Diego (Calif.) University
Todd Follmer, 6-11 SR C, Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) Santa Margarita
Amir Johnson, 6-9 JR C, Los Angeles (Calif.) Verbum Dei
Robert Rothbart, 7-0 SR PF, Cupertino (Calif.) Monta Vista
Josh Shipp, 6-5 SR SG, Los Angeles (Calif.) Fairfax
Derrick Low, 6-1 SR PG, Honolulu (Haw.) Iolani
Mike Pagan, 5-9 SR PG, Los Angeles (Calif.) Verbum Dei
David Pendergraft, 6-5 SR SF, Brewster (Wash.) High
Chris Henry, 6-8 SR PF/C, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei
Harvey Perry, 6-4 SR SG, North Las Vegas (Nev.) Cheyenne
Jon Brockman, 6-7 JR PF, Snohomish (Wash.) High
Marcus Johnson, 6-5 JR SF, Los Angeles (Calif.) Westchester
Antonio Kellogg, 6-1 SR PG/SG, Oakland (Calif.) McClymonds
Mike Gerrity, 6-0 JR PG, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei
Mitch Johnson, 6-0 JR PG, Seattle (Wash.) O'Dea
Maarty Leunen, 6-8 JR PF/SF, Redmond (Ore.) High
Jordan Farmar, 6-1 SR PG, Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft
Martell Webster, 6-6 JR SF, Seattle (Wash.) Seattle Prep
Chris Miles, 6-10 SR C/PF, Provo (Utah) Timpview
Jamal Boykin, 6-6 JR PF, Los Angeles (Calif.) Fairfax, no-show, expected today
Gabriel Pruitt, 6-3 SR PG, Los Angeles (Calif.) Westchester, not expected, summer school

Quick First Impression:

Amir Johnson looked good, rebounding, blocking shots, and scoring inside and out. He recently hadn't been playing well, so to see Johnson come out with energy was promising.

Josh Shipp had some moments. He measured at 6-5 (Nike actually does some pretty accurate measuring), looked active and athletic.

David Pendergraft, the small forward committed to Gonzaga, might not fit in here at the camp. He actually is attempting to play basketball, rather than just go one-on-one.

One of the most interesting aspects of this camp from a west coast perspective was to see if Jon Brockman could compete at this level. Without being explosive, but playing with such intensity, Brockman worked over some players the first night. With good academics, and fitting their mold, it's an easy prediction that Stanford could be a likely destination for him.

Mitch Johnson played well, looking crafty with the ball and driving to the basket.

Martell Webster looks bigger every time we see him. He measured at 6-6 and weighed in at 215.

After admittedly just being able to glance at most of the players in the camp, it appeared the most impressive pure point guard could be Jordan Farmar. He was setting up his teammates every time down the floor. With Farmar playing alongside very talented Mississippi junior combo guard Monta Ellis, it made for the best playmaking of the evening.

National Big Men to Watch: UCLA is, of course, shopping for big men. Again, it was only a glimpse of the campers at Nike Sunday, but here are a few players UCLA fans should monitor as potential UCLA targets for bigs in the 2004 class:

Davis Nwankwo, PF, 6-9, 236, North Bethesda (Mary.) Georgetown Prep. Has a great body, with long arms, broad shoulders and already has filled out well, while still looking like he could put on more muscle. He looked agile and athletic, batling against Amir Johnson.

Al Horford, PF, 6-8, 211, Lansing (Mich.) Grand Ledge. Active and athletic, Horford had some good moments Sunday night.

Brian Johnson, PF, 6-8, 238, Arlington (Virg.) Bishop O'Connel. It's easy to see he's one of the best frontcourt players here – athletic, long-armed and skilled around the basket.

Malik Hairston Watch:

Hairston, UCLA's wing target, had a good Sunday, looking very active, playing hard, even though he didn't get many touches (which is pretty common at the national camps). He didn't measure at the camp, but looks to be about 6-4 to 6-5, and probably in the 190ish range.

Underclass to Note:

We mentioned Amir Johnson above, and also touched on Monta Ellis, who is playing on the same team as Jordan Farmar. Ellis is one of the most talented guards in the nation in the 2005 class – and would fit the mold of the perfect combo guard UCLA is looking for in that class, to come in the year following Farmar. Farmar and Ellis, as stated above, played extremely well together Sunday and it will probably be one of the treats of this camp to watch them together for the next several days.

One of the most impressive young players in recent years at Nike is Greg Oden, 6-11, 230ish, Indianapolis (Ind.) Lawrence North. Oden, easily one of the best prospects here, is in the 2006 class – a rising sophomore. He has great size and athleticism for a college senior, much less a 15-year-old. If there is a player you might want to go out on a limb to say he could be a candidate to jump to the NBA early, Oden is it.


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