Burlison on Adidas Camp

Scout.com's national basketball writer, Frank Burlison, provides his observations from the first full day at the Adidas Superstars Camp (before heading out today to the Nike Camp). He talks about the Adidas camp standouts, including UCLA prospects Luke Babbitt, Jrue Holiday and Jerime Anderson...

Its player enrollment might have been lopped by almost 40 from the year before.


But trying to offer a top to bottom rundown of the adidas Superstar Camp, after viewing a couple of hours of Wednesday night scrimmages and Thursday afternoon and evening sessions of games still isn't a task that should be undertaken by a basketball talent evaluator who can't focus on four courts simultaneously.


So, I'm sorry to disappoint if you came looking to read it here.


But here's some of the observations I was able to cull from a bit more than a day's worth of watching high school and college (the camp counselors) players in the Suwanee Sports Academy:


*Michael Beasley and Eric Gordon were, conservatively, two of the top five players in the camp 12 months ago.


And, based on what took place Thursday, it's conceivable – if not inevitable – that Beasley (who came to camp a year ago as a "commitment" for Charlotte but returned after pledging his allegiance to Kansas State recently) and Gordon (whose commitment to Illinois is apparently going strong after eight months; Coach Bruce Weber was as close to the courts Gordon played on Thursday as NCAA rules would permit him) will check out of the Atlanta suburb as the camp's top two prospects.


Beasley – the leading scorer and rebounder for the U.S.'s 18-under gold medal-winning team in San Antonio recently – was just too big, strong and skilled for the two highly touted players, Jamelle Horne and Anthony Randolph, he was pitted against in the stretches of his games I checked out Thursday.


And Gordon drove by defenders with relative ease, pulled up for jumpers that seemed on auto-pilot and repeatedly dunked so hard he may have needed to ice his right wrist Thursday night.


*Three members of the Class of 2008, Jrue Holiday, B.J. Mullens and Luke Babbitt, were every bit as impressive as Beasley and Gordon were the year before.


Holiday is more "scorer" than shooter but there aren't many better jump shooters in the camp and there are even fewer better "scorers" than Holiday, whose older brother and North Hollywood, Calif., Campbell Hall teammate, Justin, also played well Wednesday and Thursday.


The 7-foot Mullens is the best "true" center prospect in the camp. There will probably be a two-year gap between the eras of Greg Oden and B.J. Mullens at Ohio State. But the Buckeyes appear destined to be comfortably manned down low for a while.


The 6-7 Babbitt has a splendid left-handing shooting stroke but, as he so aptly demonstrated Thursday evening while matched against Matt Simpkins of California, he wasn't short-changed in the other parts of his game and is an especially forceful rebounder in traffic.


*Fellow Syracuse commitments (point guard Johnny Flynn, at the Reebok/ABCD Camp and forward Donte Greene at the Nike All-America Camp) are elsewhere this week.


But 6-8 Rick Jackson was a lefty tower of power, by way of Philadelphia, in both sessions Thursday. There are more explosive leapers but no one was as effective, down low, as he consistently was Thursday.


*I hadn't heard Word One about the guy before Wednesday night but Larry Davis (6-3, Hastings High in Alief, Texas) impressed the heck out of me every time I caught a glimpse of the player wearing uniform No. 38.


He was one of the better jump shooters in the camp (often after right-on-the-button passes from junior point guard Jerime Anderson for the "Cincinnati" team) and, when defenders closed out on hard on him, he had no qualms about taking the ball to the glass and finishing at or above the rim.


It's difficult to imagine his not having scholarship offers from a big hunk of the Big 12 Conference territory – and beyond.


*Those getting a first peek at Austin Daye Thursday night must have been doing double takes.


They don't come much skinnier that the 6-9ish and 170-poundish rising senior (and Gonzaga commit) from Irvine, Calif., located deep in the heart of Orange County.


Give him a foot of space and he'll bury a 22-footer. Play him too tight without putting a body on him and he'll slither his way to the iron, pronto.


*There were also 25-plus college players, serving as counselors, whose workouts (about 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. Thursday) drew a decent number of NBA scouts, who also took in some of the high school action when the counselors weren't doing their thing.


Chris Lofton (Tennessee), Mario Chalmers (Kansas), Marcus Williams (Arizona), Terrence Williams (Louisville), Darren Collison (UCLA), Jason Smith (Colorado State), Trent Plaisted (BYU), Coleman Collins (Virginia Tech) and Bobby Brown (Cal State Fullerton) were among those whose play in the drills and scrimmages had the NBA reps jotting notes at a reasonable pace.


But it was left to a player who didn't begin working out with the group until Thursday evening to snap everyone to attention.


Joakim Noah of national champion Florida ``came off the bus Thursday night (that dropped he and the fellow counselors off in front of the building) and immediately showed us all what a first-round (and then some, no doubt, a year from now) draft pick is supposed to look like," said one of those attentive scouts.


Inducted into the USBWA Hall of Fame in April, 2005, Frank Burlison is Scout.com's national basketball expert and is also a columnist for the Long Beach (Calif.) Press-Telegram. He can be reached at frank.burlison@presstelegram.com. Read more of Burlison's pieces at www.frankhoops.com

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