UCLA Perspective, ABCD Final Day

Kevin Love, the #2 rated player in the nation and UCLA's top recruiting target for the class of 2007, put on a clinic Sunday at the final day of the Reebok ABCD Camp in New Jersey. Junior forward Drew Gordon also fared well...

West Coast Report from ABCD, Part 1

Kevin Love, the 6-9 post from Lake Oswego (Ore.) High, finished off a masterful performance at the Reebok ABCD Camp in Teaneck, New Jersey, Sunday.

He had a particularly good game in the morning against Cole Aldrich, the 6-10 post committed to Kansas. He hit threes, drove to the basket, posted up, and had numerous assists. In the afternoon's senior all-star game, he had 13 points, 13 rebounds and five assists, even though he barely got past half court by the time his teammates were shooting the ball. He was named to the Camp All-Week team, which also included O.J. Mayo, DeAndre Jordan and Taylor King. For the camp, Love was the overall best rated player (a formula the camp uses, combining stats). He led the camp in scoring (19.1 points pg) and rebounds (9.3).

A source told us that Love had been recruiting Alex Legion, the 6-4 wing from Beverly Hills (Mich.) Detroit Country Day, this week. The source indicated that Love told Legion that if Legion went to UCLA he would too.

Love told us that he's off until the Reebok Big Time in Las Vegas, when he resumes playing with the So Cal All-Stars, who haven't lost a game yet this AAU season.

Drew Gordon, the 6-8 junior from San Jose Archbishop Mitty, also proved he's among the elite in the 2008 class nationally. Gordon played very well in the morning, playing alongside Love on the same team. He showed some more skills, with a nice left-handed jump hook, along with a number of nice, athletic put-back dunks and alley-oops. In the underclass all-star game, he had six points and six rebounds. He was named to the Underclass All-Week team. Gordon was the fourth-rated player overall at the camp, averaging 9.3 points and 5 rebounds per game.

James Hardin, the 6-4 senior shooting guard from Lakewood Artesia, really turned it on Saturday night and Sunday, being more aggressive, looking for his shot and making them. He had a strong senior all-star game with a couple of very nice moves and powerful dunks on his way to 10 points. The word is that he's still locked up for Arizona State. The camp team of Love, Gordon, Hardin and Brandon Jennings had some very impressive moments together over the last few days.

Malcolm Lee, the 6-3 junior point guard from Riverside North, was better Sunday, being more aggressive driving to the basket and laying off some nice assists. He played in the underclass all-star game and did fairly well.

Other west coasters who made the senior all-star game that had good weeks:

Eli Holman, the 6-7 senior post from Richmond (Calif.) High, had a very good camp. While he's just about 6-7, he has very long arms, which makes him play like he's 6-10. He has the ability to catch the ball in the paint flat-footed and tomahawk dunk it very quickly. Using those arms and some improved strength he was very effective rebounding the ball here, actually second in the camp (7.0) and, if you put any stock in it, he finished as the second-rated player in the camp overall.

Taylor King, the 6-6 forward from Santa Ana Mater Dei who is committed to Duke, had a solid camp. He shot the ball well and, as always, plays very hard, which enables him to get a great deal of rebounds and put-backs. Again, like we've said before, if King were dedicated to being a four man in college we could see him being a really tough match-up, with his defender having to step out to defend that deep-range three.

Isaiah Thomas, the 5-8 guard from Tacoma (Wash.) Curtis who is verbally committed to Washington, had a very good week. Sometimes you have to ignore just how small Thomas is and concentrate on his effectiveness on the court. He plays more like a shooting guard than a point guard, and he really shot the ball well here at camp. He played on the same team as O.J. Mayo, and it was interesting watching Thomas play mostly off-guard while the 6-4 Mayo was on the ball.

Other players from the west coast who made the underclass all-star game:

Demar DeRozan, the 6-4 rising junior wing from Compton (Calif.) High, showed off his freaky athleticism, throwing down some near-impossible alley-oops. His skills are still developing.

Malik Story, the 6-4 rising junior shooting guard from Lakewood Artesia who is verbally committed to USC, was already a good shooter and showed here that he's continued to improve. He probably was among the best spot-up shooters in the camp, with great range. He isn't lightning quick and just average athletically, but he's getting smarter when he puts the ball on the floor in trying to stay under control and pull up for a mid-range shot.

Roberto Nelson, the 6-1 rising sophomore combo guard from Santa Barbara, went through the neophyte camp jitters a bit it seemed, but played intelligently, passed the ball and took shots that were open, and it paid off. He shot pretty well at the camp, and particularly in the all-star game, making three threes and finishing with 15 points. Like we've said about him before, it will be interesting to see how he develops since right now he's a tweener, between a one and two.

Percy Miller, the 5-10 rising junior point guard from Santa Monica Winward School, played in the game. Miller is also known as Lil' Romeo, the Nickelodeon/MTV star and son of rapper/mogul Master P.

UCLA Head Coach Ben Howland and assistant Kerry Keating were at ABCD Sunday, watching their usual suspects.


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