It was a special day for a certain player at the adidas Superstar Camp.
Recent Georgia Tech commit Javaris Crittenton went to work in the upperclassmen all-star game and his outstanding play earned him the all-star game MVP.
While scoring 31 points in the all-star game was great, the game meant a little more to Crittenton than how many points he scored. The 6-foot-5 point guard wanted the MVP for more important reasons.
Crittenton's AAU coach, Wallace Prather, passed away on June 18th, and because of Prather's contributions to the adidas program, the adidas Superstar All-Star game was named after him.
"I went out and played for him," Crittenton said. "He always believed in me. He had no doubts about me,' Crittenton explained. "People even doubted that I could become a point guard, and he always had that faith in my overall. I thank God for the opportunity to play in the all-star game and win the MVP."
The athletic point guard had quite a performance in his last ever summer shoe camp game. He displayed his quickness and athleticism, as he got to the basket when he wanted and the led the break to perfection. But, Crittenton playing great wasn't a surprise neither to scouts in attendance nor to the man himself.
"When his family stood up, they are like my family. It really touched my heart with the moment of silence. I was like I have to go out and do it, I have to go out and play," Crittenton said. "I write my goals down and speak them into existence. And this is what I've been saying. I wish had it right here, it says I'm going to win MVP of the all-star game."
Smith Grabbed Underclassmen All-Star Game MVP
Nolan Smith put together one of his best games at just the right time. The son of the late Derek Smith scored 33 points in the underclassmen All-Star game, and dictated the game while he was in it. The converted point guard ran the show not only dropping off nice passes but also scoring at will.
With less than six seconds left to half time Smith dribbled the ball between his leg twice, crossed over and faded for a buzzer beating three pointer right in the defender's face. That's how the night was going for Smith. His shooting percentage was nearly flawless as he only missed one shot and lead his team to a blow out victory.
Key All-Star Game Performances
Brook Lopez and Robin Lopez, C, Upperclassmen It's simply amazing that 6-foot guards would try and get shots over these two big guys. Both block shots with such ease and really have a knack for getting a hand on the ball. Between the two they had at least seven blocks in the all-star game. Brook scored more points going for 17 on mostly dunks, but Robin was the more active one on the defensive end. When it's all said and done, they might be two of the best shot blockers in college basketball in a few years.
James Keefe, PF, Upperclassmen Something that stands out about Keefe is his ability to knock down jump shots from anywhere on the court. He has great form and a great release which might be why he drilled two threes in the all-star game and hit two other jump shots on his way to a 12 point game. Keefe has a pretty nice jump hook as well.
D.J. Augustin, PG, Upperclassmen He doesn't shoot the ball often, because he's usually looking to set up teammates, but when he does it usually goes in. Augustin capped off his great camp week with a great performance in the all-star game. He knocked down three treys and finished with a double-digit point total. His main focus in the game was setting others up as he teamed up for a number of alley-oops and no look passes.
Pierre Niles, PF, Upperclassmen- The Memphis Pump N' Run product came to play Friday night. He used his huge body to clear space for himself in the paint and finished with 16 points. When Niles plays hard he is hard to stop in the paint and has a decent touch.
Daniel Deane, PF, Upperclassmen- While he finished with only 9 points he did a number of small things in the all-star game. Deane grabbed loose balls, dove on the floor, and took a few charges in the game and caught the eye of a few on looking coaches. His rugged play and willingness to play extremely hard will do him wonders down the road.
Erving Walker, PG, Underclassmen- Wow. The program lists him at 5-foot-6, when in reality he's closer to 5-foot-4. Regardless the kid can ball. In the Underclassmen all-star game he went off, nailing six threes (one being at least 4 feet behind the line) and finishing with 20 points. When he checked out of the game, the crowd began yelling his name and many stood up and clapped.
Senario Hillman, SG, Underclassmen- The Atlanta native scored 17 points in the all-star game and he produced them in a variety of ways. He knocked down a fading jumper and then excited the crowd with a ferocious dunk on the baseline in traffic.
Eric Gordon, SG, Underclassmen- He's such an effortless shooter and while he will hang out and shoot deep treys, he can do so much more. The 6-foot-3 guard showed that he has the jumping ability to grab rebounds with the big guys inside as well as the quickness to drive the lane. While he hit some shots, his jumper wasn't falling so the all-star game so he took it to the basket and did damage there.
Mike Beasley (pictured), PF, Underclassmen- One of the best things about Beasley is if a big guy is guarding him, he'll take him outside and drive by him. But if I smaller guy is guarding him he'll back him down for an easy two. While he forced the issue in the all-star game just a tad, he still played well and finished with 16 points. He also got his hands on a lot of shots including two blocks on one defensive stance.
All Star Teams
* Denotes All-Star Game Starter
Blue Team Upperclassmen-*Javaris Crittenton, *Calvin Haynes, *Gerald Henderson, *Stanley Robinson, *Brook Lopez, Jon Han, Lawrence Westbrook, Antonio Pena, James Keefe, Robin Lopez, La Shun Watson, Andre Stephens, Jawan Carter
White Team Upperclassmen-,*D.J. Augustin, *Wayne Ellington, *Quincy Pondexter, *Thaddeus Young, *Maurice Speights, Knezevic Nicola, Osiris Eldridge, Daniel Deane, Pierre Niles, Namady N'Diaye, Derrick Jasper, Chris Singletary, Luis Guzman
White Team Underclassmen- *Korie Lucious, *Eric Gordon, *Jamine Peterson, *Michael Beasley, *B.J. Mullens, Venoy Overton, B.J. Holmes, Jesse Woodard, Kenyan Harmon, Yancy Gates
Blue Team Underclassmen- *Nolan Smith, *Senario Hillman, *Corey Raji, *Julian Vaughn, *Robert Sacre, Erving Walker, Ashton Gibbs, Luke Babbit, Howard Thompkins, Jeffrey Withey
Upperclassmen Camp MVP's
High school and AAU teammates Wayne Ellington and Gerald Henderson took home the upperclassmen co-MVP awards. Both players put together solid weeks.
Ellington was brilliant throughout the camp showing off his unreal jump shot and ability to score at will. The release on his jump shot is perfect and the follow through is as pretty as they come.
But Henderson did his damage a different way and still got the job done. The Duke commit took the ball to the rim and drilled a number of mid-range jumpers each day.
Underclassmen Camp MVP's
The underclassmen had co-MVP's as well and Eric Gordon and Michael Beasley got the nod for the awards.
Gordon was the talk of a number of college coaches in attendance. When his jump shot is on, he's tough to guard, period. The range on his shot is extremely deep, not to mention he's usually the most athletic player on the floor and doesn't have any trouble finishing at the rim.
Beasley could make a case for being the number one overall player at camp. While he's a tad bit selfish, we understand why. The 6-foot-7 forward has the ability to change his shot in the air and still make it look easy. He can jump out of the gym and unleashes a jump shot that rarely fails him.
2006 Checklist From Morning Games
Reggie Redding, SG- He looked good doing what he doesn't do often, and that's taking the ball to the basket. Redding had a few nice drives to the basket including a nice spin move that led to a left handed lay-up.
Brook Lopez, C- Lopez scored 16 points and grabbed 7 boards in his opening game on Friday. He mixed some nice moves in the paint with a few free throw line jumpers. The Stanford commit also got his hands on a number of balls recording at least 4 blocks.
Quincy Pondexter, SG- Length is one thing that helps Pondexter stand out. Not only is he tall for a guard, at 6-foot-6, but he has a massive wing span and tends to get his hands on quite a few shots. Pondexter doesn't shoot the ball extremely well and his better going to the basket.
Jamine Peterson, SG- The 6-foot-6 shooting guard out of Brooklyn, NY., was impressive enough this week to make the underclassmen all- star game. Peterson is athletic and knows how to finish at the rim as he grabbed a few offensive rebounds and tipped them back in. He is definitely a slasher type two-guard as he didn't take many jump shots, and did most of his damage around the basket.
Yancey Gates, C- It's tough for anyone to take a hit in the paint from a 6-foot-8 230 pounder, but that's what most defenders are going to have to do if they are going to stop him. Gates likes to bully his way to the rim at times, but also can drive by a defender as he showed against B.J. Mullens. Gates mentioned Syracuse, Ohio State, Cincinnati, Xavier, North Carolina State, and Florida as schools that he is interested in.
B.J. Mullens, C- For a 7-footer Mullens has a great touch shooting the ball. He knocked down a free throw line jumper and a real nice post up turn around in the paint. From my perspective Mullens got the best of Yancy Gates in a head to head battle. Mullens used his mobility to get some tip-ins and loose balls. The only knock on him is that he seems to take possessions off.