Showtime Nationals: First Report

Demon Deacon commit Jamie Skeen played well on Thursday, despite an injury. Meanwhile, Coach Prosser was in the building, scouting top talent for the class of 2006 and 2007.

The Charlotte Royals will play EBO for the Showtime National Championship on Friday.

2006 CHECKLIST

Brook Lopez, PF, EBO – He was terrific at adidas Camp but his efforts on the Thursday were amongst the best two games we've ever seen him string together. In his first game, Lopez dropped a pair of 3-pointers and dominated inside. By the evening session, he was literally doing chin-ups on the rim. We're talking Top 10 player in the country good and right now his confidence level is sky high.

Quincy Pondexter, SG/SF, EBO – Speaking of confidence, Pondexter has taken his game (in a relatively brief period of time) and elevated it a few notches. Early in the spring he wasn't much of a threat behind the arc. On Thursday, his shot looked so good the nets barely moved. His improvement with his jumper has come rapidly. "I was working on it," Pondexter said. "Now it's above my head and I'm stroking it." You must give this guy a ton of credit for taking an obvious weakness in his game and turning it into what could be a huge strength. His rep is on the rise and in a hurry.

Willie Kemp, PG, Memphis – Pump ‘n Run did not run a single play in the second half of its game against the Atlanta Celtics and it's all Kemp's fault. The talented point guard stood at the top of the key and simply broke defenders down off the dribble, drove and dished to open teammates. It was kind of silly as he took on defender after defender with the same results. We've seen him play twice here and he's been excellent in both games. College coaches love him because he finds the winner's circle.

Cameron Tatum (pictured), SG/SF, Ga. Stars – Before we arrived, Tatum was the talk of the event, emerging as a potential high-major wing. Athletically he's already there, skill wise he's got to continue working on being a perimeter threat. He's impressed enough teams here early in the event to warrant strong looks in the second half of the summer.

Trevor Booker, PF, S.C. Celtics – There's a lot of fight in this dog. Booker never ceases working and isn't afraid to trade paint inside. He's a bit undersized but he's got a huge ticker. Capable of the big rebounding number, Booker fought hard against the Lopez Twins for 14 points and 9 rebounds in an evening loss.

Landon Milbourne, SF/PF, Ga. Stars – Clearly he's worked on his game quite a bit since last summer. He's now a reliable jump shooter and he's always been a strong rebounder, especially on the offensive glass.

Jamie Skeen, PF, Carolina Miners – This is one is going to be tough to explain but we'll give it a shot. Playing with a bum left arm already, Skeen proceeded to injure his shooting arm and still made 4 3-pointers in the contest. At one point he seemed to be dragging his injured wing along for the ride but when he needed to make a play he passed on the pain and did what it took to finish. We've got no idea what's bothering him but he played in pain on Thursday night and played valiantly.

David Potter, SF, S.C. Celtics – The Clemson commitment, playing in front of his future coach, made enough shots to keep his team in the game against EBO in the semifinals during a huge first half run. He's a much more confident player now than he was a month ago and the results prove it.

Jodie Meeks, SG, Ga. Hurricanes – Did a nice job in the game we caught when he finished with 21 points (7-20 FG, 1-5 3s, 6-6 FT) and four rebounds. Like Pondexter, he's another good example of how guys improve from the spring through the summer. It also helps if you have great feel for the game like he does.

Matt Heramb, PF, Ga. Hurricanes – The mid majors are all over this guy and he's playing well enough that they don't want to see him make any more face up jumpers. His skill set is good and at 6-foot-9, he's got a chance to be a big timer at that level.

NEWS & NOTES

Jonathan Mandeldove is still trying to play his way into the big time high-major offers. Among those laying a set of eyes on him Thursday was Jeff Lebo (Auburn), Bruce Pearl (Tennessee), Mark Gottfried (Alabama), Dave Odom (South Carolina) and Skip Prosser (Wake Forest). … LaShun Watson of the Atlanta Celtics has offers from Auburn, Alabama and Tulane. LSU, Tennessee and Wake Forest are looking at him. …

Kierre Gordon of the Celtics says that East Carolina and Miami-OH are his top two. … Cameron Tatum has a top two of Charlotte and Georgia State and likes UConn. Tatum said that the 49ers are in good shape. "My leader is still Charlotte."

Junior Salters of the SC Celtics, has a main three of VCU, ECU and Winthrop. … Trent Johnson of Stanford was in the house early watching the The Twins and then drove to Augusta in the evening to see Spencer Hawes. … Jodie Meeks had Lebo and Gottfried watching with assistants from Notre Dame and Florida in the house watching him. …

Quincy Pondexter said that he's opening his list back up. The schools on him the hardest include Arizona, Washington, Oregon, Kansas, UConn and Arkansas. … Willie Kemp's list is pretty much the same: Kentucky, Memphis, Illinois, Florida, Arkansas and Tennessee. Florida, Tennessee and Memphis sent head coaches to watch him and the rest dispatched assistants on Thursday. … Derrick Jasper was watched by Kentucky, UConn, Florida and Washington. …

Brandis Raley of Charlotte had head coaches from VCU, UNC-Wilmington, JMU and Appalachian State trailing him with a pair of East Carolina assistants hot on his trail. … Patrick Patterson had Skip Prosser watching him with assistants from West Virginia, Florida State, Virginia Tech and Georgia's head coach in the building. …

Charlotte's Steven Hess said that his top two are Elon and William & Mary. … Clemson's Oliver Purnell watched future Tigers Trevor Booker and David Potter. …

SCOUT'S SEAT

Cameron Tatum has a chance to be a terrific collegiate defender. So does Quincy Pondexter. … Derrick Jasper does a nice job of making plays and can really pass the basketball. His feel is impressive. … EBO's next star is Jeff Withey. He played in mop up duty against the Celtics but the mid-range jumper and power dunk is all you need to see to under that this 2008 prospect has a chance to play at the highest level in college. … Charles Dewhurst hit the game-winner for the Carolina Miners against Tallahassee Blue. …


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