Signees, Recruits Take To the Court

West Virginia's incoming basketball players for the 2004-05 season took to the court Friday night during WVU's team basketball camp.

The two members of the scholarship class, Luke Bonner and Darris Nichols, along with walkon Ted Talkington, formed the backbone of the Red Oxen team that is participating in WVU's summer team basketball camp.

In late Friday action, the team squared off against Henninger High School of Syracuse, N.Y., and came away with an easy victory. Henninger is the home school of WVU recruiting target Andray Blatche, who was scheduled to come in with his team. However, Blatche, who has announced plans to attend a prep school this year, did not accompany his squad to the camp.

Bonner was a bit of a surprise, as he has obviously been working out hard since his last visit to Morgantown. He's now in the 240-pound range, and has a noticeably bigger trunk to go with much stronger arms. Bonner has been working out with older brother Matt, who is preparing for the upcoming NBA season with the Toronto Raptors, and the results are apparent.

Bonner concentrated on his inside game, and showed a couple of different hook shots as he worked from the post. He was fouled on his only three-point attempt.

Nichols was content to run the offense and distribute the ball, but seemed very much at ease with his new teammates. He drove to the basket well, putting together a few scoring forays to complement his excellent distribution skills.

Talkington, a walk-on from Magnolia High School, shot the ball well and doesn't appear to be at all intimidated by playing with top-drawer Division 1 scholarship athletes. While he is almost certainly headed for a redshirt season this year at WVU, he is a determined player who could follow the path of fellow Mountain Staters such as Nick Patella and Jason D'Alesio, who both rose from walkon status to valued contributors.

Also on the floor with the incoming players were a pair of players the Mountaineers will keep an eye on next season. St. Albans' Adam Fletcher, a solid 6-7 post player, will be entering his senior season at the Kanawha Valley school, and is a hard worker who figures to draw scholarship interest. Another player, 6-5 wing shooter Tyler Benson, is a Morgantown High graduate who will attend a prep school next year. Benson is an excellent outside shooter who fired in several long-range shots on the evening. With his shooting skills, he also expects to have recruiters watching him carefully this year.

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