TEANECK, N.J. – The ABCD Camp got underway at 2 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, but things didn't really start to get interesting until the final slate of games tipped off at around 9:15.
That's when the top-rated player from the Class of 2007, O.J. Mayo, faced off against the new rising star from New York, Lance Stevenson.
Mayo has nearly three years and plenty of experience on the young fella, but Stevenson, with his own cheering section in the stands, failed to disappoint.
Mayo began the game with his usual calm demeanor and his unselfish all-around game, but ended up forcing up a plethora of shots (most of which went in) and trying to quiet a crowd that was clearly pro-Stevenson.
Stevenson crossed-over Mayo and knocked down a 15-footer that seemed to anger Mayo, who came right back to answer with a pair of 3-pointers. The pair were on one another for virtually the entire game and while Mayo had the better game (21 points) and his team ended up on top, it was Stevenson who earned plenty of respect.
``I think I played good," Stevenson said. "But you haven't seen the best of me yet. I did OK, but I could have played better."
Mayo, who got into plenty of trash-talking during the game, had nothing but praise for Stevenson after the game.
``I respect him as a player," Mayo said. "He's very good. It was the first time I felt someone was coming after me. Usually, it's me going after people."
Paul Harris, G: The first time out of the gates, it wasn't a typical outing for the hard-nosed, physical Harris. He was careless with the ball and played well in spurts. In the nightcap, he was more like himself – bullying people to get to the basket and either scoring in the paint or getting his teammates involved. Outside shot remains his major weakness.
Perry Stevenson, PF: The long and slender Louisiana native flashes glimpses of his potential. Ran the court well and tried to mix it up – especially on the defensive end. Needs to become more assertive offensively and bulking up is the first priority.
Richard Semrau, PF: The Illinois commit was playing more physical than he did in April, but then he re-injured his knee and had to sit out the night session. Toughness is a major concern for the Ohio native.
Greg Oden, C: It's not exactly fair that he's on a team with Mike Conley Jr. and Daequan Cook, but does it really matter who the 7-footer plays with, anyway? Oden may have been the most dominant player on the first day, scoring at will when he touched the ball in the post and altering and blocking numerous shots on the defensive end.
Dale Vanwright, SF: The Texan and Colorado commit really struggled in his first game on Wednesday, especially with his passing. Forced things and made poor decisions.
Johnnie Lett, PF/C: His defense is light years ahead of his offense, which definitely needs some work. Lett is a tough rebounder who runs the floor and blocks shots, but he'll need to develop a few low-post moves and be able to knock down a few shots from the foul line.
Dan Werner, PF: The N.C. State pledge struggled with his shot, but it's probably not the best setting for the cerebral New Jersey 6-8 forward. Did a lot of the little things that are commonly overlooked in a camp.
Ray Hall, C: He's big and has nice hands and impressive footwork, but his weight is an issue. He'll need to get into better shape before he can play at a high-major level in college. Despite his lack of athleticism, he managed to get a good amount done on the boards and in the paint.
O.J. Mayo, G: His head-to-head matchup with youngster Lance Stevenson was the highlight of the first day. Mayo began the contest by getting his teammates involved, but then after Stevenson had his moments, Mayo answered with a flurry of shots – most of which that found the bottom of the net.
Alex Legion, SG: If not for Mayo, the smooth Michigan native would have gotten the nod as the most impressive performer from the Class of 2007 on Day One. This kid can score in just about any way, but his pull-up jumper and baseline turnaround shots are a thing of beauty. Legion's list consists of Michigan, Michigan State, UCLA, North Carolina, Duke, UConn, Kansas and Illinois.
Herb Pope, PF: The Pittsburgh-commit was extremely active and is a terrific pickup for Jamie Dixon and the Panthers. Rebounds well, runs the floor and can also step out and knock down shots from mid-range.
Lance Stevenson, G: He's considered the next great thing to come out of New York and the recently turned 15-year-old didn't disappoint. He didn't quite hold his own against O.J. Mayo, but he didn't embarrass himself, either. Scored his share of baskets on long-range shots and was also strong and quick enough to get past Mayo.
NEWS & NOTES
Casiem Drummond, a 6-8 1/2 big man at Bloomfield Tech (N.J.), will commit to Villanova at a news conference on Thursday afternoon, according to coach Nick Marinello. … Alex Stephenson's list remains at Arizona, Wake Forest, North Carolina, UConn, Wasington and Georgia Tech. … Fairfax (Calif.) power forward Matt Shaw has taken one visit to Michigan and also likes Georgia Tech, BC, Wake Forest and Miami. … Mater Dei (Calif.) 6-7 forward Taylor King said that his list consists of Syracuse, North Carolina, Villanova, Washington, Gonzaga, Duke and Arizona. The one-time UCLA pledge hasn't ruled out the Bruins, but it's more than likely he won't end up in Westwood. … Trevon Hughes, a New York native who has spend the last few years at a military school in Wisconsin, is considering Wisconsin, Iowa, UConn and Georgia. … Tom Herzog, a 7-footer from Flint, Mich., still has a top four that consists of Michigan, Michigan State, Illinois and Notre Dame. … Herzog's teammate with the Michigan Hurricanes, guard Tory Jackson, left with mono.