ABCD Camp: Day 2 Notebook
HACKENSACK, N.J. – Lawrence North High (Ind.) junior center Greg Oden speaks softly but carries a very big game.
However, when he did speak on Friday at the Reebok ABCD Camp in New Jersey, he had some interesting things to say. Especially when it came to the subject of the NBA Draft.
For almost a year now — ever since his breakout performance at last year's Nike Camp — pundits have been saying Oden will likely be the No. 1 pick in the 2006 NBA Draft straight out of high school. After all, he's 7-foot and 245 pounds and already looks like he can physically handle the NBA.
Problem is, nobody's consulting Oden about that possibility. For now, he says he'd like to go to college before giving the NBA a try. And he sounds serious.
"A lot of high school players didn't go to college and develop their skills," says Oden, who is considered the best player in the country regardless of class. "I have no offensive game, and if I go to college I can develop that. Without an offensive game, you're really nothing in the NBA."
Of course, last year Dwight Howard said the same thing about wanting to attend college. It remains to be seen whether Oden will ever make his way to a college campus.
As for his performance this week at ABCD — where he's been the talk of the camp — through his first four games Oden is averaging 11.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game. Most impressive is that he's shooting a mind-boggling 18-for-19 (95 percent) from the field. And there's no player who is more physically imposing.
Other Day 2 Standouts:
Gerald Green (Class of 2005): This impressive 6-foot-8 small forward out of Gulf Shore Academy (Texas) is very smooth and athletic and has great size for a small forward. He can get his own shot over the defense and plays above the rim. In four games, he's averaging 16.8 points and five rebounds per game.
Nate Minnoy (Class of 2005): As a stocky 6-foot-3, 240-pound shooting guard, Minnoy doesn't look like a basketball player. But the high scorer out of Hales Franciscan (Ill.) can definitely ball. He's the top scorer in the camp through the first two days, averaging 18 points per game and topping 20 twice in four games.
Monta Ellis (Class of 2005): Ellis, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard out of Lanier High (Miss.), proved on Friday why he's considered a top 10 recruit. He scored 25 points in his first game of the day while matching up against OJ Mayo, then added a solid 12 points in the night session. He's averaging 15.3 points through his first four games.
Jonathan Kale (Class of 2005): This 6-foot-8, 245-pound beast out of St. Andrew's School (R.I.) is one of the toughest and most tenacious players in the camp. Through the first two days, he's among the top 10 players at ABCD in scoring (15 ppg) and rebounding (7.3 rpg), and he's tough to handle in the paint.
ABCD Day 2 News & Notes:
Westchester High (Calif.) 6-foot-11 senior center Amir Johnson made his debut at the camp on Friday. The Louisville-bound Johnson, who is one of the top 20 recruits in the Class of 2005, missed the first day because he had to attend summer school. …
Canyon Springs High (Calif.) senior point guard Andre McGee sat out the first game on Friday with a sprained left ankle and said he'd rest it for the day. However, he was back on the court for the night session, though his usual quickness did look limited on the injured ankle. "I talked to the trainer and he said it wasn't that bad and I could play on it if I wanted," said McGee. …
Laurinburg Prep (N.C.) senior forward Kiwan Smith had the two best dunks of the day during the night session on Friday. The first came when he rose up and gave some poor opponent an embarrassing facial in traffic. The second came as he flew in from the right side for a monster dunk on the break. Both dunks drew the biggest reaction of the day from the crowd. …
Among the people in attendance on Friday were NBA players Baron Davis and Antoine Walker and former ABCD camper Glen Davis, a McDonald's All-American headed to LSU this fall.
Notes from Nike:
Our Nike All-America Camp correspondent, Jon Mahoney, checked in from Indianapolis and said the following players were especially impressive on Friday at Nike: Cass Tech (Mich.) senior combo guard Chris Douglas-Roberts, South Gwinnett High (Ga.) senior point guard Mike Mercer, Poplar Bluff High (Mo.) senior power forward Tyler Hansbrough, Xaverian High (N.Y.) senior point guard Levance Fields, Fairfax High (Calif.) senior forward Jamal Boykin and South Oak Cliff High (Texas) junior center Darrell Arthur.
Notes from adidas:
Our adidas Superstar Camp correspondent, Ben Sylvan, checked in from Georgia and said the following players were especially impressive on Friday at adidas: Heritage Christian Academy (Texas) senior swingman Rashad Woods, Seton Hall Prep (N.J.) senior forward Brandon Costner, Lincoln High (N.Y.) senior combo guard Nyan Boateng, Niagara Falls High (N.Y.) junior guard Paul Harris and St. John's (D.C.) sophomore point guard Nolan Smith.