Bigtime Showing for Crittenton at adidas Camp
Total 2005 Summer Hoop Camp coverage
SUWANEE, Ga. — At the 2004 adidas Superstar Camp, Southwest Atlanta Christian (Atlanta, Ga.) star Javaris Crittenton said his mind was set on becoming the top-rated point guard in the Class of 2006 by the time he graduates.
At this year's adidas Superstar Camp, he's appeared to be well on his way.
Crittenton, who committed to Georgia Tech on Wednesday, has been one of the most dominant players at this year's camp.
In a matchup with North Carolina-bound swingman Wayne Ellington Wednesday, Crittenton went off for 24 points to lead his team to the win. And on Thursday, he managed to score 18 points in his morning session game before recording 10 points, three assists and three boards at night.
Stats weren't available for his afternoon game, but he did hit a jump shot in the closing seconds that gave his team a one-point lead it would later squander at the buzzer.
Crittenton's offensive approach has changed dramatically in the past year. He spent his sophomore year playing second fiddle to Dwight Howard, feeding the future No. 1 draft pick down low while averaging a paltry 13 points per game.
As a junior, however, the 6-foot-5, 190-pound Crittenton was Southwest Atlanta's go-to guy and averaged 25 points, seven assists and six rebounds per game.
Although he says he learned invaluable lessons from Howard as well as fellow AAU teammates Josh Smith and Randolph Morris, Crittenton was eager to accept his new role this past school year.
"[Scoring] was natural for me," he says. "I used to be like a straight shooter, but then I transitioned to the point guard. My scoring ability comes natural. When I averaged 13, I didn't have to do as much scoring because I had Dwight, so my assists were high. Now I had to do it all. Scoring, assists, rebounds."
Top of the Point
Of course, Crittenton still has a ways to go before everything's said and done.
And one player also gunning for the No. 1 spot is Brother Martin (New Orleans, La.) star D.J. Augustin.
Whereas Crittenton prides himself on his all-around game, Augustin is more of an old-school pass-first point guard.
"I could score when I want to, but I like to pass first," says Augustin, whose two collegiate finalists are Texas and LSU. "If I get everybody else involved, they're going to think I'm not going to shoot. Then when I see them backing off me, I'll shoot it or drive."
Routinely one of the camp's assist leaders, Augustin recorded a camp-high 10 assists Wednesday night. During Thursday's afternoon session, Augustin dropped dimes on four of five trips down the floor, finding Ellington open for a half-court alley oop that dropped jaws.
He then handed out eight assists while scoring five in the night game.
On Tuesday, Kodi Augustus dropped 25 points in his team's evening game.
On Wednesday morning, the 6-foot-9 small forward dropped 16. And on Thursday morning, Augustus had another stellar performance.
Then, in pure George Costanza fashion, he jetted while ahead.
Despite bolting midway through the camp, Augustus had a Rudy Gay-like epiphany, going from no chip to blue chip in a matter of days, proving to be a long, smooth scoring machine who can hit from the outside or sky over defenders to the hoop.
The Louisiana native, who is transferring to a Houston-area high school this fall to get more exposure for his senior year, left the adidas camp Thursday to take some tests for school.
Texas, Missouri and Texas A&M are already hot on his heels, but with his rapid ascension into stardom, expect the recruiting battles surrounding Augustus to heat up.
Phillips (Chicago, Ill.) guard Osiris Eldridge is another player who has blown up at adidas.
The 6-foot-3 shooting guard had a line of 20 points, five assists and four rebounds in his team's night session Thursday.
Emerging from his Peers
Quincy Pondexter might come in at 6-foot-8, but he still has a hard time standing out with his own high school team.
That's because San Joaquin Memorial (Fresno, Calif.) also features twin towers Brook and Robin Lopez.
But at adidas Thursday, Pondexter had no problem getting his name known. The small forward scored 29 points and pulled down five boards in the night session.