ABCD Camp Roundup: Day 2
Total 2005 Summer Hoop Camp coverage
TEANECK, N.J. – It was a busy day for Lake Oswego (Ore.) big man Kevin Love on Thursday during the second day of the Reebok ABCD Camp.
Love's day began bright and early with an appearance on ESPN2's morning show "Cold Pizza," which prompted ribbing from his family that he was now a "celebrity."
Then, perhaps emboldened by his new star status off the court, the 6-foot-9, 250-pounder went out and dominated on the court during both the afternoon and evening sessions Thursday.
In the afternoon game, Love dropped 16 points (on 7-for-11 shooting), grabbed five rebounds and dished three assists. And apparently not tired from his early-morning wakeup and long day, he really turned it up in prime time with 25 points (including 12-for-14 from the line) and eight boards in the night session, easily outplaying fellow 2007 big man Cole Aldrich (seven points, two rebounds).
After a shaky opening performance against Greg Oden (and who could blame him against the most dominating defensive presence in high school hoops), Love has really gotten his game going and is proving why he's considered one of the best post players in the country.
Love is averaging 19 points and 8.7 rebounds in his last three games and has shown the best post moves in the camp. Oden and O.J. Mayo get all the hype, but don't forget about Kevin Love when talking about the best players at ABCD.
Much of the talk at ABCD the first two days has been about the lack of talented guards. Sure, there's no Sebastian Telfair or Shaun Livingston tearing up the court, but there is certainly a nice crop of players manning the backcourt at ABCD.
The obvious stalwarts have been names likes Mayo, Paul Harris and Mike Conley. But others such as Corey Fisher of St. Patrick (N.J.), Corey Stokes of St. Benedict's (N.J.), Brandon Jennings of Dominguez (Calif.), Scottie Reynolds of Herndon (Va.) and Edwin Rios of Miami Senior (Fla.) have shown over the past two days why they are considered top guards.
In addition, rising sophomore Darius Gabriel and rising freshman Lance Stephenson, both of Bishop Loughlin (N.Y.), have also added their names to the list with impressive performances this week. Gabriel is leading the camp in assists per game (4.8) through four games, while Stephenson followed his breakout game against Mayo on Wednesday with another solid day on Thursday.
So to those who think the big men have effectively dwarfed the backcourts at ABCD, look again. Guard play is alive and well.
Besides Love, here are five other players who stood out on the second day of the ABCD Camp:
Class of 2007
This 5-foot-8 sparkplug with a noticeable name also has a noticeable game. The cat-quick point guard has a deadly 3-point shot and can blow by defenders when they come out and pressure him. Through four games, Thomas is seventh in the camp in scoring (14 ppg) and third in assists (4.5 apg).
Class of 2006
Clark might not be putting up staggering numbers, but anytime you see a 6-foot-8 guy playing the point and playing it well, it catches your attention. Clark is a smooth athlete who looks comfortable with the ball in his hands and describes himself as a "point forward." He creates huge matchup problems with his combination of size and skills and is clearly one of the elite players in the Class of 2006.
East Grand Rapids (Mich.)
Class of 2007
Grady's name should sound familiar if you're a high school sports fan. His brother, Kevin Jr., was a top running back recruit in the Class of 2005 and is now at Michigan. Kalvin is a top gridiron recruit as well, but he's also making a name for himself on the basketball court at ABCD. Through four games, the 5-foot-11, 170-pounder has utilized his speed and strength on both ends of the court as he ranks second in the camp in assists (4.7 apg) and third in steals (2.7 spg).
St. Patrick (N.J.)
Class of 2007
It's tough to get noticed when you're a high school teammate of Derrick Caracter, but Fisher has managed to do so with his stellar play at the point, which he has showcased at ABCD. Fisher has shown incredible court vision, particularly in one game Thursday in which he had six assists and zero turnovers to go along with seven points. Now that's efficient.
St. John Bosco (Calif.)
Class of 2007
Touches are hard to come by when you play on the same ABCD squad as Mayo, Bill Walker, Cole Aldrich, Keenen Ellis and Alex Tyus, but Hackett's fundamentally sound game has shown up in nearly every category in the box score. In fact, through four games he ranks third at the camp in player rating behind only Oden and Mayo. If you're grouped with those two, you've got to be doing something right.
Jon Mahoney contributed to this report