Nike Camp Notebook: Day 2
Total 2005 Summer Hoop Camp coverage
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Not too long ago, Kosta Koufos wasn't even sure he'd be at the Nike All-America camp. Yet there he was yesterday, going toe-to-toe with Seattle Prep (Wash.) stud big man Spencer Hawes and more than holding his own.
Koufos is a 7-foot, 232-pound center from Glen Oaks (North Canton, Ohio) with a deft shooting touch, yet can also mix it up in the paint. He showed both facets of his game yesterday, hitting a few jumpers and getting a few blocks on Hawes. And while Koufos thought he could have played better, Hawes came away impressed.
"He's got a real nice game, with a good balance of inside and outside," Hawes said. "For a 2007 guy, he's got a lot of talent."
Koufos, who models his game after Larry Bird and Dirk Nowitzki, is one of the hardest working players around. After he heard that Bird used to take 1,000 shots a day, he tried to do the same thing.
"I tried to do it, but couldn't do more than 500, with homework and everything," he said.
Still, the practice paid off. Koufos blew up at the Nike Hoop Jamboree in St. Louis last month, where his stellar play earned him an invite to Indianapolis. Here at Nike, his stock has continued to rise.
"The Jamboree greatly helped my confidence," Koufos said. "Seeing that I could play with the best competition was a thrill."
The people at Nike weren't the only ones who noticed. Koufos has already received offers from Ohio State, Michigan, Xavier, Miami and Akron. Other schools to express interest include Maryland and Stanford.
For now, Koufos says he's keeping his options open and plans to make a decision by the end of his junior year.
Gurley heats up
No one was hotter than Anthony Gurley of Newton North (Newtonville, Mass.) on Thursday. In the night session, he scored from downtown, on driving layups and off offensive rebounds.
The 6-2, 204-pound senior shooting guard poured in 20 points in the night game, including a stretch of 11 in a row. He started that run with a four-point play and followed that up with a putback, a runner and another trifecta.
And the points kept coming. Gurley's effort came in a losing cause, but it was definitely a performance to remember.
Gurley averaged 24 points, eight rebounds and four assists per game last season for Newton North.
Collins continues outstanding camp
Sherron Collins of Crane Tech (Chicago) continued his outstanding camp on Thursday, establishing himself as one of the top senior guards in the country.
Collins is a lightning-fast blur with a sick handle who can break down nearly any defender and get to the hoop at will. So far, he has done exactly that. He also has a strong upper body on his 5-11, 170-pound frame that allows him to finish in the lane.
While Collins still does not have a list of top schools he's considering, he says he talks to and loves watching Dee Brown of hometown Illinois, a point guard who plays at the same breakneck pace as Collins.
He plans on making his list of top schools in the fall.
Durant still missing
Kevin Durant, a 6-9, 190-pound small forward was again a no-show on Thursday. He was expected to arrive at camp on Friday.
Durant, who has committed to Texas, is one of the best players in the country and arguably the best player in the Nike camp.
A quick correction from yesterday's notebook: Patrick Christopher, the impressive 6-4, 192-pound shooting guard from Mayfair (Lakewood, Calif.) has de-committed from California.
Christopher, who had his second straight excellent shooting day on Thursday, made the decision about three weeks ago to reopen his recruitment. And with the way he's playing, it looks like the move will pay off.
The sweet shooting Christopher said he has heard from USC, Washington, Texas and Arizona. He averaged 20 points, seven rebounds and four assists per game last season.