Nike Camp Notebook: Day 3
Total 2005 Summer Hoop Camp coverage
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - For those wishing to see a dramatic conclusion to the mano-a-mano battle between the top two senior point guards in the country, Sherron Collins and North Carolina-bound Tywon Lawson, the end of their battle was a bit of a disappointment.
But that's about the only letdown the dynamic duo provided.
With their game deadlocked at 91 heading into sudden death overtime, the contest was decided on a touch foul away from the ball, which allowed Collins' team to walk away with a win on a Samardo Samuels free throw.
Other than that, the showdown lived up to the hype, with the two stud playmakers playing to a virtual standstill. Each made some big shots, some nice passes and produced a wicked crossover or two.
"I think this was the matchup everyone wanted to see," said Collins of Crane Tech (Chicago) afterward. "We were together at an Oregon skills camp, but didn't get to go at each other. We wanted to see [this matchup] too."
And as for who got the better of whom? Both players think they came out even.
"We both did about the same, we both scored 11 points" said Lawson of Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.). "You can't get any better than Sherron. He's quick and has a great handle. I think this is going to be a matchup for years to come."
Collins started the game with a layup and a 3-pointer, only to have Lawson answer with a trifecta of his own. Both players spent most of the first half setting up teammates, using fancy dribbling and no-look passes to set up layups and dunks in transition.
But at the end, the two stars took over. Trailing by a point with less than 30 seconds left, Lawson drilled a 3-pointer from the top of the key and was fouled by Collins. He missed the free throw, however, and his team had a 91-89 lead with 24.7 seconds left. Collins came back and scored on a pretty driving layup in traffic to send the game to overtime.
In overtime, everyone was looking for some heroics from one of the two point guards, but it was Samuels who sealed the win for Collins' squad.
"Man, that's a hard way to lose a game," Lawson said when asked about the foul call at the end.
He shouldn't worry. From the looks of things, he'll have a chance to even the score in the future. As Lawson himself said, expect to see this backcourt battle at the next level.
Durant quickly dominates
Kevin Durant finally showed up at camp on Friday night and wasted no time in impressing.
The versatile 6-9, 190 pounder hit his first shot, a long jumper, and never looked back. Durant, who will play for Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) after suiting up for Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) last year, scored on several dunks and also showed the range that has made him one of the top players in the country. He finished with 13 points.
Durant has committed to Texas.
Youth is served
Two youngsters who continued to excel on Friday were Samardo Samuels and Xavier Henry.
Samuels has been a beast down low from the beginning, using his wide frame and surprising agility to draw a lot of contact and finish near the rim. Samuels, who came to the United States from Jamaica last year, is only a sophomore, but has shown the potential that should have some of the nation's top college coaches after him.
He is 6-8 and 236 pounds, and should continue to grow. If he refines his offensive game a little bit, he will be a force for years to come.
Henry, meanwhile, already has quite a refined offensive game. He is the only freshman in the camp, but the talk around Henry doesn't surround his age any more. It's all about his talent.
In the morning session yesterday, Henry hit five 3-pointers and scored 19 points. Despite being 6-6, Henry considers himself a guard and has the ability to play anywhere on the floor.
"I knew my game belonged here, even if my age didn't," said Henry of Putnam City (Oklahoma City, Okla.). "It feels good to have people talking about my game and not my age, because I've worked hard to be able to play with these guys."
Henry credits his family, mainly his basketball playing parents, Carl and Barbara, both of whom played at Kansas, for instilling that confidence in him. Henry's older brother, C.J., was a first round draft pick of the New York Yankees in this year's MLB Draft.