The NBA Top 100 Camp is one of the more prestigious youth basketball events around, one that every player hopes to be invited to, partially due to the simple fact that the name includes "NBA," but also because some of the top competition in America is at the event every year.
One hundred or so of the top prospects in the country makes for some pretty good quality basketball. It also makes for a great opportunity to see how certain players fare against other top players. It's an environment that isn't prone to allowing a single player completely dominate. And if someone does, then you know that someone is pretty darn good.
It was a joy to be in attendance at the John Paul Jones Arena this past weekend in Charlottesville, VA, and here is how a few players measured up. These players weren't all necessarily "standouts" of the camp but are just ones who are probably of interest now or were sometime in the past.
Davon Reed 2013 SG
This 6'5, 195-pound wing doesn't do anything too flashy that will jump out at you, but he does a lot of things really well. His handle is above average, he passes and rebounds well out of his position, he plays good defense, and he plays hard on both ends of the floor. Basically, he does a lot of things that help teams win ball games. Offensively, he is probably most effective off the catch on the wing. He owns a good jab step, sweep through, first step, always squares himself up to the basket and passes into the post well. Reed is someone who has clearly been taught all the fundamentals.
I'm sure many of you are wondering how well he scores the ball since Wake has been recruiting him as a replacement for C.J. Harris. Basically, he is a threat to score from anywhere but isn't the type of guy that will initially take over games in the ACC with his scoring. And that's not a bad thing, as he does so many different things well.
The Princeton Day School (NJ) product owns a good jumper with range out to the three point line but still could quicken the release on his shot and improve his consistency from deep. Furthermore, his scoring ability is better suited to making plays from the midrange and in. He is always a threat to get to the basket, whether it be from the wing or when he brings the ball up himself (which he can do). Once in the lane, Reed accepts contact and can use his good (not great) athleticism to make plays around the basket.
So to sum up, Reed has a lot of variety in his game and can play well on both ends of the floor. He could potentially give a team a solid eight to ten points a game, and eventually become a focal point of an offense later in his career. His addition, alongside McClinton, would be welcomed. I got a chance to talk to Davon at the event and will have an update on his recruitment, along with a few others, sometime in the next week.
Greg McClinton 2013 SF
My scouting report on this first member to Wake's 2013 class was posted just a couple days ago, but I thought I'd include a couple thoughts on how he performed at the camp in this write-up, as well. McClinton consistently made plays out in transition and can be a highlight reel at times. The 6'6 athlete ran the floor well and had no problem getting up to throw down alley-oops. He had a couple games where he scored it pretty well (one game of 13 points) and a couple where his name really didn't show up on the stat sheet, but his athleticism and upside was obvious throughout the entire event.
Sidy Mohamed Djitte 2013 PF/C
His play and potential have recently drawn the attention of a couple high major programs, including Wake. This 6'10, 226-pound big has a college ready body now and showed at the camp he can make a definite impact on the defensive end. For only being completely immersed in the game for two years, the Senegal native has decent basketball instincts and has an ability to block shots down low. He also doesn't like to give up easy baskets, as he showed he isn't afraid of committing a hard foul to prevent a bucket.
Additionally, Djitte is very mobile for his size and plays with energy on both ends of the court. He showed off this mobility on a secondary break when he took one dribble and a couple of long strides to get to the rim for a smooth finish. Offensively, he is raw at this point, but that much can be expected due to the short period of time he has been playing the game. Definitely a player with a lot of potential, Djitte is someone who can already provide energy, rebounding, post defense, and screen setting. His attraction as a player is multiplied by his desire and willingness to learn and get better!
Anton Gill 2013 SG
Louisville got a scoring machine. One of the stop scorers and creators all weekend, Gill did it in so many different ways: jumpers off the catch, jumpers off the dribble, floaters, finishes at the rim, and finishes in transition. The kid flat out knows how to put the ball in the basket. He has such a good feel on the offensive end and knows exactly how to read the defense in order to create for himself. His good instincts showed up in pick and roll situations, as he has good patience and knows when to either pull up for his smooth lefty jumper, attack the basket, or dish it off to the rolling big. The combination of his poise and feel for the game with his natural talent and scoring ability make him a big time player. Not to mention, he is a good athlete with some impressive bounce. Cardinals fans will be ecstatic to get this guy on campus.
Zena Edosomwan 2013 PF
Possibly the most consistent producer in the paint all weekend, Edosomwan was a force on the block. He's a guy who can get you a bucket down low when you need one, using a fairly skilled back to the basket game or just sheer determination. Edosomwan competes. The 6'8 big is strong, battles for position, and attacks the glass. Something that really stuck out with him is his great tendency to follow his own shot. Multiple occasions, he missed a shot but rebounded his own miss and scored, once even off a free throw attempt (free throw shooting is something he needs to work on). He doesn't blow you away with athleticism but does have a quick jump and rebounds well on both ends. Harvard got a good one.
Stanford Robinson 2013 SG
The 6'5 combo guard is a creator off the dribble and can be a great scorer if he has the right mindset every game. Robinson had one of the biggest individual scoring games at the camp with 24 points (very impressive considering each player only plays half of a game), but then struggled in other games. His talent is undeniable, though. The Indiana commit is very quick with the ball and has a well-rounded offensive repertoire. He can shoot the three or get to the rim and either draw contact, (very good at getting to the free throw line) or finish creatively using his athleticism. While Robinson is a very good creator with the ball in his hands, he is turnover prone at times. This decision making, however, can be improved over time, and he is another piece that helps illustrate Indiana's rise to the top again.
Sindarius Thornwell 2013 SG
A strong 6'4 guard who thrives off the dribble, Thornwell is very good at getting into the lane and finishing around the rim with either hand. He has explosive capabilities but more often than not gets to the lane under control with strength. His jump shot is not nearly advanced at this point as his finishing ability at the rim, but he can step out and hit it occasionally. This part of his game, however, can't be relied on and needs development. Possibly the best prospect from South Carolina right now, Thornwell should become a very productive player at a high level. He will play his senior season at Oak Hill Academy (VA) and was a part of the championship winning team at the camp.
Aquille Carr 2013 PG
At 5'7 and an absolute blur in the open floor, Carr is fearless. One of the camp's top scorers, the Seton Hall commit gets into the lane at will using his ridiculously tight handle and off the charts quickness. He split pick and rolls throughout the weekend with ease. His finishing ability around the basket is equally impressive, considering his size. Carr has great elevation and hang time, and he won't shy away from contact, either. Obviously, he is a great talent and fun to watch, but the issue with him is his pure scoring mentality. He dominates the ball and once teams in college figure out how to keep him out of the paint, how will he affect the game?
Kennedy Meeks 2013 PF/C
His skillset offsets his lack of conditioning. Meeks was, without a doubt, the best passing big man at the camp. He is an incredible outlet passer, and this ability is magnified by the fact that his first thought after grabbing a defensive rebound is to look down the court for an open man. The West Charlotte product has great hands and has a soft touch around and away from the basket. The question with him is obviously his conditioning. He doesn't really have the body type that will thin down much, so he is going to need the right system. It is interesting because he is good for a running offense due to his outlet passing that leads to transition points, but he could also struggle in that type of system because of his inability to get up and down the court quickly for long periods of time. Those two things kind of contradict one another, so he will have to find a good balance.
Allerik Freeman 2013 SG
Freeman appears to have hit a little plateau as of late, but that doesn't mean he isn't still a good prospect. He is a good shooter, but not a great one and didn't shoot well at the camp, aside from a game or two. The 6'4 wing likes to work with the ball in his hands and is effective in pick and roll situations, as he has great poise. Since he does prefer to have the ball a lot, he will need to tighten up his handle even more, but this is something that hopefully shouldn't be a problem moving forward. Freeman should prove to be a productive four year player at a high-level school, but he will need to show that he can continue to improve and not level out as a player.
Semilore Ojeleye 2013 SF
I absolutely loved the way this kid played the game. He has a great demeanor on the court and helps his team win in so many different ways. You can never tell if he missed or made his last shot because he plays the same way throughout the entire game of every game. The 6'6, 220-pound cut athlete rebounds well and is consistently aggressive on both ends. His defensive capabilities make him even more valuable. Ojeleye can guard multiple positions on the floor and doesn't back down from anyone. Combine his strength and his impressive foot speed, and you have someone who can lock down a lot of different types of players.
Offensively, he can hit the long ball when left open and can put the ball on the floor, but shooting and ball handling are two things he is working to improve. Ojeleye is a guy who shows up every game and lets the game come to him. In a way, he is kind of a "blender" and a "glue" guy. Nothing really jumps out as spectacular or flashy, but he doesn't make many mistakes and can be relied on for consistent quality play. The kid is incredibly well spoken, too. Unfortunately, Duke is the team to beat for this silent standout.
Solomon Poole 2013 PG
Relevant because he committed to ACC competitor Georgia Tech while at the camp, Poole is a freak athlete at the point guard position. In between games, he and Marquette commit Deonte Burton were having an informal dunk contest, and Poole jumped over Cliff Alexander (6'9) for a throw down. In game situations, he can use this athleticism to get to the basket and finish with strength and flare. He is a good passer on the move, but appears to be more of a scoring guard. His shot selection is questionable at times, and it will be interesting to see if he can consistently produce for Brian Gregory and the Yellow Jackets.
Here are a few other players who aren't necessarily relevant to Wake, specifically, but are players who really stood out at the camp:
Noah Vonleh 2014 SF
His potential is through the roof. Vonleh has good athleticism, a good body, and is incredibly versatile. The 6'8 wing forward can do it all. He handles it well, runs the floor, rebounds, and plays solid on ball defense against different positions. The offensive end is where a lot of his potential lies. Vonleh is a great creator for himself and can score inside and out. His outside jumper still needs consistency but is clearly something that he is working to develop. If this part of his game comes to form, then look out because he could become a dominant scorer and player in general at the highest level. He was definitely one of the very best prospects at the camp. Vonleh rattled off an initial list of Indiana, Ohio State, UConn, Boston College and Providence.
Andrew Harrison 2013 PG
The 6'5 guard simply overpowers defenders. He is a great ball handler, gets to the hoop, and finishes at the rim with the best of them, regardless of position. Harrison has that mindset that screams, "I don't care who you are or what you are going to do, but I am going to get to the rim and score." His competitive spirit and confidence are unmatched.
D'Angelo Russell 2014 PG
Extremely talented, Russell was one of the best point guard prospects at the camp. He can take over games by distributing or by scoring himself. His control over the ball is incredible, as he has a killer crossover and can put passes exactly where he wants them. The smooth lefty is a big time talent and is someone who I think could develop into a dominant guard as a playmaker, both for himself and for others. Russell listed Indiana, Ohio State, Cincinnati, Louisville, Missouri and recently Kentucky.
Anthony Barber 2013 PG
Barber blows by anyone and everyone. The 6'1 lead man is impossible to stay in front of and has defenders on their heels throughout every game. He finishes acrobatically at the rim and was one of the camp's leading scorers. Barber will just need to learn how to be more vocal and lead a team effectively. His top two are Kansas and Alabama.
Brannen Greene 2013 SG
Greene is a stud. He seems to do everything well, and he doesn't force anything when he's doing it. The Kansas commit made everything look easy out there and should become another standout in a Jayhawk uniform.
Jabari Parker 2013 SF
Even though he was only there for one day (he had to leave for USA U17 tryouts and camp), I feel like I should include Parker simply because he is considered by many to be the best player in America. Just from watching one game, it is obvious that Parker's skillset is way beyond his peers. He can get off a good shot whenever he wants it, and has a good handle for his 6'8 size. To me, his only drawback is his lack of explosion at this point. Parker is athletic but doesn't own elite explosiveness and jumping ability. This can hurt him at times when he gets in the lane and gets his shot blocked (still doesn't happen that often though). Toning up his body could help in this area.
What was so impressive about him is that he has that dominant mindset and knows he is THE GUY. He accepts challenges, too, as he guarded point guard Andrew Harrison in the game I saw. It isn't arrogance, either, it's just confidence. He said hometown DePaul is recruiting him the hardest lately (wouldn't that be crazy if Oliver Purnell got him?), but also has all the big names on his list- UNC, Duke, Kentucky, Illinois, Michigan State ... and the list goes on.
Kuran Iverson 2013 SF
The 6'9 long and athletic wing played the role of point forward, and he did it beautifully. Possibly the best one-on-one player throughout camp, Iverson has an array of moves to get his shot. He thrives with the ball in his hands, and this is part of his attraction but could also be his downfall. If a coach gives him the freedom to create for himself and do what he does best, then he should be fine. If not, however, it will be interesting to see how he fares, as he is a lot less effective when he doesn't have the ball in his hands. He said Florida, Oklahoma State, Seton Hall, Villanova, UConn, and Syracuse are all on his trail.
Kendal Harris 2013 PG
Harris was one of my favorite players at the camp. The 6'4" lead man has great size and strength and plays the game with an ease and efficiency that is hard to find. Not a guy who will force things, Harris makes all the simple, smart, and effective plays. For example, he is very good at drawing the defense and kicking it out to the open man. He is also very good at keeping his dribble alive. These two things aren't the type of qualities that draw people's attention, but they are very important for a point guard to have. Harris is also a great finisher. He gets into the lane under control and finishes under control, through contact or with floaters in the lane. Harris was a joy to watch.
The camp was a great event and obviously showcased a ton of talent. It was great to see the best compete against the best, and by the end of the event in the playoffs, former and current NBA players serving as coaches had their teams really competing and going at it. It was fun to watch.
Overall, there seemed to be a lack of pure shooters at the camp. There were a lot of scorers, but not nearly as many shooters. As expected, no one guy completely and utterly dominated the entire weekend. There were a few very consistent performers and a few players who had a couple dominant games (ex. Vonleh, Barber, Iverson) but to me, no single individual was heads and shoulders above the rest.
I had a great time, and I definitely hope to attend again next year!