Philadelphia University - Philadelphia, PA 7:00 Games GAME 1 - Team Allen Iverson 84 Team Jamal Crawford 80
There were about five division one prospects in this game who played great.
First, we'll start with the best performance of the game, and maybe the day, by Brandon Jennings
(Team Iverson/Oak Hill/Los Angeles/2008). After a mediocre first game, Jennings exploded in his second game, finishing with a game high 21. You name it, Jennings did it. He hit 3 threes, scored at will in the lane, got to the line with ease, pick-pocketed UCLA commit Malcom Lee's pocket twice, and served up a beautiful through the legs bounce pass to Rednardo Sidney for a jam. But the moment that everyone in attendance was talking about was the dunk Jennings had in the fourth quarter. Cutting from the wing with a little over 3 minutes left to play, Jennings left his feet outside of the lane and finished off an incredible left handed jam in traffic. He clearly used all of his 40' vertical. I must say visions of Baron Davis
went running through my head. Jennings played with a confidence in his second game that just wasn't there in the first.
Renardo Sidney (Team Iverson/Artesia/Lakewood, CA/2009) continued his stellar play, following up his 26 point effort in the afternoon with a 20 point effort in game two. Watching him, it looked as though he was working on his game as he played rather than playing to win. He was trying a variety of moves on the post, using the glass, and really concentrating on his low post game. Very interesting. Unlike game one, though, Sidney seemed disinterested in rebounding, collecting just two boards and shying away from contact at all costs. Sidney also threw a costly turnover with less than 20 seconds to go that gave Team Crawford a chance to tie at the other end. It was one of four turnovers on the day for Sidney. Very uncharacteristic, considering he has been touted as a great passer due to his guard background growing up.
On a down note for Team A.I., Isaiah Thomas (committed to Washington/2008) struggled again in his second game, shooting 3-of-15 from the field and 1-of-6 from deep, finishing with 9 points.
Switching gears, Team Jamal Crawford
had several players turn in great performances.
Player number one: Malcolm Lee
(Team Crawford/Moreno Valley, CA/Committed to UCLA/2008). Lee battled Jennings and Thomas all night long, and still ended up with 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting (4-5 3-pt FG). His signature bucket came late in the game to keep it close, when Lee crossed over Thomas and drained an NBA-range three. However, Lee did struggle to play the point effectively, turning the ball over 4 times while dishing out just 3 assists. It will be fun to see Lee and Jennings battle it out in the Pac-10 in 2008-09.
Also shining for Team Crawford, Class of 2009 shooting guard Michael Snaer (Moreno Valley/Rancho Verde). You might want to capitalize and underline shooting when referring to Snaer. His impressive second half display from the field had people reaching for their roster guide to find out where he was from. Three straight times down the court Snaer nailed shots and had great form on his jumper. It seemed pretty clear that you cannot leave this guy open in the 14-22 foot range. He was 6-of-12 on for the game including 4-of-7 from deep finishing with a quiet 16. On the downside, he was ineffective in all other areas of his game. He really needs to work on creating his own shot, because it is a great shot to create room for.
Quincy Acy (Horne/Mesquite, TX/2008) didn't shine as bright as Lee and Snaer, but did have one shining moment. Acy threw down a monster jam in Festus Ezeli's face in the fourth quarter that elicited its fair share of oooooooohhhh's from the crowd. Acy is headed to prep school after this, his senior season. It may be the best thing for him. He is an unreal athlete, but still needs to work on his basketball fundamentals. GAME 2 - Team Allan Ray 70 Team Rajon Rando - 75
8:30 Games GAME 1 - Team Marvin Williams 73 Team Yao Ming 92
Power forward Romero Osby
(Northeast Lauderdale/Toomsuba, MS/2008 - committed to Mississippi State) showed off some of his scoring prowess for team Rondo, dropping in a dozen, but didn't seem to be interested in rebounding all that much, picking up a grand total of 1 in 25 minutes (2 in 2 games on the day). If fans in Starkville are expecting Osby to be the second coming of Lawrence Roberts
they may want to think again. Osby seems content in facing up defenders or driving into the lane, not post up in it.
For the losers, Brendan Montario (Crosby/Waterbury, CT/2008) was the lone bright spot and a pleasant surprise. The 6'5" swingman opened some eyes by going 10-of-14 from the field to lead the way with 21 points in a losing effort. He showed he was capable of beating people off the dribble and drained the mid-range jumper with frequency especially in the second half.
One guy who didn't have great game for Team Williams, but who I'll be keeping an eye on the rest of the camp and this upcoming season is 6'7" Poland native Olek Czyz (Reno/Reno, NV). Czyz struggled from the field, but his blinding athleticism had heads turning all game. His nine misses were more impressive than his two makes, if that makes any sense. He caught an alley-oop not even two minutes into the game and tried to reverse jam it out of nowhere. This drew mixed reactions from scouts, coaches and fans alike. Everyone was left questioning why he did it, but everyone was also in awe that he tried to do it. From just that play, I understand why he has garnered offers from Arizona State, Kentucky and Washington State. He is a really different athlete.
For Team Yao, Richard Howell (Willard/Lawerenceville, GA/2009) had himself a game. He went 10-of-10 from the field, 1-of-1 from deep and 2-of-2 from the line to finish with a game-high 23. The 6'7" forward has a game more suited for the power forward position, although right now he fits the profile of a small forward. He is very athletic and if he can keep that athleticism intact as he grows, he should be a high division one prospect. Howell also has great touch around the basket. Most shots, it looks as though he just gets the ball around the cylinder, then lets the rim do the work.
GAME 2 - Team Shaun Livingston 83 Team Baron Davis 67
Lost in the Howell hype in game two was William Buford
's (Toledo Libby/Toledo/2008 - committed to Ohio St.) performance. He matched Howell's total of 23 points and did it in a variety of ways including hitting 3-of-6 from deep. His shot mechanics are very good and he elevates on his shot very nicely making him very difficult to block. He looks be the next in a long line of successful shooting guards to go through Columbus following the footsteps of Jimmy Jackson, Michael Redd
and Daequan Cook
If I had to give an MVP Award for day one, it would hands down go to hometown favorite Andrew Randall (Communications Tech/Philadelphia, PA/2008). Randall followed up his 19 point (8/11 fg) performance to lead Team Livingston to a 15 point win in the afternoon game by dropping 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting in the night cap and leading his team to another 15 point win. Coming into camp, Randall was considered to be a lower tier prospect only receiving a large amount of interest from city school LaSalle, but if the 6'6" swingman continues to play this well that all may change by the time camp wraps Tuesday night. He also showed another side of his game by handing out 4 assists in game two after laying a goose egg in that department in game one. His most impressive moment came on a Team Baron breakaway when Randall hustled to get back and pin a layup at the other end with his team up 18. If there is such a thing as a glue guy at this level, Randall is it. Very impressive. He's playing like a kid who has something to prove.
While Randall's performance was very impressive, both power forward Kevin Jones (Mt. Vernon/Mt. Vernon/2008) and shooting guard Jarrett Mann (Middletown/Middletown, DE/2008 - committed to Stanford) put up impressive numbers as well. Mann was on fire from the floor hitting 6-of-8 and got to the line very effectively where he converted 5-of-6. Down low, Jones controlled the offensive glass ripping down 7 offensive boards and finished with only the third double-double of the first day (the other two coming from Rendardo Sidney and Terrance Jennings).
For Team Davis, point guard Kenny Boynton
(Blanche Ely/Pompano Beach,FL/2009) struggled mightily from the floor shooting (3-of-12, 11 points), but nonetheless exhibited the blazing speed that has Villanova, Duke, Florida, Vanderbilt and Florida State calling. News and notes:
- The last set of games (10 pm) will be included in tomorrow morning's post.
- Jim Boeheim and Tom Crean were two coaches at the evening session that I did not see at the morning session.
- Monday the teams will all be playing a total of three games on the day. Expect to see the exceptional athletes separate themselves from the average athletes by nighttime. Especially because there were so many guys running out of gas by the second half of the second game on Sunday.