Orlando Pre-Draft Camp: Day Three

Orlando Pre-Draft Camp: Day Three
Jun 01, 2007, 02:29 am
Game Four: Team One 88 – Team Four 85

[c]Dave Griffin (Phoenix Suns) and Jerry West (Memphis Grizzlies) talking in a corridor.[/c]

Jared Dudley, 6’7, SF/PF, Boston College

13 pts, 8 reb, 1 ast, 1 stl, 1 to, 5-7 fg’s, 3-3 ft’s, 0-1 3-pt

Jonathan Watters

No, Jared Dudley doesn’t appear to have a natural NBA position. It doesn’t look like he’s worked much on his physique since the season ended. But after today’s phenomenal performance, it is fairly obvious that he will find a place in the NBA. His predecessor at Boston College, Craig Smith, had a phenomenal year in Minnesota and Dudley brings much of the same court savvy and experience to the table.

Dudley positively impacted the game nearly every time he touched the ball, whether it was finding teammates with beautiful passes (the 1 assist he was credited with in the box score is flat out wrong), hitting the glass with reckless abandon, always making the right decision on whether to take off up the court on his own or fire off a crisp outlet pass, or knocking down the open jumper with ease. Dudley is clearly on a different level in terms of his understanding of the game, and even though his team didn’t always get him looks in the halfcourt, Dudley found a way to make his presence felt.

Dudley is going to be the type of player that every successful team needs. He might not blow anybody away with any fancy individual skill, but the remarkable efficiency with which he seeks out small ways to contribute and converts is going to get him drafted, perhaps in the first round.

Zabian Dowdell, 6’2, PG, Senior, Virginia Tech
8 points, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 4-6 FG, 0-1 3PT

Joseph Treutlein

Zabian Dowdell had a very solid performance in his second game here at Orlando, even though he left with a tweaked ankle after playing only 15 minutes. It didn’t look too serious, and it’s assumed he’ll be back playing again tomorrow. Dowdell’s stats may not jump out at you, but he played very well on both ends of the floor, playing great man-to-man defense and using his mid-range game effectively on the offensive end.

Dowdell used his excellent crossover and his combination of hesitation moves and fakes to consistently get into the lane, where he can smoothly pull-up for his mid-range jumper coming off either hand, something that always makes him a threat to score. He hit two pull-up jumpers of this variety, one from 10 feet out and one from 15, as he usually settles in the lane rather than taking it all the way to the hoop. He did take it to the hoop nicely on one occasion on a left-handed drive off a high screen, which he also finished with his left hand. Dowdell didn’t score on a great number of plays, but he got into the lane using his crossover and fake crossover moves often, dribbling through the defense and making dump-off and kick-outs to his teammates. He was highly controlled with the ball in his hands, not getting phased by the pressure defense Jamaal Tatum was playing on him for most of the game, just taking his time and slowing the tempo down so he could protect his dribble before getting into his team’s offense. Dowdell earned his two assists on a dump-off in the halfcourt and a drive-and-dish play in transition, but he also dished out some other nice passes that weren’t finished by his teammates. His nicest passing possession was on a play where he dribbled the ball behind his back before making a strong one-handed pass through two defenders to a cutter going to the basket. Dowdell’s only turnover of the game wasn’t even his fault, as teammate Mohammed Abukar dropped a pass thrown right to his torso.

Defensively, Dowdell also did a great job, playing aggressive defense on Jamaal Tatum for almost every possession, using his wingspan and lateral quickness to keep him from doing pretty much anything with the ball, contesting his shot with his long arms and poking the ball away when he tried dribbling.

Herbert Hill, 6’10, PF/C, Senior, Providence
6 points, 3 rebounds, 3-5 FG

Joseph Treutlein

Herbert Hill didn’t have a very good performance here, showing off a lot of his weaknesses at a magnified level, struggling in terms of his man-to-man defense and really struggling providing a presence on the boards, not getting good position or boxing out well against the higher level of competition here at the camp. Hill relied on his athleticism and length a lot in getting rebounds at Providence, and it’s now showing how he won’t be able to consistently rely on those things at the next level, needing to improve his fundamental base as well. His lack of width hurts him, and he could probably use a bit more in terms of lower and upper body strength, which an NBA training program will help him achieve.

Defensively, Hill really struggled when he was matched up in man-to-man situations in the post, not getting into proper stance and not lowering his center of gravity to maintain position, just looking like he doesn’t have much fundamental development in that aspect of the game. For all those negatives, Hill still does a good job contesting on shots at time with his length, and made a nice block he wasn’t credited for against Anthony Tolliver on a post-up attempt.

Hill looked solid on the offensive end when he got the ball, working on the low and mid block, though this wasn’t a game with a lot of post-up attempts, a style of play which doesn’t favor his game, which revolves around his excellent footwork and touch around the basket. Hill scored on a stepback jumper on the baseline where he turned into his man and quickly got separation by bouncing back off, scoring the shot with ease. He scored again on a backdown into the post where he went up for a turnaround jumper over his man going across the lane, his favorite move, coming off two right-handed dribbles. His only other field goal came on another pull-up jumper from five feet going across the lane. Hill made some nice passes out of the post as well, something he’s shown flashes of at Providence, and he has the potential to develop into a nice passer in time.

Hill has a lot of great qualities to build around, but he’s a good ways away from reaching his potential, needing to put on weight and be under the tutelage of a coach who puts a strong emphasis on fundamentals and defense, two things he’s really lacking outside of the painted area on the offensive end. Hill did make excellent strides in his senior breakout season, though, and his offensive motor is strong, so there’s reasons to be encouraged that he can make the necessary improvements in the other areas of his game in the right setting. He wasn’t showing consistent hustle in getting up and down the court and playing defense in this game, so he should look to do more of that tomorrow, but his stock doesn’t seem to be changing much here, still sitting in the early-to-mid second round as a project big man.

Trey Johnson, 6-5, Shooting Guard, Jackson State, Senior
16 points, 1 rebound 1 assist, 6/14 FG, 4/4 FT, 1/2 3PFG

Mike Schmidt

As one of the top pure scorers in college basketball, many people expected a strong performance from Trey Johnson here in Orlando. After struggling during the first game, he bounced back with one of the better performances throughout today’s games.

The bulk of Johnson’s points were scored from between 15 and 20 feet, where he used a high screen to create his shot. On the pick and roll plays, he shot a number of fade-away jumpers while moving to the right, a shot that seems nearly impossible to disrupt. Though this shot was effective a number of times, Johnson sometimes cools off and struggles to score for periods of time.

Though the senior guard had a number of pick and rolls run for him, he rarely decided to turn the corner and attempt to penetrate past the defender. He was fouled twice on drives to the basket, and it would add another dimension to the game if he attacked the hoop with better consistency. Johnson also appears to be struggling with the adjustment to the NBA three point line right now but he certainly has the shooting stroke to become at least a moderate threat.

Despite his effectiveness on the offensive end, Johnson struggled on defense against a number of players, including Brandon Heath and Brad Newley. The lack of fundamentals in this area hurt Johnson, and a lack of lateral quickness compounds the problem.

Johnson has the potential to become a scoring threat at the 2 off the bench, but his defense must improve in order for him to become a mainstay in an NBA rotation. It will also be interesting to see if he can adjust to becoming a role player rather than a first option on the offensive end. Players like Johnson rarely have plays run for them at the next level, and he must learn to get the bulk of his shots within the flow of the offense.

Reyshawn Terry, 6-8, Senior, Small Forward, North Carolina
13 points, 2 rebounds, 0 assists, 3 turnovers, 4-7 FG, 5-6 FT

Jonathan Givony

After a fairly invisible first half, Reyshawn Terry came alive and finished up having a pretty decent stat-line in the end. He showed up some of the same concerning lack of assertiveness that plagued him for much of this year, getting lost in the shuffle when he wasn’t showing poor ball-handling skills creating his own shot from the perimeter. His pocket was picked on one occasion by Zabian Dowdell, and he forced his dribble on two other occasions to pick up a charge and a bad turnover. While extremely athletic, Terry is not the most fluid or reactive player in the world, not being the type of guy that can change directions on the fly while putting the ball in the floor or hanging in the air for a finish. He also went back to his old habit of fading away for no particular reason on his 3-point shot, something that he seemed to have corrected when we saw him a few weeks ago working out at Tim Grover’s gym.

It wasn’t all bad for Terry, though. Later on in the game, he picked up some easy baskets to get himself going, scoring two easy layups in transition and knocking down a wide open 12 foot jump-shot. He also played some solid defense at the small forward position on Quinton Hosely and Mohamed Abukar, who really struggled.

Aaron Brooks, 5’11, PG/SG, Oregon

5 pts, 1 reb, 4 ast, 1 to, 2-6 fg’s, 1-2 ft’s

Jonathan Watters

While there are plenty of differing opinions on the professional future of Aaron Brooks, it is hard to argue with his solid play thus far in Orlando. Brooks’ future as a pure point guard has always been in doubt, but the former Oregon Duck has actually done a decent job of running his team’s offense over the first two days. He completely outplayed Dominic James yesterday, and got the better of longtime rival Mustafa Shakur in this morning’s action. Brooks got into the lane virtually at will, and did a good job of distributing the ball in pick and roll situations. He showed much more of a willingness to give up the ball in the halfcourt as well.

Brooks hasn’t exploded as a scorer yet, as he couldn’t finish on a handful of flashy drives to the basket. Brooks’ lack of size is a serious concern for any team looking to bring him on as an energizer type lead guard, but he may have the speed to make up for it. Just as impressive was his continued attention to the defensive end, where he did a good job of staying in front of Mustafa Shakur.

No, Brooks isn’t going to be a starting point guard for an NBA team someday. But he has managed to play under control, run an offense effectively, and play aggressive defense here. This could warrant a roster spot on an NBA team looking for pace pusher for the end of the bench…

Brad Newley, 6-6, 1985 International, Shooting Guard, Townsville (Australia)
9 points, 2 rebounds, 3-5 FG, 0-1 3P, 3-4 FT

Jonathan Givony

After a very quiet first half, Newley woke up to a certain extent with a 6-point outburst in the span of one minute that showed off a lot of the potential that makes him an intriguing guy as far as the 2nd round is concerned. The most emphatic of his plays was a fantastic foray into the paint after creating his own shot from the perimeter and extremely athletic finish with a two-handed dunk. Newley also did a lot of little things for his team, facilitating ball-movement and getting to the free throw line made some nice passes. He didn’t seem to force anything today at all—only taking 5 shots—except for one NBA 3-pointer that he completely airballed. Newley’s lateral quickness looked a little bit questionable at times, but you can’t say that he’s done anything to hurt himself with what he showed at this camp so far.

Russell Carter, 6’4, SG, Notre Dame

7 pts, 1 reb, 1 stl, 1 to, 1-7 fg’s, 5-7 ft’s, 0-2 3-pt

Jonathan Watters

In a camp that is proving to be tough for non-floor general guards, Russell Carter’s play has been nothing short of underwhelming. After the dominant Portsmouth performance, Carter has struggled in Orlando with his outside shooting and just hasn’t shown much to separate himself from the pack.

Carter has never been much of a creator for himself, so when that spot up jumper doesn’t go down it is hard for him to make much of a contribution on the offensive end. But the volume shooter seemed to be pressing things this morning, firing up quick shots outside the flow of the offense and not really making an impact in any other way. There were a couple of hard-nosed slashes to the rim, but his lack of size certainly limits his upside as a traditional wing slasher. There were also several more instances of sloppy ballhandling, which is a major reason why he hasn’t developed any sort of midrange game.

This evaluation may come off a bit harsh, but Carter is certainly in need of a turnaround in game 3. He certainly has a handful of tools that could be useful to an NBA team, but needs to find his shot from beyond the arc and probably isn’t going to get the consistent looks to do that here. His Portsmouth camp was outstanding, but this setting has brought a handful of his weaknesses to the forefront.

Kyle Visser, 6-11, Senior, Center, Wake Forest
11 points, 4 rebounds, 1 block, 5-5 FG, 1-5 FT

Jonathan Givony

Although he’s yet to really put everything together for consistent stretches, Kyle Visser has shown some really nice flashes of potential that have to look intriguing to teams drafting in the late first or early second round. Today, Visser scored with a couple of jump-hooks inside, and came up with a gorgeous scoop and finish off the glass after catching a tough pass and adjusting his body nicely to show excellent body control. Visser would have finished up with an even better stat-line had he managed to knock down his shots at the free throw line, as he has a nice looking stroke, but just hasn’t been able to convert at all during the camp so far. Another negative to come out was the way Visser was outmuscled in the paint by Chris Richard and Herbert Hill, lacking the core strength to hold his position on the block. He also struggled on team defense picking his spots on rotations , picking up four fouls in 17 minutes—something that has been a constant problem for him this year.

Mustafa Shakur, 6’3, PG, Arizona

14 pts, 2 reb, 7 ast, 2 stl, 4 to’s, 1 blk, 2-7 fg’s, 10-12 ft’s

Jonathan Watters

This is Mustafa Shakur’s second trip to Orlando, and while the former Arizona Wildcat has managed to polish up his game a bit, the same themes continue to pop in evaluating his play. Shakur’s natural tools are unquestionably NBA-caliber, with prototype point guard size and plenty of explosiveness to get things done off the dribble. This has been evident in both of his games so far, and today he again managed to keep the opposing defense on its heels by relentlessly pushing the ball and getting into the lane. The tangible result this morning was 12 trips to the line, which made a big difference in a tightly contested ballgame.

At the same time, the questions about Shakur’s game management remain. His tendency to overpenetrate isn’t as glaring here in the camp setting, but teams come more prepared in the NBA. Shakur way too often finds himself stuck in the air or under the basket when he can’t draw an immediate defender and kick to the open man. Shakur’s defense is up and down – he is more than capable of wreaking havoc on opposing ballhandlers with pressure all over the court, but way too often he allows his man to get the step and create something in the lane.

Shakur’s jumper grades much like the rest of his game – a bit more polished, but nothing in terms of dramatic improvement. He knocked down one jumper in the lane this morning and didn’t force the shot like he did last year, but his form still needs work. Shakur is certainly in the mix to get drafted, so it will be interesting to see if he can put together a complete game to close out the camp.

Chris Richard, 6-8, Senior, PF/C, Florida
10 points, 7 rebounds, 4-6 FG, 2-5 FT

Jonathan Givony

Chris Richard continued in what has been a pretty solid pre-draft camp for him so far, doing a lot of dirty work for his team and being rewarded for his efforts with production in the stat-sheet as well. Richard actually started off this game fairly slowly, bobbling a couple of potential rebounds and losing the handle on a good pass off his very poor hands. Richard did most of his damage the way he does best—with simple plays. He set quality screens and moved off the ball for an easy dunk, and scored with his back to the basket on a basic jump-hook. He also hit the glass very well, using his wide, fantastic body to clear out space and go after loose balls with reckless abandon. So while he probably hasn’t knocked anyone’s socks off at this camp so far, Richard is quietly helping himself here.

Quinton Hosley, 6’6, SG/SF, Senior, Fresno State
11 points, 2 rebounds, 5-8 FG, 1-4 FT

Joseph Treutlein

Quinton Hosley had a decent game, hitting on two spot-up shots from 18 feet out, a fade-away jumper from 15 feet, and scoring on a lay-up and a jam in transition. On the downside, he airballed another 18 footer, missed on a lay-up off a cut to the basket, and missed on a right-handed lay-up off a right-handed drive. His dribbling looked pretty sloppy whenever he put the ball on the floor, and that’s been a noted weakness of his based on our scouting. He got to the free throw line a few times by putting the ball on the floor, but he usually looked like he was on the verge of losing the ball on these possessions, not having a compact dribble, which is vulnerable to pokeaways by the defense.

On the defensive end, Hosley started the game off by playing some aggressive off-ball defense, cutting off the passing lanes and pushing his man out of his comfort zone, though he eased up a bit as the game went on. He wasn’t scared on switches where he was matched with smaller, quicker guards like Brandon Heath, though he did have some trouble getting around screens, which the opposition threw more of at him later in the game.

Hosley has a chance to get drafted in the second round this year, as he has some nice upside and an NBA body, but he will need to work on improving his ball-handling to play the wing consistently in the NBA, and his outside shot could use some work, as he only shot 32% from behind the arc on the season, even though he’s shot the ball pretty well here.

Mohamed Abukar, 6-10, Forward, San Diego State, Senior
6 points, 4 rebounds, 3 turnovers, 3/8 FG

Abukar entered the pre-draft camp with a reputation for have talent, but struggling to apply it to a game setting on a consistent basis. This concern appears to have carried over to this setting, as he struggled to repeat his strong performance from yesterday.

Abukar scored all of his 6 points on spot up jumpers today, while showing good mechanics and a high release point. The problem here is that Abukar becomes overconfident in his jumper, and starts trying to force up contested jumpers. The lack of ball handling further compounds the problem in this area. For all of the field goal attempts for Abukar during this camp, it is hard to recall one time where he successfully took the ball to the basket. Mohamed Abukar’s limitations will likely keep him from playing in the NBA, but his shooting ability will allow him to play professional basketball elsewhere.

Ivan Radenovic, 6’10, PF/C, Senior, Arizona
8 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 2-5 FG, 0-2 3PT, 4-4 FT

Joseph Treutlein

Ivan Radenovic had a decent game, missing on both of his three-point attempts, but making some very smart passes throughout the game, netting four assists in the process, getting them in a variety of ways. He made a couple of post-to-post assists with great quickness, barely even looking at his teammate before making the dish through both his and his teammate’s defender. He also made some other nice passes within his team’s offense, getting his other assists in that fashion, just off solid ball movement.

As for the rest of his game, Radenovic made a nice left-handed hook shot off the glass on a spin move in the lane, and scored a lay-up on a cut to the basket on another possession. Defensively, Radenovic wasn’t able to make much of an impact coming from the weakside, even though he consistently made the right rotations. He lacks in explosiveness, which often leaves him swatting for the ball but being unable to alter his opponent’s shot when he tries to make a block. In terms of post defense, Radenovic did a better job, playing some nice man-to-man defense on Rashaun Freeman, forcing him into tough shots by holding his position on the block and not allowing him past.

Radenovic has a chance to get drafted, and he can turn into a decent role player in the NBA, but if he doesn’t, he should be a very good big man in Europe, possessing the passing and outside shooting skills that the European style of play favor.

Brandon Heath, 6-3, Guard, San Diego State, Senior
12 points, 4 assists, 2 turnovers, 6/10 FG, 0/2 3PFG

Mike Schmidt

Brandon Heath put on an impressive scoring display today. His first two baskets came off floaters in the lane, where he penetrated pass Trey Johnson and lofted the ball towards the basket before the help defense could arrive. The combo guard penetrated to the basket many times throughout the game, yielding a number of mid-range shots and lay-ups in traffic. Heath’s jump shot lacks NBA range at this point however, as he proved on both of his attempts today.

For a scoring guard, Heath also did a decent job distributing the ball, particularly in transition where he set up teammates on 4 fast breaks. Despite his good passing today, he lacks the vision and the mind-set of a point guard, and will likely spend the majority of his career playing off the ball. We probably won’t see Brandon Heath appear on a roster anytime soon, but he did have a very good game today.

Priority Sports Workout

In between sessions a workout was held for NBA and International Teams sponsored by Chicago based sports agency Priority Sports (headed by Mark Bartelstein). This featured names such as Marcus Fizer, Michael Bradley, Keith Langford, Desmon Farmer, Matt Freije, Awvee Storey, Brandon Hunter, Theron Smith, Eric Williams, Drake Diener, Brian Bracey and many others, mostly through five on five games rotating established European-based players in and out.

In the workout, Marcus Fizer showed off many of the dominating skills that made the Chicago Bulls decide to draft him with the #5 pick in the 2000 draft, as well as the #1 scorer in the ACB League this year. He created his own shot at will, both from the perimeter or inside the post, showing incredibly quick feet and a terrific knack for finding his way to the basket despite still looking very much out of shape. His turnaround jumper looked virtually unstoppable, elevating decently off the ground and displaying fantastic touch. Fizer was just a load in the post who anyone who tried to guard him, putting his rear-end into his man and clearing him out of the way at will to get to virtually wherever he wanted on the floor. Defensively, he was just average.

A number of NBA teams were here to watch Fizer in particular, including Chicago, Indiana, Miami, the LA Lakers, New Jersey, Portland, Charlotte, the LA Clippers, and Charlotte just from the people we were able to recognize from our vantage point. Fizer looks like he could play in the NBA for at least the minimum if that’s what he really wanted to do, but losing 15-20 pounds could really make an intriguing prospect out of him.

Another standout from this workout was Desmon Farmer, who averaged 20 points per game in the D-League this year (after being cut by Seattle) and is heading to the Indiana Pacers summer league here in Orlando this July. Farmer showed excellent athleticism and an incredible amount of energy putting the ball on the floor and getting to the basket. He also hit some 3-pointers and pulled up off the dribble on a few occasions from mid-range. His defense was also very solid as you might expect by his hard-nosed rugged mentality. Farmer’s ball-handling skills are still improvable, as are his decision making skills. He gets ahead of himself at times, running into brick walls due and forcing the issue to a certain extent. That same over-enthusiasm is also a key part of what makes him such an energetic player, though. It wouldn’t be a shock if Farmer ended up finding a spot on someone’s roster on November 1st once again.

Game Five: Team 2 94- Team 5 79

Taurean Green, 6-1, Junior, Point Guard, Florida
10 points, 5 assists, 3 turnovers, 3-4 FG, 1-1 3P, 3-4 FT

[c]Joakim Noah, Corey Brewer and Al Horford taking time out to come and support their teammate and roommate Taurean Green[/c]

This was another excellent showing in what is turning out to be a terrific pre-draft camp for Taurean Green so far, particularly with the work he did getting his team well ahead in the box-score in the first half. Green showed the things that make him an intriguing prospect in terms of his combination of shooting, slashing and playmaking ability, making some excellent passes off the dribble on the drive and dish and putting outstanding pressure on the defense (going left or right) getting into the paint all game long, displaying nice toughness in the process. He also pulled up off the dribble from well beyond the NBA 3-point line on one occasion, swishing the shot and sending his three compadres from Florida who made a cameo—Joakim Noah, Al Horford and Corey Brewer—cheering visibly on the sidelines. More than possibly any other guard in this camp, Green has shown the quickest adaptation to the NBA 3-point line, at least from what we’ve seen in the games and drills so far.

More than anything, though, what this pre-draft camp has shown us is the incredible confidence that Green has in himself. He’s playing here without a care in the world, as if he’s been on some much bigger stages already in his career and doesn’t have much left to prove.

Jared Jordan, 6’2, PG, Marist

8 points, 7 assists, 3-4 fg’s, 2-2 ft’s

Jonathan Watters

Jordan continues to impress here in Orlando, outplaying more highly regarded points guards such as Bobby Brown and Sean Singletary in this afternoon’s matchup. Jordan’s team is now 2-0, and it would be safe to say that his play at the point guard position has been a major reason for this. Today Jordan racked up a sparkling 7 assists against 0 turnovers, with just about every single pass he made productive in some form. Whether it was find cutters in the halfcourt or handing out crisp, accurate open court passes on the move, Jordan’s mark was on this game whenever he was on the court.

While Jordan hasn’t been a dominant scorer in this camp, he has found a way to contribute his own offense through an improved spot up jumper and a handful of crafty forays to the basket. Jordan’s athleticism is never going to be a strength, but he knows how to pick his spots to look for his own.

There will always be limitations to Jordan’s game, but his presence here in Orlando has been undeniable. It remains to be seen if he will be able to overcome his natural limitations, but if there is a player capable of it, Jared Jordan would be the one.

Dominic McGuire, 6-7, Small Forward, Junior
11 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 turnovers, 4/6 FG

Mike Schmidt

An athletic forward with lots of upside, McGuire may be the most intriguing prospect at the pre-draft camp this season. After a lack of aggressiveness held him back on day 1, he bounced back with a solid all-around performance today.

McGuire displayed very impressive passing ability today, both in the half court and transition offense. His most impressive play came in transition when he took the ball coast to coast left handed before dishing the ball from under the basket to an open big man. There was no defensive pressure when he was bringing the ball up the court, however, and his ball handling will be an area that will need focus in the future.

In addition to passing, McGuire also made 3 spot-up jumpers from around the college 3 point range. The junior shot just under 30% from the three point line this season, and it appears that he has worked a great deal on his shooting mechanics since the end of the college season. The next step in this area will be to expand the range out to the NBA three point line.

As a slasher, McGuire has all the natural tools to excel in this area at the NBA level, thanks to a deadly first step and the ability to explode off the ground and hang in the air. For him to fully utilize this ability, better ball handling will be necessary. In addition, McGuire must stop shying away from contact at the basket. As proven on one drive today, he tries to finesse the ball around the defense rather than taking the contact and drawing the foul. Still, few small forward prospects are blessed with this kind of size and explosive athletic ability.

Defensively, McGuire made a number of athletic plays today, including a help side blocked shot and a handful of difficult defensive rebounds. His physical tools allow him to play good man to man defensive most of the time, but he sometimes loses his focus in this area. With a consistent effort, the tools are in place for him to become a lockdown defensive small forward at the NBA level.

On one hand, McGuire has great athleticism for a small forward prospect in combination with a pretty good overall feel for the game. At the same time, his soft style of play rarely allows him to take advantage of his natural gifts. Dominic McGuire could easily be a mid first rounder with more physical play, but it is tough to project a player who rarely goes to his strengths.

Renaldas Seibutis, 6-6, 1985 International, Shooting Guard, Marrousi
8 points, 6 rebounds, 4-7 FG

Jonathan Givony

Seibutis continues to quietly impress here with his all-around package of toughness and maturity. He fought, kicked and scraped his way to six hard-earned rebounds, one an offensive rebound tip-in, and played very unselfishly facilitating the ball-movement and being a good teammate in the huddle. He showed some shooting touch (a must for him) by pulling up off the dribble for a 16 foot jumper, although this probably isn’t the strongest part of his game.

Demetris Nichols, 6’7, SF, Syracuse

17 pts, 3 reb, 1 ast, 2 to, 6-7 fg’s, 2-4 ft’s, 3-4 3-pt

Jonathan Watters

The term “instant offense” certainly describes Nichols’ play so far in Orlando. His scoring totals have been unrivaled, and he is doing it with remarkable efficiency. Nichols is absolutely lethal as a spot up shooter, and has the length to get his shot off over most wing defenders. He is also good at making defenses pay for losing attention, capable of finding a soft spot in the defense and hoisting a shot before anyone can react.

The rest of Nichols’ game is less attractive, but he has the athleticism and length to contribute in other ways at some point. Nichols plays good defense at times, but could probably use his natural gifts to his advantage a bit more often in non-shooting areas. Nichols once again scored a large chunk of his points over a short period of time, but his shooting runs are proving to be game-changing here in Orlando. His team is now 2-0, and given the way he shot at Syracuse as a senior, it would be a surprise if Nichols didn’t light it up again tomorrow.

Aaron Gray, 7’0, Center, Senior, Pittsburgh
16 points, 5 rebounds, 2 turnovers, 5-9 FG, 6-7 FT

Joseph Treutlein

Aaron Gray had yet another solid performance here today, following up on his good performance yesterday, and he’s thus far succeeded in not hurting his stock here at the camp, though not really improving it much either. Gray got all his scores coming off post-ups and pick-and-rolls, getting to the basket and hitting a lay-up or going to the line, or by settling for a turnaround jumper from about five feet away from the basket. Gray scored his first basket of the game off a pick-and-roll, rolling to the basket and drawing the foul while laying the ball in the basket for an and-1. He went to the basket on a pick-and-roll three more times during the game, missing on two lay-up attempts where he seemed to just throw the ball in the general direction of the basket, and drawing a foul on his other attempt. Gray occasionally goes to the hoop and doesn’t really seem to focus on making a high-percentage shot attempt, rather just putting the ball up and hoping for the best, though at times he does seem to focus a bit better, which he did on a few occasions here, showing good hoop awareness at times, especially on his turnaround jumper. Gray had two very nice back-to-the-basket plays on the game, one coming on a turnaround jumper off the glass from five feet out, and the other coming on a fake spin one way into a spin back the other, where he laid the ball perfectly in the basket after spending just a second with his eye on the hoop, showing good awareness of where he was with the ball.

Defensively, Gray had some trouble, playing suspect man-to-man defense, especially on the perimeter, not getting out close on his man on a few occasions, leaving him open for wide open mid-range shots. Gray also got scored over in the post on a hook shot by Ali Traore, and struggled on one pick-and-roll defense, not having the quickness to effectively hedge on the ball-handler and get back to his man, so he cheated a bit by not making much of a hedge, leaving the ball-handler a wide open lane to the basket. Gray also got rebounded over by players with superior athleticism on a play or two, something that may be a problem for him even with his great size.

Ramon Sessions, 6’2, PG, Nevada

16 pts, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 0 to’s, 4-9 fg’s, 8-10 ft’s

Jonathan Watters

It was another fantastic showing for the underclassman, who has now racked up 12 assists to just 1 turnover in the first two days of competition. Sessions’ game management has been just as excellent as that statistic would indicate. His hand is steady, and he is able to probe defenses in a steady way that nearly always leads to a better situation for his team. Sessions isn’t the most explosive athlete out there, but his ability to make the right decision on whether to look for a teammate or shoot the ball himself makes him a very dangerous player with the ball in his hands.

Today Sessions got his offense going a bit, connecting on a handful of runners in the lane and getting to the basket a bit more often than he had earlier in the camp. He has a tendency to force his offense every now and then, but when his floater is connecting he becomes even more dangerous. On the whole, he is very willing to give up the ball and picks apart any defense that isn’t playing as a unit in terms of help across the whole court.

Sessions has done what just about every underclassman hopes to accomplish by attending the Orlando camp. It is unlikely that he would be able to crack the first round this season, but with an offseason dedicated to getting stronger and more explosive, the first round of 2008 doesn’t seem unrealistic at all. He will certainly get more attention from the scouts throughout his senior season if he does decide to return to school.

D.J. Strawberry, 6-4, Guard, Maryland, Senior
6 points, 2 steals, 3/7 FG, 0/2 3PFG

Mike Schmidt

After a strong performance during the pre-draft camp yesterday, Strawberry continued with a good game today. The strong point here comes on the defensive end of the floor, where he was able to lock down whoever he was matched up against for the second day in a row. The combination of athleticism and great fundamentals allow him to create major problems for opposing point and shooting guards. With many defenders, they limit their effectiveness on defense by gambling for steals and creating a numbers advantage for the offensive team. Though Strawberry racks up a good number of steals, he does so using quick hands and anticipation rather than gambling in the passing lanes.

Offensively, Strawberry needs to make some improvements to make the NBA a sure thing. He can hit the mid-range jumper with good accuracy to about 20 feet, and even knocked down a pair of 15 footers off the dribble today. His range does not extend out past 20 feet however, and his form changes once outside the NBA three point line. Inside, Strawberry needs to become stronger with the ball going to the basket, and work on drawing contact once inside the paint. He lost the twice on drives to the hoop today, and didn’t attempt a single free throw during any point in the game.

Despite his offensive shortcomings, Strawberry has all the makings of an NBA role player. His defensively ability will make many GMs think long and hard about drafting him, and the development of a spot-up three pointer would solidify his spot in the NBA.

Sean Singletary, 5-11, Junior, Point Guard, Virginia
7 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 turnovers

Jonathan Givony

While Sean Singletary continues to drop indications that he’s strongly considering keeping his name in this year’s draft, his play on the court simply isn’t backing him up so far. He looked small and a little bit on the wild side with his inconsistent play, dominating the ball, making some very risky decisions, and being outplayed by Team 2’s excellent point guard duo of Jared Jordan and Taurean Green. He did do a good job creating offense for himself through pulling up off the dribble from 17-18 feet, hitting a number of these shots, including a 3-pointer.

Antanas Kavaliauskas, 6-10, Senior, PF/C, Texas A&M
14 points, 7 rebounds, 5-9 FG, 4-4 FT

Jonathan Givony

After struggling at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, Antanas Kavaliauskas has bounced back nicely and strung together a pretty impressive tournament for himself so far. He’s shown some incredible toughness throwing his body around in the post, crashing the glass and dishing out plenty of pain to anyone that’s tried to get in his way. He’s also looked very smart and opportunistic with the way he moves off the ball and plays off the terrific point guard duo of Taurean Green and Jared Jordan he benefits from playing next to, setting screens and rolling towards the basket or stepping out to the elbow to knock down an easy mid-range jumper. At the very least Kavaliauskas has earned himself a few summer league invites and a lot of affection from the many European scouts who will surely covet his Lithuanian passport.

Coleman Collins, 6’8, PF, Senior, Virginia Tech
13 points, 8 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 assists, 4 turnovers, 4-13 FG, 5-8 FT

Joseph Treutlein

Coleman Collins didn’t play as well here as he did in his monstrous Day One performance, but he still had a solid game, even with his poor shooting percentage from the field. Collins took a very high volume of shots, looking for his own shot the vast majority of times he touched the ball, but all of his shots came from within 15 feet of the basket, and he didn’t really take many bad shots, even though his field-goal percentage might suggest it.

Collins started the game very strong, hitting on a contested jumper from 15 feet and another from 15 feet out, pulling up off of two dribbles, but he also missed a 10-footer and a scoop shot off a dropstep early. Later in the game he missed pull-up jumpers from 12, 18, and 18 feet on separate occasions, also getting blocked on a dunk attempt down low and missing on a left-handed lay-up off a left-handed drive. He got to the free-throw line by drawing fouls on face-up drives from very close to the basket and in transition, but he hit on just five of his eight free-throw attempts. Collins’ offensive game reminds a bit of Mikki Moore in terms of style, playing almost exclusively within 15 feet, but rarely posting up, rather using face-up moves off of just one or two dribbles, from very close range. The problem is that Collins is about three inches shorter than Moore, and not as athletic, so it’s tough to say how far that will take him.

Collins also made a good impact on the boards, roaming all over the floor to track down rebounds, showing an excellent eye for following the ball off the rim. On the defensive end, Collins wasn’t credited with any blocked shots, but he made a perfect block from behind on one possession that was called a foul, and he also had another block on his man going for a reverse lay-up, showing off his athleticism in reaching out to make the rejection. Collins also made three steals in transition, all of which looked fortuitous in that he happened to be in just the right position, but at some point you can’t chalk these things up to just luck. Collins did show some struggles in man-to-man defense, though, being scored on by Ali Traore on jumpers from the perimeter, and not showing very good lateral quickness on a few occasions.

Collins likely won’t be drafted, but strong performances here definitely are helping his stock, especially with his underwhelming senior season at Virginia Tech hanging over his head. As mentioned above, his game compares to Mikki Moore in terms of style in most aspects of the game, but the three inches he gives up in comparison are not easy to overcome, though a good measured wingspan and standing reach at the combine would help make his projection to the NBA a bit easier. He should have a chance to catch on somewhere in summer league, but he’ll likely be headed to the D-League at least initially.

Bobby Brown, 6-1, Point Guard, Cal-State Fullerton, Senior
11 points, 4 steals, 2 assists, 2 turnovers, 3/10 FG, 5/8 FT

Mike Schmidt

After a slow start in the camp yesterday, Bobby Brown played slightly better today, but certainly didn’t do anything to raise his draft stock. In transition, he pushed the ball up the floor a number of times, and was fouled on an athletic dunk attempt that he almost threw down in traffic. The up and down style of offense seems to be a good fit for Brown, who played in an athletic run and gun conference in the Big West.

In the half court, Brown made a number of poor decisions as the primary initiator of the offense. In the NBA, his role will likely to spot up for three pointers, but it would greatly help his chances if he could show better command of a half court offense. He did make a couple of nice dump downs where he dished the ball to an open Aaron Gray after breaking down the defense.

Brown’s perimeter shot lacked consistency today as well, with his only two made jumpers coming from a step inside the NBA three point line. He was known for the ability to pull-up for the three pointer at any time in college, but this hasn’t translated to the camp in Orlando thus far. In terms of jump shot elevation, he gets a good deal of lift from mid-range but is lacking in this area from behind the three point line. Bobby Brown has yet to excel in a draft camp setting, but a very good college season combined with strong pre-draft workouts will certainly keep him on the radar of some NBA teams.

Curtis Sumpter, 6-7, Senior, SF/PF, Villanova
6 points, 2 rebounds, 3-7 FG, 2 stealsm 5 turnovers

Jonathan Givony

Possibly the biggest disappointment at the entire camp so far, there is no other way to describe Curtis Sumpter’s performance here as anything but an complete disaster. Sumpter has looked out of place and out of sorts in almost everything he’s done, forcing the issue badly with his penetrations and being stone-walled by the defenders and referees every time he ‘s tried to do something positive to help his team out. The transition to the small forward position looks very far for this 6-7 fifth year senior right now…

Sammy Mejia, 6’6, SG/SF, Senior, DePaul
14 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, 7-12 FG

Joseph Treutlein

Sammy Mejia had yet another solid showing here on Day Two, which is a pleasant surprise after his non-descript showing in Portsmouth about a month and a half ago. Today was probably Mejia’s best performance, as he did a little bit of everything well, not making many mistakes in the process. Mejia made some nice assists on little drive and dishes, drawing in defenders even though he wasn’t able to blaze past his man with his first step. He doesn’t usually get to the rim on isolation plays, needing a bit of separation first to take the ball all the way to the basket, instead settling for pass-offs or pull-up jumpers. He didn’t convert on most of his outside shots today, missing twice from 18 feet, once from three-point range, and once on a pull-up from 12 feet, though he did make one of his shots from 18 feet out. He got most of his scores by cutting to the basket, finishing at the rim with lay-ups and jams, playing off his point guard’s creation abilities. Mejia also had a nice five-footed, uncontested floater off a broken play on one possession.

Mejia is playing himself back into NBA discussions, but he still just has an outside chance to get drafted, though another solid or better performance tomorrow would help his stock. He’ll get his chances in summer league, but he might not catch on immediately, as while he does a lot of things decently well, he isn’t really great at one particular thing, and most teams want role players to really excel and consistently contribute in at least one area.

Game Six: Team Three 87 – Team Six 89

Dashaun Wood, 6-0, Senior, Point Guard, Wright State
15 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 0 turnovers, 5-12 FG, 1-4 3P, 4-6 FT

Jonathan Givony

After previously having played quite a solid camp up until this point, today Dashaun Wood had a slightly worse showing than some might have expected considering the momentum he had coming in. Although he scored 15 points and did not turn the ball over even once, Wood certainly over-dribbled excessively numerous times down the floor, looking for his own shot a lot more than he probably should have considering his role on the floor. This aggressiveness did get him into the paint repeatedly this game, showing a great handle creating his own shot and going to his floater again and again. He took four NBA 3-pointers in this game, but only hit one of them, an area he’ll probably have to show more of once private NBA workouts kick off next week. Some good things he did do included the leadership skills he displayed calling together his teammates for a huddle in dead-ball situations, as well as dong a good job pulling up off the dribble from mid-range. A lot of players would gladly accept a 15 point performance as their worst showing so far, but we know that Wood is capable of doing a lot more based off what we’ve seen in the past/

Darryl Watkins, 6’11, Center, Senior, Syracuse
7 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 turnovers, 3-4 FG, 1-2 FT

Joseph Treutlein

Darryl Watkins really improved on his showing from yesterday, playing a bit more aggressively on both sides of the basket, which especially showed in his tracking down of nine rebounds in just 20 minutes of playing time. On the offensive end, Watkins made some nice finesse moves, scoring on a roll to the basket that he finished with a scoop lay-up off the glass, hitting a spot-up footer from 12 feet out, and scoring on a nice back-to-the-basket shot-fake into a pivot, which he finished by going into an up-and-under jam. Watkins also missed on an up-and-under move on another occasion, and it should be noted that most of his shot attempts could’ve been finished with powerful jams he is capable of making, though he usually settles for finesse moves he doesn’t consistently convert instead.

On the defensive end, Watkins was moving around a bit more today, but he still didn’t make the impact he’s capable of, not pursuing blocked shots on rotations as much as he could. Watkins did make some nice plays, though, forcing Caleb Green into a tough shot on the baseline on one occasion, and making a nice play on help defense by cutting off Dominic James on the baseline on another. In terms of rebounding the ball, Watkins got most of his rebounds via size and position, but tracked down a few outside of the painted area as well..

Watkins has a great set of physical tools, and shows off some nice skills as well, but he doesn’t consistently play with the assertiveness he should on either end of the floor. He has a nice semblance of a mid-range shot, and if he develops some consistency with it, he could easily make a nice impact in the NBA, along the lines of what Mark Blount made a career of doing sometime down the road. Watkins’ ceiling may even be higher than that, but he’s a project player at the next level, and will need some coaching and a change in demeanor before improvements like that can be seen. Still, most of our scouts agree that someone will take a chance on Watkins in the second round, and you can’t take fault with that, as he’s a project worth investing in given his physical attributes and flashes of potential.

Dominic James, 5-11, Sophomore, Point Guard, Marquette
4 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 turnover, 2 steals, 1-3 FG, 2-6 FT, 0-1 3P

Jonathan Givony

Although he certainly played a lot better than yesterday, Dominic James’ second day performance definitely left a lot to be desired for a player who seems to be adamant about keeping his name in the draft. He overdribbled badly on numerous possessions, driving into brick walls with his head down and showing an inability to read defenses and react based off what was thrown at him. James is pressing here pretty badly so far, and his stock has to be taking a nosedive. He is still the same ridiculously quick and explosive athlete he’s always been—as evidenced by the way he got into the paint and drew fouls for himself—but his terrible jump-shot (even from the free throw line, where he shot 2-6) is a major hindrance for him. At this point, there is a legit possibility that James doesn’t even get drafted.

Jermareo Davidson, 6-10, Forward/Center, Senior, Alabama
8 points, 3/6 FG, 2/3 FT, 4 rebounds, 1 block, 2 turnovers, 4 fouls

Mike Schmidt

Davidson did little shed the ‘soft’ label today, but show impressive skills for the second day in a row. Early on, he did go towards the basket aggressively after catching the ball inside, and received the foul call on the resulting dunk attempt. Later in the game, he faked right and drove left for an impressive half-hook in the lane that he finished while drawing the contact. After watching the other big men playing in this camp, it is hard to imagine another one of them completing such a move. Davidson also displayed the ability to knock down a spot-up jumper when left open near the free throw line.

There were a few plays where Davidson lost focus and just showed a lack of effort, especially when it came to rebounding. He struggled with help defense positioning at times as well, and this led to foul throughout the game today. Davidson has the talent and athleticism to have a long career in the NBA. To give himself a great chance, he will have to work at playing more physical and providing a more consistent effort for the full 40 minutes.

Daequan Cook, 6’5, SG, Ohio State

8 points, 0 reb, 2 ast, 1 stl, 4-9 fg’s, 0-2 3-pt

Jonathan Watters

It was another up and down performance from Cook. There were moments when he looked spectacular, like a slashing baseline score in the first half and a smoothly drained outside jumper in the second, but still an obvious lack of polish that most in this upperclassman-dominated field display. Cook is a sloppy ballhandler, and while he may not have registered any official turnovers, he still doesn’t appear fully comfortable with the speed of the game at this level. Nonetheless, his phenomenal instincts kick in every now and then, and the results are certainly intriguing. Cook continues to show a nose for the ball on the defensive end, and the ability to find a teammate every now and then in a nifty manner. The team that ends up drafting Cook won’t be doing it with the near-term in mind, so perhaps a few of the polish issues will be overlooked by a GM who likes the idea of drafting a player with standout potential in the late first/early second.

James Mays, 6’9, SF/PF, Junior, Clemson
9 points, 5 rebounds, 2 turnovers, 3-7 FG, 3-5 FT

Joseph Treutlein

James Mays didn’t play as well as he did yesterday, not getting out on the break as frequently as he did then, looking a bit less energetic here today, but he still played decently, and didn’t hurt his stock with his performance, just not really standing out on many plays. He was going to his outside shot again today at times, showing confidence with it, and hitting on one occasion from 20 feet out, missing on another from 18 feet. Mays got another of his field goals on an and-1 lay-up off a putback of his own missed lay-up in transition, going up strong and showing good persistence around the rim. His last field goal came on a long cut to the basket where he went up for a composed left-handed lay-up off the glass. Mays also got to the free-throw line a few times, doing so on a spin drive from 10 feet out on the baseline and on a putback attempt where he went up strong. Mays’ misses came on lay-ups around the rim in transition and the halfcourt, not showing the ability to convert on some tougher shot attempts like scoop shots or shots amidst a crowd.

In the hustle areas, Mays didn’t play as well as he did yesterday, not making as much of an impact on the boards, defense, or in transition, looking a step slower today for whatever reason, not really displaying the energy he showed yesterday. He made a few nice rotations on the defensive end, but wasn’t always able to beat the driving opponent to the corner, just not fully finishing on the plays. His presence on interior defense was also lacking, not making much of an impact in altering shots around the basket when he was there. Mays did have one excellent, perfectly timed block from behind on a drive on one occasion, but it was called a foul on a very bad call.

Mays hasn’t really elevated his stock from an early second rounder, but he’s held his own well here against the competition, showing some nice qualities that should translate to the NBA, if he can consistently maintain his energy, which he didn’t do today in a rare performance. His improved/improving mid-range shot will definitely help his transition to the NBA, and give him something else he can consistently contribute to an NBA team in time.

Joseph Jones, 6-9, Power Forward, Texas A&M, Junior
12 points, 7 rebounds, 5/7 FG, 2/5 FT

Mike Schmidt

After an underwhelming performance yesterday, Jones played with a better overall effort today. From early on in the game, he established himself as an inside presence. On back to back plays towards the end of the first half, the Texas A&M junior provided a great effort while collecting two offensive rebounds in the paint and putting them both back into the basket. The inside play allowed Jones the room to show off his range on the offensive end as well. This was particularly evident on pick and roll plays, where he was able to step out a couple times and knock down the open jumper. When playing with effort, Jones rebounds the ball very effectively as well.

A lingering area of weakness for Jones remains at the free throw line, where he only shot 55% this season. He has the proper mechanics and release point to become more than acceptable from the charity stripe, but he consistently overshoots the ball from this area. Jones also needs to play with better effort on the defensive end, but he does a good job of using leverage to bang with opposing players in the post.

Joseph Jones will benefit greatly from another season in College Station, but he has nothing to lose by testing his stock this year. He could be a serviceable big man off the bench in the NBA, and a season as a go-to scorer may help drastically with his development.

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