The East team went through a number of shooting drills before conducting their inter-squad scrimmage. Competition was hot and heavy, and O.J. Mayo was dominant for the third consecutive day. Mayo did absolutely whatever he wanted out there on the floor, both as a playmaker and as a distributor. Here are our breakdowns of some of the top performers from the East squad on day three:
O.J. Mayo, 65, 210 lbs, PG, Signed with USC
Nick Calathes, 65, 185 lbs, PG, Signed with Florida
Donte Greene, 69, 210 lbs, SF/PF, Signed with Syracuse
Kosta Koufos, 71, 240 lbs, PF/C, Signed with Ohio State
J.J. Hickson, 69, 240 lbs, PF, Signed with North Carolina State
Patrick Patterson, 68, 230 lbs, PF, Undecided
The West team cut their practice quite short, as coach Derrick Taylor let his team save their legs for the scrimmage that would take place later in the day. The team went through a series of shooting drills and went over out of bounds plays, but no competitive five on five action was played. Here are brief breakdowns of how some of the top players fared in the shooting drills:
Kevin Love- Love was automatic from midrange, whether it be off the dribble or from a standstill. He has shown that he can surely be a high post player in terms of his shooting ability, if UCLA chooses to have him play that role at times. With improved consistency, it is certainly not out of the question to see Love shooting the three-ball on a regular basis in college.
Eric Gordon- Beyond the three point arc, Gordon was deadly on the day. Once he got into the 15-17 foot area, his frequency went down a bit in the drills. The Indiana recruit was still hampered by injury, going through the drills somewhat gingerly and not leaping a ton on his injured hamstring.
Jerryd Bayless- Bayless was automatic in the shooting drills with his ridiculous lift and super high release point on is jumper. He was consistent from both midrange and beyond the arc, leaving Coach Olson a whole lot to look forward to next year at Arizona with the potential combination of Bayless, Chase Budinger, and Marcus Williams together on the perimeter.
Derrick Rose- The Memphis signee struggled a bit shooting the ball, as his awkward form makes his jumper incredibly inconsistent. There were stretches that he was able to make a decent amount of shots, but also stretches where he couldnt buy a bucket at all. Rose openly admits that his shooting ability is his biggest weakness, and has been seen working on his shot each of the three days after the practice sessions concluded.
Kyle Singler- Singler was money from midrange in the drills, while also shooting the ball consistently from beyond the arc. While he doesnt get a ton of lift on his shot, he shoots the ball the same way each and every time and is always going to be tough to defend due to his outstanding size for a wing. Kyle will certainly be able to step in and contend for immediate playing time next year at Duke.
Michael Beasley- The Notre Dame Prep forward showed that he can shoot the ball out to the NBA three point line, when he wants to actually play basketball. He has the potential to be an outstanding shooter when it is all said and done, but getting Beasley to exert maximum effort is much more of a concern at the moment then his actual on the court skills are.
Eric Gordon Interview
DraftExpress: What position are you going to play next season at Indiana? Has Coach Sampson told you whether youre going to be playing point, or shooting guard?
Gordon: Im going to be playing a mixture of one and two. It looks like Im going to be more of a point guard at times, but Im going to be playing a mixture of both.
DraftExpress: Do you have a preference personally as to which position you play?
Gordon: Well Im more of a scoring guard, so I like to get more of that overall complete guard game. Playing a little bit of point guard, handling the ball. Then playing a little bit of shooting guard, and scoring. My main thing is scoring though, so shooting is probably my more favorable position.
DraftExpress: Obviously this has to have crossed your mind plenty of times, but whats it going to be like the first time you go to play at Illinois this season?
Gordon: Its probably going to be one the craziest atmospheres Ill ever go to. Its just one game there, so its not like Im going to play there 100 times during the year.
DraftExpress: What were the main reasons that you decided to de-commit from Illinois and attend Indiana?
Gordon: It was closer, and I was much closer to the Indiana coaches. It was just a great for me to stay home at Indiana.
DraftExpress: Do you like the way the summer shoe camps have changed, with there only being one camp now? Or do you prefer it the way it was this past summer, with three different camps?
Gordon: I would say that its probably better to have all three big camps because youre already playing against some of the top kids anyways. Youve got to have another opportunity for other kids to get a scholarship as well, and thats why Id prefer all three.
DraftExpress: Now youre a kid who bounced around the different sneaker companies AAU circuits. Youve played for a Nike team, an Adidas team, and a Reebok team respectively. What was it like to have all that pressure from all these different shoe companies to play in their tournaments?
Gordon: They were really different. Each tournament is totally different. It just depends on the competition level. Different tournaments have different competition levels. Thats the only main difference.
DraftExpress: With having had past relationships with all three shoe companies, how did you decide which all-star game to play in, in addition to the McDonalds game? What made you decide to play in the Jordan game?
Gordon: I picked the Jordan game because I have never been to New York. Ive never played at Madison Square Garden. Everyone says Theres nothing like the Garden, so I had to take that opportunity.
DraftExpress: Who were your picks for the final four?
Gordon: At the time I had Florida, North Carolina, Ohio State and um .I dont know who the other one was.
DraftExpress: Well who do you have winning it now?
Gordon: Well originally I had North Carolina, but since they are already out, I would say that Florida is going to win it again.
DraftExpress: What are your thoughts on the NBAs age limit for the NBA Draft?
Gordon: It can be good and it can be bad. I would say the only bad thing is when they hold kids back who are physically ready. I mean, there are kids who develop physically early in their careers. Now you see it that theyre the best players in the league right now. Im just saying for those who are ready physically, that might be the main problem in all of this.
DraftExpress: Now with you being one of, if not the most physically ready guard in this class, would you have considered going to the NBA out of high school had there not been the age limit?
Gordon: I probably would have thought about it, but I wouldnt have put too much into it. Now Im not even in the position to go, so I dont really think about it. I definitely would have thought about it. Anybody would.
DraftExpress: Do you prefer the way the McDonalds game practices are now, in a virtually empty gym with kind of with this laid back atmosphere? Or would you rather have these stands be filled with NBA scouts, like it was two years ago?
Gordon: I like the way it is now with things being kind of laid back. I mean, people are already trying to show their talents and everything, and you dont want egos getting in the way when people are trying to show themselves in front of NBA and college scouts.
DraftExpress: Illinois produced a lot of guards who went to the NBA, yet you still chose to attend Indiana. Has the thought crossed your mind that you are going to be able to showcase yourself immediately as a freshman, to the point that you will be one and done?
Gordon: Well I mean, you never know if Im going to be a one and done guy. Its a year to year basis. I think the stuff Coach Sampson runs .the stuff he does .is really a great fit for me.