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J-da-flea on the last day at Nike

Nike All America Camp:
Thursday, July 10

Below are some of my observations from
the Nike All America Camp on Thursday. In general, my main focus is
to simply describe the action; I try to keep subjective judgments to
a minimum. I primarily focus on the players I think will be
interesting to DBR readers.

The Nike men's All America Camp lasts
for six days. The first day is closed to everyone. The second and
third days are taken up by leadership/life skills seminars from 9:00
a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and scrimmages in the evening. The last three days
are open to coaches and include three-on-three in the morning and
scrimmages in the afternoon and evenings. The crowd and the
atmosphere were much different on this the sixth and last day of the
Nike camp. There were noticeably fewer people in attendance and
there were only a few big name coaches around the gym (e.g., Tom
Izzo, Mark Few, Roy Williams, and Steve Alford). I also saw Chris
Collins hanging around. The rest of the crowd consisted of assistant
coaches, media, and family/guests. In general, everything was much
more subdued in gym.

Thursday Afternoon

Greg Paulus did not play today because
of the ankle injury he sustained yesterday evening. I spotted him in
the bleachers wearing street clothes and walking on crutches. During
the afternoon session, I decided to check out several players, who
have reportedly had Duke on their list of schools. These included
Mike Freeman, Maarty Leunen, and Josh McRoberts. In the course of
the action I also watched Rudy Gay (who reportedly has FSU, UVa, NC
State, and Maryland on his list, among others) and JamesOn Curry (who
has given a verbal commitment to UNC-CH).

Mike Freeman (6'7'', 202 lbs,
rising junior)

Freeman had a good game around the
basket. He drove strong along the baseline for two, had a couple of
catches in the post for lay-ups, and finished a nice reverse lay-up.
He did throw up an air ball from beyond the arc and had one dunk
attempt blocked by the rim because he was too far under the basket.
He did spend some time matched up against Rudy Gay and more than held
his own, particularly on the defensive end.

Maarty Leunen (6'8'', 200 lbs,
rising senior)

Leunen got out to a quick start with a
short jumper in the lane for two and a couple of strong rebounds.
However, for the rest of the game he was rather quiet, throwing up an
air ball from three and hitting a jumper from the free throw line.

Rudy Gay (6'7'', 204 lbs, rising

Apparently, Gay has really made a name
for himself at this camp. He started out a little lethargically and
didn't get actively involved until the game was well under way. Gay
blocked a couple of shots around the basket and even one out on the
arc. He moves his feet well and can play perimeter defense. Gay was
fairly quiet offensively except for several dunks. He had two strong
one-armed slams that sent the ball rocketing through the goal (one
was off of two steps and the other was flatfooted). He also had
another dunk off a full court pass. Gay did miss one dunk in traffic
when he couldn't get the ball over the rim. He also dished a nice
assist to the low post from the free throw line.

Josh McRoberts (6'9'', 213 lbs,
rising junior)

Both Chris Collins and an IU assistant
were in the stands watching McRoberts play. There have been Internet
rumors that he had given a verbal to IU, however, I don't know if
that is true or not. McRoberts started out by finishing a shot in
traffic, but on his next touch missed a turnaround jumper. He was
getting pushed around a little, but still rebounded well (including
two strong rebounds in a crowd). For much of the game he floated
around the perimeter. McRoberts made several passes into the low
post from the top of the key. On one possession, after driving from
the top of the key, he showed a nice turnaround fade away jumper from
ten feet. On another occasion, he drove to the hoop from behind the
arc and got fouled on the shot. He took one free throw and seemed to
have good form. McRoberts had one turnover, throwing the ball into a
crowd while trying to lead a fast break. He made up for it later by
intercepting a bad pass.

JamesOn Curry (6'2'', 171 lbs,
rising senior)

Across the court from McRoberts, Curry
was playing. It happened that they were in opposite rotations, so I
occasionally watched Curry play, when McRoberts went to the bench.
Curry was very, very aggressive in this game, running the ball up the
court frequently. He drove to the basket a lot, drawing at least one
foul and dishing off for at least two assists. In addition, he also
threw one ball away and lost control of another (however, he got a
lucky bounce off someone and regained control, quickly dishing to a
teammate under the basket). On several occasions, Curry drove the
baseline. He missed a lay-up, missed a reverse, and made a very
acrobatic reverse. From the perimeter, he had one assist into the
post and threw a lazy pass that was stolen and run out for a lay-up.
I saw him hit one of four from beyond the arc (he was fouled on the
shot he made). He hit one of three from mid-range.

Thursday Evening

For the last session of the camp, the
bleachers were only around a quarter full. I think by this point
everyone was tired and ready for this thing to end, players included.
Roy Williams and Tom Izzo were still there, along with a few other
coaches and scouts. The stands were mainly filled with family
members and assorted hangers on.

I decided to leave my notebook closed
and take in the games. Here are a few observations from the first
set. Maarty Leunen started off strong by hitting two threes, but
followed up with three bricks and seemed to disappear after that.
Dayshawn Wright is a big, physical guy who is constantly looking to
take over the game (sometimes successfully, sometimes not). Either
way, it's hard not to notice him. Malik Hariston was impressive
playing above the rim. Mike Gerrity was nailing shot after shot in
the warm-ups from well beyond three-point range; but he was never
able to get a three point shot during the game. Jordan Farmer looks
like an excellent point guard pick up for UCLA. Finally, Louis
Williams (a rising junior) was doing everything on the offensive end,
hitting threes and finishing drives at the hoop.

In the next set of games, the play was
so sloppy that I decided I'd had enough. My butt was getting sore
from sitting on the aluminum bleachers and I hadn't eaten anything
that wasn't wrapped in plastic since last Monday. As I went to leave
the building, I stopped at the check in desk to glance at the list of
all the coaches who had been in attendance. Needless to say, almost
every name you could think of was on the list (including all the ACC
coaches), along even more assorted assistants and mid-major coaches.
As I went to leave, the guy behind the check-in desk laughed and
asked "can you believe some coaches are still checking in even
though there's only one more game tonight? It's time to go home."
I shook my head in agreement and said, "I heard that."