Thursday, July 23, 2009

Reebok All-American Camp, July 9

This article was originally written on July 9.

PHILADELPHIA – The Thursday of the Reebok All-American Camp at Philadelphia University is always the best day to attend. The biggest names in the college basketball coaching fraternity come to check out the talent on hand. Amongst the coaches in attendance today included John Calipari of Kentucky, Connecticut’s Jim Calhoun, Memphis’ Josh Pastner and Mississippi State’s Rick Stansbury. Many of the more recognizable assistant coaches, namely Pittsburgh’s Brandin Knight and Kansas’ Danny Manning, were also in the stands in Philly.

With potential scholarship offers from colleges across the country on the line, nearly every player in the camp wanted to make a statement. Here’s a look at many of the players NBE checked out on Thursday.

Tarik Black, 6-8, Ridgeway High School (Tenn.), 2010:
One of the more impressive big men at the camp, Black was very tough to stop once he got the ball down low. He has an excellent jump hook that he used to get points over and over. He also has a variety of other post moves that he showed throughout the camp, beating his defenders for easy baskets. Black is athletic and a very solid rebounder who can crash the offensive glass and block shots. He needs to work on his face-up game, though.

Tyrone Johnson, 6-3, Plainfield (N.J.), 2011: The dual-sport star is arguably the most underrated point guard on the East coast, according to an on-looker. He can create for himself and for his teammates with his crafty and quick drives to the lane. No matter what, Johnson finds ways to get to the basket and is good with the ball. His jump shot is inconsistent, though.

Rahkeem Brookins, 5-11, Roman Catholic (Pa.), 2010: An extremely quick and shifty guard, Brookings is a big-time scorer at the guard position. He can beat his defender and get points at the basket, and can also shoot threes from the perimeter. Brookins likes going left and uses both hands effectively. However, he is too small to play the two and doesn’t pass enough to play the point.

Walter Lemon, 6-3, Fenger High School (Ill.), 2010: The lefty was not very aggressive but showed the ability to drive to his right and get into the lane. He had a couple of nice finishes and a baseline pull-up jumper.

Keith Coleman, 6-9, Cheltenham High School (Pa.), 2011: He struggled mightily against Tarik Black, getting beaten over and over for baskets. He’s not a great rebounder and failed to box out on multiple occasions. Offensively, Coleman did not get position very well and, as a result, received few touches. Coleman did run the floor well, though.

Waverly Austin, 6-11, God’s Academy (Fla.), 2010: Austin
is extremely long and athletic and had a few eye-opening finishes in transition. He can run the floor very well and has good hands when catching the ball. On the other hand, though, Austin is completely undisciplined, picking up numerous unnecessary fouls and trying to jump over opponents for rebounds.

Jerrelle Reischel, 6-5, Pt. Pleasant Beach (N.J.), 2011:
Reischel, who was injured a couple of weeks ago when we saw him at the Hoop Group Showcase, played decently, taking outside shots and knocking a few of them down. He also drove to the basket well and had an excellent block.

Rodney Hood, 6-8, Meridian Senior High (Miss.), 2011: Hood was very unimpressive – to many people in the stands. He did not move around without the ball at all, and was not efficient once he received it. He stayed on the perimeter for most of the games, and attempted mid-range jump shots. He had a nice crossover and pull-up jumper and a nice diagonal pass, but struggled otherwise.

LaQuinton Ross, 6-8, Murrah High School (Miss.), 2011: Ross does not look like he’s improved that much in the past year. He had several questionable shots, pulling up off the dribble for 22-footers over defenders on more than one occasion. However, he does run the floor very well and is very versatile. He can drive past his defender with the dribble and finishes at the rim. Ross is aggressive driving to the basket and has deep range.

DeMarco Cox, 6-9, Yazoo City High School (Miss.), 2010: Cox, also a highly-touted football player, has a big body and is tough to move off the block. However, he does not have many post moves and doesn’t create shot opportunities for himself. He grabbed a few rebounds and defended fairly well, but he did not get enough touches to make an impact.

Jelani Hewitt, 6-2, North East High School (Fla.), 2010:
Hewitt caught my eye immediately with his style of play. He is shifty and explosive going to the basket, although sometimes it looks reckless and out of control. He can get into the lane on most defenders and has good handle. Hewitt also pulled up from deep and showed a decent mid-range jumper.

Derrick Wilson, 6-1, The Hotchkiss School (Conn.), 2011: Another strong and quick point guard, Wilson has a good build and got to the basket at will. His mid-range jumper is effective and can knock down shots when pulling up off the dribble. Wilson is aggressive at the offensive end, and can find open teammates. He can play both guard spots, but is better suited when controlling the tempo at the point. He is also a very solid defender.

J.J. Moore, 6-5, Brentwood High School (N.Y.), 2010: Moore did not show much of his excellent outside jumper today, but his athleticism was certainly on display. He had a couple of great drives and finishes at the basket, and also grabbed rebounds because of his tremendous leaping ability. However, Moore needs to improve his dribbling ability.

Sterling Gibbs, 6-1, Seton Hall Prep (N.J.), 2011: Gibbs looks better and better every time I watch him. He looks so much more confident and aggressive than a summer ago, showing no fear when driving to the basket and creating his own shot. He is quick with the dribble and can beat defenders. Expect him to keep improving.

Jason Carter, 6-7, Thurgood Marshall High (Tex.), 2010: Carter went against DeMarco Cox in the match-up I watched him in, and struggled at both ends. Cox is much bigger than him, and Carter was forced to defend him down low. He actually played him fairly well, knocking away entry passes and keeping him off the glass. However, on the other end, Carter was ineffective. He attempted pull-up jumpers and outside shots, despite the fact that he is much better suited to play inside.

Tyler Olander, 6-8, Worcester Academy (Conn.), 2010:
The surprisingly athletic big man was clearly frustrated with his lack of touches, even commenting on the unusual “ball distribution” after the game. When he did get the ball, though, he was effective. Olander can score down low and run the floor in transition. He is also a decent passer and is active on the glass.

Tyreek Duren, 6-1, Neumann-Goretti (Pa.), 2010: Extremely quick and shifty at the point, Duren was inconsistent most of today. He struggled early on, but became more aggressive as the day went on. Duren had several nice passes to teammates and beat defenders off the dribble when necessary. He also knocked down a perimeter shot that kept his defender honest. Duren needs more lift on his jumper, though.

Tom Droney, 6-6, Seawickley Academy (Pa.), 2010: Droney doesn’t do anything that stands out, but he can handle the ball well and is a good passer. He does the little things well, and is fundamentally sound. When given the opportunity, he shows a nice touch.

Marquez (Luke) Cothron, 6-9, Flora McDonald High (Ala.), 2010: One of the more disappointing players I watched, a source who has seen Cothron before noted that it was the worst he’s ever seen him play. Of course, many big men struggled during the camp, as the guards as a whole did not get them touches. Either way, Cothron did not move without the ball and was not aggressive when he did touch it.

Ryan Rhoome, 6-8, Cardozo (N.Y.), 2010: Rhoome is a rising prospect in the class of 2010, and he showed flashes of his ability today. He gets good position down low and makes himself available for teammates to make entry passes. Once he gets the ball, he can pass to the open man out of the post or go to the basket. Rhoome needs to run the floor more consistently though.

Recruiting Notes:

- Rodney Hood: Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, Florida, Mississippi State, Baylor, Alabama, Georgetown, Louisville, Marquette

- Tyrone Johnson: Georgetown, Villanova, Rutgers, UNLV, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, Kentucky, Wake Forest, West Virginia, Florida
- Has visited Georgetown, Villanova and Rutgers – his top three

- Tarik Black: Doesn’t give school lists because of erroneous reports in the past, but did mention Connecticut

- A source close to the Marquette program said that the Golden Eagles are looking at both Jason Carter and Michael Cobbins – two Texas prospects

- Derrick Wilson: Ohio State, Stanford, Georgia Tech (offer), North Carolina, Washington (offer), Rutgers (offer)

- Jelani Hewitt: Oklahoma, Nebraska, Alabama, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Auburn

- Tyler Olander: Providence, Vanderbilt (offer), Connecticut (offer), Stanford, Penn State, Oregon State, La Salle (offer)

- Pe’Shon Howard: Harvard, Arkansas, Stanford, Virginia Tech, St. John’s, Rutgers, Marquette, South Florida

- Ryan Rhoome: St. John’s, Providence, Rhode Island, Georgia Tech, Villanova, George Mason, LIU
- St. John’s is his current leader

- A source with knowledge of the situation said that J.J. Moore will transfer from Brentwood High School, on Long Island, to South Kent (Conn.).

- Sterling Gibbs: Indiana (offer), Pitt (offer), St. John’s (offer), DePaul (offer), Seton Hall (offer), Rutgers (offer), Villanova, Oklahoma, Virginia, Virginia Tech
- Has visited Pittsburgh and Villanova, wants to visit DePaul, Indiana, Oklahoma and possibly ‘Nova again
- Contrary to previous reports, Gibbs said that Villanova is not his favorite and that he is wide open

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