Friday, July 3, 2009

St. John's Elite Camp Recap

Although the idea of Elite Camps – where colleges and universities invite prospective recruits to a basketball camp and use it as basically an unofficial visit – is questioned and discussed throughout the NCAA ranks, the talent at most of them is second to none. Where else can you find Myles Mack and J.J. Moore in the same backcourt? Or Kyrie Irving and Jayvaughn Pinkston as a dynamite inside-outside tandem? That was the case at the St. John’s Elite Camp Wednesday night on its Queens, N.Y. campus.

37 players attended the Elite Camp, including many of the top players from the area. It began with stretching and then continued with a couple of hours of drills. There were ball-handling drills, shooting drills, fast-break drills and other variations of those. After that, there were scrimmages. The players were broken up into four teams, and each team played two games apiece. Here’s a short look at several of the Big East targets in attendance.

Ashton Pankey: Showed a decent face-up game, ran the floor pretty well.

Devon Collier: Demonstrated a nice handle, could beat defenders off the dribble. He shot some outside shots, showing decent range. He is also a very good defender who can block shots.

Jayvaughn Pinkston: One of the best players at the camp, Pinkston was very difficult to stay in front of. His combination of quickness and strength was unparalleled. He had several nice acrobatic finishes, but also failed to distribute the ball effectively. Moreover, he complained to the referee after non-calls.

J.J. Moore: Extremely smooth player, Moore looked outstanding in the drills. He was dunking everything and then showed off his smooth jumper. He’s very athletic and finished very well at the rim.

Myles Mack: He shot the ball well during drills and the games, and looked very solid with long-range pull-up jumpers in transition.

Kyle Anderson: Had a very nice no-look pass as well as a steal and a lay-up at the other end. In one of the drills, however, he demonstrated a very slow release on his pull-up jumper.

Kadeem Jack: Ran the floor well, had a couple of nice dunks. Also showed some post moves with his back to the basket.

Michael Taylor: Very good ball-handler, doesn’t turn it over much when dribbling. Gets past defenders with ease and can finish at the rim. Was very effective beating his man off the dribble and getting into the lane.

Derrick Randall: Was very impressive throughout the day. Got excellent position down low, and showed off a variety of post moves. Also rebounded the ball well.

Joey de la Rosa: Has the size and potential to be very good, but right now he needs a ton of improvement. He is very awkward with the ball and his footwork is extremely inconsistent. He had a nice block and a couple of rebounds, but he failed to finish several times.

Kyrie Irving: Came late to the Camp, but was clearly the best player there. He is so smooth with every aspect of his game. Got to the rim whenever he wanted and also showed a nice mid-range jumper.

Jermaine Sanders: Versatile scorer who can get points in a variety of ways. Also rebounded the ball well.

LeBrent Walker: Good size for his position, and was impressive when given the opportunity. However, he did not get the ball enough during the scrimmages, which limited his opportunities. He is very good off the dribble and can get into the lane and finish.

Sidiki Johnson: Didn’t get to see him play, but saw that he had a solid performance in his second game.

Melsahn Basabe: Relentless on the offensive glass. He is extremely active crashing the boards for tip-ins and put-backs.

Shane Southwell: Does everything pretty well. He is a very good defender who can guard
multiple positions and can also block shots. Had a nice drive and dish, and showed he can handle the ball.

Tyler Harris: Didn’t see much from him, but noticed he had somewhat poor form on his outside shot.

Kamari Murphy: Active on the glass, has some good post moves. Had a nice bank shot in one of the drills and can also score. He gets good position with his back to the basket and makes himself available for entry passes.

Jordan Allen: Can handle the ball and does a little bit of everything.

Nkereuwem Okoro: Runs the floor very well and gets put-backs and other points around the rim. He can score in a variety of ways and is very adept at finishing at the basket. Hit a buzzer shot to give his team the win in the second scrimmage.

Tariq Carey: Very smooth guard can handle the ball and finish around the rim. He drives past his defenders consistently and has the athleticism to get points in the lane.

Corey Edwards: Very impressed with his game. He is very quick and is difficult to stay in front of. Looks to create for himself and his teammates nearly every time he touches the ball, and can get to the rim on nearly any defender. Has very good vision and finds the open man with his passes. He is very quick. Did get a three-point attempt blocked by a bigger defender, though, so I’m not sure how well he can shoot the ball.


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