Orlando Pre-Draft Camp: Day Two

Orlando Pre-Draft Camp: Day Two
May 30, 2007, 05:12 pm
On the second day here at the Orlando pre-draft camp, things got off to an early start, with the teams going through some drill work at 9:00 AM, including some shooting drills, 1-on-1’s, 2-on-2’s, and 5-on-5 intra-squad scrimmages. There were a few nice performances in the competitive drills that took place, but the real action took place in the inter-squad games, with all six teams playing over the course of the day.

Final Update

Game One: Team Five 84 – Team Six 106

Jonathan Watters

In the first official action of the 2007 NBA Pre-Draft Camp, Team 6 jumped out to an early double digit lead and coasted to a 106-84 win over Team 5. Demetris Nichols finished 18 points and was the hot hand early for Team 6, but the ability of lead guards Coby Karl and Ramon Sessions to push the tempo and distribute the ball also played a major role in the decisive outcome. Team 5 received an energetic performance from Coleman Collins, who finished with a game-high 22 points on the day.

The victors never really slowed down the entire game, with several different players taking the reigns for short stretches. Karl heated up toward the end of the first half, knocking down 3 3-pointers on his way to an 11-point, 6 assist, 1 turnover performance. Ryvon Covile knocked down nearly every open jumper he took, and finished the game with 19 points and 6 boards. James Mays added even more energy, going for 13 points and 9 rebounds, while Ramon Sessions added 7 assists.

Team 5 got 15 points and 9 rebounds from Aaron Gray, but shot just 41% from the field and 2-10 from beyond the arc compared to 56% and 9-16 for the victors. Early buzz recipient Dominic McGuire was quiet, scoring just 4 points and grabbing 2 rebounds for the game.

This first game was the highest quality action of the three seen here all day, likely because the players did not have to take a four or six hour break in between drills (like the other teams did) and instead just marched onto the court immediately after conducting an hour of drills.

Coleman Collins, 6’8, PF, Virginia Tech

22 pts, 3 reb, 2 ast, 1 to, 1 blk, 8-14 fg’s, 6-8 ft’s

Perhaps the biggest surprise of day one also happened to be the best statistical performer. Coming off a disappointing senior season at Virginia Tech, Collins took the bull by the horns early in this one and never let up. He started off the contest hot from the outside, showing range out to 20 feet and the confidence to shoot contested perimeter shots. Collins would then start to make his presence felt closer to the basket, finding holes in the defense and finishing strong around the basket. It appears Collins has done some serious work on his body since the season ended, as even in the open night drills the former Hokie was making plays with surprising brand of power and athleticism.

Collins legitimately held his own against bigger, more accomplished post players. He had just enough perimeter skill to get opposing bigs away from the basket, and generally did a good job as a slasher. There were several occasions where he may have forced the issue a bit, but Collins still managed to make a handful of plays by passing the ball.

Collins didn’t do anything that screams “NBA” here, but certainly made a big impact on this game and did it in a way that is sure to catch the attention of the scouts. If he can keep up the intensity level and continue to make plays from the perimeter, this camp will have ended up doing wonders for his stock.

James Mays, 6-9, Forward, Clemson, Junior
13 points, 9 rebounds, 6/9 FG, 1 assist, 1 turnover

Mike Schmidt

Throughout his sophomore season, Mays displayed awesome physical tools and the ability to be a presence inside, but struggled with poor decision making and the tendency to float around on the perimeter. He decided to focus on using his tools inside during the first day of pre-draft camp, and the decision yielded positive results on the floor.

During the skills portion of the drill, we were able to get a nice look at the shooting mechanics of Mays. The release point needs to become more consistent and his form appears to be a little awkward, but the tools are in place for Mays to become a consistent threat to hit the open mid-range shot. He air-balled his first of three attempts during the transition drills in the morning, but bounced back and knocked down his next two 15 footers.

In the game, Mays made an impact immediately near the basket. Every time a shot attempt went up, the Clemson sophomore immediately fought his way inside in anticipation of the rebound. On one possession early in the game, Mays barely missed a tip-dunk while crashing the glass from the perimeter, but he was still able to adjust to get his own rebound and lay the ball in. Later on, the big man showed his explosive vertical leaping ability by leaping off the ground and tipping in a missed shot in one motion.

Mays is at his best when picking up garbage points on the offense end, but he also created his own offense a number of times. His nicest move of the day occurred on the right block, when he used a jab towards the middle to fake out the defender before spinning to the basket for a lay-up. In addition, he knocked down a few open jumpers from 15 feet, though he lacked the same accuracy from any distance further away from the basket.

Throughout his career at Clemson, Mays has become known for his ability to make passes that most big men aren’t capable of. The problem here results from the many ill-advised passes he tries when his teammates lack the proper spacing on the court. The added space on the NBA floor will help Mays in this area.

Defensively, Mays was often a step slow when closing out on jump shooting big men like Justin Doellman, but he did provide a physical presence when allowed to bang inside. As a weak side defender, he could become better as a shot blocker and better work on putting himself in the right spot to cut off guards on their way to the basket.

James Mays remains one of the more intriguing prospects at the pre-draft camp this season. His athleticism and ability to make aggressive plays inside give him the upper hand over many of the other big men here in Orlando. He has the option to return to Clemson for his senior season, and a strong performance here could potentially give him a promise that would keep Mays in the draft this season.

Aaron Gray, 7-1, Senior, Center, Pitt
15 points, 9 rebounds, 4-7 FG, 7-10 FT

Jonathan Givony

Although certainly not a spectacular performance, Aaron Gray had a very nice start to his NBA pre-draft camp effort. Gray was a reliable presence inside the paint for his team all game along, running the pick and roll effectively and making basic catches and finishes right at the hoop. He didn’t create a ton of offense for himself inside the post with astounding footwork, but he did get the job done while also hitting the offensive glass thanks to his big body and improved quickness stemming from the significant weight he’s lost.

Even though he had a solid game, certainly compared to some of the other performances seen today, Gray could have done even more to help his cause. He looked very earthbound getting caught flat-footed failing to go after a couple of rebounds that were well within his area, and blew a very easy finish in transition by not converting on a dunk. When presented with the wide open 18 foot jump-shot, he tentatively passed it up, despite having looked excellent in the morning drills knocking down jump-shots all the way out to the NBA 3-point line.

Coby Karl, 6-5, Senior, Shooting Guard, Boise State
11 points, 6 assists, 1 turnover, 4-7 FG, 3-4 3P

Jonathan Givony

Starting at the point guard position for the winning team, Coby Karl certainly had one of the more noteworthy performances of day one. He showed an extremely quick release knocking down three catch and shoot NBA 3-pointers off screens, and then came up with a big steal and finish in transition with a nifty finger roll. He also made some very heady (and sometimes flashy) passes both in transition and in the half-court, driving and dishing and showing some superb confidence in his ability to find the open man. To emphasize the groove he was in, on one occasion he ran a pick and roll play with Jermareo Davidson, and while immediately recognizing the defense hedging , threw a perfectly timed behind the back bounce pass for an easy basket. In the one and one drills Karl showed his biggest weakness—his below average explosiveness and ability to create his own shot. Here in the camp he’s found a way to hide that as far as the actual game was concerned, though.

Demetris Nichols, 6’8, SF, Senior, Syracuse
18 points, 3 rebounds, 7-9 FG, 4-5 3PT

Joseph Treutlein

Demetris Nichols had a strong game to start off his week here at Orlando, living up to his expectations as one of the most highly touted players here. He had a typical Demtris Nichols game, putting points up on the board as quickly as he got touches, but not contributing much in any other statistical areas, though he did a solid job playing perimeter defense when his man got the ball.

As you can see from the statline, Nichols was very efficient in scoring his points, making the most off all his touches, as he’s not a player who consistently creates shots for himself. Nichols got out in transition and did a good job drifting to the open spaces on the floor, where his teammates got him the ball for his quick-release outside shot, which he knocked down almost every chance he got. Nichols scored 13 points in the first five minutes of the game by getting out in transition, finishing on lay-ups on the break, and even creating a fast-break himself, making an anticipation steal coming from behind his man, and dribbling the length of the court to lay the ball in the hoop. He played well in transition overall, not just scoring the ball, as he consistently was one of the first players on his team down the court, and also made some nice transition passing, even handling the ball in the open court when he needed to.

Nichols did try to mix things up a bit on offense, putting the ball on the floor more often than he did at Syracuse, though he wasn’t able to consistently score, but he didn’t force the issue either. On one possession he faked a shot before putting the ball on the floor in the lane, but he passed the ball to his teammate when he recognized a weakside defender coming over. On another possession he put the ball on the floor going left and went into a stepback jumper from the free-throw line, but he missed the contested shot. One of Nichols’ nicest plays on the day was when he dribbled left from the top of the key and went into a fadeaway jumper, but he got called for a conspicuous offensive foul for a push-off that might not have been there.

Defensively, Nichols was matched up with Dominic McGuire in the second half, and whenever he got the ball and tried to put in on the floor, Nichols did a good job moving laterally to stay in front of him, not letting him score the ball against him. He played aggressive man defense when his man had the ball in his hands, but got caught not boxing out at times when his man didn’t have the ball.

Ryvon Covile, 6’9, PF, Detroit

19 points, 6 rebounds, 8-11 fg’s, 2-5 ft’s, 1-1 3-pt

Covile spent his college career about as far from the radar as a player could possibly get, but made a favorable enough impression at Portsmouth to earn an invite to Orlando. And after a phenomenal 19-point performance in game 1, it appears that Covile is determined to take full advantage of the opportunity. Covile isn’t going to knock anybody’s socks off in the looks department, but heads started to turn as the burly PF continued to knock down jumpers throughout the morning contest. Covile scorched the nets from a variety of places, starting the game with a spot up jumper, finishing on a cut to the basket and getting fouled, and adding a nifty turnaround from the mid-post shortly thereafter. Late in the second half, he swished an NBA range 3-pointer from the top of the key.

Covile has ideal form for a roleplayer big man, with a high release and soft touch. He certainly won’t blow anybody away with his athleticism, but did a good job of filling the lanes on the break and finding seams in the defense for easy opportunities around the basket. With his bulk Covile was certainly at a disadvantage athletically in this morning’s game, but was able to convert a handful of post moves closer to the basket. He clearly has a solid understanding of what is happening on the court, and when to seek out high-quality opportunities for himself.

Coville is by just average size and athleticism, and probably has the game of a 5-man in and a 4’s body. But he was clearly one of the best players in this morning’s game, and will further cement his stock if he can continue to light it up from the outside. Whether he is able to hang on in the NBA as a roleplayer or ends up in a high-level European league, this has been a great spring for the big man. If he plays the way he did this morning over the remainder of the camp, more NBA interest will certainly head his way.

Jermareo Davidson, 6’11, PF, Alabama

8 pts, 5 reb, 2 blk, 1 stl, 2 to

Davidson didn’t exactly light up the stat sheet in his first game, but passed the look test with flying colors. Davidson failed to convert on several impressive moves in the first half, where he was able to use his athleticism to get around slower big men off the dribble or spin into the lane right around the basket. Davidson’s tendency to shy away from contact and fade away certainly hurt his production here, but even when floating away from the basket his offensive polish was hard to ignore. He showed fantastic athleticism when matched up against traditional big men, and blocked a Dominic McGuire layup attempt in the second half as a help defender. Davidson got the offense rolling a bit in the second as well, knocking down one perimeter jumper from the top of the key and hitting a turnaround in the mid-post.

Even without the impressive statistical results, Davidson still displayed the combination of polish and upside rarely seen in this setting anymore. He certainly could help himself by playing a more paint-oriented game, and watching Justin Doellman keep him from getting good post position made it obvious that he still needs to add quite a bit of strength. But this isn’t a raw prospect still learning the nuances of the game, either. Davidson should be a capable rebounder and defender early in his career, and is skilled enough to fit into a variety of different offenses. It should be interesting to see if Davidson can build some significant momentum through the remainder of the camp.

Bobby Brown, 6-1, Senior, Point Guard, Cal State Fullerton
11 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 3-8 FG, 5-5 FT

Jonathan Givony

11 points in 19 minutes was a pretty nice way for Brown to start off the camp when comparing with his effort last year. He looked to distribute mainly early in the game, playing under control and minimizing mistakes, but found his scoring groove for short stretches later on in the game pulling up for jumpers from mid-range in the early offense and pushing the ball up the floor. He also used his quick first step and nice ball-handling skills to get into the lane and get to the free throw line, although his first priority was usually to look for the open man. Encouraging was the fact that he played solid perimeter defense as well, particularly in the drills we saw early in the morning.

Carl Landry, 6-8, Senior, Power Forward, Purdue
5 points, 8 rebounds, 2 turnovers, 2-4 FG

Jonathan Givony

This wasn’t a very eventful game for Carl Landry, getting his only two made field goals off offensive rebounds and put-backs. He looks a bit on the small side and not as athletic as many of the other power forwards in this draft, needing a number of pump-fakes to be able to get his shot off in the paint. For the most part he wasn’t able to show off the best parts of his game today, his turnaround and faceup mid-range jumper. Landry started off slow at Portsmouth too, so hopefully there will be more to come from him tomorrow and the day after.

Ramon Sessions, 6-3, Point Guard, Nevada, Junior
10 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds, 1 turnover, 4/10 FG

Mike Schmidt

As a junior, Ramon Sessions made great strides as a basketball player while also leading the team to a competitive season. As a junior, he decided to test his stock to see how he stacks up compared to some of players he will compete against for a job in the future. Sessions was probably the best of the point guard crop today, and a key catalyst for team 6 in their blowout win.

Sessions displayed his court vision early on in the game. After penetrating on a pick and roll, he dropped the ball off to an open teammate with a no-look pass in traffic. In a draft camp setting, it can be difficult to evaluate a lead guard who will not know the tendencies of the teammates they have played with for just a matter of days. It was obvious that Sessions has a great basketball IQ as he controlled the offense with great command and allowed his true point guard instincts to take over. He was particularly effective running the pick and roll, and made many smart passes in transition.

As a scorer, the junior point guard has the potential to be passable as an NBA point guard, but lacks the polish to be a consistent threat in this area right now. Sessions attempted to show his ability in this area many times with mixed results in the end. He was unable to convert a series of floaters from 8-12 feet, and his outside jumper remains sketchy despite a major improvement in three point shooting percentage this season. In the NBA scoring will be a secondary option for Sessions, but the ability to knock down an open three pointer from NBA range will help him greatly.

On the defensive end, he lacks superior quickness but uses solid fundamentals to compensate in this area. Sessions uses good positioning and a tough mentality to stay with athletic guards who have more polish physically.

Overall, it was a very strong showing for the junior point guard from Nevada. He has the natural point guard skills of an NBA player, but must improve as a scorer to play in the NBA while showing that a lack of athleticism won’t cripple his game. The wise choice for Sessions would be to return for his senior season at Nevada and continue to improve his scoring ability and physique.

Darryl Watkins, 6-11, Center, Syracuse, Senior
6 points, 4 rebounds, 3/5 FG, 6 Fouls

Mike Schmidt

Known as an underachiever throughout his college career, Watkins has the talent necessary to make it in the NBA. He certainly had his chance to put his talent to use today in Orlando, but instead struggled with defense and picked up 6 fouls.

Offensively, Watkins possesses great tools, including a hook shot and turn jumper that can be very effective from the low block. Early on in the game today, he first used a nice spin to make a hook shot with his right hand before facing up out of the post from 15 feet and knocking down a contested jump shot. At the NBA level, his ability to hit a mid-range jumper could be very effective when coupled with a pick and roll point guard. Unfortunately, Watkins lacks the consistency and knowledge in this area to be a consistent threat to put the ball in the hoop.

On the defensive end, Watkins struggled throughout the day today due to a fundamental lack of understanding combined with an underwhelming effort. Whether it’s fight his position, bodying up his man, or going for a blocked shot, Watkins was a step slow throughout the day.

Watkins could turn into a nice role player at the NBA level with the right coaching, but he will need to show the desire to improve for the first time in his career if this is ever going to happen. He could potentially turn into an interesting candidate for the D-League, and natural tools will give him many chances to make an NBA roster.

D.J. Strawberry, 6’5, PG/SG, Senior, Maryland
5 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, 2-7 FG, 0-3 3PT

Joseph Treutlein

D.J. Strawberry didn’t have a very strong stat line, but his impact was definitely felt in this game, especially on the defensive end, where he probably played the best perimeter defense of all the players in this game, constantly staying in his man’s face and causing deflections when opportunities arose. He pressured his man consistently when he got the ball, moving his feet well laterally and poking at the ball to cause discomfort while not compromising his defensive stance.

Strawberry also did a pretty good job passing the ball, though he spent most of his time as an off-guard, making his good passes in transition rather than by running the offense in the halfcourt. He showed good patience and vision in transition, not forcing the issue and waiting for passing lanes to open, making a nice bounce pass to a cutter in the lane on one play, and making a great assist ahead to his teammate and over defenders on another break.

Strawberry couldn’t get much going in terms of scoring the ball, missing on all of his spot-up three-point attempts, though he was hitting fairly consistently with his slightly overhead shooting motion earlier in the day during shooting drills. When Strawberry tried taking it into the lane to score, he wasn’t able to convert, missing badly on a pull-up jumper from five feet off a good pivot move.

Strawberry was one of the last players to receive an invitation here at Orlando, but he certainly has the potential to play in the NBA, as a combo-guard or a slightly undersized shooting guard. He’d help his stock out by doing a better job scoring the ball in the remaining games here, but he needs to continue playing strong defense and passing the ball like he did in this first game. Strawberry will probably need to make a team through summer league play, but he has an outside chance of getting drafted in the second round.

Renaldas Seibutis, 6’5, SG, 1985, Lithuania
9 points, 2 rebounds, 4-6 FG, 1-3 3PT

Joseph Treutlein

Renaldas Seibutis is an intriguing prospect from Lithuania, though he played professionaly in the Greek League this past season, averaging about a good amount of points per game for his team, which made the playoffs. Seibutis looked very strong in the 2-on-2 drills earlier in the day, fighting hard through screens and making very nice reads with the ball, showing the patience to wait for passing lanes to open and making good, hard passes to his teammates. In the game, Seibutis did more of the same on the defensive end, playing aggressive, pressure defense on the perimeter and showing a strong fundamental base in moving his feet and beating his man to the spot. He also was very attentive with his off-ball defense, keeping his eye on his man and the ball and trying to cut off passing lanes when possible.

On the offensive end, Seibutis hit a few shots from the outside, though he’s been inconsistent with his shooting throughout the first few days here, and scouts more familiar with his game say his long-range shooting is one area that needs the most work, though he’s consistent from mid-range. Seibutis hit a spot-up three-pointer and a long two-pointer, and also hit on a pull-up 15 footer in transition. Seibutis scored his other field goal on a putback attempt where he attacked from behind the arc, getting right amidst a crowd and going up strong for a lay-up off the glass that he was also fouled on.

Seibutis is a player who could get drafted late in the second round and stashed in Europe for a year or two, as he’s definitely a player with something to potentially contribute in the NBA, especially if he can improve his consistency on his outside shooting, where he seems to have the potential to get better. With his defense and feel for the game, he could be a solid glue guy coming off the bench in the not-so-distant future.

Sean Singletary, 5’11, PG, Junior, Virginia
6 points, 4 assists, 4 turnovers, 3-10 FG

Joseph Treutlein

Sean Singletary had a very up-and-down game, making questionable decisions and taking some ill-advised shots, but also showing his excellent ability to create by gaining separation and occasionally hitting some shots with a high degree of difficulty. Singletary also made some really nice assists in transition, using misdirection and keeping his head up to find teammates ahead of the defense. In the halfcourt, he made a few nice drive-and-dish, dump-off plays, though overdribbled a bit at times, stalling the flow of his team’s offense.

In terms of scoring the ball, Singletary couldn’t consistently put the ball in the basket, taking a lot of off-balanced, pull-up type shots off crossovers that got him excellent separation, but not high-percentage shot attempts, though he did manage to hit some of them, including two from the 18-20 feet range. He air balled a right-handed floater on one occasion, and missed on a few more floaters and pull-up shots from various ranges inside the arc throughout the game.

Defensively, Singletary had trouble when matched with Ramon Sessions, letting him get past him into the lane, even when he was trying pretty hard to guard him.

Singletary is one of the more well-known players here, but he needs to do a better job with his shot selection, decision-making, and overall management of his team’s offense. He has a lot of intriguing tools, but he probably isn’t an NBA point guard at this stage of his development.

Game Two: Team One 76 – Team Two 80

Taurean Green overcame a slow start in his personal matchup with Mustafa Shakur to score 11 points and lead Team 2 to a slight victory in a contest that was far from pretty to watch. Shakur, who would finish with 12, found open lanes to the basket in the early moments of the game, but was much less noticeable in the second half. Green and Jared Jordan’s floor leadership allowed Team 2 to shoot 56.1% from the floor, and overcome a 25-12 made free throws disparity.

Antanas Kavaliauskas led Team 2 with 14 points on 6-8 shooting, while Ali Traore chipped in with 13. Team 1’s Mohammed Abukar led all scorers with 16 points, putting on an impressive shooting display for a big man. Several of the more highly touted scorers struggled in this one, with JR Reynolds, Trey Johnson, Russell Carter, and Zabian Dowdell all failing to reach double digits.

Mohamed Abukar, 6-10, Senior, Small Forward, San Diego State
16 points, 6 rebounds, 0 assists, 3 turnovers, 5-9 FG, 6-7 FT, 0-1 3P

Jonathan Givony

Another of the more notable performances from day two was the excellent and quite unexpected showing that Mohamed Abukar had, leading the entire game with 16 points in 21 minutes. Abukar did an excellent job sticking to what he does best, coming off screens to knock down a number of shots from the college 3-point line, leaking out in transition for an uncontested layup, and getting on the offensive glass using his height and athleticism to get some easy points. He even put the ball on the floor on a couple of occasions to draw a foul or finish with a floater off one dribble. His perimeter defense was a little shaky at times, but he did make up for that to a certain extent by hitting the glass fairly well. Another performance like this might convince a team that he could be a potentially nice weapon to bring off the bench to space the floor.

Zabian Dowdell, 6-3, Senior, Point Guard, Virginia Tech
8 points, 6 assists, 1 turnover, 3-9 FG, 2-2 FT

Jonathan Givony

Although his shot might not have fallen for him at a great rate, Dowdell played some very aggressive basketball and did a nice job setting the table for his teammates and keeping his team from getting too stagnant in the half-court. When given the opportunity, he also pushed the ball well in the early offense, making simple, but effective kickouts to Russell Carter for example, or pulling up off the dribble from 17 feet. Dowdell is doing a nice job convincing teams that he is indeed a full-time point guard so far, especially in the work he did in the scrimmages we saw in the morning drills. He’s utilizing a great crossover and trying to either drive and dish with a dropoff in the lane or go all the way to the hoop and finish with a floater in the lane. He may have forced his dribble a bit when getting deep into the paint, leading to some tough shots, but again, it was difficult to fault his aggressiveness considering what we saw from some of the other guards here. Dowdell also played solid defense on Jared Jordan when given the opportunity to match up with him. While perhaps not a brilliant performance, there is plenty to build on from what Dowdell shows in the first game.

Sun Yue, 6-9, Small Forward, China
7 points, 3 assists, 3/5 FG, 1 steal

Mike Schmidt

An intriguing prospect who has gained notoriety playing in the ABA, Sun Yue displayed some good potential during his first game today. Yue possesses a very good handle, and plays a very cerebral style of basketball which leads to a number of positive plays for his team.

Yue must improve his shooting mechanics before he will be taken seriously at the NBA level, and his release point must become more consistent. He also lacks the ideal athleticism for the NBA, as he proved on a drive to the basket where his lay-up attempt was sent back by Russell Carter. He still managed to make a number of nice dishes while attacking the hoop, but it’s tough to project him to the NBA at this point in time. Sun Yue will certainly attract the attention of some NBA decision makers, and could be an interesting candidate to draft in the second round and send to the D-League.

Herbert Hill, 6’10, PF, Providence

8 pts, 6 reb, 1 stl, 2 to, 2 blk, 3-9 fg’s, 2-6 ft’s

After a “quiet” breakout senior season in the Big East, Hill is hoping that his Orlando performance will make the scouts realize what they missed during the year. This afternoon’s performance didn’t stand out in a very mundane overall contest, but the lanky big man still had his moments. He started the game hot, converting on a pair of nice post moves against Ali Traore. He hit a turnaround jumper and then swished a hook, both of which displayed the soft touch he was becoming known for by the time his career at Providence came to a close.

The rest of the way would be a mixed bag. He used his length and athleticism to come up with a couple of blocks, but didn’t convert those post moves the way he did early on. Hill continued to show great awareness on when to look for his shot, but also struggled with individual post defense and a general lack of physical toughness. Hill is very skilled and loves to operate with his back to the basket, but would be well-served to learn how to take contact a bit better. He came up with a key steal late in the game, but also had a handful of shots blocked down the stretch. All in all, this performance really shouldn’t have changed anyone’s impression of Herbert Hill as a prospect. We think he has more to offer, and will show it later in the camp.

James Hughes, 6-11, C, Northern Illinois

3 pts, 3 rebounds, 1 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 0-8 fg’s, 3-4 ft’s

Hughes is a player that has intrigued many with his athletic upside over the past two seasons, but very little of that translated onto the court this afternoon in Orlando. Hughes clearly has NBA-caliber raw athleticism, but is quite slow laterally and really struggled to do anything offensively in this game. While he has put on weight since we last saw him and remains a shot blocking force, he tended to find himself off balance and out of position in this one. Hughes was able to block three shots and alter several others, but had at least that many sent back in attempting moves in the mid-post and on the low block that don’t seem very realistic for him at this point in time. Hughes certainly has the body and athleticism to make an impact here, so perhaps we will see a bit more out of him now that he’s had a chance to adjust to the Orlando setting.

Russell Carter, 6-4, Shooting Guard, Notre Dame, Senior
8 points, 1 rebound, 4/9 FG, 0/1 3PFG

Mike Schmidt

After emerging as a prospect during his senior season at Notre Dame, Russell Carter moved on to the Portsmouth Invitational where his strong performance continued to aide his NBA hopes. Projected as a second round pick, expectations were running high for him entering the pre-draft camp in Orlando. Carter started camp with a poor performance statistically but still managed to have a positive overall impact on the game.

The pull-up jumper was a strong tool for Carter this season, though he couldn’t get a single one to fall today. All 8 of his points came off of spot-up jumpers from around 20 feet, with 3 of them coming in transition. Carter took the ball to the basket only once today, showing his explosiveness and body control on a reverse lay-up attempt that rolled off the front of the rim.

The defensive end of the floor was a different story from the guard out of Notre Dame, as he played lockdown defense on both Sun Yue and J.R. Reynolds. Carter uses his muscular frame in combination with good length to limit the driving ability of opposing players, and his ability to close out quickly allows him to contest most of the jumpers taken by his opposition. In an environment where shoot first guards thrive, it was refreshing to see a guard concentrate on taking an opposing player out of his game.

Russell Carter has both the athleticism and the shooting stroke for the NBA, though he has a few limitations at this point. For a 2-guard, it will be important for his ball handling to improve, and he will always lack the ideal size for his position. Still, he has the potential to get hot and improve his stock with a strong offense showing as the week progresses.

Major Wingate, 6-10, Center, Tofas Borsa
4 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1/6 FG, 2/4 FT

Mike Schmidt

After a failed drug test led to his removal from the Tennessee men’s basketball team, Wingate played this last season in Turkey. The former Vol has elite athleticism for the center position in the NBA, but has yet to make any major improvements to his game during his post-high school career. Though he did display an improved feel, Wingate still has much progress to make to become NBA ready.

Early on the in the game, Wingate immediately made his presence felt by knocking down a 10 foot jumper on the baseline, and making an outstanding pass to a cutting guard the next time down the floor. In Turkey, the troubled center clearly spent some time playing in the high post, and there were at least 4 nice passes by Wingate to cutting guards today. Offensively, Wingate still struggles to convert anything outside of a dunk, and his shooting mechanics clearly need a major overhaul.

Defensively, Wingate showed improved positioning coming from the weak side, but still remains ineffective as a shot blocker. His lack of timing on the defensive end leads to a number of fouls, and he would be unable to remain on the floor for more than 10 minutes in the NBA for this reason. Wingate’s poor hands hurt him greatly when it comes to rebounding as well as catching the ball in traffic on the offensive end. Major Wingate has the talent and athleticism to play in the NBA, but he must fight an uphill battle to reach his potential.

Sammy Mejia, 6’6, SG, DePaul

6 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 2 to’s, 3-6 fg’s, 0-2 ft’s

Mejia certainly had his moments at DePaul, but was never able to develop the all around game or consistency to make a significant rise in terms of professional stock. Mejia would have his moments this afternoon as well, but didn’t do anything that will get his named called on draft night.

Mejia has added a bit of bulk to his painfully thin frame since the end of the season, and was able to put it to good use with a pair of transition slashes to the bucket early on. But on the whole, it was a very quiet game for a player on the outside looking in when it comes to draftability. Mejia entered college billed as a combo guard, but eventually became a full-time wing and didn’t get the chance to show off much in terms of ball handling here. He certainly has good court vision for a wing, as evidence by a couple of very nice passes in this game. But these were offset by a couple of sloppy ballhandling mistakes, and it would be nice to see Mejia take advantage of his formidable length and athleticism a bit more than he did in this one.

It isn’t hard to see Mejia putting in a big-time effort here in Orlando, but at this point he probably needs to if he is going to convince a team to spend a draft pick on him.

Jared Jordan, 6’2, PG, Senior, Marist
6 points, 5 assists, 3 turnovers, 3-4 FG

Joseph Treutlein

Jared Jordan had a decent game here to lead his team to victory, sowing off some of his great skills, but also showing some of his limitations as a playmaker. Jordan ran his team well, keeping everyone involved and doing an excellent job dishing out a variety of assists in transition, but in the halfcourt he struggled with his playmaking except for on pick-and-roll plays, as he doesn’t have a very quick first step, and he’s not much of a threat to create off penetration.

Jordan made some of the best passes of the day in the transition game, throwing an assist ahead to his teammate on a strong chest pass and making an excellent bounce pass on the move through three defenders to a cutting teammate. In the halfcourt, Jordan did a very good job making reads and making passes on pick-and-rolls, getting a few assists in that manner. Jordan also made one extremely precise one-handed bounce pass right off a crossover dribble while on the move on one occasion, showing how versatile he can be in terms of passing the ball. Jordan did an excellent job managing the game for his team, directing players to open spaces on the floor and maintaining good floor balance for his team, something rarely seen from a point guard in this setting. Jordan’s ball-handling is very impressive in that he’s great with either hand and really controls and protects the ball well, even though he’s not a big threat to get a step on his defender.

Jordan did get into the lane at times in this game, mostly off high screen situations, but also by using some craftiness and his versatility in dribbling the basketball. He uses hesitation dribbles well, and also has a compact crossover that couples well with the hesitations. His best scoring sequence of the game was on a left-handed drive where he stopped, pivoted, and spun off his man to gain separation, hitting a five-foot jumper over the hand in his face. Jordan also hit one spot-up shot from 18 feet and missed another. He scored his only other basket on a lay-up off a cut to the hoop, something he frequently did when the ball was not in his hand.

Jordan is lacking in athleticism and quickness, so he isn’t able to consistently create offense in the halfcourt, relying on high screens and pick-and-rolls to do much of his creating for teammates. His dribbling ability is good, and he possesses some nice crafty moves, but he should continue working on that to take his dribble-drive game to the next level. He’s been working on his outside shooting, but he needs to continue to improve on his range and effectiveness shooting from the outside as well, as becoming a deadly outside shooter will be critical to his potential success in the NBA, given his athletic limitations. He has trouble staying step-for-step with his man on defense, not possessing the lateral quickness to stay in front for a long time.

Trey Johnson, 6-5, Senior, Shooting Guard, Jackson State
4 points, 0 rebounds, 0 assists, 2 turnovers, 1-5 FG, 0-2 3P

Jonathan Givony

After being arguably the best player in the camp in the drills last night and this morning, Trey Johnson had a first game performance that he’d probably prefer to forget. He was aggressive the way you’d hope he’d be for the most part, but his shots just weren’t falling for him for the most part, particularly early on. He often looked like he had decided what he was going to do with the ball in his hands before reading the defense and responding to what was thrown at him, pulling up for some very tough contested jumpers that just didn’t fall for him the way they did previously in this camp. Sometimes it seems like he might have been thinking too much. Later in the game he made a good drop-off in transition, and then got to the basket and finished with a nice floater to salvage a pretty average performance.

Rashad Jones-Jennings, 6-6, Senior, Power Forward, Arkansas-Little Rock
0 points, 5 rebounds, 0-5 FG

Jonathan Givony

Much grief was thrown in the direction of the DX staff members that got so excited about Rashad Jones-Jennings at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, as the leading rebounder in the country and the PIT decided for some reason to convert himself all of a sudden to the shooting guard position. He started off the game bricking a contested 19 footer badly (“why is he shooting that,” wondered anyone in the crowd who had any remote idea what kind of player he is), and then proceeded to airball two more college 3-pointers before the game was up. It’s not quite clear what was going through Jones-Jennings’ head or who told him that he has become some kind of Reggie Miller clone since the season ended, but he needs to get himself together and recall what got him from playing intramural basketball three years ago to the NBA pre-draft camp today. It surely wasn’t his outside shooting.

Ivan Radenovic, 6-10, Senior, Power Forward, Arizona
10 points, 0 rebounds, 3-6 FG, 1-1 3P, 3-4 FT

Jonathan Givony

10 points in 19 minutes was a nice start for Ivan Radenovic, but pulling down 0 rebounds in that span is simply unacceptable for a 6-10 NBA prospect. He did a nice job knocking down jump-shots in this game (including an NBA 3-pointer), but will need to show other parts of his game as well in order to have any chance at impressing the scouts in attendance.

J.R. Reynolds, 6’2, SG, Senior, Virginia
8 points, 2 assists, 2 rebounds, 2 turnovers, 1-5 FG, 0-2 3PT, 6-8 FT

Joseph Treutlein

J.R. Reynolds had a very bad first day here, struggling in every way imaginable, and not scoring most of his points until the game was in its final moments, getting intentionally fouled in the backcourt by the opposing team. Reynolds wasn’t able to show off his dynamic scoring ability, as he just wasn’t able to get separation from his man consistently today, with that man most of the time being Russell Carter. Reynolds tried moving without the ball and put the ball on the floor a bit when he got it in his hands, but was only able to get open shot attempts off broken down plays for the most part, and he wasn’t even able to convert those. He missed outside shots, both of the pull-up and spot-up variety, and didn’t get much done when he took the ball to the rim either, except on some dump-off assists.

Reynolds also didn’t look very good on the defensive end, not always getting back in transition, leading to some open shots for Russell Carter, who he was guarding. Reynolds definitely is a better player than he showed here today, but if he continues to have no impact in terms of scoring the ball, he’s going to really hurt his stock, as he doesn’t do anything at an NBA level other than score.

Stephane Lasme, 6’8, PF, Senior, UMass
4 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 6 blocks, 1 steal, 5 turnovers, 2-3 FG

Joseph Treutlein

Stephane Lasme had an up-and-down game, making a great impact on the defensive end by blocking shots like he always does, but not having much impact on the offensive end, having major trouble catching entry passes and turning the ball over excessively. He got called for a travel on a baseline drive attempt early in the game, got stuffed in the post trying to go up over the larger James Hughes, and wasn’t able to pull in at least three entry passes, struggling to hold onto a few others as well. Lasme’s only two field goals on the game came on a transition jam and a nice scoop shot off a left-handed dribble in the haflcourt.

Defensively is where Lasme made his presence known, blocking shots in man-to-man and weakside situations around the basket, using his length and explosiveness the best way he could. He came from behind drivers going down the lane, blocked his man straight up in the post, and rotated over from the weakside to swat shots as well.

Taurean Green, 6’0, PG, Junior, Florida
11 points, 3 assists, 2 rebounds, 2 turnovers, 4-5 FG, 3-4 3PT

Joseph Treutlein

Taurean Green didn’t have a great game, but he didn’t hurt his stock much either, as most of the point guards here aren’t really shining for their respective teams, especially in the statlines. Green started off the game slowly, matched up with Mustafa Shakur and not doing a good job keeping him out of the lane, while making some turnovers passing the ball and missing on his first three-point attempt. He got more comfortable as the game went on, and did a better job on his second half matchup, Zabian Dowdell, fighting harder through screens and staying in front of his man for the most part.

As the game went on, Green hit three three-pointers, one on a spot-up shot, one on a pull-up in open space, and another on a pull-up coming around a screen. Green didn’t do much driving the ball, settling to stay on the perimeter most of the time, though he made a few nice passes in pick-and-roll and transition situations, netting all his assists in this manner. Green would do himself well to show some more consistent creation abilities on the offensive end in his remaining games here, as points guard like Dashaun Wood, also competing here, are closing in on him with more versatile performances.

Game 3 – Team 4 78, Team 3 67

Brandon Heath’s 17 points allowed Team 4 to pull away from Team 3 down the stretch in the sloppiest game of the day. Reyshawn Terry added 13 points of the mostly spectacular variety, while Aaron Brooks played well down the stretch and finished with 10 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals.

Team 3 was led by Caleb Green’s 14 points and 8 rebounds, with Ron Lewis adding 12. DaShaun Wood did a great job of pushing tempo and distributing the ball, but Team 3’s starting perimeter rotation of Dominic James, Daequan Cook, and Cartier Martin shot just a combined 5-21 from the floor. Cook finished with 8 turnovers.

Brandon Heath, 6’3, SG, Senior, San Diego State
17 points, 2 steals, 6-9 FG, 2-2 3PT, 3-4 FT

Joseph Treutlein

Brandon Heath had a solid showing, doing a great job scoring the ball, but as evidenced by his statline, not much else. He spent the vast majority of his time off the ball, and he wasn’t forcing the issue with his shot, so it’s hard to take issue with his unbalanced statline, but he’s probably not explosive or dynamic enough to get by just by scoring at the next level. He got his scores in a variety of ways, hitting on pull-up and spot-up shots from long range both inside and outside the three-point arc, the nicest shot of which was a stepback jumper from just inside the three-point line. He made a few right-handed drives, one of which he finished after weaving through a few defenders, and another of which he missed off the glass off a nice up-and-under move. He got his other scores on lay-ups where he broke ahead in transition.

In terms of passing the ball, Heath made a few nice passes to cutters and open shooters, but didn’t notch any assists and wasn’t really looking to be a playmaker for his teammates, even for the five or so minutes he played the point for his team. Defensively, Heath played aggressively at times, but also bit on some fakes on one occasion against Ron Lewis, getting scored on after losing his position.

Reyshawn Terry, 6’7, SF, Senior, UNC
13 points, 1 rebound, 2 steals, 1 block, 5-7 FG, 1-1 3PT, 2-2 FT

Joseph Treutlein

Reyshawn Terry had one of the stronger performances in his game, even though he left with a few minutes remaining after taking an elbow to his face, though it didn’t appear that the injury will have a long-lasting effect. Terry did a really good job scoring the ball when it came to him, though he seemed to let things come to him a bit too much, not going after the ball when he didn’t have it, not playing like the best prospect on his team should. He drifted for times, and should do a better job of coming to the ball in the remaining games here, so he can make a more significant impact on the offensive side of the court.

Terry scored in a variety of ways, first scoring off a crossover going left to right, laying the ball up with his left hand after a few dribbles, though his defender didn’t really put in much effort on the possession. Terry next dunked the ball twice, once on a cut and once in transition, then went quiet for awhile. Later, he made a nice, long-strided drive, spinning from the top of the key and taking the ball to the hoop, laying it in with his right hand. He made a nice move in transition where he faked with the ball and put up a finger-roll, though he badly missed on that attempt. Terry missed his first two shots of the second half, a turnaround jumper in the lane and a spot-up 18 footer, though he drew a foul on a right-handed drive and scored on a spot-up three-pointer later in the game.

Defensively, Terry wasn’t consistent with his effort on the perimeter defense, and he also got beat easily on a lazy fronting attempt in the post on one play, but he did make a few nice plays, including a pokeaway leading to a steal and drawing a charge on a rotation near the basket.

Terry’s one of the better potential prospects here, and he had a decent start to his camp, though more assertiveness on the offensive end would help out his stock if he can do it while staying under control.

Dominic James, 5’11, PG, Marquette

0 points, 2 rebounds, 0 assists, 1 steal, 0-3 fg’s, 0-2 ft’s

James, nearly snubbed from the event entirely, didn’t help his cause one bit in his first game. It wasn’t that James played a bad game, but the complete lack of positive contribution is a bit puzzling from the same player who just six months ago beat Duke almost by himself.

James started the game off with a clear pass-first mentality, and he was able to thread the needle on a couple of forays into the lane in the early going. He would continue to sprinkle in a decent feed every now and then the rest of the way, but never really forced the issue off the bounce. This was quite surprising to see, as the one thing everybody counted on seeing from the undersized floor leader was that burst of speed on the way to the basket. But going up against players like Aaron Brooks, James looked very non-descript as an athlete, and almost tentative in the way he approached the game.

James rarely looked to score in this one, but his lack of size was apparent whenever he did. Given his shooting struggles and continuing tendency to waste precious of the shot clock by hanging onto the ball, these just aren’t good signs coming from a prospect that was thought of as a potential lottery pick at the beginning of the season. Needless to say, James will need to pick it up a couple of notches from here on out if he wants to find himself in the draft mix this year.

DaShaun Wood, 5’11, PG, Wright State

6 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 turnovers, 3-7 fg’s

Everybody’s favorite player at Portsmouth, Wood has continued his outstanding play in Orlando. With his teammate James appearing tenative with the other rotation, it was impossible not to notice the way Wood changed the game by pushing the tempo and getting everybody involved. Wood didn’t score a ton of points in this one, but put on a clinic in how to make every decision you make a positive one. He never once let off the throttle when he was in the game.

Despite the lack of size, Wood picked his spots well and found ways to get to the basket. He missed a couple of full-speed drives by the slightest of margins, or else his point total would look a bit better as well. He barely even looked to show off his outside shooting stroke, which had been deadly in the drills. Wood did a great job of playing under control at such high speeds, and has to have moved up the list for any team looking to draft a backup point guard in round two.

Cartier Martin, 6’7, SF, Kansas State

8 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 2-8 fg’s, 4-4 ft’s, 0-5 3-pt

Despite always producing and owning some solid tools as a 6’7, relatively athletic perimeter player, Martin has never really emerged on the draft radar. Today’s quiet performance certainly won’t change that, as the only time he did anything of note was when he was missing 3-pointers. The form looks fantastic, but the shots just weren’t falling today. And the problem for Martin is finding a way to contribute other than just the outside jumper. He has a nice frame and should be able to do some damage down low, but really didn’t assert himself anywhere. His attempts to show off guard skills usually didn’t end well, as he never seemed to click with backcourt mates James and Cook. He is somewhat of a tweener on the defensive end, as his footspeed leaves a bit to be desired and he certainly isn’t big enough to defend the post. There are two more games for Martin to get hot and impress, but he would be better served to show that he can contribute in more ways than just shooting.

Jared Dudley, 6-7, Senior, Small Forward, Boston College
7 points, 1 rebound, 2-3 FG, 3-3 FT, 2 blocks

Jonathan Givony

7 points in 17 minutes on three field goal attempts was probably not the way Jared Dudley wanted to finish his first game, but considering the incredibly poor level of play that was displayed by virtually everyone on the floor, it probably wasn’t all that bad. To his credit, he did look very smart and skilled in the drills this morning. In the actual game, Dudley was pretty vocal amongst his teammates, taking the ball to the basket and finishing in transition. He also swished an NBA 3-pointer when left open. His shot-creating skills didn’t look great, but he didn’t necessarily force the issue. Defensively, he did a nice job. Considering that he led the ACC in rebounds while standing 6-7, we tend to think that him only grabbing one rebound today should be an aberration.

Aaron Brooks, 5-11, Senior, Point Guard, Oregon
10 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 turnovers, 3-7 FG, 3-4 FT

Jonathan Givony

This was a solid start for Oregon’s Aaron Brooks, although maybe not quite as solid as the box-score would indicate. Brooks used to quickness to put pressure on the defense and get into the paint, driving and dishing along the way or pulling up off the dribble for a jumper or short floater. He showed off his court vision on one occasion by threading the needle on a gorgeous pass right through the defense into the hands of Kyle Visser for a layup, but also looked a bit out of control at times getting caught for a charge while barreling his way through the lane. Brooks did a nice job scoring a few buckets once the game got out of hand, and by the end of the game finished up with a respectable stat-line

Recent articles

1.0 Points
2.0 Rebounds
0.0 Assists
-12.6 PER
7.9 Points
2.7 Rebounds
2.7 Assists
8.4 PER
9.0 Points
3.5 Rebounds
1.0 Assists
8.2 PER
4.7 Points
2.7 Rebounds
0.5 Assists
12.7 PER
8.4 Points
5.6 Rebounds
0.3 Assists
12.6 PER
16.0 Points
10.0 Rebounds
1.6 Assists
26.2 PER
0.0 Points
0.0 Rebounds
0.0 Assists
0.0 PER
7.5 Points
5.5 Rebounds
4.8 Assists
10.4 PER
8.7 Points
4.5 Rebounds
1.0 Assists
11.4 PER
11.3 Points
6.3 Rebounds
0.9 Assists
16.2 PER
26.2 Points
11.1 Rebounds
1.5 Assists
28.7 PER
6.5 Points
1.0 Rebounds
4.0 Assists
20.7 PER
3.1 Points
1.7 Rebounds
1.4 Assists
4.4 PER
8.8 Points
2.3 Rebounds
8.8 Assists
17.0 PER
5.6 Points
2.6 Rebounds
1.0 Assists
16.9 PER
8.7 Points
5.1 Rebounds
1.6 Assists
12.8 PER
17.7 Points
6.0 Rebounds
3.7 Assists
18.4 PER
12.0 Points
2.0 Rebounds
0.3 Assists
22.8 PER
9.6 Points
3.2 Rebounds
3.2 Assists
11.3 PER
4.0 Points
2.8 Rebounds
2.4 Assists
5.8 PER
8.0 Points
5.6 Rebounds
0.6 Assists
10.9 PER
11.6 Points
1.8 Rebounds
2.7 Assists
15.0 PER
7.6 Points
5.4 Rebounds
1.7 Assists
8.4 PER
12.5 Points
13.1 Rebounds
1.4 Assists
25.0 PER
14.8 Points
2.4 Rebounds
2.2 Assists
16.5 PER
10.5 Points
4.5 Rebounds
2.2 Assists
18.0 PER
4.7 Points
6.5 Rebounds
0.2 Assists
11.1 PER
10.3 Points
2.4 Rebounds
4.1 Assists
17.5 PER
11.8 Points
2.8 Rebounds
3.7 Assists
14.8 PER
14.8 Points
7.2 Rebounds
1.0 Assists
14.9 PER
17.9 Points
2.9 Rebounds
4.0 Assists
16.7 PER
17.3 Points
6.9 Rebounds
2.7 Assists
19.1 PER
15.0 Points
3.8 Rebounds
3.7 Assists
14.4 PER
2.3 Points
1.1 Rebounds
1.7 Assists
7.1 PER
15.4 Points
4.7 Rebounds
1.4 Assists
16.0 PER
13.5 Points
2.8 Rebounds
2.5 Assists
16.7 PER
0.4 Points
1.5 Rebounds
0.4 Assists
4.2 PER
10.7 Points
5.0 Rebounds
0.8 Assists
21.1 PER

Twitter @DraftExpress

DraftExpress Shop