RBK U - Day One - Morning Session Games

RBK U - Day One - Morning Session Games
Jul 09, 2007, 04:34 am
Philadelphia University - Philadelphia, PA

With the changeover from ABCD to RBK U, the teams are now split into teams named after NBA Players who have deals with Reebok. The teams are then split into two conferences, the Create Conference and the Finish Conference.

Here is how the teams break down:

Create Conference

Team Allen Iverson
Team Baron Davis
Team Jamal Crawford
Team Rajon Rando
Team Allan Ray
Team Shaun Livingston

Finish Conference

Team Yao Ming
Team Gerald Green
Team Marvin Williams
Team Rasual Butler
Team Al Jefferson
Team Thabo Sefolosha

The teams will play five games on Sunday and Monday, with the playoffs taking place Tuesday morning and afternoon, and the Championship and All-Star Games concluding on Tuesday night.

With that out of the way, onto the first set of games.

1:00 Games

GAME 1 - Team Allen Iverson 69 Team Baron Davis 64

RBK decided to trot out the premier players in the first game open to the public. Team A.I. features three of the best players at the camp, Renardo Sidney, Brandon Jennings and Isaiah Thomas. While Jennings (Oak Hill/Los Angeles, CA/2008 - committed to Arizona) and Thomas (South Kent Prep/Tacoma, WA/2008 - committed to Washington) had average performances, contributing 11 and 10 points respectively,
Sidney (Artesia H.S./Lakewood, CA/2009) had a monster game, throwing up 26 points on 11-of-18 from the field including 2-of-4 from deep and collecting 10 boards.

From his performance, it is clear why Sidney is the number one ranked junior in the country. He showed the ability to score from anywhere on the floor, is a man amongst boys in the post, and might have the softest set of hands in the country. If I had to make a comparison right now, a fair one would be to Zach Randolph on the offensive end, simply because as soon as he gets the ball, he becomes a threat to score wherever he may be.

However, he doesn't care too much for defense or at least he didn't seem to in this game. In all fairness, lazy defending seemed to be a common trait today as many players were trying to establish themselves on the offensive end more than hustling to get back on defense.

GAME 2 - Team Rajon Rando 88 Team Jamal Crawford 76

Coming into this game, there were a lot of eyes focusing on Rondo power forward Karron Johnson (Mt. Zion/Richmond, VA/2008). But it was another Johnson that stole the show. Shooting guard Shaquille Johnson (Robert E. Lee/Jacksonville, FL) finished with 22 points on 8-of-16 shooting and a perfect 6-of-6 from the line in a little over 20 minutes of playing time. Johnson hasn't been heavily recruited by high D-1 programs, but this performance may start the chatter about the Florida combo guard.

The 6'3" Johnson did all his work in the lane, using his body to get where he wanted and exhibiting a strong mid range game. He also used that body and great leaping ability to collect seven boards including four on the offensive glass. On the downside, he struggled somewhat from deep going 0-3 and picked up four personals.

For Team Crawford, highly touted 6'5" point guard and UCLA commit Malcom Lee (John W. North/Moreno Valley, CA) struggled, going 5-of-19 from the field including 1-of-8 from deep finishing with a team high 13 points. Comparisons to Javaris Crittenton were not fulfilled, in this game at least.

2:30 Games

GAME 1 - Team Shaun Livingston 81 Team Allan Ray 66

In his own backyard, Team Shaun Livingston's Andrew Randell (Communications Tech/Philadelphia, PA/2008) put on a show. The 6'7" forward made the most of his 16 minutes dumping in 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting and 3-of-5 from long range. Randell seemed like he fed off the home crowd from the minute he stepped on the floor and didn't let that intensity fade the entire time he was on the court. He showed great range and was tenacious on the boards grabbing 4 offensive boards and 8 all-together. Bottom line, this guy had a little bit of everything.

Class of 2008 power foward Kevin Jones (Mount Vernon/Mt. Vernon, NY/2008) also turned in a nice performance for Team Livingston shooting 5-of-10 from the floor while collecting 8 boards. Jones looks like he is still growing into his body as he displays an enormous wingspan for his 6'7" frame.

For Team Allan Ray, super soph point guard Kendall Marshall (Bishop O'Connell/Arlington, VA/2010) had an unimpressive first game shooting 2-of-10 from the floor including 1-of-6 from deep. On the bright side, he did show excellent ball handling skills and a true ability to control tempo, dishing out five assists while turning the ball over just once.

GAME 2 - Team Gerald Green 74 Team Yao Ming 73

Great back and forth game. Two of the top swingmen at the camp looked very strong. Class of 2009's Isaiah Armwood, from Kevin Durant's alma mater Montrose Christian, showed a little of everything he has in his arsenal posting up, hitting from outside and getting to the line on his way to a team high 12 points for Team Green.

For team Yao, William Buford (Libby H.S., Toledo, OH) lived up to the Rip Hamilton comparisons. He never stopped moving the entire game, always looking for a screen to run off of. Unlike Rip, Buford only hit on 6-of-16 attempts from the floor, but did lead his team with 14 points. Finishing a close second in scoring to Buford was another 2008 swingman by the name of Darius Miller (Mason Co. H.S., Maysville, KY) who is drawing strong interest from nearly every team in the SEC, most notably Kentucky. He finished with a solid 13 points on 4-of-7 from the field.

3:45 Games

GAME 1 - Thabo Sefolosha 69 Al Jefferson 75

The second best game of the six afternoon contests. For Team Thabo, Elliot Williams (St. George's/Collierville, TN) stole the show. He was nearly untouchable on the break and was as athletic as he is skinny. He threw down a reverse jam on the break with a defender on him for his first magic trick and followed that up with several up tempo plays, including an up and under finish off a beautiful pass from Malik Wayns (Roman Catholic/Philadelphia, PA).

Speaking of Wayns, the 5'9" Class of 2009 point guard from Eddie Griffin's alma mater was the consummate floor general in his RBK U debut. Plus, he was the smallest guy on the court for the whole game yet still managed to finish third on his team in rebounds with 5 which matched his assist total.

For Team Al Jefferson, it was a guy who plays a lot like Al Jefferson catching everyone's eye. Senior Terence Jennings (Mt. Zion Academy/Sacramento, CA) had the best big man performance of the first round of games outside of Renardo Sidney. He finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds in 24 minutes. Jennings has a body eerily similar to Amare Stoudamire did coming out of high school. If he wants to get better and tougher though, he may need to add a few pounds.
At 230 lbs, fellow highly touted big man J'Mison Morgan (South Oak Cliff/Dallas, TX/2008) used his 265 pound frame to push Jennings around on a handful of occasions.

One injury note from this game to pass along, Morgan fell awkwardly on his right knee with about a minute to go and did not return. About two hours later, he was still noticeably in pain and said his status for the rest of camp is questionable.

GAME 2 - Team Rasual Butler 65 Team Marvin Williams 81

St. Anthony's product Jio Fontan had an impressive showing in his first game. Fontan, who is committed to Fordham, poured in 16 points as Team Williams routed Team Butler. Also for Williams, Class of 2009 shooting guard Anthony Marshall (Mojave HS/Las Vegas/2009) was very impressive on the offensive end, going 6-of-7 from the field without forcing up any bad shots. However, he needs to grow a bit to be an effective shooting guard at the next level. He's only slightly above 6'1".

On the other hand, Fontan's backcourt mate at St. Anthony's, Michael Rosario (St. Anthony/Jersey City, NJ/2008) struggled. While he did equal Fontan's scoring output, he did it by taking 8 more shots. The Rutgers commit showed a strong mid range game, going 6-of-11 from inside the arc, but struggled from outside, taking seven shots from three and missing them all.

News and Notes:

-The list of head coaches at this event was endless. I don't know if the number of juniors at this camp (75 or so out of 127 attendees) made it more attractive than the others, which featured primarily players headed into their senior season, or what, but it seemed like there were way more head coaches there than any of the previous three years at ABCD.

-The "What the &%*#?" moment of the day - I understand the naming of the teams after NBA Stars, but Allan Ray and Rasual Butler? I mean come on. All of the other guys were first round picks, then you throw a rookie free agent who has bounced back and forth from the D-League this past year and a career 9th man on the list and it kind of cheapens it. Imagine telling people, as a player, you play for team Allan Ray when some of your buddies were playing for team A.I.

-Also, Class of 2009 top 5 prospect John Reik Suas (Our Savior of New American Christian/Sudan) was not in attendance after being listed on the roster as late as July 2nd. Turns out he went to the LeBron Camp in Akron instead of matching up against Sidney in Philly.

-Every player was outfitted with a commemorative t-shirt and will wear a patch on their jersey with the number 22 in remembrance of Dante Anderson. Anderson, Florida's one-time top prospect in the Class of 2008, and friend Curtis Hampton, Jr. were killed in a single-car accident in Gainesville in May. At the end of camp, an award will be given in Anderson's honor.

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