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June 11, 2013
Elite 100 frontcourt players come forward
ST. LOUIS -- Over the weekend, the 2013 edition of Nike's Elite 100 camp wrapped up on the campus of Saint Louis University. Composed of the nation's top rising juniors and sophomores, the Elite 100 is a camp designed for evaluation rather than exposure. Many top players burst onto the scene each summer at the Elite 100. In this installment of camp coverage, we take a look at some of the standout big men from the class of 2015 who were in attendance.
Evan Boudreaux: In an ideal world, you could take every other player and point him in the direction of Boudreaux and tell him that's how you do it. What we mean is that he is skilled, he takes what is given to him, and he competes within a team concept. He's a rugged kid who is most successful playing from five to 15 feet, and he has a feel for scoring the rock.
Myles Carter: With his 7-foot-2 wingspan and willingness to play with an edge around the rim, Carter plays a lot bigger than his 6-foot-7 and 210-pound size. The Chicago native got himself into trouble trying to put the ball on the floor or shoot jumpers beyond 12 feet. But mostly he played like a man on the glass, he ran the floor and he did what you would like an enforcer to do around the basket.
Shawntrez Davis: Since we got our first look at him in April, Davis has been coming on strong. Lean and quick, Davis is speedy from one end to the other. He can play pogo stick basketball around the rim. His instincts on the glass are good, and his jumper is solid when he's not forcing deep shots outside his range. He isn't all the way there, but he's improving quickly and his upside remains strong.
Tyler Davis: From this point last year until now, the 6-foot-9 center from Texas has to be one of the most improved players. It isn't just what he has done with his game but what he has done to trim excess pounds and get into better shape. He's still 274 pounds, but he shows good feet and soft touch. He probably had the best hands of any big man in camp, and he didn't suffer from a case of the dropsies like so many others.
Noah Dickerson: He's a space-eating big man from Georgia who is tough on the glass, and it's hard not to see some of Maryland sophomore-to-be Charles Mitchell in Dickerson's game. One of the few big men in camp who regularly caught post feeds and secured rebounds without trouble, Dickerson also makes effective use of the glass and is a crafty scorer for a primarily under-the-rim guy. The tools to be a four-star prospect are there.
Aaron Falzon: Talk about a tale of two camps for the 6-foot-7 power forward. For the first half of camp, it was as if there was a force field surrounding the paint as he tossed up lazy, deep jumpers. Finally, his camp coach corrected his tendency to fall back and kick a leg out on his shot and ordered him to mix it up. Suddenly Falzon was all over the glass, getting easy baskets, and then his jumper started falling. He might be too reliant on his 3-pointer, but there's zero question that he can shoot it with accuracy.
Tyler Lydon: A fluid 6-foot-8 four man who can run the floor and has touch, Lydon lacks physical strength and has to add bulk to his 181-pound frame. Though he lacks bulk, he competes for rebounds, he will stick his nose in a scrum, and he takes contact well. He's tracking as a guy whom high majors will watch closely.
Trevor Manuel: The No. 42 player in 2015, Manuel is a lengthy and athletic 6-foot-9 big man who has plenty of athleticism. He isn't just bouncy; he is quick laterally, and he gets off the floor for second and third jumps with speed. He lacks strength and a go-to post move, and he has to work on his footwork and holding position.
Luis Santos: So Santos may be only 6-foot-6. Not a problem, given his 7-foot wingspan, solid 245-pound frame, athleticism and fierce nature around the rim. Not many in camp played with as much physicality or were as dedicated to getting on the glass. He threw up a few questionable jumpers, but his work around the hoop and willingness to mix it up earn him a pass. Few players in camp were as fun to watch.
Raymond Spalding: With Spalding, the key is to think long-term potential. He's 6-foot-9 with a 7-foot-1 wingspan, he runs the floor, he's fairly bouncy, and he plays hard. His impact is mostly with a blocked shot here or there and some garbage baskets, but with added confidence and strength he could develop into a solid high-major prospect.