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July 11, 2004
Nike: Friday's Scout
Here are some thoughts on the play of several prospects at the Nike All-American Camp in Indianapolis, Ind.
Kevin Durant, A.J. Abrams, Mike Mercerand Demond Carter all shot the ball well from the outside Friday.
Casaan Breeden is a very intriguing small forward prospect. At 6-foot-6 and with a 6-foot-10 wing span, Breeden is bouncy and athletic. He rebounds well, can put the ball on the floor, and can find the open man. His shot has been erratic from behind the arc, but he appears to be a guy with the potential to make shots. He has a nice release but shoots with a flat trajectory.
Another small forward prospect who had a very good day Friday was Jay Brown. Brown measured 6-foot-5, 236-pounds, and a whooping 7-foot-1 wing span. He made things happen with his penetration and he shot the ball well from the arc. He made some very nice passes as well although he did turn it over some trying to make the highlight pass. At 236-pounds, he does not need to get any bigger, or his quickness on defense will suffer.
Isaiah Dahlman has all the tools to be a big time shooting guard. The 2006 prospect out of Minnesota is a smooth athlete with a very good feel for the game. He has a nice lefty stroke, but he does tend to float when shooting on the move, which hurts his accuracy. He will get better with the ball as he gets stronger.
J.P. Prince is one of the best point guards at the camp along with Mike Mercer. With an unbelievable 8-foot-6 reach for a point guard, the left handed Prince can easily pass above his defender. He did struggle mightily shooting the ball during stations and has been reluctant to shoot in games.
Arizona commitment Fendi Onobun is showing promise in developing into a small forward. He has not shot the ball well in games, but he did look good shooting in the stations. It will take some time before he shoots well from the outside at game speed.
2006 prospect Spencer Hawes had a terrific day, sinking jump hooks with either hand and running the floor. Strength is the only issue for the Seattle big man.
Hawes' high school teammate Martell Webster is still struggling to find the range after coming back from his injury. Everything looks good on his jumper, but he is missing quite a few more than he is making. He is, however, making some baskets at the rim. To be an elite prospect, he does need that jumper to fall in order to set up penetration off the dribble. He is not explosive enough to get it done with just his penetration.
Vernon Macklin's offensive game is improving. He actually hit a three-pointer Friday and finish on some nifty moves on drives to the basket. The 2006 prospect still has a ways to go as a finisher.
Brandon Wolfe and Taylor Griffin are two power forwards who have limitations but are very productive players. Both are slightly undersized power forwards, but Griffin is explosive from 15-feet and in and can get the ball in the basket. He is also a very strong rebounder and runs well. Wolfe is not an explosive athlete, but he knows how to use his big frame and has versatile scoring abilities.
C.J. Miles had a strong day Friday. His strongest suit is his passing and ability to attack the basket or pull up for the midrange shot. Defensive effort and strength are his main issues. If he gets stronger, plays consistently hard, and improves the consistency of his three point shot, he will be an elite talent.
Two California finesse style power forwards Chris Oakes and Diamon Simpson have played stronger and stronger throughout the camp. Both players have a knack for being around the ball and getting it in the basket within 15-feet.
Magnum Rolle showed flashes of his potential on Friday. He can run the floor and move his feet on defense. He looks comfortable shooting the ball, and his accuracy will only improve as he plays more ball. Only having played for less than three years, he still has a lot to learn about playing the game. With some time and added strength, the 6-foot-9 Rolle has a chance to be an impact player.
Louis Williams can put up points better than any player in the 2005 class. Forget about height and weight, Williams is scoring points at will. Now when it comes to handling and passing, strength is a major issue for Williams. Lateral quickness and effort are issues defensively.
Look for big things from 2007 prospect Jamar Smith from Peoria, Ill. He is athletic, good with the ball, and can shoot it.
Austin Johnson has looked very good running the point for his team.
Josh McRoberts continues to impress, especially with his rebounding and passing.
2006 prospect Jonathan Mitchell is an impressive prospect. The strong lefty can score from a variety of places on the court.
Stephan Gilling has had a good camp shooting the ball.