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July 7, 2005

ABCD camp gets rolling

TEANECK, N.J. - All the ABCD camp needed was the moment. Thanks to O.J. Mayo and local school boy star Lance Stevenson, the camp got it. The two went head to head and brought an energy to the first day of the Reebok camp and set the tone for the week.

Mayo, the No. 1 player in the class of 2007, gets everyone's best game. He's the measuring stick for every star in every city. On the summer's biggest stage on opening night a rising freshman, yes freshman, decided he wanted to prove his game against Mayo.

Like Mayo, Stevenson entered the camp with a lot of hype as a youngster and he lived up to every expectation placed upon him. Stevenson came out strong and crossed Mayo over for a driving bucket. The Northeastern crowd went crazy by the move but it only fueled Mayo's fire.

Mayo went right at Stevenson by sinking back-to-back three-pointers and made sure the class of 2009 prospect knew it. Stevenson didn't back down and stuck with Mayo but in the end, seniority prevailed as Mayo scored 21 points, pulled down six rebounds, grabbed five assists and helped lead his team to a crushing 85-58 victory. Stevenson finished with 16 points on five of seven shooting, including two for two from deep.

The ABCD camp has had it's great moments and this one can go in the history books with the memorable Sebastian Telfair-Darius Washington face-off. After a bit of a lackluster day, the two brought the crowd to it's feet with their performance and raised the bar for the next three days in Jersey.

Don't forget about me

As good as Mayo was, Greg Oden was just as dominant. It's easy to run out of words when describing Oden, the game's most dominant interior presence since (enter hoops legend here).

The Ohio State bound center is playing with a high aggression level and tries to tear off the iron each time he dunks the ball. Oden put it on Alex Stepheson and others. The 7-footer finished with 16 points and nine rebounds in an evening victory.

At last year's ABCD camp, a 6-foot-8 Texan showed off his athleticism, long range shooting ability and ball-handling skills and played his way into the number one spot. That was the evolution of Gerald Green, whose picture is on the ABCD banner hanging from the billboard.

This year Damion James fit's the same description and even had the camp's most memorable dunk - something Green did plenty of last year. James skied for an offensive rebound and threw down a thundering flush. The future Oklahoma Sooner showed off his versatility, too.

At 6-foot-8, James handles the rock like a point guard, can stroke it from deep and his size is just too hard to defend for the smaller small forwards. The Sooners have a great one coming to Norman.

Being optimistic, it's a good thing Edwin Rios injured his ankle and not his shooting wrist. The future Miami Hurricane is still limited with his speed because of a bad sprain he suffered before the Kingwood Classic in April but his left hand is feeling great.

The five-star prospect from the class of 2007 buried home a sudden death overtime long ball to claim a 67-64 victory in the first game of the camp. Rios connected on three of six from downtown en route to a team high 15 points.

One thing that will never change about the Miami native is the fact he can flat out stroke it. Questions will remain about his quickness and ability to defend in the ACC, healthy ankle and all. But again, don't leave him open because he'll bury a game-winner.

There is a reason why so many college coaches are here to watch Alex Stepheson. The 6-foot-9, 215-pound power forward from Harvard-Westlake High School (Calif.), has a college ready body, he crashes the boards and is very effective inside the paint. He's not a big man with perimeter dreams. He's a bruiser with a body and knows it. Arizona, Georgia Tech

I've decided to take my talents to…

Will Harris said he's holding a press conference on Thursday at the camp to announce his decision. He's looking at a number of programs, including UConn. Harris loves the ABCD camp. He starred here last year and picked up right where he left off in the first game scoring six points and snatched nine rebounds.

Casiem Drummond will also announce his college intentions on Thursday. The 6-foot-9 power forward will decide between a variety of Big East programs. Villanova is believed to be in good shape for his services.

Stay logged onto Rivals.com on Thursday for more on opening day from ABCD.

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