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June 26, 2006

Top performers at the NBPA

Boasting some big names like Kosta Koufos, Patrick Patterson and Darquavis Tucker, the NBA Players Association Top 100 Camp drew a deep and talented field.

Rivals.com National Basketball Analyst Jerry Meyer was on hand to scout the action and pared down a list of the top ten performers he saw at the event. Here is a breakdown of the first five.

Patrick Patterson, Huntington (W.V.)
Position: Power forward
Height: 6-foot-8
Tourney PPG: 9.2
Patrick Patterson has always been a top notch rebounder and defender, but the highly coveted power forward added a new dimension to his game at the NBA Players Camp.

Feeding off the inspired point guard play of Jai Lucas, Patrick Patterson consistently knocked down mid-range jumpers after sliding off the high-ball screen. He also worked the baseline for some jumpers.

Patterson did not just play a finesse game. He matched up with Nayal Koshwal, who had a very strong camp, in a physical battle around the basket and slightly outplayed Koshwal.

Already with a strong motor and live body, Patterson's stock can only go up as he improves his skill game.

Kosta Koufos, Canton (Ohio) Glen Oak
Position: Center
Height: 7-foot-1
Tourney PPG: 10.3
Coming off a fractured foot late in the high school season, Kosta Koufos has worked himself back into shape, and it paid dividends last week.

Scoring from all three levels, Koufos was most dangerous off the dribble facing the basket. He set his drives up with his shot fake, drove the ball both directions, even throwing in some changes of direction with the ball.

Perhaps on the perimeter a little too much, Koufos can also put up points in the paint with his jump hook.

Not an explosive rebounder or quick defender, he does have exceptional skills with the ball at 7-foot plus.

Corey Stokes, Newark (N.J.) St. Benedict's Prep
Position: Small forward
Height: 6-foot-5
Tourney PPG: 13.5
Going into the playoff round as the leading scorer at the camp, Corey Stokes drained shots both from deep and inside the arc off the dribble.

Stokes as usual hit both the spot up three and the three cutting off screens, but more impressive was his work off the dribble. Stokes drove the ball hard both left and right and had the body control to make some tough shots. His go to shot was a hop back shot once he got his shoulder into his defender and drove him back with his strength.

Also strong on the boards, Stokes did not turn the ball over and got his points without being a volume shooter.
Click here for video of Stokes in action

Darquavis Tucker, Saginaw (Mich.) Arthur Hill
Position: Shooting guard
Height: 6-foot-4
Tourney PPG: 13.2
Having played around the basket early in his high school career, Darquavis Tucker has steadily transformed into a multidimensional perimeter prospect.

An ambidextrous player with the ball, Tucker shot his left-handed three ball well. He also slashed to the basket, as well, scoring in and around the paint with either hand to go into the playoff round as the second leading scorer at the camp.

Tucker also passed the ball extremely well on the move in the open court. But perhaps where he is most dangerous is on the offensive boards. With exceptional lower body strength and a strong motor, Tucker comes up with critical points chasing down missed shots.
Click here for video of Tucker in action

Solomon Alabi, Montverde (Fla.) Montverde Academy
Position: Center
Height: 7-foot-1
Tourney PPG: 7.5
Becoming more comfortable on the court with experience, Solomon Alabi performed quite well at the NBA Players Camp.

Not blessed with the best basketball hands, Alabi caught the ball well and was strong with the ball in the post. He consistently knocked down his natural looking jump hook over anyone that guarded him.

Also active on the boards, especially the defensive boards, Alabi played with as much aggression as he has played with this spring and summer. Still reluctant to stray away from the basket defensively, he aggressively contested any shots in the paint.

Always thought of as more of a project than an established prospect, Alabi produced like a top prospect last week.



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