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July 8, 2006

Nike camp: Friday's action

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - The level of play was certainly raised on Friday's action at the Nike All-American. Guys like Donte Green had something to do with it.


Top performers


Donte Green, 2007 - College coaches across the board all agree that the future Syracuse forward is big time. The chatter from the stands about the versatile stud from Baltimore spilled out to the parking decks after the games and into the late night restaurant and bar discussions. Green is playing big time basketball and looking like a guy that will have a lucrative career after a little time in upstate New York.

Austin Freeman, 2007 - When it comes to scoring the basketball, there are few players in this country that can do it better than the future Georgetown guard. He does it in such a way that makes you say, "Wow, I didn't realize he had 20 points." And that is just in a 16 minute stretch. Freeman gets buckets and boy are the pretty. He's been one of the top guys here after two days of action.

Kosta Koufos, 2007 - When you are pushing 7-feet, running the floor, "hitting jumpers like Craig Ehlo" as one coach put it, people are going to say nice things about you. Pick your compliment for the future Ohio State center. He's in a league of his own in the center department. He has the size (and a good weight thanks to time spent nursing an injury in the spring) and the skill set that no other center in this class has. The Buckeyes are going to win a lot of games because of Greg Oden inside in a year's time but don't expect a drop off in the 'W' column after Oden leaves to shake hands with David Stern. Koufos is an instant impact guy and he is going to put in the work to make that happen.

Corperryale Harris, 2007 - Think Paul Harris. Not in the freakish body, freakish athleticism, freakish power kind of way. But more in Harris's personal motto: Do it all. The Detroit native has played the point for a majority of the camp because he has to. His team lacks a real leader in the backcourt and he has taken it upon himself to take the reigns and roll. He is rebounding with the big boys, attacking with the dribble, fighting and clawing his way to loose balls. You can't knock the effort Harris brings either. Michigan, Indiana, Marquette, Iowa, Tennessee, Miami, Wisconsin and Illinois

Jeremy Price, 2007 - The big man is back. After a spring injury to his shoulder, Price is playing his best basketball since winning a state championship in the Peach State. No one has been able to handle his massive size down low. Putting a body on him is only leading to body shots and bruises.

Maurice Miller, 2007 - If there is a way to make a statement at a camp, it is on the defensive end. He was getting after it on Jai Lucas, one of the quickest guards in the camp. Lucas still had his moments but Miller has done the best job of anybody in locking the speedy Houstonian up. Miller has had a strong camp, showing his ability to be a game manager but also score when he needs to. It's good to see one of the good character kids showing what got them to an event like this. On the recruiting front, Miller said he trim his list down by the month's end. Georgia Tech, Illinois, Memphis, Tennessee and Clemson have been the most consistent players in his recruitment while LSU, Oklahoma and Ole Miss are trying to get into the picture.


Indiana teammates shining in home state


Robbie Hummel, 2007 - He was even bringing smiles to the faces of the working refs. That is how good the Valpo native has been playing. Ball handling? Like a point guard. Speed? Best we've seen from him. Athleticism? He tattooed a poor kid's neck with a crazy put back dunk. His game is reaching new heights. Indiana and Purdue, his two finalists, never left his sight and probably won't until Hummel announces his decision.

Scott Martin, 2007 - Hummel's high school teammate is getting it done here in Indy, too. Martin is playing like he was at the Boo Williams Invitational. Martin is a match-up problem because of his ability to go inside and out. Like Hummel, he isn't going to take a play off and goes hard on both ends. It's no wonder the Hoosier State loves the home grown product. He plays the way the old timers did.

E'Twaun Moore, 2007 - A new stat was created for the Indiana native. Wow moments. He had plenty of them in the first session of games and for an encore in the second game, he was knocking down every shot from every spot. The four-star guard was putting on an offensive clinic. He has been one of the top guards at camp.

Gary McGhee, 2007 - Big men take a little longer to come around and McGhee is certainly not a finished product. But he is a big man that dedicated himself to getting his body in shape and you have to respect a kid's work ethic that does that. High-majors are taking notice, too. McGhee said Oklahoma State, Indiana, Florida, Wisconsin and Oregon State have all offered and Michigan and Wake Forest are showing interest.


Youth movement


The strength of the Nike camp this year is in the class of 2008 but some younger studs had it rolling on Friday.

DeMarcus Cousins, 2009 - He lead the way in the youngster department. He's grown like a weed since seeing him March and his game is maturing at a quick pace. The Alabama product could be a guy that pushes the 7-foot mark by the time it is all said and done. He has a 9-foot measured reach, the second longest in the camp, and knows how to use his gangly length. Cousins can go inside and out, he runs the floor, his athleticism is ever present and his confidence is at an all time high. He is a true elite level guy in 2009. His recruitment has a geographical feel with UAB, Missouri and Alabama charting him. He mentioned UCLA as well. Cousins said he wants to hear from Kentucky, Texas, UNC and UConn. If they saw him here in Indy, chipped tooth and all, they will certainly jump into the mix with him. He's certainly good enough.

Dexter Strickland, 2009 - Forgive us if you keep reading glowing reports about the Jersey guard. He's just too good not to. The 6-foot-2 point guard challenged a big man at the rim with a crazy dunk attempt. The shot was blocked and Strickland was sent to floor in a way that most kids say, 'no thanks' to doing something like that again. Next possession, he stayed clear of a dunk attempt but he rolled of a high screen and sunk home a tough fade away three over the sprawling arms of a 6-foot-7 defender.

Xavier Henry, 2009 - When it comes to scoring the roundball, he has proven to be one of the best. Already possessing a body that is ready for the rigors of college hoops, Henry is mixing all of his skills together. Henry gave a top five list of Kansas, UNC, Texas, Michigan State and Georgia Tech.


Hi, my name is…


Jordan DeMercy, 2007 - The Norcross (Ga.) product waited for four hours on registration day to get find out if he would be able to play in the camp. On the second day of action, the 6-foot-6 wing made sure the swoosh decision makers felt confident about letting him into the action. After shaking off first day jitters, he showed off his trademark athleticism with 10 quick points, six of which came off of put back dunks. Ole Miss and East Carolina have beat the certain rush of schools that will watch him even closer the rest of the month.

Jenirro Bush, 2007 - He has sparked the interest from a host of programs here. He hasn't really blown the socks off of people but he has played efficiently and smart, picking his moments of production. Bush is a guy to keep on eye on this summer. He is holding offers from Ole Miss, Oklahoma, Middle Tennessee State and Mississippi State while Tennessee, Baylor, Vanderbilt and Rice are also looking.

Jerai Grant, 2007 - Looking for a break out big guy? How 'bout this D.C. native? He has been incredibly efficient in every game he has played and making things happen on the glass. Keep in mind he plays for one of the best programs in the country, DeMatha Catholic, his father is a former long time NBA guy and he spends more time working on his game than playing AAU ball. He's coming on strong and could be a guy that makes a splash in his senior season.

Scott Thompson, 2007 - It was another solid day for the big man from Meridan, Idaho. He is gaining confidence each time out and his recruitment has schools from all kinds of levels looking at him. Thompson said Washington State, Georgia, Gonzaga, Pepperdine, Boise State, Michigan, Oregon State and Washington State are all evaluating him. He said Boise State and Georgia have offered.

Jacob Pullen, 2007 - There is no grey area with him. Either coaches are saying they have to have him or they are saying there is no why he is a guy that can play at the high-major level. Whatever the case, people are talking about him. In fact, he has been one of the most discussed guys at the camp. Here is what he is: he's quick, he likes the highlight plays, he can really get out and run the court, his offense is good but not great and he is a new name in a world that recycles names on the prospect scene. July is going to be interesting to watch for his recruitment. He'll play at the Peach Jam with the Illinois Warriors. A number of schools will be right behind. St. Louis, Iowa State, Marquette, Notre Dame, Purdue, Indiana, Miami, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Xavier and a host of others were mentioned by the Chicago product.


School lists


Julian Vaughn, 2007 - Sometimes time is the best healer. Look for Pitt to be a player in his recruitment. The Panthers hired David Cox, a former DC Assault assistant coach. Vaughn said since playing at the USA U18 trials, Washington has now entered the picture. He also said Kentucky has jumped into the picture. The ACC is recruiting him, too. That hasn't changed. On the court, Vaughn is playing with more confidence and poise than he did at the end of the spring. He's shed about 10 pounds thanks to a crazy Rocky Balboa-like workout regime. Minus the raw egg shakes though.

George Goode, 2007 - The Kansas City small forward is playing well. He is knocking down perimeter shots, as he always does. But Goode has shown a good skill level on the blocks as a face up four man, too. He'll be a versatile player for somebody. Goode rattled off a list of Miami, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Marquette, Wisconsin and Wyoming. All but Kansas offered, he said.

Andy Poling, 2008 - The Portlander said he is holding offers from Washington and Gonzaga and fielding interest from UCLA, Cal and Arizona.

Chris Barnes, 2007 - "Bam Bam" is bigger and bamming more around the bucket. He could be a summer sleeper for high-majors looking for a physical big man to fight in the trenches. Barnes said his list holds LSU, Tennessee, Michigan State and others right now.

Jay Dee Luster, 2007 - The 5-foot-9 point guard from San Diego has Wake Forest, George Washington and Xavier working him hard while UTEP, San Diego State, and Creighton have been the pioneers in his recruitment.

Sean Mosley, 2008 - Maryland, Syracuse, Georgetown, Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma and Clemson were mentioned by the power guard from Baltimore.

Jamelle McMillan, 2007 - The well-spoken young man from Seattle said a couple of new schools, Wyoming, Montana State, Oregon and USC, have recently shown interest as has Illinois. But Georgia Tech, Clemson, Stanford, NC State and Arizona State have been the most consistent.

Paul Williams, 2008 - He just played in Cincinnati's team camp and mentioned the Bearcats amongst the many schools recruiting him. Michigan State, Syracuse, Tennessee, Arkansas and UCLA are also in the mix.

Kenny Frease, 2008 - The big man from Ohio is holding offers from Indiana, Miami, Dayton and Xavier with interest from Ohio State, Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame and Penn State.

Toby Veal, 2008 - Georgia, Miami, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and Florida were mentioned from the athletic four man from Savannah.


Odds & Ends


Sources confirmed with Rivals.com late Friday night that Eric Gordon de-committed from Illinois. Word spread like wild fire on coach's row, too. Keep an eye on what Derrick Rose does with his recruitment, too. The two stud guards are keeping tabs on each other's moves. Gordon is in Atlanta for the adidas camp and Rose is at Reebok ABCD.

We heard through good sources that 2006 USC commitment Derek Glasser is no longer a future Trojan. Instead, he'll play for his former Artesia high school coach Scott Pera at Arizona State. The Sun Devils lost guard Kevin Kruger, who transferred to UNLV to play for his father. Less than 24 hours later, Glasser changed his college plans and will play in the desert. Could his former HS teammate James Harden follow suit soon? Don't be surprised if that happens sooner than later.

Get a five ball racks and a clock and let Terrence Oglesby, Scott Christopherson and Jon Diebler go in a shootout. The threesome can flat out pop the nets.

If there is one name that continues to roll of the tongues of college coaches, it is Arkansas's James Anderson. Schools from coast to coast have consistently inquired about him with media members and Anderson told Rivals.com on Thursday that he is willing to listen to all comers. Expect a large contingency of coaches following him around this July.

He isn't getting a lot of run but Chace Stanback is playing very well. The reason no one is really chatting him up because his game isn't about showing off, it's about production. And he's simply producing.

Texas wing man Nate Miles is a spitting image of Rip Hamilton, both in body and face and style of play.


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