By Aggrey Sam
With so much talent at Rbk U. this week, I wanted to mention the next group of kids who impressed me, some of whom may have made my original list if I had waited until the camp was over.
1. J’Mison Morgan, 6-11 center, South Oak Cliff (TX), 2008: While “Bobo” (pictured) needs to work on his conditioning, the big fella from Dallas is simply a huge kid (280 or so pounds) who is extremely difficult to defend or score on in the low post, rebounds with authority, surprisingly has a nice touch, good passing skills and nimble feet, as well as a mean streak.
2. Renaldo Woolridge, 6-7 wing, Harvard-Westlake (CA), 2008: The son of former NBA player Orlando Woolridge is a fluid and athletic swingman who scores efficiently from the wing and in transition using either his potent J, size or explosive first step.
3. Kevin Jones, 6-7 power forward, Mount Vernon (NY), 2008: Ben Osborne’s favorite player stuck to his strengths—punishing defenders in the post and on the boards—but he also showed he could stick mid-range jumpers and even open treys, along with handle the ball in transition.
4. Frank Otis, 6-6 combo forward, McClymonds (CA), 2008: The workhorse from Bill Russell’s alma mater, one of my favorite players this summer, has some Ryan Gomes to his game, as he bullies smaller players on the block, rebounds with tenacity and drives by post guys from the wing or high post.
5. Brandon Knight, 6-3 combo guard, Pinecrest (FL), 2010: One of the top-ranked players in the 2010 class, Knight could always score with his wet J and strong drives, but he is also developing into a very nice big point guard.
6. Dwight Miller, 6-8 power forward, Westbury Christian (TX), 2008: A hard-working big man who attacks the boards, finishes strong and isn’t afraid to bang, Miller was the recipient of the Dante Anderson Award, dedicated to the Florida guard who passed away this spring.
7. Justin Brownlee, 6-7 combo forward, Covenant Christian (GA), 2008: A good athlete with a great motor, Brownlee is a warrior who thrives in transition and gets the job done on the glass and in the post through pure hustle and determination.
8. Andrew Randall, 6-7 combo forward, Communications Tech (PA), 2008: A Philly product, “Scootie” showed off his varied talents on a national stage in his hometown, including a much-improved outside jumper, solid rebounding ability, an effective post-up game and enough of a handle to function as a point forward.
9. David Loubeau, 6-9 power forward, Westlake Prep (FL), 2009: With his length, myriad post moves, strong finishing skills and determination on the boards, Loubeau was one of the more effective big men at the camp, often scoring at will on the low block.
10. Stevie Meija, 5-10 point guard, Lawrence Academy (MA), 2008: A small floor general with nice scoring ability, the savvy Meija played with plenty of heart and skill, as he proved he could heat up quickly from long range, distribute the rock and lock up on D.
11. Eloy Vargas, 6-11 power forward, American Heritage (FL), 2008: It didn’t happen all the time, but the talented Vargas had stretches when he looked dominant—blocking shots, snatching boards, pushing the ball in transition, taking his man off the dribble from the wing, finishing with tremendous athleticism and knocking down the deep J.
12. Jeremiah Kelly, 6-0 point guard, American Christian (PA), 2008: A Chicago kid who’s headed to the Philly area to team up with Tyreke Evans next season, the DePaul commit gave the locals a preview of his game: heady point-guard play, a consistent outside shot, good court vision, solid D and just a knack for making the right play at the right time.
13. Ari Stewart, 6-7 wing, Wheeler (GA), 2009: A wing with good size and athleticism, Stewart was one of the more efficient scorers at the camp, usually getting buckets on catch-and-shoot treys, one or two dribble drives to the rack, pull-up jumpers or high-flying transition bangs.
14. Olek Czyz, 6-7 power forward, Reno (NV), 2008: A versatile player with range on his J, Czyz is a high flyer who finishes very strong at the rim, hit the glass hard and simply outwork his opponents.
15. Karron Johnson, 6-7 power forward, Mount Zion (NC), 2009: Another tremendous athlete, Johnson is a good rebounder, a physical defender and can take his game to the wing on occasion, but he’s at his best in the paint or on the break, where his powerful finishes rocked many a rim at Philly U.
16. Michael Snaer, 6-5 wing, Rancho Verde (CA), 2009: A deadly outside shooter, the unheralded Snaer first made an impression with his near automatic touch, but then showed he wasn’t a one-hit wonder by displaying good hops and solid D.
17. Kendall Marshall, 6-1 point guard, Bishop O’Connell (VA), 2010: Even some college players don’t understand how to run the show as the youngster, who also possesses deceptive quickness, a nice-looking J and good size for the position.
18. Frank Ben-Eze, 6-10 center, Bishop O’Connell (VA), 2008: Still developing his back-to-the-basket game, Ben-Eze is an athletic and physical true post player who isn’t shy about mixing it up on the inside and plays to his strengths, namely blocking shots and grabbing rebounds.
19. Lamar Patterson, 6-5 wing, McCaskey (PA), 2009: A big-bodied wing, Patterson was one of the better pure shooters at the camp, but he showed he’s not just a one-dimensional player, as he contributed on the boards, made shots off the bounce and displayed surprising athleticism.
20. Isaiah Armwood, 6-8 combo forward, Montrose Christian (MD) 2009: Long and versatile, Armwood is more potential than production at this point—but that potential is substantial, as he has the ability to handle the ball, score in the post, dominate the glass, block shots and hit jumpers out to 3-point range.
21. Josh Crittle, 6-9 power forward, Hales Franciscan (IL), 2008: One of the more outgoing kids at Rbk, the widebody was a force on the boards and in the post, where he showcased nimble footwork and a soft touch.
22. Jordan Henriquez, 6-11 center, Port Chester (NY), 2008: The Mohawk-rocking Henriquez, another engaging personality, was one of the rare players at the camp who didn’t need touches to be productive, as the bouncy big man grabbed boards and ran the floor for easy looks, as well as made his presence felt on D.
23. Joe Jackson, 6-0 combo guard, White Station (TN), 2010: One of the younger players here, Jackson was effective, despite his skinny frame, as the Memphis native simply blew by defenders to get to the rack or hit off his teammates with dimes.
24. Tony Wroten, 6-3 wing, Garfield (WA), 2011: One of two rising freshmen at the camp (Dallas’ LeBryan Nash, a 6-7 wing, was the other), Wroten held his own with the big boys due to his aggressiveness, transition scoring and mature wing skills.
25. James Southerland, 6-7 wing, Cardozo (NY), 2008: The Syracuse commit still needs to get stronger (he’s reportedly young for his grade), but with his athleticism and ability to hit treys, his future looks good.
Random camp notes:
–Florida big man Eloy Vargas is reportedly a heavy Pitt lean.
–His AAU teammate, scorer Kenny Boynton, a top-five 2009 prospect, is rumored to be transferring to Vargas’ school, American Heritage.
—Eshaunte Jones, once an Indiana commit, has reopened his recruitment.
–Texas guard Nolan Dennis is transferring to Jersey powerhouse St. Pat’s, so he can team up with his friend and fellow top-10 2009 prospect Dexter Strickland.
—Dominic Cheek, a 2009 wing from another NJ power, St. Anthony, may end up better than the many D1 seniors (four were at the camp) playing for Bob Hurley Sr. in Jersey City.
–One of those seniors, guard Tyshawn Taylor, firmly established himself as a top Big East target and has more than a handful of offers in that league to choose from.
–Canadian youngster Tristan Thompson, a 2010 prospect, will blow up that he’s going to play for Danny Hurley (Bob’s son) at yet another Garden State juggernaut, St. Benedict’s.
–Incoming high school freshman LeBryan Nash will likely attend Lincoln HS in Dallas, the alma mater of both Chris Bosh and his half-brother Byron Eaton, currently a guard for Oklahoma State.
–Point guard Nate Garth of Wilson HS in Dallas recently committed to play for Minnesota and new coach Tubby Smith.
—Elliott Williams is listing a final five that includes in-state schools Tennessee and Memphis, but many observers think it’ll come down to UNC and Duke.
–Arkansas big man Andre Clark was looking to be a summer signee and suit up for a college team next season, but will now likely attend prep school.
—Olek Czyz might be the hottest recruit in the country right now, with schools like Duke, Kentucky and Kansas on his trail.
–2009 North Carolina guard John Wall might be a sleeper to some, but several ACC schools have been on him for a minute.
–The stock of the Jones boys from New York is quietly rising, as Mookie continues to improve his handle and J, and Kevin realizes he’s a 4 who can face up, not a 3 who can post up.
–Comparing Isaiah Armwood to Kevin Durant is unfair to the 2009 prospect, but like the current lanky kid from Montrose Christian has a few similarities to the former lanky kid from Montrose Christian, and probably more of a mean streak on the inside.
–A few semi-recent commitments from kids at the camp: 2009 PA point guard Maalik Wayns to Villanova, CA power forward Tyreese Breshers to Miami, NJ point guard Ashton Gibbs to Pitt, DE wing Jarrett Mann to Stanford and 2010 NC wing CJ Leslie to NC State.