CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Two sub-six-footers continued their sparkling play Friday night while an Indiana University-bound recruit turned in the most substantial scoring effort of the 19th NBA Player Association Top 100 Camp’s first four rounds of games.
Six-foot-four Stanford Robinson (Alexandria, VA, St. Paul VI), who was such a standout for Team Takeover during the last session the Nike EYBL on Memorial Day Weekend, turned in a camp-high 24 points late Thursday night for the Grizzlies against the Celtics in the University of Virginia’s John Paul Jones Arena.
Robinson, who committed to Coach Tom Crean’s Hoosiers’ program on May 12, was often set up in nifty fashion by Los Angeles (Loyola High) junior-to-be point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright, who was the most dazzling playmaker during both game sessions Friday.
Robinson, on the way to putting himself into strong McDonald’s All-American team contention going into next winter, hit an array of left-handed jumpers – from mid to deep range – both spotting up and off the dribble, and finished fast breaks expertly with either hand.
PJC is listed on the Top 100 Camp rosters as 5-11 – “wink, wink”.
Truth be told he’s probably much closer to, say, “5-7ish”.
And, although I’ve yet to see them play against one another or even stand in the same vicinity, my guess is PJC probably “towers” (lol) over Aquille Carr.
Carr, who is a lot thicker and stronger than the willowy PJC (140 pounds, maybe after a couple of Double-Doubles, two sides of fries and large chocolate shake from In-N-Out), is listed at 5-7.
I’d say let’s call it 5-5 and end the discussion.
But size doesn’t matter for Carr when it comes to speeding past defenders, scooting into the lane, and muscling or finessing the ball into the hoop from all angles and over or around any number of defenders a foot or more taller.
Carr scored 13 and 17 points during his two Friday games, following the 18-point effort he had Thursday morning (he missed the Spurs’ second game on Thursday night with a slight groin strain), and leads all campers with a 16.0 scoring average.
Other observations in the wee hours of Saturday morning as I crave a Coke, Dr Pepper or Mountain Dew – each of the diet variety – not quite six weeks after I’ve “given up on” sodas:
*I had no idea that Kuran Iverson (Hartford, CT, Northwest Catholic) is as good as he’s looked, especially during Thursday and Friday’s games.
He looked the part of “athletic and active power forward, with shot-blocking ability” during Wednesday drills and his first game on Thursday morning.
The only thing that perplexed me was why he continued to launch – and miss – jump shots.
Well, he’s swished them continuously – from all ranges – since.
He also handles and passes quite adroitly. The guy has the skills to be a “big wing/3” on the college level – and, possibly, beyond.
I’m hard pressed to think of 20 players I would consider “better prospects” in this camp.
*The most mind-boggling sight over the first three days of the camp – John Egbunu (McDonough, GA, Eagle’s Landing) of the Lakers’, listed at 7-0, playing defense against the Thunder’s Mamadou Ndiaye (Huntington Beach, CA, Brethren Christian) Friday night on Court 2.
Ndiaye, who is originally from Senegal, is listed at 7-5 (he said he is 7-4).
And Ndiaye towered almost comically over Egbunu, another African (Nigeria) by way of New York and now Georgia, who is already committed to the University of South Florida.
If Egbunu is truly a 7-footer, then Ndiaye might be closer to 7-7. My guess: Egbunu is closer to 6-9ish while Ndiaye is, at least, every bit of his claimed 7-4.
Egbunu did do a pretty good job of side-fronting the big, big fella. But a teammate was able to arch one pass over the top of Egbunu on the left block and into Ndiaye’s hands and, upon the catch, turned along the baseline and reversed dunk with two big, big hands – hanging onto the rim and drawing a technical for effect, much to the delight, seemingly, of everyone watch from on the floor and in the stands.
Afterward, the affable Ndiaye said, in English was at best rudimentary when he came to the U.S. two years ago (he’s most comfortable speaking French), said he has received “so many’’ texts on his cellular phone “from numbers I don’t recognize”.
College coaches could begin texting – calling – high school players on an unlimited basis, beginning at midnight (ET) Thursday.
But recruiters can’t have telephone conversations with the players at the camp until the game is “officially” concluded at 9 o’clock (ET) Saturday night.
Ndiaye, who shared a John Wayne (in the Southern California Orange County City of Newport Beach) flight to Chicago and then connection to Charlotte en route with me Tuesday, told me he likes “the coaches and campuses” of two Southern California universities, UC Irvine (also in Orange County, about 10 miles from Huntington Beach, where he lives) and Pepperdine up the coast about 40 miles in Malibu.
He played at Pepperdine Coach Marty Wilson’s camp last weekend.
*There may not be a more aggressive stronger player at the event than 6-4, 230-pound (my guestimate on the weight) Deonte Burton, from Milwaukee by way of Brewster Academy in New Hampshire.
The left hander goes after the rim – and defenders who risk trying to get into his path – in the same fashion that NFL pulling guards try to deposit 190-pound cornerbacks on their backsides.
Frank Burlison is one of the most respected basketball writers and basketball talent evaluators in the anywhere. He’s an original (1978) member of the McDonald’s All-American Selection/Advisory Committee and was inducted into the United States Basketball Writers’ Association Hall of Fame during the 2005 Final Four in St. Louis. You can catch his writing, player evaluations and comments on the sport – on all levels – at www.BurlisonOnBasketball.com and via his Twitter account – FrankieBur. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org