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June 16, 2008

Nike Hoop Jamboree: 2010 prospects

ST. LOUIS - Once again a bumper crop of underclassmen descended upon St. Louis University for the 2008 Nike Hoop Jamboree. One of the best performers throughout the camp, Josh Selby stole the show on during the camp tournament with a game winning three-pointer at the buzzer in the in the semifinals on the way to leading his squad to the championship. Here is a breakdown on Selby and the other 2010 who stood out at the camp.

Guards

Josh Selby- He is a dynamic playmaker who specializes in knocking down tough shots. At times he looks like an out of control guard with horrible shot selections, but more times than not he looked like an unstoppable force on the offensive end who thrives on hitting the high degree of difficulty shot. If he learns when to turn it on and when to involve his teammates, he can be one of the best scoring guards in his class.

Andre Dawkins- Dawkins is such an efficient player sometimes you lose sight of his great athleticism. The complete package as a shooting guard, Dawkins defends, rebounds, strokes it from the outside and can finish at the basket. He is solidifying himself as one of the top shooting guards in the class.

Crandall Head- More of a scoring guard than a point guard, Head is loaded with talent and upside. When he keeps his game efficient and aggressive, he's one of the best guards in the class. But he does have a tendency to over dribble, and if things aren't going well, grow passive on the court.

Anthony Johnson- A fluid athlete with a dose of explosiveness, Johnson has a knack for scoring the basketball. He does need to put some more beef on his thin frame, but there is no denying he has game even if he is a little trigger happy at times.

Daniel Bejarano- A great straight ahead athlete, Bejarano is a scoring machine from 25-feet and in. He also rebounds his position well and has a feel for passing the ball. There is, however, room for him to tighten up his handle and improve as a defensive player.

Markel Starks- In a day and age with few pass first point guards, Starks looked like the best of this type at the camp. He takes care of the basketball, defends well and is capable of scoring when called upon.

Taran Buie- He has a burst of athleticism and a craftiness to his game to produce buckets in a variety of way. Buie doesn't always defend with intensity, but good things happen when the ball is in his hands.

Brandon Spearman- Not many guards want Spearman defending them. At 185-pounds at 6-foot-2, he is a strong athlete who can lock up the best offensive players. His passion for defending is quite refreshing, and he's a pretty good offensive player as well.

Andre Stringer- Stringer stood out as the best of the undersized point guards in the camp. Despite only being 6-foot-9, Stringer has the strength and athleticism to make plays. On top of that, he is a top notch shooter.

Wings

Harrison Barnes- Along with Selby, Barnes was a pivotal player in his teams run to the camp championship. Now at 6-foot-7, 190-pounds, Barnes has everything you would want in a small forward. He is a multi-positional defender, a strong rebounder, a heady and unselfish passer and a capable scorer from both behind the arc and inside the arc. Barnes is certainly five-star material.

Terrance Jones- He isn't the quickest player, but Jones has point guard skills with the basketball and a physical presence. He can work his way into the lane practically at will and has a great feel for setting up scorers. Although he is not a great shooter, Jones shoots the ball well enough to keep the defense honest.

Melvin Tabb- From day one Tabb relentlessly attacked the basket off the dribble. He probably drew more fouls than any player in the camp. As aggressive as he played, he had fewer turnovers than expected. And although he didn't attempt many outside shots, his stroke looked solid from the free throw line.

Marcus Thornton- He doesn't have the most polished skill package, but Thornton always seemed to be making things happen with his aggressive athleticism.

Shaquille Thomas- Similar to Thornton, Thomas is still a work in progress, but you have to like what he could be. Although not polished, the skill base is there and his length and athleticism stand out.

Shane Southwell- Didn't see him score a great deal, but Southwell was active on the boards and sharp as a passer. On numerous occasions he out rebounded taller opponents and then finished off the break with timely passes. Measured out with a whopping 7-foot wingspan and 8-foot-8 reach for a 6-foot-5 forward.

Posts

Jared Sullinger- Not only does Sullinger control his area of the court with his 6-foot-7, 262-pound frame, he is also as skilled a post player as you will find at this age. He has a plethora of post moves, can knock down the three and is a reliable passer. His thick lower body does cause concern for down the road in regards to mobility and overall athleticism.

Adreian Payne- The lengthy Payne (7-foot-4 reach and 9-foot reach) made a statement from the get go by knocking down midrange jumpers, snagging rebounds and swatting shots anywhere in his vicinity. Still very much a work in progress, Payne likely has as much upside as any prospect in the camp.

C.J. Aiken- Built similar to Payne, but not quite as long, Aiken is a finesse four man who made a high number of outside shots. Not a physical player, Aiken showed little back to the basket game, but his face up skills were quite notable.

Tobi Oyedeji- Oyedeji plays with a great motor and also showed the ability to produce buckets in the paint. With aggressive moves with his back to the basket, Oyedeji scored consistently with moves to either shoulder. Throw in a staggering 7-foot-5 wingspan and you have to like Oyedeji's promise for the future.

Jordan Latham- Both rugged and long (7-foot-1 wingspan), Latham ran the floor well, rebounded outside his area and finished with physical plays around the basket.


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