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July 12, 2004

ABCD Camp: Final Thoughts

TEANECK, N.J. - The 2004 Reebok ABCD game is in the books. Rivals.com had a chance to see a number of the top prospects in the country and we came away with a ton of information on some usual faces like Leo Criswell, new names like Corey Fisher and the usual names like Monta Ellis.

Buy Now, Stock Soaring

While it may seem strange to say Leo Criswell, the No. 77 ranked player in the class of 2005, is rising, it's not a long shot. He was one of the top players in the camp and did just about everything. At 6-foot-8, he can play both forward spots. He wowed everyone with his athleticism and should expect him to see a number of high-major schools on his trail in the next two weeks.

Auburn and Ole Miss staffs should be commended for offering Cleveland, Tenn., forward Charles Little before the ABCD camp. Why? Well, the 6-foot-6 forward had a national breakout camp and made believers across the nation. And the two SEC schools tendered a scholarship before everyone else. His list should grow by the end of the month.

In a thin big men pool, 6-foot-11 center Shawn Taggart will be a highly sought out player in the class of 2005. He'll take a prep year, where is yet to be determined, before picking a school. And expect them to come by the dozens. He's making his rounds as a terrific interior force on the defensive end while extending his range to the perimeter and developing his face up skills. The Richmond native needs to add strength and when he does, watch out.

If there were a fantasy high school basketball league around, Danny Green would be one of the top picks in the draft. He'd load your point totals up with scoring, rebounding, high percentage shots, passing and field goal percentage. High-majors, get on the phone and give the 6-foot-5 shooting guard a call. He's going to win games for you.

Florida rising junior Dwayne Collins is a bit of a throwback. At 6-foot-8, he can play the power forward spot and does the dirty work to make coaches look twice. But he can also step out and play some small forward to boot. Collins will give you every once of energy and

Don't expect Mobile, Ala., big man Johnnie Lett to blow you away with offense. In fact, he's pretty raw in the scoring column. But if you are looking for a defensive specialist that rebounds like his entire existence depending on pulling down the boards, Lett is your guy. The class of 2006 big man (6-foot-9, 215-pounds) doesn't play AAU basketball so the time spent at the ABCD camp was huge.

So Young, So Talented

Eric Wallace and Marshall Moses play together with the D-One Sports AAU program and the two class of 2007 are a nasty duo. Wallace, a 6-foot-6 small forward, is a combination of grace and power. He's got a great shot and an even better power move to the basket. The Winston-Salem, N.C. native just has the look of an elite high-major.

Moses, on the other hand, is a tough sucker at 6-foot-6, 230-pounds. The Aiken, S.C. product is a hard-working post man that has the athleticism to match his power. He's a good rebounded that fights for loose balls and defends nicely.

Looking for the next point guard out of New York City? Look no further than 6-foot Corey Fisher. His court vision is outstanding and he knows how to create without being too flashy and isn't turnover prone.

Taylor King blew up last summer at the ABCD camp and this year was no different. It was his best event yet this year. The 6-foot-7 small forward shot the ball like he's known to do but it was his ability to play inside that was impressive. He's capable of scoring with both hands around the basket and his post game and made serious strides.

Shelton Brown, a 5-foot-11, 130-pound from Bowman, S.C., is an unassuming point guard. But when he elevates, he makes sure people recognize him. His dunking abilities are great but so is his quickness and ability to annoy the heck out of opponents with his in-your-face defense.

NBA Watch

There were a number of NBA scouts and personnel at the camp this year as they looked for the next "Next". A number of players were on the to-watch list and some shined while some disappointed.

Gerald Green certainly made his case. Our MVP is the total package and NBA teams are catching on. Green, a 6-foot-8 shooting guard from Houston has all of the offensive tools that the great ones have. When Dorrell Wright went 19th overall, there is no reason to think Green can't be considered as a top prep prospect for next year's draft.

There was a created buzz surrounding the 6-foot-11 Andray Blatche coming into the camp but it quickly fizzled, according to a couple of pro scouts we talked to. He's talented, and that isn't under debate. What is, is his determination to play like a pro and go hard from buzzer to buzzer. We've seen better but, for now, NBA teams are not jumping on him like many believed. If the upstate New York product played the paint like he's capable of doing, then we'll talk. In fact, Blatche insists that his priorities rest on Syracuse and West Virginia.

Tasmin Mitchell has taken his fair share of criticism so far this summer but he came to play with a full arsenal of weapons. With LSU and Kentucky topping his list of schools, there were also some whispers that the Louisiana native could put his name into the draft, too. Athletically, he's not there and probably never will be. Mitchell has caught onto that and has mastered his jumper. With improved ball skills and a couple of years in the SEC, the NBA talk could be warranted.

Super prep Greg Oden finally proved that he is human. It only took a gazillion tries to do it. Credit Derrick Caracter for that. The two class of 2006 prospects went head to head with the victory going to the big bodied Caracter. Oden couldn't dominate inside like he's used to while Caracter displayed keen passing skills, a nice soft touch from the wing and tough rebounding skills.

Athletically, Brandon Rush is as good as it gets in the class of 2005 and with the setting of ABCD camp, the 6-foot-6 wing thrives in the open court and loves to have the crowd behind him. One of the biggest questions surrounding the Mt. Zion (N.C.) product is his desire to play hard and play effectively. For the second straight camp (he played well at the USA camp), Rush silenced the critics. Like the other top prep pro prospects, Rush insists college is his next stop.

Still Strong

When evaluating the class of 2005, arguably one of the thinnest classes of recent memory, one must find consistency in players. These players continue and will always bring it each and every time they play.

Monta Ellis defines consistency. He'll put up 20-plus each and every game while going about it with little fanfare and professionalism. He has all of the offensive tools needed for a player at his age and don't expect him to let up. Mississippi State has a future star and they did it by staying in-state.

Eric Devendorf picked Syracuse on the first day of the camp, ending his recruitment. But what won't end is his elite scoring guard skills. An ankle injury slowed his game down but the injury wasn't a big enough roadblock to keep him from getting to the bucket.

Finally, Green -- you know the one that has been in every story regarding the ABCD camp over the last three days -- has been Mr. Consistency all spring and summer. That goes a long way. Expect 20-points in a variety of ways, six or seven rebounds and wins, wins, wins.

Final Thoughts

The ABCD camp has been the best event for this analyst all AAU and spring/summer season long. The folks at Reebok brought in a ton of talent from every class and from the moment the ball was tipped, the energy was there. Sure, some players had their selfish moments. It is, after all, a "look what I can do" type of atmosphere but, overall, these kids came to play.

Top Overall Scorers
1. Gerald Green, 19.1
2. Monta Ellis, 17.4
3. Davon Jefferson, 16.1
4. Nate Minnoy, 15.9
5. Dior Lowhorn, 15.1
5. Charles Little, 15.1
5. Scott Reynolds, 15.1
6. Rob Thomas, 14.7
7. Danny Green, 14.6
8. Leo Criswell, 14.4

Top Overall Rebounders
1. Marquis Young, 8.1
2. Johnnie Lett, 7.0
2. Lawrence Hill, 7.0
3. Dwayne Collins, 6.7
3. Cameron Lewis, 6.7
4. Dior Lowhorn, 6.3
5. Jeremiah Bryant, 6.0
6. Jonathan Huffman, 5.9
6. Jonathan Kale, 5.9
6. Wilson Chandler, 5.9
6. Chris Bethel, 5.9

Top Overall Assists
1. Scott Weisenfeld, 3.9
1. Marcus Walker, 3.9
2. Kyle McAlarney, 3.6
2. Matt Lawrence, 3.6
3. Will Walker, 3.3
3. Corey Fisher, 3.3
3. Jay Dee Luster, 3.3
4. Andre McGee, 3.1
5. Eugene Harvey, 3.0
5. Willie Kemp, 3.0
5. Mike Conley, 3.0
5. Torry Jackson, 3.0

Rivals.com will take a couple of days to recover from our coverage of the adidas Superstar camp, Nike All-American camp and the Reebok ABCD camp before hitting the road again. Our staff will be at the Nike Peach Jam and the adidas Showtime National Championship.


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