High-SchoolBoys-Basketball: Kameron Williams

CP3 Camp: Williams, Selden motivated

June, 11, 2012
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Bryant Crawford immediately identified with what Chris Paul was lecturing about during the CP3 Elite Guard Camp at the Gateway YWCA here this weekend.

Crawford too doesn’t see the point of shooting a 12 to 15-footer when he’s “more than confident” that he can get all the way to the basket at will.

But as he continued to listen to the Los Angeles Clippers All-Star point guard, Crawford changed his perspective almost immediately.

“See I had to transition my mind to start shooting floaters because once you get to the league guys are longer and way more athletic,” Paul told the campers. “It’s so important for your game to evolve, and adding a floater opens up so much more offensively. It’s just something else that keeps the defense guessing and makes you more dangerous offensively.”

After the chat, Crawford, a rising sophomore point guard at Gonzaga College High School (Washington, D.C.), and the rest of the campers ran through countless drills to try and perfect the floater.

“When CP3 broke it down like that it made so much sense,” Crawford said. “I know that from now on I’m going to be using the floater so much more. It’s hard because I’m a young guy and I’m really confident so I always want to take it all the way to the hoop. Now I’ll use the floater more.”

Justin Jennifer said he’ll take a similar approach now for one key reason.

“CP3 is the best point guard in the NBA,” said Jennifer, a rising sophomore point guard at John Carroll (Bel Air, Md.). “We’d be crazy not to listen to him.”

Williams motivated by snub

Kameron Williams couldn’t help but feel slighted when he learned that he didn’t get an invite to the prestigious National Basketball Players Association Top 100 Camp in Charlottesville, Va., which runs from June 13-16.

Makes sense since Williams, a rising senior combo guard at Mt. St. Joseph’s (Baltimore, Md.), led the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League in scoring averaging 22.2 points a game.

“It’s just something else I’ll have to overcome,” said Williams, who is ranked No. 69 in the ESPN 100. “People have been overlooking me since I started playing. They don’t think a 6-foot-2, skinny guy like me is supposed to be scoring like I do, but it’s OK. I’ll use this as motivation. I’ll show them they got it wrong.”

ESPN recruiting director Paul Biancardi certainly didn’t get it wrong. He immediately referred to Williams as “one of the best natural scorers in the country.”

“He’s under control and he reads the play exceptionally well,” Biancardi said. “When he’s open he’s a legitimate threat to score every time.”

Now Williams is focused on leading Baltimore Elite AAU squad to the Nike Peach Jam title on July 19-22.

“This will just make me work even harder,” Williams said. “This just made me that much hungrier.”

Beard connects with future teammate

After going to battle against some of the top guards in the country, including current Missouri point guard Phil Pressey, at the CP3 Elite Guard Camp for one day, Anton Beard felt like he was ready to end his recruitment and pick the Tigers.

“I just knew it was the right fit for me because I love the school and the coaches and being here made me think about it more,” said Beard, a rising junior at Parkview Arts and Science Magnet (North Little Rock, Ark.). “I got to talk with Phil a little bit and then I didn’t even know, but one of my future teammates is right here with me at this camp. We’re getting to know each other now.”

Zach Coleman, a rising senior swingman at Woodrow Wilson (Dallas), committed to the Tigers in early May and said that after watching Beard at the camp he thinks the two can be a lethal tandem in the future.

“I think that once he gets there we’ll work together pretty well,” Coleman said. “He’s really talented and I think that his skills compliment mine pretty well. We’ve been talking a lot more since we found out we’re going to be teammates so this made the trip even better.”

Selden stays hungry

Wayne Selden fully expected that when he reclassified from 2014 back to his original class of 2013 last week a drop in the rankings was imminent.

He was right.

Selden dropped from No. 6 in 2014 to No. 20 in 2013, a plunge that “didn’t bother me at all.”

“I remember when I wasn’t ranked at all,” said Selden, a shooting guard at Tilton (N.H.). “So this isn’t anything to me. If anything it’ll just be more motivation to get back to where I was. It gives me something to work for. But, to be honest, I didn’t need anything else for motivation. I stay hungry.”

Quick Shots: EYBL edition

May, 30, 2012
LoVett Jr. makes splash for Mac Irvin

No freshman has ever scored more points in California history than Marcus LoVett Jr. of Providence (Burbank, Calif.). At the Oakland Nike Elite Youth Basketball League, however, he had to change his approach.

With his parents formerly residing in Indianapolis, the No. 5 player in the ESPN 25 was eligible to play with the Mac Irvin Fire of Illinois and decided to play up with its 17U club. The 6-foot lefty hadn't played with any other traveling team on the circuit this year and was fired up for the opportunity to play with ESPN 100 No. 1 recruit Jabari Parker.

"(Coach Mike Irvin) called my dad and asked us to play with them," said LoVett, who was named Cal-Hi Sports State Freshman of the Year after averaging 32.4 points per game last season. "I had been following them on YouTube and always wanted to play with the best player in the country (Jabari Parker)."

Playing with talented older players and coming off the bench, LoVett did a good job of distributing the basketball and though he didn't shoot particularly strong from the outside, he consistently broke down defenses with his quickness. Marcus LoVett Sr. is hesitant to allow his son to play on the circuit, preferring he focus on individual workouts, but both thought the Mac Irvin opportunity was a good one.

"At Providence, it's a lot different because I'm usually looking to score," LoVett Jr. said. "It's should be a good experience for me playing with so many different good players."

Boo Williams bounces back

Entering session No. 4 of the EYBL, Boo Williams Summer League (Va.) was tied for sixth place in Division D with Howard Pulley (Minn.) with a 7-7 mark. The team isn't short on talent, but didn't play well together in Minneapolis; Hampton, Va.; or Dallas during the first three sessions.

With its 72-63 victory over Baltimore Elite (Md.) on Monday, Boo Williams closed out session No. 4 with a 6-0 record to finish 13-7 and tied for fourth place with the Oakland Soldiers (Calif.). Boo Williams iced the win when Al Freeman (10 points) of Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) converted a driving lay-up to make the score 68-60 with just under a minute remaining. The Virginians held off Baltimore Elite despite a 32-point performance from Kameron Williams of Mt. St. Joseph (Baltimore), the EYBL's leading scorer.

Point guard Anthony "Cat" Barber of Hampton (Va.) led Boo with 19 points while forward Troy Williams of Oak Hill (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) added 12 points. Boo also got a huge lift from forward Rodney Bullock of Kecoughtan (Hampton, Va.), who made 6-of-8 field goals to finish with 17 points.

"We were written off for dead before coming here, but our best three players -- Troy, Cat, and Al -- just had to learn to play together," said coach Boo Williams. "Once everyone got on the same page, nobody cared who scored or got shots."

Barber was especially impressive in Oakland with his passing skills and uncanny athleticism. With his Boo Williams affiliation, comparisons to former Hampton area products Allen Iverson and Ronald Curry, both of whom played for the flagship AAU program, were inevitable. In light of his high regard for Iverson's ability, Boo Williams is a bit cautious of comparing his former lead guards.

"Well, Allen was in another world, but Cat is a quick player who knows how to run our team."

Pinson, CP3 finish strong

The CP3 All-Stars (N.C.) lost its opening game of the EYBL's Oakland session to All Ohio Red 66-50 to fall to 9-6. If the team didn't turn it around, it would have been in serious danger of missing out on the Nike Peach Jam tournament.

The scenario was avoided when CP3 won five consecutive games in a division of the EYBL where six teams finished 13-7 or better. CP3's winning streak included three Peach Jam qualifiers: E1T1 Elite (59-47), Team Texas Titans (59-55) and Mac Irvin Fire (64-57).

Forward Theo Pinson of Wesleyan Christian (Greensboro, N.C.) scored 25 points in the victory over E1T1. Ten players scored against the Team Texas Titans, including a team-high 10 from two guard Reggie Dillard of Greensboro Day (Greensboro, N.C.). Pinson and Dillard led the way in Monday's win over Mac Irvin Fire with 14 points each. Against Mac Irvin Fire, Pinson made his presence felt by keeping plays alive on the offensive glass while Dillard's defense stood out.

"On the first night we didn't play up to par," said Pinson, ranked No. 14 in the ESPN 60. "Reggie really stepped up the whole weekend. He would guard the top player that was ranked on every team. He did a great job."

Field for EYBL finals set

The top five teams, based on win-loss record, in each of the EYBL's four divisions automatically qualified for the EYBL finals at the Peach Jam.

The four at-large teams that qualified to round out the 24-team field were E1T1 Elite (Fla.) in Division C (13-7), Baltimore Elite (Md.) in Division D (12-8), Bluff City Legends/Team Penny (Tenn.) in Division B (11-9) and Howard Pulley (Minn.) in Division D (11-9).

Parade All-Americans announced

The 2012 Parade All-American team was announced on Sunday, and as usual the list contains some of the country's biggest hoops stars. Five of the top 10 players in the ESPN 100 made the Parade team, led by No. 1 Nerlens Noel of Tilton (N.H.). Also making the cut were No. 2 Shabazz Muhammad, Parade's Player of the Year, No. 4 Kaleb Tarczewski, No. 5 Kyle Anderson and No. 9 Grant Jerrett.

Kentucky, UCLA and Arizona lead the way with three recruits each. Click here to check out the full list.

Mike Grimala contributed to this report. Ronnie Flores is a senior editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at ronnie.flores@espn.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @RonFloresESPN