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Scouting college stars at LeBron camp

Updated: August 21, 2012, 5:50 PM ET
By Fran Fraschilla

The Nike LeBron James Skills Academy takes place the week after the NBA draft every July. And although it's mainly known for hosting 80 of the top high school players in the country, it is also the first look for NBA teams at some of the top college players in the country.

The July 2011 camp was a coming-out party for Kansas' Thomas Robinson, and it was the first look at Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist against college competition for scouts.

This year's camp in Las Vegas likely will not produce three top-five selections in next June's draft, but there were a number of players who stood out to me and are primed for great college basketball seasons:

Tony Mitchell, 6-foot-8, sophomore, North Texas

The former Missouri Tiger recruit only played the second half of his freshman season at North Texas after gaining his eligibility and, while he finished with solid numbers, the camp was a great stage to perform on to build his burgeoning reputation.

Although aspects of his game are a work in progress, Mitchell has Dennis Rodman-like rebounding instincts and athleticism. When four or five sets of hands go up for a rebound, his go up a lot higher. He has a great nose for the ball.

In addition, Mitchell shoots the ball reasonably well from the outside, although he needs to continue to improve his ballhandling on the perimeter to get ready for the NBA or he'll be relegated to tweener status.

As it stands, Mitchell will be the dominant player in the Sun Belt Conference and capable of taking a talented Mean Green team a couple of rounds in the NCAA tournament. He may have helped himself more with NBA scouts than anyone at the camp.

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