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In today's college basketball landscape, fans expect McDonald's All-Americans to become saviors for their teams. These incredible and mostly unattainable expectations for McDonald's All-Americans can hinder their development. Many McDonald's All-Americans, and fans of the college teams for which they play, fully expect to play in college for one or two seasons. These players expect NBA teams to draft them very high. These prospects in the modern NBA draft era only expect to show up for the drills and measurements portion only of the pre-draft camp.
However, a number of these elite prospects end up playing four seasons in college and ultimately fully participating in the camp to improve their draft stock. Brian Butch, Joe Crawford, J.R. Giddens, Malik Hairston and David Padgett all entered college as McDonald's All-Americans, and with that label came the promise and expectations of short, yet very successful careers for each player. However, these players ended having mostly inconsistent college careers and found themselves battling to improve draft positioning at last week's camp in Orlando.
This year's NBA pre-draft camp featured a group of elite prospects, led by Kevin Love and Derrick Rose, who earned the distinguished McDonald's All-American honor and went on to have success in college. This group also features a number of members from the very talented Class of 2007. These players only participated in the drills and measurements portion of the camp held on the last day.
Here is a breakdown of their performances in the drills.
2007 ESPN 100 Recruiting Ranking: 1
Love looked thinner and more defined now that he has concentrated on his conditioning in preparation for the NBA. In the full court drills, Love ran the floor much better than during his college days. He will never rank as an explosive athlete, but his athleticism continues to approach a respectable level with more dedicated training. Love really impressed during the shooting portion of the drills. He displayed his outstanding ability to finish in the post with either hand. Love demonstrated his high skill level by draining a number of jump shots while on the move. He has very little wasted motion with a textbook follow-through on his jumper. Love displayed impressive range on his jump shot that easily extends out to the NBA 3-point line.
2007 ESPN 100 Recruiting Ranking: 2
Gordon's body looked very thick and defined, which means he will have the strength necessary to take contact and finish in the paint in the NBA. He has so much natural ability that he made things look very easy during the workout. During the shooting drills, Gordon shot a tremendously efficient jumper, correctly using his legs to decrease the amount of effort he exerts in the upper body. His jump-shooting mechanics give him almost limitless range. Gordon has good lift on his jumper, but he tends to fall away a tad when he shoots on the move, which causes his shot to fall short at times.
2007 ESPN 100 Recruiting Ranking: 3
Mayo approached this workout in a definitive manner, bringing a high level of intensity to the drills. Mayo ran the court and finished at the rim with authority during full-court drills. He led through example and vocally, encouraging other players as he waited for his turn. Mayo shot the ball well during the workout, displaying a nice, high release and good follow-through. He also did not jump too high on the jumper, releasing the ball at the correct spot in his jump.
2007 ESPN 100 Recruiting Ranking: 26
Jordan has a long frame with a remarkable amount of room for growth and development. He will need to increase his strength and muscle in order to maintain his positioning in the post for scoring and rebounding. Jordan, a lefty, struggled when the bigs had to shoot from the perimeter, and he did not fare well when finishing in the paint with his right hand. Jordan, however, improved as the workout went on, and he has a tremendous amount of upside and capacity for development.
2007 ESPN 100 Recruiting Ranking: 30
Randolph, a thin, rangy, player has very fluid movements and athleticism for a big guy. Despite his status as a power forward, Randolph, like Beasley, participated in the drills with the perimeter guys instead of the inside players. Randolph handled the ball well and ran the floor hard during full-court drills. He also looked very comfortable taking a few dribbles and shooting pull-up, midrange jumpers. Randolph also has good mechanics on his jumper, which gives him good range from the perimeter. He will have to improve his strength and add muscle; stronger defenders will have the ability to steer Randolph, as opposed to him dictating where he wants to go on the floor. His length will allow him to get his shot off over smaller defenders, and his quick first step will help him drive past bigger, slower defenders.
Antonio Williams is a recruiting coordinator for Scouts Inc. He previously worked as an NBA scout for Marty Blake Associates.