Saturday, July 9, 2011
LeBron James Academy Day 4 recap
By Dave Telep and Reggie Rankin
AKRON, Ohio -- It's over at the LeBron James Skills Academy and the kings of the Class of 2012 and beyond stated their cases. Here are the guys who finished camp strong and move onto the next stop with a great deal of confidence, having played extremely well in front of the big boys in college basketball.
Jabari Parker (Chicago/ Simeon)
2013, SF, 6-foot-7, 225 pounds
There was a time when Parker thought he was destined to be a power forward, but then the transformation began. Over the last year and a half, he's gotten stronger, thinned out and his game exploded. Everything comes naturally to him; feel, finesse, finishing, passing and scoring. Parker beats his opponent from different spots on the floor and he does it without ever changing expressions. He's a national-championship caliber recruit.
T.J. Warren (Durham, N.C./Brewster Academy)
2012, SF, 6-7, 215 pounds
On the final day at camp, amongst many of the nation's best players, Warren presented his strongest case yet to be a McDonald's All-American. It was almost as if he, Omar Calhoun (Middle Village, N.Y./Christ The King) and Jordan Price (Decatur, Ga./SW Dekalb) were engaged in their own game of H-O-R-S-E in one contest; Calhoun made the game-winning layup for good measure. Warren isn't married to a spot on the floor, has extended range and a body that allows him to create separation inside the arc.
Daniel Ochefu (Westtown, Pa./Westtown)
2012, C, 6-9, 225 pounds
For those who pay attention to high school prospects for a living, it's important to note the change in Ochefu. For the first time in a while, he looks healthy. Ochefu changes ends quickly, sets up shop down low and quietly finishes plays with length, a mix of power and a finishing stroke. He's a multi-leaper near the basket and that's to his advantage. Like Adam Woodbury (Sioux City, Iowa/East), his personality and confidence are finally coming through.
Savon Goodman (Willowgrove, Pa./Academy of New Church)
2012, SF, 6-6, 190 pounds
The terrific athlete has added to his game. Goodman's perimeter skills have noticeably improved and his ballhandling, passing and shooting are better than when we started watching him over a year ago. Goodman made some nice drives to the rim through contact, advanced passes on the break and knocked down a few open 3s with needed time and space. Plus, he still is a terror on the glass and is capable of defending positions 2-4. Goodman is not a finished product by any means, but he is on the right track.
Matt Jones (DeSoto, Texas/DeSoto)
2013, SG, 6-4, 180 pounds
Jones is a true shooting guard who can get on a role from behind the arc and knock down three or four quick, if not located immediately. He sprints the floor where he spots up for advance passes off kick outs. He comes off screens and spaces to the side of dribble penetration, where he is ready to pull the trigger on the catch. Jones also gave us a good look of his floater that he hit with touch and body control. He will not hesitate to take the big shot at the end of the clock or when the game is on the line. Jones also works hard defensively on the ball and seems to understand what to do in help situations as well. He said he needs to work on his ballhandling and be more vocal on the floor. Florida, Memphis, Kansas, Baylor, Colorado, Oklahoma and Missouri (unofficial Visit) are all on Jones' list.
Mitch McGary vs. Brandon Ashley
This was one of those camp matchups that makes a long day in the gym worth the trouble. In the first half, McGary stroked jumpers and owned the paint. There are times on the floor where the Chesterton, Ind., native's intensity may overwhelm opponents. If his jumper is rolling and he's using it to feed his game in the lane, it's over. To Ashley's credit, after experiencing little success in the first half, he kept plugging away until he solved the riddle inside and used his length and tenacity to rally. Since the beginning of the spring and through the summer, Ashley's made the decision to crank up the intensity and commit himself at both ends. The result is that the Oakland, Calif., native solidified himself a spot among the top 10 players in the class.
• Class of 2013 post Nerlens Noel (Everett, Mass./Tilton) is a rim-protector thanks to his great length and mobility. He attacks the offensive glass and displayed nice touch and body control on the rim, where he finishes with length more than strength. Kentucky, Syracuse, Duke, Florida, North Carolina and Connecticut, among others have offered.
• L.J. Rose (Houston, Texas/Westbury Christian) has a terrific IQ, vision and ability to deliver the ball on target and see situations develop ahead of time. Rose said his top two schools are UCLA and Texas. Collegiately, he's a facilitator and his role will be carved out as a set up, drive and probe style point guard.
Reggie Rankin was an assistant coach at seven schools for 13 seasons, most recently at Dayton. He played at Ohio University from 1986 to 1990 and was a first-team All-MAC selection his senior season. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter. Dave Telep is the senior basketball recruiting analyst for ESPN.com. His college basketball scouting service is used by more than 225 colleges and numerous NBA teams. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter.