AKRON, Ohio -- The fourth and final day of action at LeBron James Skills Academy offered a number of marquee individual matchups as teams competed for bragging rights at the event.
A much anticipated matchup between John Wall and Kendall Marshall instead turned into a battle between Wall and rising sophomore sensation Michael Gilchrist. Similar to the previous day, players fought through fatigue as they continued to improve their skills and receive instruction as they prepare for various major national AAU events around the country.
Michael Gilchrist, 6-7 Combo-Forward
Gilchrist played a number of minutes again as a point guard while matched up with Wall and more than held his own. He displayed poise beyond his years and did not fear the moment. On the offensive end, he used his quick first step and length to get to the rim for finishes. He also connected on a number of pull-up jumpers from 3-point range, but he still needs to become a more consistent jump shooter. He also has good vision and passing skills -- though he still plays a little out of control at times. Gilchrist again exhibited great effort on the defensive end, moving his feet well and playing passing lanes for steals.
Phil Pressey, 5-9 PG
Pressey did a great job of setting the table for his team throughout the day. He used his quickness and deft ballhandling to put pressure on the defense by getting in the paint almost at will. Once in the paint, he used his exceptional vision and passing skills to locate open teammates for scoring chances. Pressey also used his lateral quickness and surprisingly good strength on the defensive end by applying very good ball pressure and forcing opposing point guards into turnovers.
John Wall, 6-3 PG
Wall has unbelievable quickness with the ball in his hands and causes problems for any defense through his penetration. He also gives defenders nightmares in the open court due to his quickness and passing ability. Wall looks to finish at the rim and has great body control, which he uses to adjust in air and finish while taking contact from defenders. He also has very good vision and passing skills. If he ever develops into an adequate jump-shooter, Wall will become a great point guard.
Dante Taylor, 6-8 PF
Taylor used his leaping ability and athleticism to affect the game on both ends of the court. His active defensive play and rebounding led to a number of fast-break opportunities for his team, and Taylor used his ability effectively, changing ends for finishes above the rim in the open court. With confidence resulting from his dunks and layups, he even connected on a jumper from 3-point range -- though he does not need to shoot from that area yet. On defense, he needs to use more discipline when trying to alter shots instead of going for every head fake.
DaShonte Riley, 6-11 C
Riley used his quick feet and coordination to make a number of impressive post moves with his back to the basket. He reads his defenders very well and knows how to use their passion for blocking shots against them by utilizing pump-fakes and counter moves in the paint. His post moves complement his ability to step away from the basket for jump shots. As Riley increases his strength, especially in the lower half of his body, he will become even tougher to guard on the low block.
DeMarcus Cousins, 6-9 PF
Cousins has great dexterity and balance for his size. He uses those traits for very effective spins moves and footwork in the post, especially when he receives the ball in the mid-post area for turn-and-face scoring chances. Cousins has very impressive vision and passing skills for a big and likes to set up teammates for shots. Cousins will continue to have a great impact on the game as a post player as long as he keeps playing with effort and does not drift on the perimeter for his offense too much.
Wallace Judge, 6-7 Combo Forward
Judge impressed with his rebounding on both ends of the court during game play. He has good leaping ability and a good second jump, which makes him a terrific offensive rebounder. He also has the strength necessary to finish in traffic when he gets the ball in the paint. Judge did a good job of contesting shots and once he improves his jumper, he will become a dominant combo forward.
Dion Waiters, 6-3 Combo Guard
Waiters has a relatively quick first step, but he really uses his strength and thick body to penetrate into the painted area. He has range on his jumper that extends to 3-point land, but he needs to continue to develop his jump shot. Waiters has good vision, but if he spends time at the point, he needs to look to create for others more. He plays passing lanes and anticipates for steals very well. Waiters will have to keep an eye on his physical fitness; he could gain too much weight.
Kammeon Holsey, 6-7 PF
Although he's thin, Holsey has very good quickness and uses it to his advantage in the post, making him a hard cover for bigger, slower post guys. He will have to improve his ability to finish; he misses too many layups after he loses his defender. Holsey plays with a good amount of energy. As he adds strength and muscle to his frame, he will develop into a better finisher around the rim.
Milton Jennings, 6-9 PF
Jennings played with a ton of energy and passion, hitting the glass on both ends. He also did not drift away from the paint again and made a number of very quick, definitive post moves when he got the ball on the block. Jennings did a good job of contesting shots on the defensive end despite not really connecting on his patented jump shot.
Marcus Jordan, 6-3 Combo Guard
Jordan's aggressive nature keeps him around the ball and in the thick of the action. He plays on-ball defense as well as help defense very well. On offense, he uses his quickness and strength to get to the rim, but he has the leaping ability, which complements his strength and allows him to take contact in the paint, adjust in the air and convert the bucket, using either his right or left hand. He said playing time will weigh heavily on his decision for college and wants to make a decision by the end of the summer. Jordan lists Illinois-Chicago and Rice among the schools that have interest in his services.
Daniel Orton, 6-10 C
Orton played with the intensity and energy he normally lacks, but if he brings it, he easily justifies his standing as one of the top centers in the Class of 2009. He has good footwork in the post and finishes with either hand. He can hit jumpers with range out to about 15 feet, but he has to alleviate his tendency to settle for those. Orton has a feel for the game that bigs generally do not develop until late in the careers. Orton has impeccable passing skills from both the low block as well as the high post.
Johnnie Williams, 6-9 PF
Williams used his athleticism and leaping ability to make a number of plays around the basket on both ends of the court. Once he received the ball in the paint, he finished with authority around the rim and crashed the offensive glass with aggression. Williams runs the court very well and has the ability to finish off the break above the rim.
Antonio Williams is a recruiting coordinator for Scouts Inc. He previously worked as an NBA scout for Marty Blake Associates.