Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Hoop Group Jr. Elite Camp Day 3: NBA Division

Brandon Austin (Philadelphia, PA)

Day 3 the action really picked us as teams prepared for the playoffs and All Star game spots were on the line. I got a chance to see just about every team in attendance today and we decided to break this report into two parts. One for each division (NCAA and NBA). Here’s the NBA division top performers on Day 3.

Day 3 Top Performers (NBA)

Brandon Austin 6’2 Guard (Philadelphia, PA)- Austin has become a crowd favorite at this event. Many spectators are amazed at how gracefully he handles the rock at his size and lack of experience. He again ran the point like a pure natural using the pick and roll to roast defenders. Brandon had a heated battle with Jaylen Beckham and gave the rising frosh everything he could handle. In the closing seconds of regulation the youngster didn’t shy away from the pill instead he took the rock straight at Beckham hitting the athletic defender with numerous crossover dribbles until he got a clean look. His team eventually loss in overtime but it was still an achievement for a rising 7th Grader that’s playing his first year of organized basketball.

Jaylen Beckham 6’0 Guard (Lexington, KY)- Don’t be surprised if Beckham leaves the camp with the MVP honors. He went head to head with every other top camper and either won the head to head battle or got the team win. Going end to end he’s probably the quickest with the rock in his hands. I did notice that he will need to fine tune his jump shot. His form is not that fluid but he doesn’t can knock down a few due to his shear confidence. Finally, I enjoy that fact that Jaylen takes pride in guarding the go to man from the other team immediately. He’s having an incredible camp.

Matt Banas 6’6 Forward (Hershey, PA)- Banas also will finished in the top 3 spots in the conclusion of camp. It was another evening of him straight torturing defenders on the post and the perimeter. Tonight he really displayed his touch from the foul line in. He repeatedly knocked down open looks from the catch and shoot position. When the defense over played his spot up he gently put it on the floor and attacked the cup. He looks better and better each time out

Billy Wrightson 6’5 Forward (Toms River, NJ)- Wrightston had a tough time with Banas but I did see some future positives in his game. The youngster is that agile as yet but works extremely hard to make his presence felt. He throws his body around a little while gaining trips to the charity stripe. On defense he does contest shots often and clogs the lane with his size. Once he grows into those size 18 shoes he should be a real problem for opponents in a couple years.

Nate McGinley 6’0 Guard (Louisville, CO)- Nate was stroking the rock today from the perimeter. He’s a rhythm shooter that has nice height on his jumper and also uses his athleticism to make plays on the floor. He runs the court like a deer while getting into the open floor for conversions. He has some wiggle to his game that catches defenders off balance early on.

Kavon Stewart 5’10 Guard (Paterson, NJ)- Stewart spent the afternoon dishing the rock to Beckham and Banas. He spoon fed both players for easy buckets in transition and the half court set. He’s a true play maker when the rock is in his hands. He also took over guarding Brandon Austin in overtime to help his team pull out the victory. He played like a true floor general.

Reggie Cameron 6’3 Forward (Hackensack, NJ)- Cameron found his stride from the perimeter and actually showed some promise running the floor. He leaked out on the break to get a few easy buckets and found his stroke near the foul line area. Reggie’s size and positioning allows him to make up for his lack of quick defensive foot speed.