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June 19, 2010
Wells and Davis shine on final day at NBAPA
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The NBA Players Association Top 100 Camp came to a close on Saturday with a bang. While DeAndre Daniels and Sam Thompson led their team to the title, it was Dezmine Wells and Anthony Davis that showed very well for themselves and stole the show with their performances.
DeAndre Daniels: The 6-foot-7 and 193-pound forward deserves a lot of credit for being on the winning team, and being the most productive player. Daniels was hot from three, and also scored off the bounce by getting to the rim during the finals. Because his team had a full complement of players, Daniels didn't quite have the scoring numbers that some of the other prospects in the camp put up, but still he was nearly unstoppable all tournament long with his length, athleticism, and ability to shoot the ball. He will have to get stronger as time goes along, but the skill level at his size is quite impressive, and was absolutely instrumental in his team winning the camp championship.
Sam Thompson: The slender wing from Chicago asserted himself as one of the best athletes at the entire camp and he showed well for himself in the finals with his play. Thompson was a solid defensive player with his length and athleticism, and then he ran the floor and knew how to make things happen above the rim. One underrated part of Thompson's game is his ability to pass the basketball where he sets up teammates very well for buckets. Thompson could be more consistent shooting the basketball, but that should come in time as his form and rotation on the jumper look good. His numbers all tournament long were solid, and everything he did was classify as "loud". Overall Thompson now looks to be full strength after battling ankle injuries for the better part of the past four months.
Dezmine Wells: One thing is for sure, Wells can get to the bucket. He was clearly the best performer in the championship game where he finished with 25 points, and he was nearly that good in the semi-finals as well. Wells made several mid-range jumpers which has been a major growth area for him, but as always his bread and butter was getting to the rim and finishing either with a loud slam or a crafty move. One thing that Wells excels at is his ability to avoid charges. He gets into the lane at full speed and shows great body control to keep from picking up fouls. Wells does need to be careful though, at times he is a bit of a ball stopper since he likes to dribble to set himself up, but that is nitpicking considering the explosion he had on the offensive end.
Anthony Davis: This entire NBA Camp should solidify Davis' place in the national spotlight, and all day on Saturday he was a stud. Davis, who measured in with a 7-foot-2 wingspan hit numerous jumpers from beyond the foul line, and also was a presence blocking shots. Rebounding wise he actually grabs boards better out of his area than in his area since he needs to add strength and struggles to block out a more physical player at times. Still Davis was clearly one of the premier long term prospects at the event, and at times during the playoffs it didn't seem that there was much on the court he couldn't do.
Chane Behanan: The 6-foot-6 man child wasn't quite as dominant on the final day as he was the previous two, but he was pretty darn close. Behanan was a double-double waiting to happen all day long, and even though he wore down near the end, it was an impressive day. Behanan showed a great set of mitts, and finished around the rim very well. Also his explosion off of the standstill is impressive given his upper body strength and body composition. It was an impressive end to an excellent camp for Behanan.
Nick Faust: The Baltimore wing closed out a very good camp with a solid performance during the finals. Faust is an excellent shooter, and he proved it by being able to knock down off balance shots as well as clean looks where his feet were set. He tied with Daniels for the scoring lead for his team in the championship, and overall looked to be one of the more productive wings in the entire camp.
Joseph Uchebo: Now a member of the 2011 class, and now being listed as a part of Word of God, Uchebo was at his best when it mattered the most. Going up against a talented frontline including Behanan and Davis, Uchebo finished with roughly 20 rebounds, and was a force on the offensive and defensive glass. While Uchebo didn't convert as often as he would have liked around the rim, his physical presence on the glass was definitely a driving force in getting his team the win.
Amile Jefferson: He is now 6-foot-7 and 185-pounds, and is a bit more of a power forward than a small forward, but really that isn't a huge problem considering his skill set and how he plays. Jefferson was excellent at running the floor and finishing, and created some for himself off the dribble. A hustle player with a high basketball IQ, Jefferson could either develop into a big wing or a matchup problem four man as the next year goes on. No matter which way it is, Jefferson proved with his play that he will be seen at the absolute highest level.
Isaiah Austin: Quite simply there isn't a better shot blocker in the country than Austin. He absolutely changes the game with his ability to alter shots in the paint. Austin is limited on the offensive end with his back to the basket, but he runs the floor very well, is a good athlete, and shows pick and pop abilities. Also in a one point win, Austin closed out the game by thundering down a dunk on the head of Ryan Taylor. That dunk was not only impressive, but it was the game winning bucket. Taylor just needs to be thankful that no video was allowed at the camp, or he might not have been able to live it down.
Zach Price: Price has had some up and down moments through the spring, but he closed out a solid camp with a very good performance. Though his hands were shaky at times, Price finished very well with his left hand hook, and even worked in a right hand hook to mix things up. Beyond that Price continually plays hard and isn't afraid to dive on the ground for loose balls.
Rodney Purvis: The 2013 prospect was once again a beast. He is one of the best at getting to the rim, and for a younger prospect he really knows how to read and use screens. Purvis can shoot it from deep, but using his strength and athletic ability is where he does his damage, and he does that by beating his man off the bounce and going to the rim. For a loaded camp, Purvis really did damage and proved that he belonged.
Marcus Paige: A 2012 floor general, Paige is really coming into his own. He is a true floor general who shows an excellent feel for the position, and his first instinct is definitely to make others better. Still Paige showed an extra gear in the open floor, and definitely can score when called upon. An elite level prospect, Paige has made great strides, and did nothing but improve his stock with his play and poise all weekend long.
Cody Zeller: No big man in the camp ran the floor better than Zeller. Also while only measuring in at 209 pounds on his 6-foot-10 frame, Zeller isn't afraid to battle inside, and is definitely a willing rebounder on both ends of the floor. Beyond that Zeller is showing a much better ability to hit shots out to the three point line. Right now his major growth area is on the defensive end where he needs to be a much better presence, but still his offensive game makes him a promising prospect.
Perry Ellis: At times Ellis can be maligned unfairly because of what people have made him out to be instead of what he actually does, but that doesn't take away from the fact that he is a good prospect. When Ellis goes to his strength which is inside, he can be very impactful, and showed a desire to finish through contact and be physical in the paint. Also he was a weapon in the pick and pop situation where he is a good shooter when his feet are set and his shoulders are square.
Jakarr Sampson: Overall Sampson had mixed results for the camp, but he was excellent on the final day. The long and athletic combo forward scored a camp high of 27 points and did it every way possible. He scored off the catch and shoot, hit off the dribble, and converted down low with his length and athleticism. He needs to improve his strength and get more consistent, but when the flashes all come together like they did on Saturday it can be quite impressive.
Top 100 Camp Most Valuable Player: Chane Behanan
Tournament Most Outstanding Player: Dezmine Wells
Most Outstnading Prospect: Anthony Davis
Surprise Player: Nick Faust
Leadership Award: Myck Kabongo