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June 26, 2006

Top 2009 at Phenom150

The adidas Phenom150 camp provided Rivals.com with an opportunity to sneak a peek at what the future holds in the class of 2009 and 2010. National recruiting analyst Justin Young spent the weekend in San Diego and came away impressed with five players in the 2009 class from all corners of the country that shined as the top prospects in the camp.

Dexter Strickland, Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick's
Position: Shooting guard
Height: 6-foot-3
The 6-foot-3 combo guard was on another level at the adidas Phenom150 camp. He did it all and looked every bit the elite high-major.

Strickland bounced between both guard positions and played comfortably at both spots. Known more for his scoring antics this spring and summer, Strickland shined as a set up guy on his camp team, finding guys with crisp passes within the flow of the game. He has a smoothness to his game and a confidence that others feed off of in tight situations.

Athletically, Strickland had his wow moments but never tried to utilize his jumping ability unless he knew he was going to score the ball or a make a play where his team would score. Strickland is a great rebounding guard to boot.

All of the pieces are there. He has patiently waited and learned at one of the top high schools in the country. July will be a big month for him as the elite schools put together priority lists together for the class of 2009. Strickland should be high on that list for a number of programs.

Stephan Van Treese, Indianapolis Lawrence North
Position: Center
Height: 6-foot-8
Playing against Greg Oden day in and day out will do something to a young big man. For Van Treese, a 6-foot-9 center, it has molded him into one of the best big men in his class.

Van Treese battled with the No. 1 player in the class of 2006 everyday in practice during the high school season and it shows with his play. Van Treese mixes athleticism and power down low and those aspects shine brighter as a rebounder rather than a scorer. His post game still needs some refining but he just out muscles kids in his class around the cup.

He runs the floor well and can play the transition game but he's also used to structure and playing with point guards that know how and when to feed the post. Already a priority prospect, Van Treese will likely see his offer list grow after July if he continues to play like he did at the Phenom150 camp.

Jeronne Maymon, Madison (Wis.) Memorial
Position: Power forward
Height: 6-foot-6
There wasn't a bigger surprise in terms of high-major prospects in the entire camp than the 6-foot-7 forward.

Maymon was Mr. Versatility as he went to work down low in the post on both ends of the floor. Perhaps his best trait is his passing ability. He sees the floor like a guard and makes passes to the wing for quick three-pointers as he was double teamed but also found slashing teammates for buckets at the basket. At times, Maymon was almost too unselfish. He has offensive tools, he just needs to tap into them more often.

Maymon plays alongside 2007 forward Keaton Nankivil, which has helped the youngster's recruitment. At the Phenom150 camp, Maymon showed that he can help himself with his strong play. His next stop is the adidas Superstar camp in Atlanta.

Demetrius Walker, Fontana (Calif.)
Position: Small forward
Height: 6-foot-4
When it comes to pure prospects and not just performers, Walker has to be near the top of the list. He was one of the no-brainer high-major prospects at the camp. The muscular 6-foot-4 wing started the camp off strong on Friday but struggled with consistency. Nevertheless, he has the tools and the potential that the majority of the camp did not.

Walker plays with a high level of energy and grabbed "man rebounds" as one parent appropriately said on the sidelines. There wasn't a wing that rebounded better than Walker. He snatched boards amongst three defenders at times and then looked up the floor for quick transition points.

There have been questions about his perimeter game and his ability to score from the perimeter and Walker showed that he has some game on the wing. Fundamentally, there are some things that still need to be tweaked with his delivery on his shot but the ball found its way to the bottom of the twine. In the end, that is all that matters.

Joey Brooks, Houston Strake Jesuit
Position: Small forward
Height: 6-foot-4
The class of 2009 prospect pool in Houston is point guard heavy. Apparently the 6-foot-5 wing hasn't heard that yet. Brooks had a good weekend in California as he displayed great versatility from the wing position.

He is a fluid athlete that can put the ball on the floor and attack the rim with some smoothness to his game. Brooks showed that he can shoot the ball from deep but also create with the dribble and distribute the rock around the floor.

Brooks had one of his better games in the all-star setting, scoring 16 points and grabbing a handful of rebounds. High-major coaches should keep their eyes on him this summer with the loaded T-Mac All-Stars.



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