WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Bryant Crawford immediately identified with what Chris Paul was lecturing about during the CP3 Elite Guard Camp at the Gateway YWCA here this weekend.
Crawford too doesn’t see the point of shooting a 12 to 15-footer when he’s “more than confident” that he can get all the way to the basket at will.
But as he continued to listen to the Los Angeles Clippers All-Star point guard, Crawford changed his perspective almost immediately.
“See I had to transition my mind to start shooting floaters because once you get to the league guys are longer and way more athletic,” Paul told the campers. “It’s so important for your game to evolve, and adding a floater opens up so much more offensively. It’s just something else that keeps the defense guessing and makes you more dangerous offensively.”
After the chat, Crawford, a rising sophomore point guard at Gonzaga College High School (Washington, D.C.), and the rest of the campers ran through countless drills to try and perfect the floater.
“When CP3 broke it down like that it made so much sense,” Crawford said. “I know that from now on I’m going to be using the floater so much more. It’s hard because I’m a young guy and I’m really confident so I always want to take it all the way to the hoop. Now I’ll use the floater more.”
Justin Jennifer said he’ll take a similar approach now for one key reason.
“CP3 is the best point guard in the NBA,” said Jennifer, a rising sophomore point guard at John Carroll (Bel Air, Md.). “We’d be crazy not to listen to him.”
Williams motivated by snub
Kameron Williams couldn’t help but feel slighted when he learned that he didn’t get an invite to the prestigious National Basketball Players Association Top 100 Camp in Charlottesville, Va., which runs from June 13-16.
Makes sense since Williams, a rising senior combo guard at Mt. St. Joseph’s (Baltimore, Md.), led the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League in scoring averaging 22.2 points a game.
“It’s just something else I’ll have to overcome,” said Williams, who is ranked No. 69 in the ESPN 100. “People have been overlooking me since I started playing. They don’t think a 6-foot-2, skinny guy like me is supposed to be scoring like I do, but it’s OK. I’ll use this as motivation. I’ll show them they got it wrong.”
ESPN recruiting director Paul Biancardi certainly didn’t get it wrong. He immediately referred to Williams as “one of the best natural scorers in the country.”
“He’s under control and he reads the play exceptionally well,” Biancardi said. “When he’s open he’s a legitimate threat to score every time.”
Now Williams is focused on leading Baltimore Elite AAU squad to the Nike Peach Jam title on July 19-22.
“This will just make me work even harder,” Williams said. “This just made me that much hungrier.”
Beard connects with future teammate
After going to battle against some of the top guards in the country, including current Missouri point guard Phil Pressey, at the CP3 Elite Guard Camp for one day, Anton Beard felt like he was ready to end his recruitment and pick the Tigers.
“I just knew it was the right fit for me because I love the school and the coaches and being here made me think about it more,” said Beard, a rising junior at Parkview Arts and Science Magnet (North Little Rock, Ark.). “I got to talk with Phil a little bit and then I didn’t even know, but one of my future teammates is right here with me at this camp. We’re getting to know each other now.”
Zach Coleman, a rising senior swingman at Woodrow Wilson (Dallas), committed to the Tigers in early May and said that after watching Beard at the camp he thinks the two can be a lethal tandem in the future.
“I think that once he gets there we’ll work together pretty well,” Coleman said. “He’s really talented and I think that his skills compliment mine pretty well. We’ve been talking a lot more since we found out we’re going to be teammates so this made the trip even better.”
Selden stays hungry
Wayne Selden fully expected that when he reclassified from 2014 back to his original class of 2013 last week a drop in the rankings was imminent.
He was right.
“I remember when I wasn’t ranked at all,” said Selden, a shooting guard at Tilton (N.H.). “So this isn’t anything to me. If anything it’ll just be more motivation to get back to where I was. It gives me something to work for. But, to be honest, I didn’t need anything else for motivation. I stay hungry.”