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Wednesday, July 9
Players feeling it at ABCD Camp

By David Benezra and Mark Mayemura
Special to

HACKENSACK, N.J. -- Heading to Farleigh Dickinson, the site that adidas always uses for ABCD, is always exciting. You feel the rush just walking in on Tuesday. The passion for the game is bouncing off the walls here. ABCD is a festival. Who's playing next? The Bonedaddies or Sebastian Telfair? You can feel IT here. IT is basketball.

There is noise in the stands here. Unlike the Nike Camp which sounds like a funeral procession is taking place. If there is a funeral happening at ABCD, it's a New Orleans style one.

For the most part, New York kids opened up very tight. Every time a talented NY prospect is playing, camp alumni and other players, along with fans, all of them New Yorkers are around. That wasn't the case for Top 100 6-1 senior Josh Wright from Utica. The New York crowd went nuts for close to five minutes after he threw down a sweet slam. People were falling out of the stands after he vaulted above an astounded opponent.

Absolutely wild. Summertime wild. Those moments bring back feeling and make you realize why summer basketball is where the fun is.

Who's Hot

  • 6-foot-5 Joe McCray (Laurinburg Institute/Laurinburg, N.C.) has played his way into our Top 100. McCray is a big time scorer with a very developed offensive game for a high school player.

  • 6-3 Quentin Thomas (Oakland Tech/Oakland, Calif.) looked much more relaxed and confident here than in June at the NBA Camp. Thomas does a great job of getting himself ready to shoot off the dribble and he can stroke it. While Thomas won't be as highly ranked as many of the point guards listed above him in our rankings, he has more upside than just about any of them. California and Kansas appear to be the top two. North Carolina is also in the mix.

  • 6-5 Dwayne Day (Montgomery County/Mt. Vernon, Ga.) is on everybody's list, and his game is just exploding! Day looks better each time out. Not only is he hitting shots, but Day's also going to the rack with strong finishes.

  • 6-3 Albert Weber (Mt. Zion/Durham, N.C.) is probably the second best one-on-one player at the ABCD Camp (Sebastian Telfair is the best). It doesn't look like there is a player in camp that Weber can't take. He is a very efficient one-on-one player.

  • 6-4 Brian Laing (St. Raymond's/Bronx, N.Y.) is a pogo stick player. He just keeps getting up and he does it quicker than most. He's a New Yorker so his shot is a little funky, but it's not ugly either. Laing is a rising senior.

  • 6-6 Shan Foster (Bonnabel/Kenner, La.) is a fast-rising senior sleeper coming out of nowhere with a strong offensive game. He showed a stroke and he also busted a trey off of a dribble step back.

  • The Piston team is loaded. And 6-6 Marshall Brown (LBJ/Austin, Texas) probably had the best day of all of his teammates. Brown is an explosive athlete -- and that's worth mentioning even if he is from the state that produces more athletes than any other place in America. But he also has good skills that will only get better and better.

  • 6-8 Richard Dorsey is a man! Telfair may be the man, basketball-wise but Dorsey is the only man at this camp. He just plays so tall and so much stronger than everybody else. Of course, it is strongly rumored that he is closer to 21 than 18. We didn't list a school with him because nobody knows where he will be next year. He has a rather interesting reputation.

  • Loved the power point-guard play of 6-2 Kojo "Marine" Mensah, a N.Y. native who will be prepping at Notre Dame Academy. If Mensah gets any kind of a driving angle, he will take, take and take some more, forcing the defender to get out of the way or foul him. Defensively, he may be the best point guard in the camp.

    Who's Not

  • 6-3 Ramel Bradley (Pendleton School, Bradenton, Fla.) has displayed his dribbling ability. Unfortunately, he must have been told that ABCD was an audition for an And 1 team. He dribbled, and dribbled, and dribbled and then guess what he did? He displayed very poor shot selection. Bradley has talent, but he is making a big mistake by trying to show off. If Bradley would dribble less, go somewhere with it and then draw and kick, he would be a Top 100 player. As it is, he is not.

  • 6-1 Sean Singletary (Penn Charter/Philadelphia, Pa.) is having a rough summer. He was out with an injury in June at the NBA camp and he is out here at ABCD with the same shoulder ailment. Singletary has already committed to Virginia.

  • Each summer one of the highest rated preps decides that if he has a chance (always in their own minds) to come out of high school and go to the NBA, he has to "show" his game. This season it's 6-8+ Josh Smith (McEachern/Powder Springs, Ga.). He is not playing selfishly. But he is playing outside and shooting a lot of jumpers, trying to convince everybody that he is a wing forward. Hey Josh! Everybody already knows that you are a wing forward. Like any player, you could shoot the ball better, but everybody knows that you can make a shot. How about mixing up your game, making some strong post moves once in awhile? Just chill, play, and have some fun before your stock starts dropping.

    Marquee Matchups
    Shaun Livingston vs. Darius Washington, Jr.
    The first game we observed during the opening afternoon session featured two of the nation's top point guards, 6-7 Shaun Livingston (Peoria, Ill) vs. 6-1 Darius Washington, Jr. (Edgewater/Orlando, Fla.). These two are not only a contrast in size, but also in athleticism and style.

    Livingston, who was outstanding in Virginia at the NBA Player's Camp, was lackluster here. We call Livingston "Maestro" for the way he runs a team -- and that he did, as always. However, his squad needed him to stand up and take over a little more and that he did not do.

    Washington has received criticism in the past for not even resembling a point guard, but he showed that he has been working on more than his physical skills. Washington, who played under control and ran the team well, exhibited an improved jumper.

    He and Livingston actually played it too close to the vest as their wasn't much pizazz to this encounter. In the open court Washington did use a hesitation and go to freeze Livingston and go past him. Livingston is not a great athlete and all of the smaller, quicker guards tend to give him trouble. Washington is arguably the fastest guard out there and he did a good job of staying in front of him, although Washington seemed to play under a self-contained wrap.

    Edge to Washington.

    Sebastian Telfair vs. Jason Horton
    Six-foot Sebastian Telfair (Lincoln/Brooklyn, N.Y.) and 6-1 Jason Horton (Denby Tech, Detroit, Mich.) was another top point guard duel. Telfair is the top player and point guard in the class and he drew a sizeable crowd to court 4.

    Horton, who was disappointing in Virginia, continued to struggle with decisions on penetration moves and in the open court, but was not afraid of Telfair and did his best to stay in front of him. Telfair was looking to work more on his skills of running a team, but did show that he was capable of taking Horton whenever he wanted.

    Telfair was noticeably more muscular, particularly in the chest and arms. His jumper looked better than ever and his repertoire of different speeds would qualify him to be a lead driver for Team Ferrari.

    Decision to Telfair.

    Arron Afflalo vs. Albert Weber
    Six-foot-4 Arron Afflalo (Centennial/Compton, Calif.) took on relatively unsung 6-3 Albert Weber (Mt. Zion/Durham, N.C.) in a meeting of off guards. Afflalo is a tough competitor who has already committed to UCLA. Weber is considered by most to be 100-150 in the class. But we will rate him as a strong Top 100 player.

    Weber can not only handle, but he has shakes. That means that he is a true combo as he is very strong with the ball and can create his own shot anytime. Afflalo gave it his best shot but Weber ran wild on offense, displaying his touch off the glass, his shooting range and his ability to finish in traffic. Afflalo looked good offensively also, but he doesn't possess Weber's dribbling skills. Afflalo is a very physical guard who gets a step and punishes defenders as he will create contact.

    This was the best contest so far. Both players showed their talent.

    Edge to Weber.

    David McClure vs. Joe McCray
    Duke-bound 6-6 David McClure (Trinity Catholic/Ridgefield, Conn.) went against totally unheralded 6-5 Joe McCray (Laurinburg Institute/Laurinburg, N.C.) in a contest between talented forwards.

    McClure showed why he will be a good fit at Duke. He's a good athlete, heady, plays hard at both ends of the floor and can shoot the ball. He also makes few mistakes and doesn't force the action. However, he was dominated by McCray.

    McCray is an excellent three-point shooter from deep and he creates jump shots for himself. He has a strong handle and a very good frame. McCray can just flat out score. He's a strong Top 100 player and is another in what is a very deep group of excellent wing players.

    Decision to McCray.

    David Benezra and Mark Mayemura of Recruiting USA cover the national college basketball recruiting scene. E-mail at: or call 818-363-1978.

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