Serving up Youth in the Desert

July, 9, 2012

By Joe Kotoch

 

The 2012 LeBron James Skills Academy wrapped up last night in its temporary home of Las Vegas.  James' camp, Nike signature prep camp, is annually held in Akron, Ohio but was moved to Las Vegas to accommodate James' Team USA commitment.  Throughout the 3 days the top collection of high school and college talent got to see glimpses of Olympic tryouts and members of the 2012 US Team sneaking a peak of these prepsters during their workout sessions.

From the college participants the LeBron camp featured a mix of first round, second round, and high level international players over the next 2-3 draft cycles.  Among the standouts were Michigan PG Trey Burke and SG Tim Hardaway Jr., Lehigh guard C.J. McCollum, Murray State PG Isaiah Canaan, North Texas forward Tony Mitchell, and UNLV's Mike Moser.  All five players showed improved skills from the previous season and Burke in particular looked outstanding.  

 

Not all the college players dominated and a few were nicked up.  Mason Plumlee, the Duke center, sustained a finger injury that held him out and Murray State PF Ed Daniel suffered a sprained ankle and was shut down.  Jeff Withey, the Kansas big man, failed to dominate at this camp despite being one of the only true centers other than Plumlee.  Withey looked mechanical and was outshined by more athletic bigs.  

 

 

A few sleeper candidates to keep an eye on include Georgia Southern's Eric Ferguson, Dayton's Kevin Dillard, Ohio State Laquinton Ross.  All should have plenty of opportunities to shine next season.  Also, Arizona's likely starting backcourt of Mark Lyons and Soloman Hill looked pretty impressive.  Don't be surprised with a highly touted freshman class to see the Wildcats challenge UCLA for the Pac 12 crown.  Lyons, the Xavier transfer, was a leader on the court and should be a very savvy player out west.  

 

Florida State SG Michael Snaer looked up and down, showing grit but at times looking a bit underwhelming offensively.  Speaking of offense there may not be a more complete player than Doug McDermott, the Creighton SF, was deadly from outside and looks poised to lead his team well into March.  Lastly, Georgetown SF Otto Porter was solid.  Porter has the length, polish, and skill to be a nightmare in the Big East.  Expect Porter to be a first rounder.

 

Best Shooter

  • Doug McDermott
  • C.J. McCollum
  • Laquinton Ross

Best Slasher

  • Trey Burke
  • Tim Hardaway Jr.
  • Mike Moser
Best Midrange Shooter
  • Doug McDermott
  • Trey Burke
  • Soloman Hill
Best Post Game
  • Tony Mitchell
  • Jackie Carmichael
  • Ryan Kelly
Most Versatile
  • Ed Daniel
  • Michael Snaer
  • Soloman Hill
Most Explosive
  • Tony Mitchell
  • Mike Moser
  • Eric Ferguson