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June 21, 2004
NBA Players Camp: Monday Notes
Richmond, Va. - Pool play wrapped up on Monday at the NBA Players Association camp with a bang thanks in large part to an Oklahoma State bound guard, an Arizona commitment, a handful of underclassmen and another last second game winning shot by Mario Chalmers. Read on for more the update from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Oklahoma State commitment Roderick Fleming is making a case for the best scorer at the camp. On Monday night, he all but took that honor home with his 29 point performance. The 6-foot-6 wing from DeSoto (Texas) High School converted on 13 dunks and one three pointer in a 44-point blowout win. That isn't a typo, either.
Fendi Onobun must develop a mid-range game if he wants to be a major player in the Pac-10. That mission is being accomplished this week. The Arizona-bound forward is putting the pieces together and rounding out his overall game. He scored 19 points in the first game of the day. When he rebounds, he nearly pops the ball because of his vice grip. Athletically, he knows how to get to a spot and then attack with power. The Wildcats need his aggressiveness right away.
He and Atlanta forward Rashad Chase squared off in the morning session, pinning two of the most chiseled biceps together. Chase, a 6-foot-7 power forward, stepped out and connected on a couple of three pointers. He knows he'll need to develop his perimeter skills and Monday's showing is a good indication of the work he has put in to develop that aspect of his game.
Washington landed themselves one heck of a player in 6-foot-8, 240-pound power forward Artem Wallace. The small-town product has big time post moves and rebounds like there is no tomorrow. He keeps the ball high and his elbows out like a security system. There is never a power outage in his battery.
Wallace defended rising junior Keith Clark, a 6-foot-8, 225-pound forward in the morning session and it was a nice variety of game styles. Clark loves to step on the wing and knock down the three point shot. Quietly, he's had a nice showing at the prestigious event.
Long and lanky rising junior Tom Herzog showed why Michigan and Michigan State are after the in-state player. Herzog, a 7-foot, 210-pound center from Flint (Mich.) Powers High School, is a shot blocking machine. He's the only American big men to approach camp director Tim McCormick for more work on his overall game.
Eric Devendorf came into the NBA Players Association camp as one of the top shooting guards in the country and he'll leave as a legitimate All-American candidate. He scores at will (averaging double digits throughout the event), he handles the ball with little problems and he's incredibly smart. The 6-foot-3 Bay City (Mich.) product still insists he'll announce sometime before or at the ABCD camp. Florida, Michigan State and Syracuse are the finalists.
Odds & Ends
- For the second straight day, Mario Chalmers sunk a game winning shot. Today's layup with two ticks on the clock was the exclamation point in a 16 point come from behind win. The point guard is on the same team as his future Kansas teammate Micah Downs and the two are developing great chemistry already. Downs is a terrific jump shooter and Chalmers is the ultimate floor general.
- 6-foot-8 Uche Echefu doesn't play a lot of AAU basketball. Because of that, people don't have a chance to see him for what he really is: a talented power forward with high-major skills. He loves to set up on the block and go to work. Physically, he's already there.
- Class of 2007 super prospect Bill Walker has that special swagger that the great ones have. He's been one of the best players at the camp and has given a somewhat lackluster event some much needed energy. Anytime there was an ohh and ahh from the crowd and benches, it was most likely traced back to Walker. He's a big-timer.
- Michigan State, Dayton and Xavier are praying that Wilson Chandler picks their respective programs. He's a special player that improves each time we see him. The 6-foot-8 forward from Benton Harbor (Mich.) High School has the makings of an elite player with four years of college experience. He shouldn't float under the radar for much longer.
- As is the case for the camp, underclassmen have reigned and ruled the event. Philadelphia guard Gerald Henderson is having himself one heck of a week. Watch his stock to shoot through the roof come August.
- 6-foot-8 shooting guard Gerald Green (of Gulf Shores High School in Houston) might be the most under appreciated guards in the country. He can stroke it, put it on the floor and jump out of the gym.
- Alfred Aboya, a true physical specimen at 6-foot-9, 240-pounds, put a nasty, but clean, screen on an unassuming Dominique Archie, a 6-foot-7, 190-pound wing from Augusta, Ga., and silenced the entire gym. Archie was on the floor for nearly ten minutes. Kudos to Aboya for staying by Archie's side throughout the entire time.
- Rising senior guard Jeremy Pargo scored 22 points in the morning session and like Sunday, he's going about his business like a high major player.
- Lance Thomas is humble, willing to learn and wants to win. That's why the 6-foot-8 New Jersey small forward being called one of the top players in the class of 2006. He's played well and finding his role. He put in 16 points in the first game on Monday.
- With the NBA Draft coming on Thursday, Greg Oden could easily be a top three pick. He's a special player. Get out and see him for free while you can.
- Kudos to Eric Boateng for being the most willing to learn out of the entire camp. During the down time, the 6-foot-10 center is working on every aspect of his game. He's a coach's dream and wants to add every weapon to his arsenal. His back to the basket game has made serious strides since being in Richmond.