Many west coasters played better on the second day, getting warmed up and feeling it more.
Here are some player observations from Day Two:
James Keefe, 6-8 SR PF, Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) Santa Margarita. Keefe had a poor afternoon session, but followed it up with a solid evening one. In the afternoon, while trying to be aggressive, he made some mistakes, over-handling the ball, which led to some turnovers, and rushing his shot, which led to some misses. In the evening session, he had settled down some, blocking shots, rebounding and scoring around the basket.
Robert Sacre, 6-10 junior center, Vancouver (Canada) Handsworth School, had a better second day, showing improvement in his skills, scoring on some little jump hooks and a 10-foot jumper. It was a good sign for him, who had questions about his ability to score. He is so proportional, since he’s so well-built that he doesn’t look as tall as he is, but he’s probably closer to 6-10 than 6-9. UCLA has been recruiting Sacre since last season and the Bruins are among his favorites.
Brook Lopez, 6-11 senior center, Fresno (Calif.) San Joaquin Memorial, is the best prospect from the west here, and one of the best five overall. He not only combines great, pro-like size, but good quickness and ever-improving skills. He hit a turnaround jump hook from about 12 feet and a face-up jumper from 17 with ease and fluidity. With the new NCAA rule on requirements to put your name in the draft, he’s looking like a good bet for a one-and-out guy.
Robin Lopez, 6-11 senior center/forward, Fresno (Calif.) San Joaquin Memorial, isn’t as effective as his twin brother since he’s not as much of an inside presence, but he still was very good today, grabbing rebounds and playing above the rim and most of his opponents.
Derrick Jasper, 6-4 SR CG, Paso Robles (Calif.) High, followed up a good first day with a good second one, looking even more confident in attacking the rim and executing some of the best passes of the day. Being 6-4 and playing like a point guard, Jasper has very good angles on his passes. He was great in the halfcourt, on one play throwing a beautiful 30-foot bounce pass that his teammate caught in stride, right ahead of his defender. His shot is still a bit funky, long and sideways, but he’s playing a good all-around game here.
Harper Kamp, 6-6 JR PF, Mesa (Ariz.) Mountain View. Kamp could be one of the best low-post players in the west, with a great feel, passing ability, quickness around the basket and scoring skill. He did it all Wednesday, scoring, rebounding, blocking shots and passing out of the post, against much larger competition. If Kamp were 6-8 he’d have every high major in the land on him.
Tim Shelton, 6-5 JR SF, Fresno (Calif.) Clovis West. He’s pretty raw skills-wise, but he plays hard and is physically and gets quite a bit done on that alone. He’s good slashing to the basket and is a tough defender, with a well-put-together body and good foot quickness. He’s even better if you consider that he’s young for his class.
Luke Babbitt, the 6-6 sophomore power forward from Reno (Nev.) Galena. Babbitt was scoring over Robin Lopez in one matchup, able to use his length and agility to get to the basket. He’s on the same team here with Kamp, and the two combined their superior basketball feel to out-play their opponents consistently with a nice two-man game.
Marcus Lawrence, 5-11 SR PG, Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman. Lawrence was one of the few point guards in control Wednesday, which made him one of the better looking points overall in the camp. He was under control, and made an effort to set up his teammates to score.
Venoy Overton, 5-10 JR PG, Seattle (Wash.) Franklin. Overton is a smallish but talented point, who can score from the outside or on the dribble and sometimes forced the action here. But he’s got a chance, with some good athleticism, able to throw down dunks and stay with bigger point guards because of his quickness.
Steven Gray, 6-2 JR CG, Port Hadlock (Wash.) Bainbridge. Gray has verbally committed to Gonzaga. He went to the Zags team camp last week and impressed the coaches so much they offered him and he committed. He’s a combo guard, probably more of a two than a three, and he probably passes the ball better than anything else he does. He’s a tweener in size, which means he’d be good size for a point, but a bit slight for a two. His handle is a bit shaky, especially with his left hand, while he shoots the ball well, even though it’s mostly an outside set shot. He was impressive at times here because he was always looking to pass the ball and did it well.
Aaron Moore, 6-5 FR SF, Fontana (Calif.) High. Moore is a ringer for a young version of UCLA’s Dijon Thompson, both physically and in his style of play. He’s probably quicker than Thompson, and he can explode up the court well, while his skills are still developing. He is very active, though, and likes to pass the ball, which is a good sign at this age.
Jamelle Horne, the 6-6 JR SF from San Diego (Calif.) Hoover, hasn’t participated due to a sprained ankle he suffered last week. He’ll sit out the entire camp but resume playing next week in tournaments in L.A.