Commentary

Oriakhi an inside force, Watford scoring in bunches

Originally Published: June 18, 2008
By Antonio Williams | Scouts Inc.

Phillip PresseyAndrew Shurtleff for ESPN.comPoint guard Phil Pressey passed well and played tough defense Wednesday in Charlottesville.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- The second session on the first day of camp featured more spirited play as the teams started to get comfortable. Some of the more talented players have started to exert their personalities on their respective teams, leading to more intense competition on the floor.

Scouting notes
Alex Oriakhi, 6-8 PF
Oriakhi demonstrated his underrated shooting ability by connecting on jumpers in the 15-16 foot range. When he received the ball in the paint, he converted using jump hooks with either hand. Oriakhi also crashed the boards with fervor, particularly on the offensive end.

Phil Pressey, 5-9 PG
Pressey adeptly penetrated into the lane and consistently found open teammates for high-percentage shots in the paint as well as dishing to open teammates on the perimeter for jumpers. He only has to alleviate his tendency to take wild, difficult shots when he gets in the paint. When he focuses on defense, Pressey does a great job sliding his feet and harassing opponents.

Rakeem Buckles, 6-8 PF
Buckles makes up for his lack of strength and muscle by looking to take bigger, slower defenders away from the basket in order to utilize his quickness. Once on the wing, Buckles will drive to the basket for the lay-in. If he continues to play more as a small forward, he will have to improve his ballhandling skills, decision-making, and jump shot; he tends to turn the ball over on his driving attempts.

Kevin Parrom, 6-6 SF
Parrom has the athleticism coaches love to see in small forwards. He has the ability to connect from 3-point range, but he really excels at getting the ball to the basket, using his leaping ability and body control to get shots off at the rim. Parrom also gets extra scoring chances by hitting the offensive glass hard and scrapping for loose balls.

Nate Lubick, 6-9 PF
Lubick has very lively legs, quickly getting off the floor when rebounding on both ends of the court. His quick leaping ability makes him a very good offensive rebounder. Lubick also runs the floor well and finished above the rim in transition constantly.

Rodney McGruder, 6-5 SG/SF
McGruder has the ability to connect on jump shots in the midrange with a high rate of consistency. He has good lift on his jumper, making him more difficult to defend when he works off the dribble for the pull-up jumper. McGruder also hits the jumper from 3-point land if the defense sags in anticipation of his midrange game.

Cadarian Raines, 6-9 PF/C
Although he's thin, Raines does not shy away from contact in the paint. He uses his quick leaping ability and reflexes to set himself up for offensive rebounding opportunities. Raines' body type, athleticism and intensity make him look like a younger version of current Detroit Pistons C Theo Ratliff.

Karron Johnson, 6-8 Combo Forward
Johnson has the ability to work on the perimeter and take defenders off the dribble. Once in the paint, he can finish at the rim in traffic. Johnson shoots a set-shot from 3-point range and will have to improve his jumper, though he will connect if left unattended. Johnson has a scorer's mentality and remains in attack mode on offense.

Christian Watford, 6-7 SF
Watford has range that extends out to the 3-point line and will go on 3-point barrages if the defense does not account for him. He also has good athleticism and quickness, allowing him to get to the rim when defenses push up on him to take away the 3. Watford can score points in bunches.

Kenny Boynton
Andrew Shurtleff for ESPN.comKenny Boynton enters the summer as the No. 2-ranked shooting guard in the Class of 2009.
Kenny Boynton, 6-3 SG
Boynton has unbelievable quickness and attacks the defense whenever he has the ball in his hands. His quickness and fearlessness make him a terror in the open court, easily getting to the rim for finishes. In half-court sets, he has a tendency to rely too much on his pull-up jumper from 3-point range -- though he will occasionally connect on the shot. Boynton has the developed body and explosive scoring ability reminiscent of current Chicago Bulls G Ben Gordon.

Jordan Hamilton, 6-7 SF
Hamilton again scored the ball consistently for his team. During Wednesday night's game, he pursued his own offense a little too aggressively and took some difficult shots off the dribble. When Hamilton looks to get all the way to the rim, he favors going to his left. He managed to convert, but he worked too hard for his shots this time around.

Tristan Thompson, 6-8 Combo Forward
Thompson has incredible length, body control and hang-time, allowing him to get to the rim and convert difficult shots in the paint. Thompson will have to improve his ballhandling and jumper; he continues to initially start on the wing when his team has the ball. Once he matures and polishes his game, Thompson will become even more difficult for opposing defenses to handle.

Antonio Williams is a recruiting coordinator for Scouts Inc. He previously worked as an NBA scout for Marty Blake Associates.

Antonio Williams

Basketball Recruiting
Antonio Williams is a recruiting coordinator for Scouts Inc. He previously worked as an NBA scout for Marty Blake Associates.

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