- Paul Biancardi, Basketball Recruiting
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Here is a look at what we learned from the NBPA Top 100 Camp this weekend.
Point guards are good too
With so much publicity -- and rightfully so -- about the big men of the 2012 class, the collection of PGs at camp proved they still play the most important position on any roster. There isn't a Kyrie Irving, Brandon Knight or John Wall in the 2012 class, but there are plenty who play the position very well.
Yogi Ferrell (Greenfield, Ind./Park Tudor) is quick and crafty with the ball and the Indiana commit nails open 3s on a consistent basis. Rodney Purvis (Raleigh, N.C./Upper Room Christian) is almost unstoppable in transition as he pushes the ball with blazing speed and can get into the lane at will. Plus, he's a better passer than people give him credit for as he converts from a SG to a PG. Ryan Arcidiacono (Langhorne, Pa./Neshaminy), a Villanova commit, is a hard-nosed competitor who runs his team, defends his position well and can break down his defender off the bounce. James Robinson (Hyattsville, Md./DeMatha) plays the game with poise, delivers pinpoint passes to the open man and does whatever it takes to win. Marcus Paige (Marion, Iowa/Linn-Mar) is a creator and facilitator who makes pull-up jumpers without hunting his shots. The North Carolina commit has the total package. Braxton Ogbueze (Charlotte, N.C./United Faith), a Florida commit, is a strong-bodied PG who makes 3s, finishes at the rim with body control and is a good on-ball defender. Tyler Lewis (Statesville, N.C./Forsyth Country Day), a NC State commit, was one of the best passers at the camp and showed improved strength. Mike Gesell (Sioux City, Neb./South Sioux City) was steady, savvy and set up his teammates. Plus, he always leaves it all out on the floor.
Should Drummond stay at the top?
Andre Drummond (Middletown, Conn./St. Thomas More), the No. 1 overall player in the 2012 class, did not play particularly well this week. In fact, you would expect much more from the gifted, 6-foot-10 center who has all the upside you could ever imagine for a high school prospect. He possesses a ton of talent, elite athletic ability and enormous length. During the week he did not score the ball at his usual pace nor rebound up to his potential. He even could have blocked more shots with his massive length and timely jumping. He did show flashes of star power, but it wasn't enough.
Without offering any excuses, in a camp setting, it is hard to create chemistry and timing on the court -- especially with so many talented prospects on the floor vying to play well. As a big man you rely on the ball being passed to you from your teammates and at times Drummond looked frustrated and did not rebound, run the floor or block shots up to his potential. To be considered the best, it's more than just a great performance or potential, you must be productive on a consistent basis. We will be monitoring his progress and production throughout the summer.
Big man emerges
Adam Woodbury (Sioux City, Iowa/East) is a legitimate top-50 talent and one of the most complete big men in the 2012 class. He is not overly athletic, but very sound fundamentally. He is a tremendous passer who can play on the low block and find open players. Woodbury is also a good scorer on the block, where he has a great jump hook over his right shoulder. Plus, he can use both hands in the paint to finish. Overall, the NBPA Top 100 Camp MVP has really improved since the beginning of the spring and has made himself into one of the top 10, if not top 5, center prospects in the class.
Lots of depth in 2012
If you're looking for superstars, the Class of 2012 is not your class. If you want guys who can be immediate or eventual starters in college basketball, along with good rotation players, this is your group. Similar to this year's NBA draft the class is deep but has few superstars. At this point, it looks like this class has three potential one-and-done players -- Drummond, Isaiah Austin (Mansfield, Texas/Grace Prep) and Shabazz Muhammad (Las Vegas/Bishop Gorman).
After closely evaluating and analyzing everyone at the camp, some players made names for themselves due to their ability to be coachable, have a strong work ethic and consistently produce on the court. This is what a competitive environment can do for a player's game and his reputation.
Amile Jefferson (Philadelphia/Friends Central) took his length and super feel for the game and led the camp in scoring, but did not force the action. Woodbury continued to work hard, be productive -- dominating at times -- and then had his breakout performance in the championship game. Ferrell elevated his game all week and separated himself as an elite PG in the class. Anthony Bennett (Brampton, Canada/Findlay Prep) has played well in the Nike EYBL for CIA Bounce and put on a consistent performance all week, scoring in the half court or in transition with power and skill, as well as rebounding at a high level.
Paul Biancardi is the national director of basketball recruiting. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter. John Stovall contributed to this piece.
The NBPA Top 100 Camp proved that the point guard class is better than we thought.