The two biggest notes from the start of the NBPA Top 100 Camp had to do with Mitch McGary and Shaquille Cleare's apparent affinity for Maryland, but there were a few other things worth mentioning from the first day of action. Like, say, Amile Jefferson's apparent dominance in the points category.
BDN (ew) has the point totals from the first two games of the camp. Jefferson was second in scoring, behind only Wake Forest commitment Codi Miller-McIntyre. Other Terp targets scoring at a high rate included Nate Britt (8th), McGary (15th), and Danuel House (26th).
But it's Jefferson's total that really stands out, of course. Rivals' Jerry Meyer was impressed with his game, too:
Jefferson does his best work on the baseline and was effective throughout the day with slashing drives and offensive rebounding. He had a big scoring day, averaging 18 ppg to be the No. 2 scorer in the camp.
If he keeps it up, Jefferson should jump another five or so spots in the rankings, where he's already pretty highly-regarded. It sounds like he's morphing more and more into a 3, which is okay by me given the number of great bigs on Maryland's radar. And he's not just a scorer, either: he's a "tough SOB," diving for balls despite a broken finger. That's pretty impressive, and is something Turgeon should appreciate.
Danuel House, another big riser over the spring, also impressed Meyer in that article linked above:
House came into this event with a lot of buzz, and he backed it up to the fullest. A high-level athlete, House does it all from the small forward position. He is making a strong case to shoot further up the rankings.
House is looking like a top 35 talent, most likely. Normally, this is where I'd start to get a little "eh" on Maryland's chances with him, but given the strong performance so far, I'll keep my hopes up.
If House doesn't end up a Terrapin, they'll have an opening on the wing. Arnaud Adala Moto, the 6-6 Cameroonian playing in northern Virginia, would be a damn good Plan B. Matt Bracken has a post on Moto up at the Sun, and it sounds like he doesn't have a Maryland offer just yet.
"Coach Turgeon is a terrific person," Fitzpatrick said. "He really has ... a great way about him. He speaks very well and is very excited about the future of Maryland basketball. I think coming in, he heard a lot of great things about Arnaud from [Team Takeover coach] Keith Stevens, from myself, and from [Terps assistant coach] Dalonte Hill. But to offer a scholarship is a big deal - and it should be. So I think that Coach Turgeon would like to evaluate him a little bit more before he looks Arnaud in the eye and says, ‘You're the guy that's going to help us hang banners in the rafters of this university.'"
That sounds good ... Gary-like, perhaps, at least in Gary's early days. And it's not a big deal that they don't offer him immediately so long as they keep recruiting him. I think Desmond Hubert taught us that much.
By the way, speaking of Moto, his Team Takeover teammate, 2013 big man BeeJay Anya, apparently has the longest arms ever: despite standing just 6-7, he has a 7-9 wingspan, says Jody Demling (scroll down a bit). This isn't the first we've heard of this, either. That would be a longer wingspan than ... well, everyone. Combine that with a barrel chest and 245 pounds, and he should play like he's 6-11 or so, not just 6-7.
That should quell at least some of the concerns that he's too similar to Shaquille Cleare, who does have a pretty similar body type. Cleare is almost certain to a Terp pretty soon, it seems: Bracken posted his story on the Houston big man yesterday, and it was every bit as encouraging as that tweet.
"There's a good chance I'm going to be there," Cleare said. "They're No. 1 on my list right now."
Cleare said he plans to make his decision by "the end of July or the first [week] of August." He doesn't know if he'll be able to visit any other schools before then. "My schedule is pretty tight right now," Cleare said. "I don't know if I've got time."
I can't remember the last summer that wasn't encouraging (Jabari Brown! Johnny O'Bryant! C.J. Leslie! TOBIAS HARRIS!), but this seems a little bit better than usual, for two reasons: the staff is new, and the interest is certainly more pronounced. Enjoy it while you can.