I haven't had a basketball recruiting post in a week or so, and it seems people are getting restless, so I figured it's time to do a quick round-up of everyone's favorite summer past-time. The AAU scene has slowed down over the past few weeks, a calm before the proverbial storm of July and early August, months featuring huge events like the Super Showcase, Adidas Super 64, and the crown jewel that is Peach Jam.
But even if Maryland targets haven't been running with their summer squads, they've still been balling; they've just switched to Skills Academies. There are three of these camps for the three basic different positions (guards, wings, big men) and are nominally run by some of the biggest names in hoops: Kevin Durant, Deron Williams, and Amare Stoudamire.
ESPN has recaps of all three events, highlighting the best of the camps. Let's start with the big men, where Prince Ibeh - who purportedly just visited campus and is pictured to the right over there - stood out as one of the best three shot-blockers of the event.
Ibeh grabs your attention right away with his 7-4 wingspan. He runs the floor pretty well and patrols the lane. He blocks shots in and out of his area and what he doesn't block, he changes. He has pretty good timing and puts forth good effort to get to the ball, whether its being shot from the lane or the perimeter. His tremendous length also allows him to recover beautifully from mistakes. His defense is far ahead of his offense and his upside is tremendous with added strength and improved production on the offensive end.
Meanwhile, Arnaud Adala Moto stood out at Durant's camp as a great rebounder and defender:
Moto has the looks in addition to excellent production on the glass and stout defense on the wing and in the low post. Moto is strong, physical and he rebounds on the defensive end with power. He simply clears out less physical opponents with ease. He is capable of defending both forward positions because he is a monster athlete who holds his ground in the post and forces the offensive player to shoot over him. He has a good midrange jumper but must continue to hone his ballhandling and work on his jumper out on the arc. He is loaded with potential, and Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Stanford, UCLA and NC State are a few schools that have taken notice.
Finally, Andrew Harrison, one of the best prospects in the 2013 class and probably Maryland's biggest target for next year, was one of the best at the Deron Williams Academy.
Harrison has great size, strength, vision and feel for the game. He plays with his head and eyes up at all times, and sees over smaller defenders. Harrison is terrific at finding the open man, while attacking his defender and creating help. His passes are on the money and usually lead to an easy basket on the break or in the half-court set. Harrison is also great when the clock is winding down, and often makes a great play out of nothing.
Harrison is still Rivals' top player in the class, and it seems a good bet for him to remain up there. One of the very few players who could challenge him for the top point guard spot is Nate Britt, who went HAM on the NBPA Top 100 camp a few weeks ago. CBS Sports' Jeff Borzello thinks he's the best PG in the country:
Nate Britt entered the NBPA Top 100 camp as a rising junior just looking to test himself against the nation's best rising seniors.
He came out as the best point guard in the country.
Not just in the class of the 2013 - the entire country.
Not really sure about that, but even if isn't he really isn't that far off. Later in the article he rattles off a predictably bloated suitor list, including Maryland as well as Florida, N.C. State, Duke, and several others. Maryland's considered to have a great chance at Britt due to the hiring of Dalonte Hill, who has deep connections to Hill's D.C. Assault AAU team.
It'll be interesting to see which of Britt or the Harrison twins the coaching staff goes harder on in 2013 - it's not a regular situation to have a legitimate chance at two (three, really) top 20 players this early in the game. Britt's local, but Andrew comes with his brother, Aaron, a top 20 SG. Most likely, they'll go after both hard and just take whoever's ready to commit first, if either of them ever are. We can dream, no?
Borzello also has an article on highly-regarded Texas wing Danuel House, who is listing 35 schools, Maryland among them. The list really doesn't have much purpose anymore; all of these schools offered only weeks ago, and I can't blame him for not having time to trim it. Once he gets it down to 10 or so it'll be time to take another, closer look.
Speaking of Houston targets, let's go back to Shaquille Cleare, who's supposedly been a heavy Maryland lean for what seems like years now. (Remember when people said Md. would never be in play for him? Ha.) Still, there's been no commitment. If you listen to @MidAtlanticHoop, it's "closer than ever." I'd take it with a grain of salt, of course, but it's liable to be correct regardless. It would seem a matter of time, if the hive mind can be believed.
We'll wrap things up with two videos from our friend Joe Davis of ScoutsFocus. First up is a slightly older video of a Mitch McGary interview from the NBPA Camp. And guess what? He's still saying Maryland is recruiting him the hardest. And for those who were worrying about the Bino Ranson "car salesman" comment being a negative, he clears it up a little bit.
And now an Amile Jefferson highlight from the camp. He looks pretty limited to layups and putbacks, but that's his game, after all.
Have a nice day, everyone.