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July 7, 2006What makes events like the Adidas Superstar Camp in Atlanta interesting is not only the gathering of hundreds of top prep basketball prospects in the same venue, but also the rare matchups between top ten prospects.
One of those matchups happened on Thursday night when No. 3 ranked prospect Michael Beasley went head to head against No. 7 Anthony Randolph. If this were a boxing match, they would have given the decision to Beasley, who showed why Bob Huggins has to be jumping for joy in Manhattan, Kansas these days. Beasley was able to dominate the battle by getting to the basket with ease against Randolph.
Beasley is a clear contender for MVP honors when the camp concludes on Saturday night, but he will have some company in the form of shooting guard Eric Gordon. The nation's No. 8 prospect showed why some college coaches are still trying to recruit him despite his commitment to Illinois. While his shot was off more than on Thursday, he was clearly one of the best athletes in the building.
You would think that after Adam Morrison moving on that perhaps Gonzaga would finally take a step back in the pecking order of college basketball. But, the Zags look like they are loading up again for the future.
With Gonzaga Head Coach Mark Few looking on, two of his 2007 commits showed why the Zags are here to stay. In the post, 7-foot center, Robert Sacre, who hails from Vancouver, scored nearly every time he touched the ball. Couple him with the long and lean rising prospect in Austin Daye, from Irvine, California, and Gonzaga has plenty to build upon for the future.
Building at Baylor
When Scott Drew took over the scandal ridden Baylor basketball program, he had an enormous rebuilding task on his hands. With each passing season, Drew continues to build for the future. That future looks even brighter after watching four-star shooting guard LaceDarius Dunn handle just about anyone put in front of him on Thursday. According to a couple of coaches in the gym, he is possibly the best player in the camp.
College coaches are always on the lookout for big men who can shoot from the outside and they are beating down the door for 2008 prospect Luke Babbitt. The 6-foot-8 forward showed on Thursday afternoon that he has a sweet touch from the outside, connecting on several three pointers.
Welcome Back Bobby
One of the old/new faces with the familiar coaches polo back on this week is former Georgia Tech coach Bobby Cremins. Last week Cremins came out of retirement to take over the program at College of Charleston. He was greeted by just about every one of his follow coaches with a warm embrace.
Probably just as popular with the coach fraternity was George Mason head man Jim Larranaga, who seemed to be getting a friendly greeting from every mid-major coach after the Pirates run to the Final Four this past year.
It was a slippery start to the action at the Adidas Camp as they rolled out a specially made basketball that had a design which made the ball look like earth. While the idea was novel, the concept lasted about ten minutes after the ball proved to be slippery for the players and caused numerous unforced errors. The Adidas staff quickly pulled the balls from competition and went back to the more traditional basketball.
To show the international reach of basketball, one of the teams here in Atlanta is made up completely of foreign players, including six from the Far East. The team is being coached again this year by former NBA player Detlef Schrempf, who has the assistance of two interpreters, on the bench to overcome communication difficulties.