NBA Pre-Draft Camp Thursday Recap

By David Scott - June 01, 2007

ORLANDO - It has become the Pre-Draft Camp that Billy the Kid stole, but don't bother telling that to any of the 60-plus players who are jockeying for position in the June 28 NBA Draft. Even with the monster distraction of the Little Coach Who Could, Thursday night's two games at the Lactose Dome went on as scheduled and the overall picture of this Camp started to beocme a bit more clear.

Among the revelations on Day Two of the games is the emerging sentiment that Boston College's Jared Dudley is the player helping himself the most; Jared Jordan of Marist is the most fundamentally sound player and the increasing realization that high-major players aren't necessarily the best-prepared for either the NBA or a camp like this one.

So, with the Orlando Magic's official website announcement of Billy Donovan's hiring, we can re-focus our attention on what brought us to Mickey's crib in the first place.

After the jump, we take a look at Hang Time's "Two-Thirds of the Way Done" assessment of the 2007 NBA Pre-Draft Camp.

Before we get there, be advised that we've called an audible for Friday's coverage of camp, as the Donovan press conference will be held at 11 a.m. at Magic headquarters and we owe it to you, the loyal Hang Time Hanger, to go and chronicle the closing chapter of Donovan's stellar collegiate coaching career. (Closing for now any way, as the track record of college-to-pro guys suggests that Donovan may, at some point, find his way back to the good ole NC two-A.) We do promise to return to the Milk House in the afternoon to put a capper on the competition of camp.

* The night cap on Thursday (Game #6) featured Team 6 downing Team 3 in a nail-biting 89-87 win. The game came down to the final possession and Team 3 missed two shots at winning the game.

Syracuse's Demetris Nichols continued his strong camp with a game-high 17 points on 6 of 7 shooting form the field, inclduing 3 of 4 from 3-point land. Nevada's Ramon Sessions chipped in 16 points for the 2-0 Team 6ers and Wright State's DaShaun Wood led the 0-2 Team 3 with 15 points (on 5 of 12 shooting). Nichols' Orange teammate grabbed a game-high nine rebounds for Team 6.

The "standings" after six games show Teams 2 and 6 with perfect records; Teams 1 and 4 with .500 records; and Teams 3 and 5 still searching for a win. Friday's first game at 9:15 AM will pit Team 2 vs. Team 3, followed by the 11:15 game between Teams 1 and 6 with the camp's final game matching Teams 4 and 5.

* Time for some categorical looks at the participants in camp. For this exercise in crystal balling, your humble correspondent pretends that we are an NBA General Manager and we offer up a few lists.

Guys We Absolutley Would Need to Bring in for an Individual Workout

Probably the most common question for the players at camp is "What workouts do you have scheduled once camp is over?" With that in mind, and also knowing how important a strong individual workout and interview can be, here are the guys we'd like to get into our own building for a looksie:

Jared Dudley, Boston College - He's averaging 10 points and 4.5 rebounds through two games, has shot well form the field (7 of 10) and has re-affirmed his position as the reigning ACC Player of the Year. Dudley does everything well and always near the ball. He's a 10-year career NBA guy and we're willing to bet our CSTV stock on it. (Clarification: We have no CSTV stock.)

Demetris Nichols, Syracuse - The camp's high scorer through two contests, Nichols has made a camp-best 7 of 9 3-pointers and 13 of 16 from the field. He was an all-Big East first-teamer as a senior and became a solid rebounder in his junior and senior seasons.

Ramon Sessions, Nevada - Tied for the camp lead in assists with 12 (Jared Jordan also has a dozen), he was a second team All-WAC selection as a junior for the Wolfpack. He has no agent and could very well return to Nevada, but we'd be intrigued in a point-guard weak Draft to see what Sessions has to offer.

Sun Yue, China - Another fundamentally sound player who has opened some eyes with his court awareness and shooting touch and has shown good ability to get to the hoop. He's an unknown entity and to have him in for a workout might help to start answer some questions.

Guys We Know Can PLay in the League But Fear Won't Get the Chance

Jared Jordan, Marist - He does everything the right way and if he was even three inches taller, his first-round status wouldn't even be a question. Even so, at 6-2 and 187, Jordan can play for us any day of the week. He makes everyone around him better and his teammates rave about playing with him.

Sammy Mejia, DePaul - A second team All-Big East pick as a senior, Mejia is the ninth all-time leading scorer for DePaul and is the second Blue Demon ever to score 1,000 points, grab 500 rebounds, get 300 assists, have 100 steals and 100 3-pointers in a career (joining Tom Kleinshmidt). Through two games, he's averaging 10.0 points and has been tenacious on defense.

DJ Strawberry, Maryland - He's shot poorly (5 of 14) and is only averaging 5.5 points per game, but we still love the make-up of Darryl's kid.

Guys We Think Should Be Checking Exchange Rates in Foreign Lands

Rashuan Freeman, UMass - He's been given short time on the floor compared to most other players but even from his 33:51 we are re-affirmed in our belief that Freeman is an average player with limited skills.

Curtis Sumpter, Villanova - We loved him in college and have turned sour on him at this camp as he's gone 0 for 11 form the field, has struggled to rebound and has had seven turnovers in 38:41 of play.

Jeremy Hunt, Memphis - Another kid we enjoyed at the collegiate level, but one that appears destined to struggle at the next level. He's 1 of 10 from the field, vulnerable on defense and a bit sloppy with the ball (four turnovers).

* One NBA scout told us on Thursday that his club had 12 representatives in attendanced in Orlando. While that number is high for most teams, it's not unheard of. But it should be. Just how many eyes are necessary to watch kids that most of the teams' scouts have been watching all year long (if not several seasons)? The NBA is known for overkill and extravagance and the pre-draft camp is no different.

* We'll be back on Friday afternoon, if not sooner, and we'll present our All-Camp teams later in the day. Also, be sure to check out the CSTV podcasts under the "Links" header at the homepage and download our Daily Buzz chat regarding the Pre-Draft Camp. It was recorded on May 31.

Posted by David Scott at 12:04 AM on June 01, 2007

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