Monday, June 14, 2010

Chris Paul CP3 Elite Guard Camp: News and Notes

 By Ryan Feldman

Read this article on the Hoops Report

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Watching the Chris Paul CP3 Elite Guard Camp this weekend was a great opportunity to see some of the top college basketball players in the country during the offseason. Players had the chance to improve their guard skills, learn from arguably the best point guard in the NBA in Chris Paul, and compete against other top college players that many of them see during the season.

The majority of the players at the camp were either Big East or ACC players. Five of the 17 players were from either Duke or North Carolina. Duke was represented by Kyle Singler, Nolan Smith and Seth Curry, while North Carolina was represented by Harrison Barnes and Kendall Marshall.

It was interesting to see Singler there, a player who is clearly a forward but wanted to improve his guard skills. Barnes said himself that he doesn't see himself just as a wing. He sees himself as a player who can also handle the ball and play in the post. And Barnes was one of the most impressive players at the camp. He did everything just as well as any of the guards, including ball-handling, shooting, speed and quickness.

There were a lot of interesting storylines in watching the Duke and UNC players, including getting previews of Singler vs. Barnes, the connection between Barnes and Marshall, the connection between Curry and his teammates (Singler and Smith), and just getting to watch Curry play.

When Singler and Barnes guarded each other, both played hard on defense and didn't allow the other player to get easy shots. Neither play dominated offensively against each other, but Barnes showed throughout the camp that he can play and defend multiple positions easily.

Singler and Barnes were easily two of the best players at the camp, and they should be because they were the tallest players at the camp and they have the most NBA potential.

Singler was solid in all aspects. He shot the ball well and scored well inside. He struggled in some of the ball-handling drills, especially when he had to dribble two balls at once, but that's why he was at the camp. He also struggled when he was guarded by Chris Paul in 1-on-1 drills. But overall, Singler played well and he played hard.

Barnes was rather impressive. In one of the baseline sprint drills, he was the fastest player out there. He is excellent at handling the ball and has great quickness. He showed the ability to score from anywhere on the court. From how he looked this weekend, Barnes should immediately be one of the top players in the ACC.

Marshall is taller than most of the guards at the camp, at 6-foot-4, but he looks like he will be a very good point guard at UNC. He handles the ball well and can compete with most of the guards in attendance, but at times he appeared to be coasting and not really putting in a full effort. His jumper was also inconsistent and is something he needs to work on.

Curry was one of the better players at the camp. He was certainly the best outside shooter of the bunch. He doesn't put much rotation on the ball when he shoots, so if his shot hits the rim it will almost never go in. But that's okay because his shots usually do go in. He showed the ability to shoot from NBA range and make floaters in the lane. Curry did well when he had the opportunity to defend Chris Paul in 1-on-1 drills, getting some defensive stops and even stripping Paul once when he went up for a shot.

Smith certainly improved his shooting this past year, but his jumper looked a bit off during the camp. He doesn't have a pure release and his shot really lacks consistency. But his ball-handling and quickness looked great throughout the camp. He certainly will be fine running the point again for Duke this season if Coach K elects to put him there.

Georgetown's Chris Wright didn't look great in the ball-handling drills compared to some of the other guys. But when they played in a 3-on-3 setting, he made good decisions with the ball and was really shooting the ball well from the perimeter.

UConn's Kemba Walker was one of the best players at the camp. He looked great in every aspect, including ball-handling, quickness, speed and outside shooting. He really shot the ball well when he got his feet set.

Richmond's Kevin Anderson was very impressive. He has a very slender frame but he is a great ball-handler and is very quick. He is very good at driving to the basket but he needs to work on being more consistent with his outside shot.

Marquette's Darius Johnson-Odom was an excellent outside shooter during the season, but he didn't look the same this weekend. He missed a large percentage of his outside shots.

Miami's Durand Scott was rather impressive. He has many of the qualities that make up an elite guard: great ball-handling, quickness, speed and athleticism. Scott isn't a great outside shooter, but if he can improve that aspect of his game he will be a player to watch out for in the ACC.

Washington's Isaiah Thomas looked decent on the first day of camp. He showed his quickness and explosiveness and knocked down some jumpers. But he injured his foot on the second day was limited for the rest of the day.

Syracuse's Brandon Triche is a physical specimen. For a point guard, his strength is incredible. He's in terrific shape and can really overpower most guards. He just has a great feel for the game and is solid as an all-around player. He should be one of the top point guards in the Big East next season.

Virginia Tech's Dorenzo Hudson was probably the best defender at the camp. The 6-foot-5 guard does a great job at staying with smaller, quicker players and forcing them into tough shots. His biggest weakness is that he isn't a great shooter. Hudson injured his knee on the second day of camp when he slipped and fell during a baseline sprint drill, and he had to sit out the rest of the day.

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