2008 adidas Nations Camp: Day 2

Sun, 08/10/2008 - 11:07am

On Saturday the Nations camp got into full swing with morning scrimmages between the college players followed by afternoon and evening games among the Nations U18 players. It's a bit of a 3-ring circus as at times all 6 courts are being used making it impossible to take in even half of the action at one time. So the dilemma is whether to sit and watch complete games or move around and try to take in as much action as possible. I find myself opting for the latter.

Saturday morning marked the first day that James Harden, rocking a mo-hawk, participated in games and scouts rushed to the far end of the gym to see him as soon as his game got started. There's no question he's the top player in camp, Harden has a presence about him, a certain confidence that great players have. He looks every bit a potential top 5 pick based on his play so far.

Day 2 Games


James Harden
The roughly 20 college counselors were split up into the following teams:

Team 1: Darren Collison / Jrue Holiday / Diamon Simpson / Jarvis Varnado / Arinze Onauku

Team 2: Curtis Jerrells / James Harden / Quincy Pondexter / Mac Koshwal / Cole Aldrich

Team 3: Henry Dugat / Dar Tucker / Terrance Williams / Gani Lawal / John Bryant

Team 4: Shaun Dumas / Olu Ashaolu / Antonio Anderson / Wayne Chism / Luke Nevill

The squads faced off for two 10 minute quarters and then moved courts to face other teams.

Harden didn't force things letting the game come to him. He squared off with Terrence Williams getting by him for some nice drive and dishes. Harden scored baskets in the flow of the offense. He had roughly 6 points in each of the games showing excellent lift on his jumper.

His shot looked good in the practice session and although he didn't light the scoreboard on fire, his team won against T-Wills in a brief overtime 37-32. Harden's passing and ability to make teammates better from the 2g position is what really makes him so valuable.

Similar to a Manu Ginobili, Harden does whatever it takes to win, making those around him better. Maybe most impressive about his play today was the way he went down with what appeared to be a potential serious knee injury but was able to shake it off and continue.

That ability to not get injured on a play that had serious injury written all over it is a tribute to his tremendous athletic ability. While he may not look like a specimen, he's one of those deceptive types of athletes who is much more athletic than his body makes him appear.


Darren Collison
The Collison/Holiday squad took care of business winning all three 20 minute scrimmages against the other squads.

It's apparent these two already play with a lot of continuity. Holiday's presence and unselfish style is sure to benefit Collison next season as Holiday commands a lot of attention on the offensive end. He gets into the lane at will and has a polished bag of tricks offensively.
Collison has shown the ability to get to the rim with little resistance.

Unfortunately there isn't a great point guard in camp as there was at last year's Nations camp (Augustin) to test DC. While he may have been the most productive college guy in camp on Saturday, the fact that he's doing it against guys like Shaun Dumas and Henry Dugat leaves something to be desired.

Gani Lawal had the dunk of the day flushing a dunk in emphatic style in the night session. He appears to have put on some muscle (now likely in the 230 lb range) and appears on pace to become a first rounder in 2010. He's likely always going to be a little on the thin side, but his length make up for some of his lack of natural girth.

Curtis Jerrells was another impressive player. He's still not nearly the passer that he is scorer, but his speed and ability to blow by his man and get to the rim makes him an intriguing prospect. His college teammate Henry Dugat may not be a defensive stalwart but he remains one of the most aesthetically pleasing offensive players on the college level. Dugat is a bit of a poor man's Iverson with his amazing body control and degree of difficult finishes. The Baylor pair missed the bus on the first day causing them to miss the first set of games, but have rebounded and seem to be playing well.

Cole Aldrich has neither impressed nor disappointed, just showing solid play on both ends and some added bulk. He's got solid upside, but still appears a year away from being ready.

*Scotty Hopson was at the event but did not participate in the games due to an apparent injury.

Under 18s


Tony Wroten
The European squad continues to play down to the level of their competition. They were able to squeak out a victory against the Latin American team after a late run almost got the gritty Latin bunch to pull out the win. The Euros had trouble extending a second half 10 point lead and the gap closed all the way to 2 with just a couple minutes left on the clock. Nihad Dedovic was the hero as he made all the big plays late carrying the European crew to victory. His late steal and bucket helped crush a late game push as the Euros were able to get a ten point victory, 76-66. Impressive young Czech 2-guard Tomas Satoranski looked solid today but suffered an injury and might be done for the rest of camp.

The Latin American guys lack any NBA potential players but are an extremely steady and tough bunch led by guards Vitor Benite and Vinicius Gobor of Brazil and Jayson Granger of Uruguay. Benite in particular impresses with his heart and determination showing excellent ball handling and shooting skills. The Latin group pushed the 2009 American squad the distance in the night cap with energetic coach Frank Johnson leading them. Johnson's passion and intensity is truly remarkable. The game got so heated that a questionable late call had assistant coach Antawn Jamison jumping out of his seat and running the length of the floor into the other gym.

The USA 2009 team was able to win both of their games keeping their record undefeated. Lance Stephenson continues to dominate the ball, which could ultimately spell doom in the later rounds as he often forgets his teammates and forces bad shots. Although he has made a number of key baskets lte in games to help seal 2009's victories. Derrick Favors has been solid but struggles offensively outside of dunking and garbage baskets.

The 2010 USA squad made short work of Asia Blue 105-77. The three player tandem of sophomore Tony Wroten, Jr., Brandon Knight and Joshua Smith makes them highly formidable. Wroten continues to be extremely unselfish looking to set up teammates first and find basekts for himself when necessary. Smith is a bull with soft touch who if he grows another inch or two could really turn into a serious prospect. Knight continues to impress with his speed/athleticism and feel for the game. Against Asia he had one very impressive two handed rebound dunk. This 2010 USA team may lack the experience of the 2009 USA team, but they appear to be the team to beat with their "big 3".

On Sunday it's live bullets as the games will spell elimination for the losing teams.


adidas Team Europe

Nicolo Melli SF Italy

Moritz Lanegger SG Austria

Branislav Djekic C Serbia

Andreja Milutinovic SG Serbia

Tomislav Zubcic PF Croatia

Leon Radosevic PF Croatia

Nihad Dedovic SG Bosnia

Tomas Satoranski SF Czech Repblic

Josep Franch de Pablo PG Spain

Carl Ona Embo PG France

Richard Grznar PG Slovakia

Deniz Kilicli PF / C Turkey

2009 adidas US National Team

Peyton Siva PG Seattle, WA
GJ Vilarino PG McKinney, TX
Dexter Strickland PG Rahway, NJ
Lance Stephenson SF Brooklyn, NY
Dominic Cheek SG Jersey City, NJ
Noel Johnson SG Fayetteville, GA
Jerry Brown SF El Sobrante, CA
Christian Watford SF Birmingham, AL
Tyler Griffey PF Wildwood, MO
Brendan Lane PF Rocklin, CA
Stephan Van Treese PF Indianapolis, IN
Derrick Favors C Atlanta, GA
Erik Murphy PF/C Southborough, MA

2010 adidas US National Team

Ray McCallum PG Bloomington, IN
Trae Golden G Powder Springs, GA
Brandon Knight PG Fort Lauderdale, FL
Trey Zeigler G Mt. Pleasant, MI
Tony Wroten, Jr. G Seattle, WA
LaQuinton Ross SF Jackson, MS
Jared Sullinger PF Columbus, OH
Julian Washburn PF Duncanville, TX
Joshua Smith C Kent, WA
Adreian Payne PF/C Dayton, OH
Evan Anderson C Eau Claire, WI

adidas Team Canada

# Player Position Country

Tristan Thompson PF Canada

Junior Cadougan PG Canada

Kadeem Coleby PF Canada

Alwayne Bigby SG Canada

Myck Kabongo PG Canada

Cory Joseph SG Canada

Dwight Powell C Canada

Jason Calliste SG Canada

Renaldo Dixon SF Canada

Brady Heslip SG Canada

Richard Armardi SF Canada

adidas Team Latin America

# Player Position Country

Vitor Benite SG Brazil

Gregory Echenique C Venezuela

Rafael Maia PF Brazil

Fabrico de Melo C Brazil

Jonathon King SG Brazil

Rafael Luz PG Brazil

Fabian Rameriz Barrios SF Argentina

Jose Victor Ferreira Jeronimo PF Brazil

Jayson Granger SG Uruguay

Diego Gerbaudo PG Argentina

Vinicus Gobor

Andre Silva SF Brazil

adidas Team Africa

# Player Position Country

Bandja Sy PF Mali

Harouna Abdoulaye PG Niger

Amadou Kaba SG Mali

Lens Aboudou SG Chad

Amath Mbaye SF Senegal / France

Eric Katenda SF RD Congo / France

Mohamed Koita PG Mauritania / France

Youssaoupha Mbao C Senegal

Abdou Niang PF Senegal

Remi Dibo SF Ivory Coast

Negueba Samake C Mali / France

adidas Team Asia Blue

# Player Position Country

Dion Brewster (Dallas only) SF New Zealand

Liam McInerney PF Australia

Mitchell Young PF Australia

Shengyu Lim Forward Singapore

Calvin Chia PG Singapore

Changmin Lee G Korea

Tsz Kin Chau SG Hong Kong

Ka Wai Li C Hong Kong

Sanggu Lee C Korea

Shengyu Lim SF Singapore

Kevin Louie Alas G Philippines

Jose Eduardo Llanes G Philippines

Yi-Hsiang Chou F Taiwan

Yu-Hsuan Sung F Taiwan

adidas Team Asia Red

# Player Position Country

Guo Ai-Lun PG China

Tang Han-Lin SF China

Jiang Jun-Qi SG China

Wang Chao PG China

Chen Fei PF/SF China

Toa Han Lin C China

Cai Chen PF China

Raymond Tapusoa

Samer Jassar

Mingyu Lin

DeAndre Metloc C China

adidas College Players

Player School
Cole Aldrich Kansas
Antonio Anderson Memphis
Olu Ashaolu La Tech.
Tyrell Biggs Pitt
John Bryant Santa Clara
Wayne Chism Tenn
Darren Collison UCLA
Henry Dugat Baylor
Shaun Dumas Xavier ( La)
James Harden ASU
Jrue Holiday UCLA
Scotty Hopson Tennessee
Curtis Jerrells Baylor
Dominique Jones South Florida
Mac Koshwal Depaul
Gani Lawal Georgia Tech
Luke Nevill Utah
Arinze Onauku Syracuse
Quincy Pondexter Washington
Diamon Simpson St. Mary's
Dar Tucker DePaul
Jarvis Varnado Mississippi State
Terrance Williams Louisville

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