LeBron James Skills Academy – Day 3 Evening Session

Thu, 07/09/2009 - 4:19am

By Josh Cochran

Larry Sanders, Devin Ebanks and Manny Harris produce strong performances in Day 3 of the LeBron James Skills Academy:

Akron, Ohio – The 20 college players in attendance split into four teams for full-court scrimmages to end day 3 of the LeBron James Skills Academy. Following three full days of instructional workouts and an evening of scrimmages with LeBron and company, Tuesday evening’s session was cut short by an hour. The players were visibly fatigued and some were battling cramps. Nonetheless, Tuesday night provided some interesting matchups and our final look at the college players in a game-like setting.

Al-Farouq AminuAl-Farouq Aminu* One of the more intriguing matchups of the evening featured two raw big men from non-BCS programs. Jerome Jordan (7’0” C/Tulsa) went head-to-head with day 2 standout, Larry Sanders (6’10” PF/VCU). Despite giving up two inches in this matchup, Sanders got the better of Jordan on the night. On several occasions, Sanders was able to beat Jordan down the court to find easy transition buckets. He and Greivis Vasquez (6’6” G/Maryland) worked the pick and roll very effectively throughout the evening, leading to a number of buckets. Sanders was active from the weak-side often slipping to the basket and converting scoring opportunities when his defender left to help in the paint. Continuing his performance from last night, Sanders dominated the glass, particularly on the defensive end. He also used his length to block several shots, including a dunk attempt from the ultra-athletic Chris Wright (6’7” F/Dayton). Again, most of Sanders scoring opportunities came on dunks and layups. He missed on the majority of his mid-range attempts, but he did convert a nice turnaround jumper over Yancy Gates (6’9” F/Cincinnati). Jordan has great size, but he’s not as active as some of the camp’s other big men. He converted a few weak-side opportunities and a nice baseline spin move versus Sanders. But overall, Sanders turned in the more impressive performance.

* After a quiet performance Monday night, highly regarded Devin Ebanks (6’7” F/West Virginia) stepped it up in this evening’s workout. Ebanks possesses a mix of length and quickness that presents a difficult matchup for most wing defenders. He did not exhibit great ability to attack the rim, but he displayed a picturesque jump shot with a high release point. This was on full display tonight as Ebanks spotted on the wing and knocked down a handful of threes off of feeds from Kalin Lucas (6’1” G/Michigan State). Ebanks also ran the floor very well and had a few finishes in transition. In the final game of the evening, the West Virginia forward played very well in a matchup versus Cleveland Cavaliers first round draft pick, Christian Eyenga.

* Michigan Sophomore Manny Harris turned in a well-rounded performance while battling the likes of Devin Ebanks and Willie Warren (6’4” G/Oklahoma). Harris is an aggressive offensive player with an instinct for scoring. He attacked the basket within the half-court using his quickness to get by defenders. Once in the lane, the 183 pound guard had no problem converting scoring opportunities. Harris was also active on the defensive end by swiping his man and playing the passing lanes, which led to several fast break points.

* Following his impressive performance Monday evening, Al-Farouq Aminu (6’8” F/Wake Forest) showed again why he is one of the top forwards on many draft boards. His size and skill set make him well-suited for an NBA small forward. Aminu used his athleticism and 7’0” wingspan to block two shots during the session. He once again showcased his ability to get to the rim as he finished with several dunks in the half court and in transition. Expect Aminu and Kyle Singler (6’7” F/Duke) to be compared often in the coming year due to their position, size, and respective slots on NBA mock draft boards. Not to mention their schools’ ACC rivalry. After watching these two over the course of three days, they both show versatile scoring ability and good rebounding instincts. Singler is the better pure shooter (though he did not display it Tuesday night), and Aminu is the better athlete and defender. Additionally, Singler is closer to being a finished product, while Aminu has a higher ceiling. Both have the ability to be solid contributors at the next level and it will be interesting to see where they are selected if they choose to enter next year’s draft.

Unfortunately, the college campers were battling fatigue and the evening’s scrimmage session was cut short before they had another opportunity to play against LeBron James. The camp’s host brought Cleveland Cavalier teammates Mo Williams, Darnell Jackson, Tarrence Kinsey, Christian Eyenga and Danny Green to run the floor with the collegians. Instead, the college campers iced and headed back to their hotel for some well-deserved rest, while LeBron took the floor with his Cavalier teammates and a few high school friends for a few hours of pick-up games.

We will be back tomorrow with a final recap of the camp, including our opinion on the best performers and a few notes on the top high school prospects.
Tha King2121
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Joined: 04/11/2009
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E Banks!

Good to Know Devin Ebanks is doing better cuz they said he was horrible in the first 2 days

The Hoops Manifesto
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Joined: 06/12/2009
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I'm real impressed Aminu decided to return to school. With Johnson and Teague gone he will get a chance to be "The Man" and should really improve his draft stock.

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