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Pre-draft camp report: Nerves rule Day 1

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Lester Hudson is one of the headliners.
(AP Photo/Reinhold Matay)

ORLANDO – There weren't any notable last-second pullouts by players leading up to the first day of the Orlando pre-draft camp. It was refreshing to see the class stay true to their commitments, unlike in past years here and in Portsmouth, where handfuls of prospects bolted at the last second.

The roster remained impressive, with NBA executives comparing it favorably to years past. The camp headliners included Shan Foster, DeVon Hardin, Joey Dorsey, Richard Hendrix, Lester Hudson, Ty Lawson, Jeremy Pargo, and Pat Calathes.

As usual, players showed nerves on the first day, weren't familiar with each other's skills and played below their normal performance levels. There weren't many standouts Tuesday. However, some of the impressive performers of Day 1 included Hudson, Brian Roberts, Calathes, Hendrix and George Hill.

Roberts made his presence felt most on defense, where his hard-nosed style pestered guards. He showed experience in defending the pick-and-roll and getting his hands on a ton of balls that often led to steals for himself or one of his teammates. He also did a nice job of initiating the offense when he had the ball, something he struggled with during his tenure at Dayton.

Known as more of a combo guard, Roberts looked comfortable playing the full-time point man. He didn't score a ton of points or dominate the field on offense, but his overall performance helped his draft chances.

Foster and Wayne Ellington entered the camp as two of the best shooters, with Foster perhaps being the best in the country. Neither found his stroke, which was likely affected by nerves.

John Riek also looked disappointing. He could be nursing an injury based on the awkward way he ran the court, but he looked slow in executing post moves and didn't play in the competitive scrimmages, the only player here who didn't.

A few players dropped weight entering the camp. Shaun Pruitt has lost an incredible amount of weight in the six or so weeks since Portsmouth. Malik Hairston and James Gist also dropped pounds, which should help their transitions to becoming full-time small forwards.

Tuesday was mostly for getting the nerves out and letting the NBA people familiarize themselves with names. Wednesday is when things start to count in Orlando.

Jonathan Givony is the president of DraftExpress.

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