KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The highlight of the final day of camp was the "physical only" players participating in the skills drills with the regular campers. While this was in no way comparable to what the draft camp-participants went through, it was nice to see the top prospects in the draft participate in some form.
O.J. Mayo (smooth, confident, skilled), Derrick Rose (incredibly athletic, fluid, better-than-advertised shooting) and Russell Westbrook (fantastic in transition drills, freakishly athletic, very composed, serious) were the top three performers amongst the group of elite prospects. It’s hard to hurt yourself in transition, shooting and ball-handling skills, but JaVale McGee surely didn’t help himself by airballing a number of perimeter jumpers and repeatedly getting stuffed by the rim. He looked very nervous in this setting.
Gary Forbes: Our MVP of the camp continued his outstanding play with a 17-point showing on Friday. He showed his versatility by scoring in a number of ways. Forbes posted up, beat defenders off the dribble and even knocked down two NBA threes. He still struggled defensively, but remained the top performer the camp had to offer.
David Padgett: After two uninspired games, Padgett turned it on during his final appearance. His smart play produced a 11-point, six-rebound, four-assist performance. The Louisville senior passed the ball incredibly well out of the post, didn't force any shots and showed off some nifty footwork in the paint. Still not a lock to be drafted, his play in the final game definitely improved his chances.
Brian Roberts: Roberts had a brilliant performance, leading his squad to an undefeated record. He had 13 assists with zero turnovers, displaying the playmaking skills that he often lacked during his collegiate career. Already a proven scorer, he showed the ability to extend his range beyond the NBA three-point line and finish amongst bigger opponents he was not used to facing in the Atlantic 10. It was a perfect ending to what has been a fantastic pre-draft camp.
Othello Hunter: Played his best game of the tournament, and really made a good case to move into the second round with his combination of athleticism, motor and developing skill-set. He hit mid-range jumpers, used hook shots in the post and pulled down 14 rebounds, seven offensive, in 25 minutes. He also looked impressive in the vertical leap portion of the combine, likely being among the best here.
DeVon Hardin: Looked incredible as expected in the physical tests of the combine, including sprints, agility and vertical leap, but continued to also show a developing post game. He also played good defense, fronting the post and using his length to his advantage.
George Hill: After struggling with his point guard skills at times over the past couple days, Hill redeemed himself on Friday, showing good vision on a couple of pick-and-rolls. The junior guard also dumped the ball down to post players on the drive and showed much better court vision. He hit shots off the dribble and showed his athleticism on drives to the basket. It appears Hill will need some time before he has NBA range on his jumper, but his solid mechanics will help him. Though he will probably return to school, it was wise for him to play here considering he received very little hype over the course of the season.
Tywon Lawson: For the second day in a row, Lawson sat out with an unknown injury. The top performer on the first day feels confident enough in his draft stock not to take part in the action, leaving little optimism in the sophomore returning to Chapel Hill. Also sitting out were Richard Roby (sporting a cast on his hand), Danny Green (finally resting an ankle injury that has nagged him all camp) and Pat Calathes (hip, but also likely comfortable with where he stands in this draft).
Lester Hudson: Played his best game of the tournament Friday, though that’s not saying much, as he hasn’t quite lived up to expectations. While his first step and ball-handling still looked underwhelming today, he showed nice creativity in the lane, drawing contact and finishing in a variety of ways, including one nice right-handed floater. On the defensive end, he had one nice block on the perimeter, but struggled with off-ball defense, specifically getting around screens.
James Mays: Played a very solid game. Tough inside on both ends of the floor, pulling down six rebounds and scoring 10 points on 4-for-6 shooting. He spun off both shoulders in the post, using dropsteps and hook shots, while also doing a good job passing out of and into the post. He also played solid man-to-man defense down low. While he has a great build and good length, he hasn’t overhwhelmed anyone athletically.
Jeremy Pargo: Had an up-and-down game, showing all his strengths and weaknesses while reaffirming to everyone here that he needs to go back to school and work on his game. He penetrated to score or get to the line while also doing a good job in the pick-and-roll game, but he wasn’t hitting his outside shots as usual. He also did a very good job on bounce entry passes to the post, but his over-penetrations and poor decision-making led to six turnovers.
Joey Dorsey: Dorsey ended a solid all-around week with another steady game where his defensive skills were on full display. Though he’s not the quickest player laterally, he plays great man defense in the low post and is a shot-blocking threat from the weak side as well. Offensively, he sets bruising screens and even stepped out for a couple of mid-range jumpers (though this is far from being a reliable tool). Dorsey will probably measure closer to 6-foot-7 in shoes than his listed height of 6-9, but he had a solid week here and should be on an NBA roster at the start of next season.
Mark Tyndale: Although he was forced to play the point guard spot full time, Tyndale has continued to show a versatile skill-set throughout the week. He shows the ability to defend on and off the ball. Offensively, he can break down opposing players off the dribble and dish to the open man, and he finishes very aggressively at the rim. If he improves his perimeter shooting, he’d have a great chance to stick with an NBA team.
Mike Taylor: After a couple of good games over the past couple of days, Taylor struggled on the offensive end and showed why he is sometimes labeled as an erratic player. He still showed the same athleticism and aggressiveness with the ball in his hands, but struggled to convert shots in the paint. On the drive he turned the ball over on numerous occasions by trying to force his way through traffic. Also struggled with his left hand. It was known entering camp that Taylor had trouble playing out of control at times, and this game shouldn’t hurt his stock a whole lot (especially considering that few were actually watching it). But it would have helped him to show some consistency in his final game here in Orlando.
Wayne Ellington: Ellington struggled Friday after his solid showing in the previous day’s game. He tends to force the ball to the rim in isolation situations and ends up with no place to go against help defenders. He excels in transition where he can hit pull-up jumpers and get to the rim with space, and he managed to show his range on a few occasions today. Unless he becomes stronger and improves defensively, it would be hard to envision Ellington making much of an impact at the NBA level. Being just a sophomore, it would be wise for him to go back to Chapel Hill and work on becoming a much more complete player.