football Edit

Fab Frosh Camp: Friday Notebook

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Some of the nation's elite prospects in the basketball Class of 2013 descended on the University of Kentucky campus this weekend as part of the third-annual Freshman All-American Camp.
Nearly 150 of the top rising freshmen from more than 20 states were invited to the "Fab Frosh" event, which opened Thursday night at Memorial Coliseum and will run through Sunday afternoon.
And while it may catch some by surprise that top prospects are being identified prior to landing in high school, Friday's action demonstrated why it's becoming more common.
Here are some of the standouts from Friday's session:
* Ishmael Wainwright -- The 6-foot-4 swingman from Kansas City, Mo., has been the talk of the camp thus far. Others have scored more points or grabbed more rebounds or looked flashier at times, but no one has done everything quite as well as Wainwright, who is blessed with a thick 210-pound frame that belies his age of 14. He's a bit reminiscent of a young Xavier Henry, the elite 2009 swingman who will play for the Kansas Jayhawks. Recording a double-double has been no sweat for Wainwright, even in the sweltering heat at Memorial Coliseum. Even more refreshing: Wainwright knows he's good and doesn't force matters to prove it. Look for his name to become a favorite among recruitniks in the years to come.
* Johnathan Williams -- A 6-foot-8, 180-pound forward from Memphis, Tenn., Williams could almost pass for Wainwright's brother. Many observers got the two players confused at times on Friday, and not just because of their almost-identical braided hairstyle. Like Wainwright, Williams has a versatile game, but a few extra inches and some serious length that make him a force on both ends of the floor. Physically similar to former UK standout Tayshaun Prince, the wiry Williams was outstanding in the role of "point forward," handling the ball well with both hands on the break and dishing out several assists. He had a 25-point, seven-rebound game with at least five blocked shots on Friday night.
* Rodney Purvis -- He not only shares the same Raleigh, N.C., hometown as the No. 1 player in the Class of 2009, but some think Purvis also has some of UK signee John Wall's ability at the same stage in their development. A 6-3, 180-pound guard, Purvis may be the best athlete in the Fab Frosh Camp. He was constantly out ahead of the pack in drills and conditioning sessions, and transfers that energy well to the court when it's gametime. He had a pair of 19-point games on Friday, typically scoring on slashing moves to the basket as his hometown friend, Wall, watched from the stands. Perhaps good news for UK fans in the future, Purvis says that Wall wearing the blue and white has sparked his interest in the Wildcats.
* Tadric Jackson -- The 6-foot-1, 175-pound guard from Ashburn, Ga., provided some of the best double-take moments from Friday's action. An amazing leaper, Jackson threw down the dunk of the day, a left-handed tomahawk over a defender on the fast break that nearly caused players on both teams to stop and offer their high-fives. Later, he showed his tremendous bounce again by throwing down a two-handed rebound jam off a teammates' missed shot. His perimeter game appears to be still developing, but he's got a nice handle and athleticism galore. Remarkably, Jackson played as a seventh-grader last season, but will make the jump to the freshman class this year.
* Nigel Williams-Goss -- The 6-2 guard from Henderson, Nev., put his stamp on two of the best scoring performances of the camp thus far: a 32-point effort on Thursday and a 31-point performance on Friday where he also flirted with a triple-double by grabbing eight boards and dishing out seven assists. Williams-Goss plays with a lot of bounce and can score equally well by spotting up for the jumper or slashing to the basket.
* Alex Foster -- Word is that the Illini have already offered the 6-7 forward from Plainfield, Ill. That's not such a big surprise when you see the upside in Foster's game. He has an opportunity to challenge Wainwright as the most well-rounded player in the camp. A jersey change made tracking his stats more difficult, but we'll try to follow up on those later this weekend.
* Brent Scott -- Something screams out Scottie Reynolds while watching the Fort Wayne, Ind., standout operate. The 6-foot, 175-pound guard isn't the tallest or most athletic player in the camp, but like the stocky Villanova standout, he just gets the job done in a variety of ways. He oozes basketball IQ and is a crafty scorer, netting 25 and 22 points in two of his first three games.
* Kendal Harris -- A 6-1 guard from Dallas, Harris showed explosive scoring ability with a 21-point game and a 26-point, 13-rebound effort. He runs the floor extremely well, attacks the basket fearlessly, and finishes as good as anyone in the camp. At one point, I asked another onlooker if they had seen Harris miss a shot. They could not recall one, either.
* Jahmel Taylor -- The Los Angeles guard saved his best for last on Friday, exploding for 30 points in the final game of the night. The 6-foot guard whose style resembles that of Detroit Pistons star Rip Hamilton, pumped in 17 points in the first quarter on an assortment of 3-pointers and pull-up jumpers off the bounce.
* Darryl Hicks -- There's only a couple of homegrown prospects in the event, and Shelby County's Hicks represented himself well through the first two days. The 6-3 guard opened with a 21-point game and also delivered an 11-point, 8-rebound peformance that showed some of his other skills. He's definitely a name to keep an eye on in the Bluegrass State the next four years.
* Tyrek Coger -- There aren't too many true big men in the event, but Coger is one of the more promising. The 6-8, 240-pound post player from Raleigh, N.C., displayed sure hands, soft touch around the basket and good footwork -- three things often lacking in bigs his age. If he continues growing, as his massive shoes suggest, look out.
* Lawrence Briggs -- On the flip side of the size chart is this 5-1 dynamo from Chicago. At first glance, you might think Briggs is elementary-aged player, but don't let the looks fool you. Briggs was an impressive floor general on Friday and didn't back down to anyone. On a day where turnovers were flying faster than you could blink, he rarely committed one and never got overpowered by the bigger competition. Few players earned respect from his peers like Briggs did on Friday.
*****
Click here to view TCP's photo gallery from Friday's Freshman All-American Camp