The stars were out to shine this weekend as the best players in the country went at it during the Pangos All-American Camp. The top two prep players in the country, centers Andre Drummond (#1) and Isaiah Austin (#2 — Baylor) put on a show Friday and two of the best power forwards in the country, Mitch McGary and Robert Carter (#34), battled it out at the Under Armour Best of the Best Camp. However, amidst all the big men competing against each other, one wing player stole the show at Pangos and showed why he could be considered the best player in the Class of 2012. There is also a lot of new news today regarding new lists, new timetables and when top prospects will take visits so make sure you don’t miss the latest Who’s Got Next? column.
What They’re Saying
- Atlanta Hawks guard Joe Johnson on junior Archie Goodwin (#19): “Archie’s gonna be a special player. I think he’s far ahead of where I was going into the 12th grade, so I was really surprised. He makes great plays that can’t be taught. The sky’s gonna be the limit.”
- Sonny Parker on where his son, sophomore Jabari Parker (Watch List), wants to play college: “I asked him if he had a top five, and he said, ‘Dad, wherever I’m going to get an opportunity to play.’ Let’s put it this way, he’s an elite player, and he’s going to go to an elite school. Whatever school he goes to, I know he wants to win a national championship.”
- Junior Justin Anderson (#45) who he’s recruiting: “I’m really working on [class of 2012 point guard] L.J. Rose (#20)… we’re trying to get him at my high school (Montrose Christian) and at UVA. Right now, we’re really pushing for him.”
- Junior Shabazz Muhammad (#3) on who he’s been talking to lately: “I talked to [Arizona head] coach [Sean] Miller two days ago, I talked to [Duke head] coach [Mike] Krzyzewski two days ago, I’ve been e-mailing [Kentucky head] coach [John] Calipari, I talked to [UCLA head] coach [Ben] Howland, I talked to Memphis.” On his visit to Arizona: “I enjoyed myself a lot, it was a great experience for me. All in all it was a great time and I had a great experience their.”
- Junior Anthony Bennett on the schools that are recruiting him the hardest: “Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Connecticut, West Virginia, Florida.” On when he will make a decision: “Probably late next year.”
- Sophomore star Nerlens Noel (Watch List) on a timetable for hist list: “I think I’m going to put out a list by the fall, maybe after this summer.”
What the Ellis Family is Saying
Fonda Ellis, the mother of Class of 2012 power forward Perry Ellis (#10) said many interesting things a couple of days ago when she talked to National Recruiting Spotlight about her son’s interest in Duke (to see more analysis of this make sure you check out the “What You Missed” section). Perry also said a couple of noteworthy things so we compiled the best quotes that the two recently said.
- Perry on the Blue Devils: “I feel like Duke is a good school. It has a lot of history and [head] coach [Mike] Krzyzewski is one of the best coaches ever.”
- Perry on Duke assistant coach Jeff Capel: “We had a good relationship when he was at OU. I really liked him.”
- Fonda On how hard Duke is recruiting Perry and whether Perry will add the Blue Devils to his list: “Duke is showing great interest right now. If Duke keeps showing interest they will [be added to his list].”
- Fonda On Perry’s relationship with Krzyzewski and Capel: “Perry really likes Capel a lot [because] they have been close for three years. [As for] head coach Mike Krzyzewski, Perry thinks [he] is cool and thinks it is an honor to have him call him and just talk.”
- Fonda On who Krzyzewski says Perry reminds him off: “Coach K told Perry that when he watches his video highlights it reminded him of [former Duke star] Grant Hill… I think Perry would fit great.”
- Fonda On a timetable for Perry’s decision: “He wants to wait after the summer and then pick five schools for officials visits early fall. He [also] wants to take a visit [to Duke].”
What We Learned
The Battle of the [Class of 2012] Bigs. Whether it was the Pangos All-American Camp or the Under Armour Best of the Best, the top big men in the Class of 2012 went at it as the top two prep players in the country, centers Andre Drummond (#1) and Isaiah Austin (#2 — Baylor) battled at Pangos and power forwards Mitch McGary and Robert Carter (#33) went head-t0-head at Best of the Best. Drummond dominated Austin on Friday (although the video makes it seems more than it was) and proved that he is the best big man in the Class of 2012. He lived in the paint and simply got the ball in the basket whether it was through a variety of hook shots or a very impressive spin move that opened up a lay-up opportunity while finishing through contact. On the other hand, you had Austin who was unable to utilize his length as much as you would have liked on the defensive end to disrupt and block Drummond’s shot, but he did show a nice finesse game on the high post and perimeter where he knocked down jumpers and used the dribble-drive to create separation. At Best of the Best, McGary got the upper hand on Carter as he played with great intensity and claimed the interior as his. He also displayed impressive turn-around and face-up jumpers that complement his interior game well. He also passed well but did a terrific job on the defensive end as he was the only person to stop Carter one-on-one all weekend. As for who’s recruiting the top big men in the country, Connecticut is the favorite for Drummond whereas Carter and McGary are pretty open with Carter listing Kentucky, Ohio State, Florida State, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Alabama, North Carolina and Duke when asked this weekend, while McGary lists Texas, Connecticut, Indiana, Florida, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Villanova, Duke, Wisconsin, Arizona and Miami.
Top Ten Prospect Adding Duke to his List? After former Oklahoma head coach Jeff Capel decided to become an assistant coach at Duke, it was widely expected that Capel would use the relationship that he built with class of 2012 power forward Perry Ellis (#10) as head coach at OU to recruit him for the Blue Devils. However, what wasn’t known was whether Ellis would be interested in adding the 2010 national championship school to his list. Perry and his mother, Fonda Ellis, both spoke out this weekend on Perry’s interest in the Blue Devils (to see what they said check out the “What The Ellis Family is Saying” section) and it looks like Capel has landed Duke a spot on Perry’s list of schools. Ellis has long had the same list of six schools (Kansas, Kansas State, Kentucky, Memphis, Oklahoma and Wichita State) and although other schools like Minnesota have tried to jump on him, he’s been pretty consistent since he has said that he likes the comfort having known coaches for multiple years. However, Duke has applied a fullcourt press and Capel and Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski have been in contact with Ellis at least six times in the last month which doesn’t include the numerous emails Capel has exchanged with Ellis and his mother. The new information also reveals that Ellis plans on waiting until after the summer is over to choose five schools that he will take official visits to which means if he adds Duke to his list, he will have to cut two others out. As we reported before, Fonda said in the past that it would be tough for Oklahoma to land her son because of the coaching change and that Wichita State is certainly an option for the local native. An inside source also told us that Kansas and Kentucky are likely in Ellis’ top three.
Shabazz Muhammad Staking His Claim as the Best in the Country? Among all of the action between the top big men in the junior class, Class of 2012 small forward Shabazz Muhammad (#3) was the one who stole the show this weekend at the Pangos All-American Camp as he came away with the Most Valuable Player Award. Even though he is already an elite slasher who excels in transition, he somehow seems to be getting even better and is unstoppable when he drives to the basket and fearlessly attacks the rim in transition. He also is a phenomenal athlete who is very strong and seemingly scores at will whenever he steps onto the court. However, what’s really taking his game to the next level is his improving jump shot that people must now defend. Muhammad displayed good speed as well and although he’s not the best player in his class yet, he may get there soon. He needs to continue to improve on his shooting and will have to be able to use his right hand more but look for him to only rise in the rankings (although he’s already rated as the third best prospect in the Class of 2012). As for his recruitment, Muhammad said this weekend that he’s talked to Arizona, Duke, Kentucky, UCLA and Memphis recently and that he had a great time at his Arizona visit (to see exactly what he had to say about it, check out the “What They’re Saying” section) and that he got to talk to former Wildcat star, Derrick Williams. For even more recruiting news on Muhammad, you can check out the “What Shabazz Muhammad is Saying” section in last’s week Who’s Got Next? column.
Archie Goodwin Suffers an Injury in the Pangos All-American Camp All-Star Game. Class of 2012 shooting guard Archie Goodwin (#19) dislocated his non-shooting wrist this weekend during the Pangos All-American Camp All-Star game. According to Premier Ball, Goodwin will likely be out for at least six weeks and Goodwin even tweeted a picture of his cast. Goodwin was having a fantastic weekend at Pangos and suffered the injury while attempting a dunk but he was then undercut and fell to floor. The worst part about the situation for Goodwin is that he will be unable to participate in the Nike Peach Jam in North Augusta, South Carolina, from July 12-15, after leading his team to a postseason appearance there. During the Nike EYBL regular season, he was in the top five in scoring with over 20 PPG and was in the top five in free throws attempted per game as well. He was clearly an integral part of Arkansas Wings Elite and performed so well for them since he is a tremendous slasher and has great length and athleticism. Before the injury interrupted his summer, he was consistently playing well so look for him to finish out the summer strong as well since I know he’ll want to make up for lost time.
Video of the Week
Check out Hoop Mixtape’s top ten plays of the Pangos All-American Camp:
Marcus Paige, North Carolina, Point Guard — Last week I said Paige has consistently been a great point guard week in and week out throughout the summer circuit and the Pangos All-American Camp was no different for the best floor general in the Class of 2012. He outplayed every other point guard this weekend and again did an excellent job of creating scoring opportunities for both himself and his teammates. He also performed well in pick-and-roll situations and showed the ability to knock down both the mid-range jumper and three-point shot with his sweet stroke. His speed and quickness showed too and he played very intelligently throughout the weekend. Paige is simply the best point guard in the Class of 2012 and has only been getting better throughout the summer.
Alex Caruso, Undecided, Shooting Guard — Caruso was the biggest surprise this weekend at the Pangos All-American Camp and is a combo guard who displayed the ability to finish, make impressive passes and create scoring opportunities for himself. He also exhibited a nice jumper and good athleticism as he utilized the dribble-drive effectively. If you’re wondering how big of a surprise Caruso was, consider this, his list consisted of Northern Colorado, Richmond and Sam Houston State going into the weekend but you can definitely expect him to get more looks from high-major schools. He has great versatility and can play all three back court positions and also showed a nice mid-range game throughout the weekend.
Shabazz Muhammad, Undecided, Small Forward — Muhammad was the star this weekend at the Pangos All-American Camp and won MVP honors while racking up a game-high 23 points, four rebounds and four assists during the All-Star game on the last day of Pangos. He shot 8-12 from the field, 1-3 from three-point land and 6-7 from the free throw line. He was simply a terrific slasher who is both strong and athletic and proved that he is the best junior in the country in transition. He also displayed an improving jump shot that makes him absolutely lethal and had a fearless attitude when attacking the basket. He showed his impressive speed as well and is unstoppable when he decided to slash into the lane and get to the bucket. Muhammad has talked to Arizona head coach Sean Miller, Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski and UCLA head coach Ben Howland lately and has been e-mailing Kentucky head coach John Calipari. He’s also spoken with Memphis in the past week.
Anthony Bennett, Undecided, Power Forward — Bennett was among the few standouts at the Pangos All-American Camp and has had a great summer so far resulting in a top-50 ranking when we update our Class of 2012 prospect rankings again. He has good size and athleticism and plays with a good motor and aggressive mindset. He displayed the ability to impact the game in every phrase between his 16-point, game-high four steals, two rebounds and one assist stat line during the all-star game at the end of the weekend. Bennett shot extremely well from the field in the same game as he went 7-8 from the field and 2-3 from behind the arc. He is currently considering Connecticut, Iowa State, Oklahoma, West Virginia and UNLV but expect him to pick up many more high-major offers by the time the summer circuit ends.
Andre Drummond, Undecided, Center — Drummond was one of the top performers this weekend at the Pangos All-American Camp and outplayed Class of 2012 power forward Isaiah Austin (#2 — Baylor) in their head-to-head match-up Friday. Drummond was terrific in the paint and clearly established himself as the best big man in the country. He used a variety of hook shots and a very impressive spin move that opened up a lay-up opportunity in which he finished through contact. He had 16 points and three rebounds in the all-star game and shot 7-11 from the field and 2-5 from the free throw line. Drummond has really gotten better at drifting out to the perimeter less and utilized his interior game more. Connecticut is universally considered the favorite for the best player in the country although head coach Jim Calhoun‘s possible retirement could leave the door open for other schools on his list such as Duke, Georgetown, Kentucky and Pittsburgh.
Rysheed Jordan, Point Guard, Sophomore — Jordan has great physical tools between his long arms, athleticism, great leaping abilities and strong frame. He was the best point guard at the Under Armour Best of the Best Combine and consistently got into the paint while throwing in a few jump shots that he made here and there. He’s a great slasher and has a big upside and has received interest from Drexel, Rutgers and St. Joseph’s but if Jordan can consistently get into the lane like he did this weekend his stock will only rise.
Tadrick Jackson, Shooting Guard, Freshman — Jackson is a freak athlete who does a great job of getting to the rim and finishing through contact once he gets there. This combo guard can knock down the perimeter jumper off the catch and off the dribble and displayed impressive court vision and passing skills. He can score a lot of points and a short amount of time and excels in transition. Although he is only a freshman, he does have a list which includes Georgia Tech, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Michigan State and Purdue.
Stephen Domingo, Small Forward, Sophomore — Domingo is a great prospect who is an excellent shooter. He has good height and great length and excels in transition. He also displayed the ability to pass the ball and was able to score a lot of points in a short amount of time this weekend at the Pangos All-American Camp. He went 11-18 from the field on the final day of Pangos and will likely have his stock rise fairly soon. He only has offers from California, San Diego, San Diego State and San Francisco but almost the whole Pac-12 will definitely be chasing this wing player soon.
Aaron Gordon, Power Forward, Sophomore — This athletic combo forward did a terrific job this weekend at the Pangos All-American Camp. He is very versatile and has the ability to dribble the ball the length of the floor, shoot the perimeter shot or finish through contact. He is a great slasher and passer and is definitely one of the top prospects in the Class of 2013. Gordon has said numerous times that Washington is his favorite school and that he also likes New Mexico but he more recently said he’s still open to any other school that wants him.