July 8, 2008

Camp Notebook: Wilson deals with disappointment

AKRON, Ohio - Jamil Wilson was disappointed on the inside while missing action at the Lebron James Skill Academy with a sprained ankle on Monday, but he didn't show it on the outside.

"I tried to help pull our team together, and I was the biggest cheerleader out here," said Wilson, a skilled wing forward from Racine, Wis. who counts Michigan State among the schools he is interested in.

Wilson sustained the injury during camp game action on Sunday. He played through pain on Sunday, and was floored at least three times while tweaking and aggravating it. On Monday, medical staff advised him to sit out.

He is not expected to play on Tuesday, which is the final day of the camp.

"It is disappointing because you build yourself up for something like this, you get ready and work hard and then it all just goes away at the blink of an eye," he said. "It is disappointing but there is nothing you can do about it but try to get healthy again.

"There is pain when I walk, but hopefully I can ice it down and get back out on the court as soon as possible."

Wilson was asked if he is worried that the injury could hamper him for the remainder of the summer.

"I am kind of worried that it will, but if you think about it then that won't do any good," he said. "I'm going to try to get as healthy as possible before the next thing that we do this summer and that's all I can do."

Wilson was asked what schools he is hearing the most from at this point, and which schools he is interested in.

"I've been hearing from Michigan State and talked to them a lot, but I've been hearing from a lot of schools, not to mention any of them off the top of my head because there are other things more important this summer than deciding on schools right now," he said.


Glenn Bryant enjoyed another solid day at the Lebron Camp on Monday. He played his game, which at this point includes good defense, active habits on the glass, and explosive finishes in transition.

He closed out Monday's action with one of the dunks of the day at the University of Akron's Rhodes Arena when he filled the left lane and took off for a high-flying, high-voltage finish which drew a fireworks type of reaction from onlookers.

"I was just running the floor like I always do," said Bryant, who will be a senior this fall at Oak Hill (Va.) Academy. He is originally from Macomb (Mich.) Dakota.

When asked to describe how the play developed, camp teammate Demarcus Cousins overhead the question and said, "You got it from the big man."

Cousins, a Top 10 player who is committed to Alabama-Birmingham, was talking about himself. Bryant concurred.

"Yeah, it was big man to big man," Bryant said, giving credit to Cousins.

Two days into camp, Bryant showed no signs of tiring, with his best highlight moment of the event coming near the 10 p.m. hour.

"I'm not tired, and you know I've got bounce," he said. "Just run the floor, man, and see what happens."

Bryant scored six points in a game earlier in the afternoon, including a quick-rising two-handed jam after cutting to the baseline.

One of his field goals in the afternoon game exhibited the type of energy he brings to the floor. He fed Cousins in the post from the wing, and then while Cousins was making a move to try to score, Bryant slalomed his way to the offensive glass and recorded a tip-in.

He said he is hearing from Florida, Oregon, Memphis, Syracuse, Baylor, Marquette and Michigan State.

Bryant is a pogo jumper who effectively realizes his limitations. He has some Rodman to his game, in a good way. He could become an excellent offensive rebounder and defender in college, with a high ceiling of potential if he gets a handle on his perimeter shot, and shooting off the dribble.


  • John Wall, a 6-foot-4 point guard from Raleigh, NC, has been outstanding. He is ranked the No. 1 player in the country by Rivals.com and is living up it. He's quick with either hand, elevates to finish with power, and can drive and pass with flair. He plays with a quiet, unassuming demeanor, but can turn on rare horsepower, with skill, in an instant. He is fast and stronger than you might expect (considering his slight build) on the left-handed drive.

  • Demarcus Cousins (UAB commitment) has excellent hands and skill in dominating air space near the rim. But he rarely looks to pass (his assist to Glenn Bryant mentioned earlier notwithstanding). He would rather clank a face-up 19 footer off the back iron than pass to a teammate on the wing.

  • Vanderbilt commitment John Jenkins put on one of the better shooting displays of the week when he enjoyed a streak of four 3-pointers without a miss during Monday night play. Jenkins (No. 32 by Rivals.com) finished 4-of-6 from deep (unofficially) for the game. He's smooth.

  • Minnesota commitment Royce White is much better than he was a year ago when he was a Plan B-plus MSU target. Ranked No. 18 by Rivals.com, White is playing at least that well. He was slightly more productive than Wilson in a head-to-head matchup on Sunday. White is strong at 6-7, 213, and is quick with his stops and starts off the dribble, with good mechanics to go with it. He can shoot from 3-point range off the spot up, or beat people off the dribble. He moves well without the ball, cuts hard, doesn't spectate. He is a tough and greedy on defense. He is a big-boned small forward by trade, but played some power forward on Sunday night while Tubby Smith watched from the baseline. White might not have an NBA ceiling, but he looks Big Ten ready right now, maybe like a Jess Settles type of player. He'll be very good in the Big Ten.

  • Keith Gallon, of Oak Hill Academy, sprints as well as any fat guy in recent memory. Ranked No. 26, he's 6-8 and 290, and expressing high interest in Mississippi State. I haven't noticed him doing anything great with his back to the basket, but he can really run for a wide body.

  • In watching Wilson's team, I've been very impressed with their point guard, GJ Vilarino. The Texan is quick and efficient with the dribble, and makes good passes while playing at a high rate of speed. He committed to Kentucky in April of '07, and isn't ranked by Rivals.com. Kentucky got a good one. He was being heavily recruited by Texas A&M when Billy Gillespie left College Station for Lexington.

  • Xavier Henry, of Oklahoma City, is ranked No. 2 by Rivals.com. He is extremely well-built at 6-foot-6, and plays with aggressiveness. He might be a little bit on the stiff side. He's been good, but not great when I've seen him. Any team in America would take him; I'm just judging him against his No. 2 ranking. Kansas and Memphis are his leaders.

  • UConn commitment Alex Orlakhi might be underrated at No. 21. He measured in at 6-9, 224, and plays with strength and smoothness. He was effortless with a pretty two-handed reverse jam. He also looked comfortable in hitting a 16-footer.

  • Andrew Fitzgerald is a pear-shaped big guy from Baltimore, ranked No. 114. He's been okay. He doesn't get off the ground real well, doesn't run real well right now, traveled with a post move attempt. He has offers from Pitt, Xavier and Kentucky.

  • North Carolina commitment John Henson has a great future ahead of him. When Tom Izzo says that there are two or three elite programs like North Carolina, he's talking about recruiting pull. Henson developed overnight, became a Top 10 player, and the Tar Heels were able to march into Round Rock, Tex. and get a commitment in January. Henson has huge feet and a little head, long arms, and immense potential. A skinny 6-foot-10 guy, he elevates very quickly, and has hands and ball skills to go with it. Young, skinny, tall guys aren't supposed to be able to perform a one-dribble move to the rim and STOP with such control, then pump, and then finish with a soft half-hook or step-through. His ability to STOP while setting up a short-range shot suggests the beginnings of having Kevin McHale type of potential down low, minus the shoulders. He has some finishing power that will surprise you, considering how thin he is.

  • Solomon Hill of Los Angeles shows real good quickness and control with a crossover dribble for a 6-foot-6 guy. He is ranked No. 27 with a recent offer from Arizona and is pretty excited about it.

  • Kansas State commitment Wally Judge, of Jacksonville, Fla., ranked No. 22, has been quick, strong and assertive. He's athletic at 6-foot-9 and has showed a good dropstep. He chose K-State over offers from Ohio State, Maryland and Georgetown among others.

  • Oklahoma commitment Kyle Hardrick (6-foot-7, ranked No. 123) was messy with a spot-up jab step and jump shot.

  • On Sunday, DeShonte Riley had a real nice turn-around jumper off a baseline in-bound pass over highly-ranked John Henson. Later, Riley had a good, quick, impressive rise to the rim in traffic, but missed the dunk, and then was sloppy with a put-back attempt. Riley looked okay at times in that game, but Henson - who is excellent - easily got the better of it. I haven't noticed Riley much since then, but I have to admit I haven't taken time to look closely.

  • Ari Stewart showed a nice jumper on Sunday a time or two. He's quick and controlled with the drive and the floater. The finesse-oriented Stewart measured in at 6-foot-6, 195. He is ranked No. 61. MSU was in on him last year, but it doesn't appear that he is quite what MSU is looking for. He has offers from Georgia, Georgia Tech, Oregon, Virginia, Wake Forest and Tennessee among others.

  • Illinois commitment Brandon Paul (ranked No. 52, from Gurnee, Ill.) had a nice take to the rack, going through contact to finish a lay-up. Good strength at 6-foot-2, plays hard on the break and off the bounce.

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