Five things we learned at the NBA Players Association Top 100 Camp

Five things we learned at the NBA Players Association Top 100 Camp

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Five things we learned at the NBA Players Association Top 100 Camp

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Chris Lykes led the Heat to the championship at the NBA Players Association Top 100 Camp with 25 points in the title game on Saturday, outplaying two top point guards. (Photo by Kelly Kline/Under Armour)

Chris Lykes led the Heat to the championship at the NBA Players Association Top 100 Camp with 25 points in the title game on Saturday, outplaying two top point guards. (Photo by Kelly Kline/Under Armour)

It’s really good to have two good point guards

Balance wasn’t always the norm at the NBA Players Association Top 100 camp this past week in Charlottesville, Va. The Rockets made it to the finals with the advantage of having two of the best point guards in the camp in Tremont Waters and Jaylen Hands.

Waters, a senior-to-be from the South Kent (Conn.) School, averaged a camp-high 5.6 assists per game. He pushed the offense with confidence and was the best on-ball defender of all the point guards at the camp. Waters was named the co-MVP of the camp along with Zion Williamson.

Hands, a senior-to-be and UCLA commit from Foothills Christian (San Diego), was a steady performer and a slightly better shooter than Waters, though with more turnovers. Both players were outplayed in the final, however, by Miami commit Chris Lykes of Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.), who had 25 points, three assists and four rebounds.

MORE FROM TOP 100 CAMP: Evan Battey looks to make Draymond Green-like impact

Romeo Langford makes it seem easy at times

Fresh off getting cut from USA Basketball’s U17 tryouts last Sunday, Romeo Langford from New Albany (Ind.) had several big games early in the Top 100 camp. He has the type of athleticism that makes it seem like he’s taking it easy as he blows by players. He had some down games and struggled from three-point range (4-for-18), but still averaged 11.3 points a game.

“(USA Basketball) was a really good experience, but getting cut is just going to make me play even harder,” Langford said.

Zion Williamson was the camp’s dominant player

Listed as the No. 15 player in the 2018 class by 247Sports.com, Williamson showed he belongs to be ranked even higher. The Spartanburg (S.C.) Day forward led the camp in scoring, shooting a ridiculous 69.3% from the floor, but he was also active on the boards and defensively while helping lead the Heat to the camp’s championship.

MORE FROM TOP 100: Zion Williamson turns head

Xavier Tillman rode the rankings elevator

A lot of players talk about grinding, but Tillman put those words into action. At 6-9 and 250 pounds, the Grand Rapids (Mich.) Christian senior-to-be led the camp in steals at 2.3 a game and averaged 11.2 points and 6.0 rebounds a game. He’s the only player all week who shut down Williamson and his strength was too much for most of the frontcourt players. He’s listed as the No. 96 player in the 2017 class in 247Sports.com’s composite rankings, but that’s going to improve because of his effort here.

“Any thing to get my team the W,” Tillman said. “It’s something that I pride myself on, just making sure I fulfill whatever my team needs me to do. Not a lot of people are truly playing hard, but that’s what I try to focus on because that’s what I can control. I can’t control how many points I get but I can control running up and down the court and playing good defense.”

MORE FROM TOP 100: Matur Maker ready for his time

Charles Bassey and Chol Marial are two young bigs to watch

Bassey and Marial are both 2019 prospects, but they both stood out. Bassey, a 6-10, 220-pound power forward from St. Anthony (San Antonio), was the second-leading rebounder in the camp and while his shooting waxed and waned, his effort on both ends didn’t. Marial, from Cheshire (Conn.) Academy, is one of the skinniest players in the camp at 7-1 and 200, so he gets pushed around at times, but as he fills out, he should be a force. At times, he dominates games with his defensive ability at the rim and he runs the court well.

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