Five things we learned at the NBA Players Top 100 Camp in Charlottesville, Va., which ended this past weekend:
Though many of the top players were missing for the camp because they were playing either for the USA Basketball U18 team in the FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Canada or in the U17 training camp in Colorado Springs, plenty could be gleaned from the Top 100 camp.
DeMatha and Imhotep Charter are ridiculously loaded
The Stags from Hyattsville, Md., had four players in the event and all of them played well at times. While Hunter Dickinson, a 7-1 center in the 2020 class, may be the focus of the team’s attack, if he’s having a sub-par game, Earl Timberlake, a 2020 small forward, 2019 shooting guard Justin Moore and 2019 point guard Jahmir Young are all athletic on defense and capable of scoring in double digits. DeMatha is a strong favorite to win a second consecutive Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title.
Imhotep Charter (Philadelphia) has a decent shot to win a third consecutive 4A state title. The Panthers only had two players at the camp, but both were among the standouts. Dhamir Bishop, a 6-5 small forward in the 2019 class, was one of the top scorers in the camp and showed a nice inside-outside game. Donta Scott, a 6-6 wing in the 2019 class, was a consistent rebounder and scorer and he’s one of the top passers in the event.
“It’s real cool that we get to come here together and go against each other,” Scott said of Bishop. “When we go at each other, we make each other better for other things, like AAU and our high school team. We’re looking to win (state) a third time.”
Keep an eye on these undersized point guards
One of the top point guards in the camp was Sahvir Wheeler of Houston Christian (Houston), who is only 5-8, but breaks down defenses with his speed and passing. The Texas A&M commit was also a terror on defense and led the camp with 5.2 assists a game.
Joe Toussaint of Cardinal Hayes (Bronx, N.Y.), a 6-foot 2019 recruit, was second in the camp with 3.8 assists a game and also averaged 8.2 points a game, knocking down 50% of his three-pointers. He played out of control at times, leading to more than a few turnovers, but he’s also a creator on offense and was one of the camp leaders in steals per game.
Olympus (Salt Lake City) 2019 guard Rylan Jones, a 6-1 Utah commit, did a great job of penetrating and finding open players and averaged 3.3 assists a game, third in the camp. He showed his court smarts by filling passing lanes on defense to disrupt offenses. He also knocked down a few outside shots, but needs to become a more consistent shooter at the next level.
Gerald Doakes, an undecided 6-1 2020 guard from Jacksonville, Ark., has a really quick first step and a nice handle and, like Jones, will really be effective once his three-point shot is more consistent.
Anthony Edwards can fill it up
Edwards, a 6-4 shooting guard from Holy Spirit Prep (Atlanta), got stronger and stronger as the camp went on and led all scorers with 17.6 points a game and scored 29 points in his team’s championship game win on Sunday. He’s listed as the No. 17 player in the 2020 class in the Chosen 25 rankings.
Gonzaga has a good one in Anton Watson
Watson, a 2019 6-8 forward who helped lead Gonzaga Prep (Spokane, Wash.) to a state 4A title, did a little bit of everything in the camp. He was a shot blocker, rebounder, hit outside shots, finished at the rim and even tried to take a charge or two. The Gonzaga commit showed that Team USA may have made a mistake in not picking him in their final selection for their FIBA Americas U18 squad. He had double-digit scoring efforts in three of his first five games, though he looked tired at the end of the camp.
Precious Achiuwa doesn’t take plays off
Achiuwa, an undecided 6-8 forward from St. Benedict’s Prep (Newark, N.J.), embarrassed a lot of defenders. He’s took quick and has too good a handle for anyone his size, but is too physical and too explosive for smaller players. He was one of the top scorers and rebounders in the camp, averaging 14.4 points and 7.1 rebounds. He led his team to five consecutive wins at the start of the camp.
“I’m coming out here and having fun,” Achiuwa said. “I’m just showing everybody what I can do. Run the ball, shoot the ball and show out. I figured out I could go a lot harder.”
Achiuwa said he’s in no rush to make a college choice.
“A couple of schools have been talking to me, but Kansas, Pittsburgh, St. John’s, UConn, and UCLA have kept in touch the most,” he said.