LeBron James Skills Academy recap: Day 2 

July, 11, 2014
Jul 11
9:30
AM ET
Ivan Rabb, the No. 1 player in the ESPN 100, has had his moments at this camp. However, Ben Simmons is making a strong push for that spot as he has been clearly the best player after a couple of sessions. There is no player in the country who combines skill, savvy and athleticism like Simmons.

Most explosive

Malik Monk
2016, SG, 6-foot-3, 180 pounds

Weekly commitment update 

July, 11, 2014
Jul 11
9:17
AM ET
American Athletic Conference
Connecticut
Jalen Adams SG
HT: 6-2 WT: 160
Class of 2015

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PHILADELPHIA -- The Reebok Classic Breakout took a backseat to no other event over the past 48 hours as the staff did a tremendous job of putting together a deep and talented roster, which in turn attracted over 200 Division I college coaches including dozens of high-profile head coaches. Here's a look at which players were most impressive throughout the first two days of action:

Best pure point guard: Derryck Thornton

The rising senior from Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nevada) picked up right where he left off after standing out at the Steph Curry Camp to start the month. Thornton was a true floor general, in complete control every time he stepped on the court and able to impact the game in a variety of different ways. He handles the ball on a string and excels at making a variety of different reads off the pick and roll. He holds his dribble going through the lane as well as anyone in the field, just waiting on the defense to break down and reveal open receivers. He even shot the ball well here, making a series of pull-ups as well as rhythm 3s. Thornton took unofficial visits to both Kentucky and Michigan last month and was followed by both Kentucky's John Calipari and Michigan's John Beilein here.

[+] EnlargeReebok Classic Breakout
Lisa Lake/Getty Images for ReebokOver 100 of the country's best high school basketball players gathered in Philadelphia for the 2014 Reebok Classic Breakout.
Best pace point guard: Jawun Evans

The six-footer was the story of the day on Thursday, standing out on both ends of the floor. Evans has high-level jets and an extra gear to his game. He creates tempo, makes good decisions while in first gear and gets himself in the paint but can also change the game with his ability to pressure the ball defensively. Tennessee’s Donnie Tyndall, USC’s Andy Enfield and Clemson’s Brad Brownell all made Evans a priority along with assistants from Virginia Tech, Oklahoma State, and Texas, but don’t be surprised to see this list get longer as Evans seems intent to assert himself among the nation’s elite lead guards.

Best prospect: Diamond Stone

The No. 4 -ranked overall prospect in the ESPN 100 never dominated the field like many hoped he would coming into the camp, but he hardly got the chance. Stone rarely got enough touches to make his typical impact, and even when he did, they were never in his sweet spots. Instead, we saw only flashes of his talent. His hands are phenomenal, his touch super soft, and his release point high. He also excels at spinning off contact inside the paint and is able to turn both shoulders to maneuver inside. Connecticut’s Kevin Ollie made him a clear priority every time he took the court, while Kentucky’s Calipari also followed him.

Breakout big man: Jean Marc Christ Koumadje

The 7-foot-3 import from Senegal was the main story for the first night at camp. In addition to his obvious size, he runs the floor extremely well and is very bouncy and assertive despite a frame that's very lean. Louisville, Connecticut, and Tennessee offered immediately after seeing his first game on Wednesday as Rick Pitino and Ollie continued to trail him throughout the day on Thursday. Koumadje is almost completely raw when it comes to his skill set, but there aren't many big men with a more intriguing combination of physical tools.

Breakout guard: Donovan Mitchell

He came into camp already owning a variety of high-major offers, but he added a couple of new ones to his list here in Louisville and Memphis. Pitino and Josh Pastner followed Mitchell along with the likes of Providence’s Ed Cooley, Boston College’s Jim Christian, and Florida State’s Leonard Hamilton, all of whom were here more to recruit than evaluate the ESPN 100 guard. Mitchell is a powerful two-guard known for his leaping ability and competitive nature. The biggest development in his game was his improved shooting range, which combined with his straight-line driving ability, makes him an even more dangerous scoring threat.

Most intriguing big man: Skal Labissiere

He’s far from a finished product but there were flashes of sheer stardom and they seemed to be popping up with increased frequency throughout the course of the last 48 hours. He showed some quick bounce around the rim, the foundation for a nice jump hook over his left shoulder, and good touch facing the basket out to the perimeter. He has a tendency to drift to the perimeter too often at times but he can also show a little bit of a nasty streak. As he continues to fill out a naturally strong frame, and further polish his skills, he’s only going to become more dominant. Memphis has made him their top priority with Pastner following his every move. Calipari and Donnie Tyndall were there with assistants from Georgetown and Baylor among others.

Best 2016 big man: Abdul Hakim Ado

The rising junior big man had a steady buzz about him on Wednesday night and was the talk of the camp by Thursday. He’s long, athletic, and extremely active on both ends of the floor. He was blocking and altering all sorts of shots around the rim, finishing possessions on the defensive glass, and showing a constant motor throughout. Offensively, his range and bounce continued to be assets but he also had impressive poise and footwork inside the paint. He used his pivots very well and had a good sense of timing when finishing plays at the rim. Pitino was on him from the onset Thursday night but his list of followers grew with every passing game.

Best from the West: Chimezie Metu


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LeBron James Skills Academy recap: Day 1 

July, 10, 2014
Jul 10
2:15
PM ET
With all the speculation over LeBron James' next destination, he still found time to exhibit his elaborate skill set with all the campers as he leapfrogged from one court to another. However, he wasn't the only star of the day as local product Stephen Zimmerman dazzled onlookers with his vast skill set. Zimmerman wasn't the only camper that stood out as Syracuse-bound Malachi Richardson, multiskilled Miles Bridges, and 2017 stud DeAndre Ayton all had their moments.

Best Player

Ben Simmons

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PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- There was a major buzz inside the gym of Philadelphia University as the clock struck 5 p.m. and the likes of John Calipari, Rick Pitino, Kevin Ollie, Larry Brown, John Beilein, Bo Ryan, and dozens of other high profile head coaches kicked off the July evaluation period at the Reebok Breakout Camp.

Marquee matchup


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With the recent commitment of Daniel Giddens to Ohio State, 33 of the top 100 players in the Class of 2015 already have verbally committed, even though the July evaluation period is just beginning. These prospects sometimes get less media attention because they have already made their decisions, but they are still being constantly evaluated by our staff.

Let’s take a look at five committed prospects from the 2015 class who are performing well and could see jumps in their rankings:


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ESPN 100 center Daniel Giddens committed to Ohio State over finalists Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas and Wake Forest, giving the Buckeyes their fourth four-star recruit.

What does the nation's No. 55 player bring to Thad Matta's crew? Let's break it down:

Why he committed: Post players were a major need for Matta's roster and Giddens, a 6-foot-10 center, will help fill that void in a huge way. He gives the Buckeyes a true low-post presence, especially defensively, and is a rim-rattling finisher with great upside.

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Fab Frosh Camp recap 

July, 3, 2014
Jul 3
3:00
PM ET
ATLANTA -- Each year, the Clay Dade Fab Frosh Camp gives us our first look at the incoming class of high school freshmen. This year's camp lacked any superstar standouts but showed a balance that could lead to a deep 2018 class moving forward.

Here are five of the better prospects in attendance who are worth keeping an eye on in the future:


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As ESPN.com's countdown of the top college basketball coaches continues, here’s a look at the recruiting philosophy of Kentucky’s John Calipari:


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Billy Donovan's presence on the recruiting trail had never been bigger than immediately after he led Florida to back-to-back national championships in 2006 and 2007.

That 2006 title was followed by four consecutive top-20 recruiting classes, including a 2007 group that was No. 3 in the country and a 2008 class that was No. 2.


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ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The second day of the Under Armour Stephen Curry Select Camp, featuring some of the nation's top wing players, emphasized scoring off a variety of cuts and screens, while also playing half court 4-on-4.

Here are a few players who stood out on Day 2:

On-Court Session III: L-Cut Moves

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Penn State coach Pat Chambers scored a pivotal commitment from the 2015 class on Monday night when ESPN 100 shooting guard Josh Reaves pledged to the Nittany Lions.

How will Reaves fit into Chambers' system and who does he remind us of? Let's break it down:


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With six trips to the Final Four in the last 15 years, there's no denying that the Michigan State Spartans are one of college basketball's national power house programs.

But when it comes to recruiting, Spartans head coach Tom Izzo is very content to take a regional based approach.

"Coach's philosophy has always been to recruit kids within a four hour radius," Michigan State associate head coach Dwayne Stephens said.


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Scout on the road 

July, 1, 2014
Jul 1
2:00
PM ET
LOS ANGELES -- The past few weeks while elite camps have been dominating the recruiting landscape, there have been a plethora of high school tournaments littered along the Los Angeles landscape. Here are some players who stood out during that time:


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Coach Mike Krzyzewski has been the head coach at Duke since 1980 and has coached dozens and dozens of players who have made an NBA roster. He is a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame and will go down as one of the all-time great coaches in college basketball. There are many factors behind his enormous success, one of which is how well he has recruited over four decades at Duke. He has had some outstanding assistants, but they have come and gone while he remained the face of the program and the reason why prospects still come to Duke.

In college athletics, overall success is a direct correlation of a coach's ability to evaluate, recruit and secure the very best student athletes.

Recruiting Philosophy

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