NCB On The Trail: 2013 LeBron Camp

Top 10 takeaways from the LeBron camp 

July, 10, 2013
7/10/13
12:19
PM ET
Editor's note: This is the latest entry in Dave Telep's July Road Trip blog. Throughout the month, Dave will check in each day he's on the road while covering some of the biggest basketball recruiting events in the country. He'll let you know where he's at, offer some highlights of the day and give a quick look at what's next.

SOMEWHERE BETWEEN LAS VEGAS AND CHARLOTTE -- For three days earlier this week, the king’s court was the Cashman Center in old Las Vegas. There, LeBron James hosted 80 of the top high school basketball prospects in the country, each of whom one day aspires to either be in LeBron’s court or on it.

The obvious narrative that emerged from the 2013 LeBron James Skills Academy was the paint dominance of No. 2 rising senior Cliff Alexander (Chicago/Curie). As grassroots lore goes, this was a tame event with a singular dominating big man.

However, when dozens of the nation’s cream of the crop gather in one spot, there are always stories to tell and observations to be made. Here are my top 10 takeaways from this year’s LeBron camp.

[+] EnlargeCliff Alexander
AP Photo/Damen Jackson via Triple Play New MediaNo. 2 recruit Cliff Alexander was the star of stars at the 2013 LeBron camp.
1. Alexander stated his case

LeBron camp: What we learned 

July, 10, 2013
7/10/13
9:18
AM ET


LAS VEGAS -- The LeBron James Skills Academy annually serves as one of the nation’s top camps for elite high school basketball prospects, and this year was no different. Everyone involved in the camp had praise for this group of young men, including ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas, who served as a skill instructor at the camp.

“They were really a good bunch of kids to coach,” Bilas said. “They were receptive to being coached, and that is so important in their development. As far as their ability goes, there were no outright stars but many who could develop into stars someday.”

After three days of camp that included both skill work and game action, here are five things we learned from the 2013 LeBron James Skills Academy.

1. The strength of the 2014 class

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LAS VEGAS -- The third and final day of the LeBron James Skills Academy wrapped up on Monday with Florida beating Duke, 59-53, in the finals of the playoff bracket. Speedy PG Lourawls Nairn (Bel Aire, Kan./Sunrise Academy), rugged post Angel Delgado (Northfield, Mass./Redemption Academy) and versatile wing Boubacar Moungoro (Bradenton, Fla./IMG Academy) led the way for the winners, while Duke received an outstanding all-around performance from bully ball connoisseur Isaiah Briscoe (Newark, N.J./St. Benedicts).

Here are some superlatives from the final day of the elite skills academy.

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Newman vs. Vaughn caps LeBron camp 

July, 9, 2013
7/09/13
11:15
AM ET
Editor's note: This is the latest entry in Dave Telep's July Road Trip blog. Throughout the month, Dave will check in each day he's on the road while covering some of the biggest basketball recruiting events in the country. He'll let you know where he's at, offer some highlights of the day and give a quick look at what's next.

LAS VEGAS -- The 2013 LeBron James Skills Academy is over, finishing up with the third and final day on Monday. The narrative of the camp is likely to be the performance of No. 2 rising senior Cliff Alexander (Chicago/Curie). Once No. 10 recruit Myles Turner (Euless, Texas/Trinity) went down with an injury, there wasn’t a guy here capable of getting in Alexander’s way, much less stopping him.

Many of the big names like North Carolina-bound Justin Jackson (Tomball, Texas/HYCA), 2014 No. 11 Rashad Vaughn (Minneapolis/Findlay Prep) and 2015 No. 2 Malik Newman (Jackson, Miss./Callaway) played to their reputations, but there are always guys who click it up a notch. Two of the players in the latter group were ESPN 100 power forward Angel Delgado (Troy, N.Y./Redemption Christian) and four-star combo guard Robert Johnson (Richmond, Va./Benedictine Prep).

Here are some nuggets from Day 3 at LeBron. On Wednesday, I’ll have an overall look at what I learned from the camp.

[+] EnlargeMalik Newman
AP Photo/Damen Jackson via Triple Play New MediaMalik Newman, the No. 2 player in the ESPN 60, is turning into a dangerous scoring point guard.
Newman vs. Vaughn was fun

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Top players from LeBron camp Day 2 

July, 8, 2013
7/08/13
2:55
PM ET
LAS VEGAS -- The intensity was good for most of the competition on Sunday at the LeBron James Skills Academy, as the players utilized the concepts learned in drill work and applied them to the start of games. As with most competitive camp situations, the better-conditioned athletes and battle-tested players stood out.

Here’s a look at nine players who separated themselves with their performances on Day 2.

Justin Jackson (Tomball, Texas/HCYA)
2014, SF, 6-7, 185
Committed to North Carolina


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Alexander dominates Day 2 at LeBron 

July, 8, 2013
7/08/13
12:50
PM ET
Editor's note: This is the latest entry in Dave Telep's July Road Trip blog. Throughout the month, Dave will check in each day he's on the road while covering some of the biggest basketball recruiting events in the country. He'll let you know where he's at, offer some highlights of the day and give a quick look at what's next.

LAS VEGAS -- Everyone was assembling. The stage was set for No. 10 rising senior Myles Turner (Euless, Texas/Trinity) to take on No. 2 Cliff Alexander (Chicago/Curie). Unfortunately, the much-anticipated matchup didn’t happen after a leg injury for Turner put this titanic tilt on ice.

Still, a long Day 2 at the LeBron James Skills Academy on Sunday and the first day of games allowed ample time to evaluate and gather intel on many premier players. Here are some nuggets from Day 2.

[+] EnlargeCliff Alexander
AP Photo/Damen Jackson via Triple Play New MediaDay 2 at the LeBron camp belonged to No. 2 recruit Cliff Alexander, who dominated both games he played.
No Myles, but plenty of Alexander

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LAS VEGAS -- The second day of the LeBron James Skills Academy on Sunday was a bit of a downer as No. 10 recruit Myles Turner (tweaked hamstring) was held out of action prior to his much anticipated encounter with Cliff Alexander. However, many other prospects exhibited the type of skill necessary to stand out at the event, led by the most complete scoring guard in the country in No. 11 prospect Rashad Vaughn.

Here are some superlatives from Day 2.

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LAS VEGAS -- The LeBron James Skills Academy kicked off Saturday with a number of coaches -- including Kevin Eastman and Jay Bilas -- guiding the nation's elite high school prospects through a variety of drills. During the second session, players broke off into their respective camp teams and exhibited their skills in a controlled scrimmage environment.

Here are some superlatives from Day 1.

Best Penetrator
Tyler Ulis (Matteson, Ill./Marian Catholic)
2014, PG, 5-8, 145
Status:
Michigan State, Purdue, DePaul, Iowa, Northwestern and Florida State are involved

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Top players from LeBron camp Day 1 

July, 7, 2013
7/07/13
11:39
AM ET
LAS VEGAS -- Day 1 is in the books at the LeBron James Skills Academy. Saturday was a combination of skill development, competitive drill work and some five-on-five action.

Here’s a look at five players -- two rising seniors, one rising junior and two rising sophomores -- who were especially impressive on Day 1 among the many great prospects at the camp.

Rashad Vaughn (Minneapolis/Robbinsdale Cooper)
2014, SG, 6-foot-6, 200


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July road trip tips off with LeBron Day 1 

July, 7, 2013
7/07/13
10:35
AM ET
Editor's note: This is the first installment of Dave Telep's July Road Trip blog. Throughout the month, Dave will check in each day he's on the road while covering some of the biggest basketball recruiting events in the country. He'll let you know where he's at, offer some highlights of the day and give a quick look at what's next.

LAS VEGAS -- I’m a believer in good starts, and Saturday was the first day of a month-long journey in search of the perfect recruit. However, before arriving at the LeBron James Skills Academy, I had to spend the better part of the day delayed at the Salt Lake City airport.

Determined not to let flight delays set the tone for the entire month, I turned to Jason Statham’s “Redemption” to see if the flick could change my fortunes. Didn’t work; movie stunk. But luckily the airline eventually got us a working plane headed for Sin City and I was on my way.

Day 1 of the LeBron camp featured a pair of sessions, of which I attended one. It was really a day of drills and a light scrimmage to end the evening. The camp takes on a more serious tone Sunday when they split up the 80 campers and start keeping score.

Here are some nuggets from Day 1.

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