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Orlando Pre-Draft Camp: First Impressions, Day One
by: Jonathan Givony - President, Mike Schmidt - D-League, NCAA Scout, Joseph Treutlein - Director of Scouting/Analytics, Jonathan Watters - Director of NCAA Scouting, Eric Weiss
June 6, 2006
The players went through an hour and a half of drills and short 5 on 5 games. The players learned their team's very simple plays, and did one offense, one defensive possession in the five on five.

Here are a few players that caught our eyes so far. Keep in mind that there was not all that much to see in day one as the players were only here for an hour and a half. All five DraftExpress scouts will be reporting.

The Venue

Eric Weiss

However “The Milkhouse” got its name, there is no denying that it is an impressive facility. Three full length courts sit at the bottom of a cavernous stadium with the primary seating forming a ring 30 feet above the court level. There are additional bleachers that can be dragged out onto the floor for extra capacity, and while the vantage point from above helps to form and excellent view of floor spacing and movement, it is decidedly impersonal and lacks the ability to hear the interaction on court, which can often be as important as how the players look.

Still, the lighting is immaculate and the building is quite comfortable. The forum is rife with recognizable figures from all the relevant NBA teams and other basketball interests. This is truly a state of the art convention center optimally designed for talking shop as there are innumerable places to sneak off to and have a candid discussion when the action on the court either stops or fails to be of interest. From what we’ve seen, this is precisely the type of setting for the pre-draft camp as the actual play on the court tends to take a backseat to the conversations that go on around it.




The Players

Jonathan Watters

Morris Almond

One of the more intriguing players from the initial session was Rice junior Morris Almond. Almond showed off nice athleticism and a good feel for how to get his shot off, scoring on a couple of nice driving moves and an impressive quick release floater from the midrange. While much of Almond’s game remains a mystery, this first look was quite intriguing…

JP Batista

While the first batch of competitive play was generally disjointed and not very pretty to watch, JP Batista was one of the few players that was able to make a mark on the court that I watched. Quickly seeking out the leaner Solomon Jones, Batista was able to find success with his back to the basket. On one particularly impressive play, he sealed Jones deep on the block, waited for a double team to pass, and patiently flipped in one of his patented baby hooks. On the other hand, there were several occasions where Batista’s lack of length and athleticism clearly showed. Going up against more physically imposing post players, Batista could have a make or break type of week. At any rate, expect him to be involved in many of the more entertaining paint battles of this camp.




Viktor Keirou

Mike Schmidt

Though it was hard to gather much from the ‘games’ played today, Victor Keirou managed to leave a good lasting first impression. He appeared to have good size for a shooting guard, and though it doesn’t look like he has weight trained before, Keirou has a frame that could easily take added bulk. In transition, Victor displayed impressive body control while faking out a defender and making a layup. He followed this up on the next possession by hitting the bottom of the net on a mid-range jump shot. Keirou hit one more 15 footer before the 5 minute game finished up. It is difficult to see if he had much else that would translate to the NBA, but in the coming days he surely has a chance to solidify or move himself into draft contention.




Joseph Treutlein

CJ Watson

CJ Watson played well in this first day to start off the pre-draft camp, picking up right where he left off at Portsmouth. Watson continued to play his solid defense and run the offense smoothly with few mistakes, but today he also showed the ability to create by penetration, which was his one major shortcoming in his showing at Portsmouth. Watson was able to take his defender off the dribble and create once in the lane, dishing out a few assists doing so in today's scrimmages. Watson's team here at Orlando is notably more talented than the one he led at Portsmouth, so his opportunities for assists should be more plentiful, if he chooses to take advantage.

Jonathan Watters

Morris Almond

One of the more intriguing players from the initial session was Rice junior Morris Almond. Almond showed off nice athleticism and a good feel for how to get his shot off, scoring on a couple of nice driving moves and an impressive quick release floater from the midrange. While much of Almond’s game remains a mystery, this first look was quite intriguing…

JP Batista

While the first batch of competitive play was generally disjointed and not very pretty to watch, JP Batista was one of the few players that was able to make a mark on the court that I watched. Quickly seeking out the leaner Solomon Jones, Batista was able to find success with his back to the basket. On one particularly impressive play, he sealed Jones deep on the block, waited for the lane to clear, and patiently flipped in one of his patented baby hooks. On the other hand, there were several occasions where Batista’s lack of length and athleticism clearly showed. Going up against more physically imposing post players, Batista could have a make or break type of week. At any rate, expect him to be involved in many of the more entertaining paint battles of this camp.

Jonathan Givony

Louis Amundson

From what I saw, Amundson got off to the best start of the pre-draft camp so far. He was incredibly active around the basket, pulling down numerous offensive rebounds, hedging quickly on the pick on roll on the perimeter, and just throwing his body around on every possession. He did more than just hustle, though, stepping out to hit a nice looking 15 footer (which comes as a surprise), and running the floor like a deer and throwing down a monster jam in transition. His aggressiveness will serve him very well here in Orlando if he can keep it up.

Bobby Brown

In the few possessions he was playing point in front of us, Brown knocked down some perimeter jump-shots (two from NBA range), airballed another shot and did a pretty good job running his team, particularly on the pick and roll.

Darius Washington

Washington obviously came here to prove something, and did a good job beginning to separate himself from the pack early on with the way he played. A nice steal here, a strong offensive rebound there, a heady pass in transition, Washington is doing what he needs to so far to keep scouts interested. From his activity level He obviously understands the urgency involved, which is half the battle. He looked more interested in making the extra pass rather than look for his own shot, which is a good sign

Kenny Adeleke:.

Adeleke was extremely active and had a number of really nice moves in the post. When a missed shot came off the rim anywhere near his area, he was usually there to pull it down. He looks fired up and ready to go so far.

Bobby Jones:

The perennial glue guy. Superb defensively, picking pockets, rebounding, passing unselfishly. Finishing inside off good feeds or an offensive rebound. Continuing his strong play from Portsmouth so far.

Carl Krauser:

After a poor showing in last year’s camp, Carl Krauser came to show the scouts that he is a better player than that. He took the ball strong to the hole on a number of occasions, finishing either off the glass or with a pretty floater. Defensively he was active and as vocal as ever, getting in the passing lanes and firing himself and his teammates up after every stop. He fed his big guys in the post and showed excellent leadership skills throughout.

Stay tuned all day tomorrow as we provide live updates from the gym on a near hourly basis.
 
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Feedback for this article may be sent to jonathan@draftexpress.com mike.schmidt@draftexpress.com joe@draftexpress.com jonathan.watters@draftexpress.com eric.weiss@gmail.com .

 

Morris Almond
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 6"
Weight: 214 lbs.
Birthday: 02/02/1985
29 Years Old
Teams:
High School: McEachern
Previous Team: Red Star , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #25 in 2007 Draft
by the Jazz
Positions:
Current: SG/SF,
NBA: SG/SF,
Possible: SG
Quick Stats:
16.5 Pts, 2.8 Rebs, 1.3 Asts


Solomon Jones
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 10"
Weight: 224 lbs.
Birthday: 07/16/1984
29 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Mount Dora
Previous Team: South Florida , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #3 in 2006 Draft
by the Hawks
Positions:
Current: PF/C,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF/C
Quick Stats:
8.9 Pts, 6.1 Rebs, 1.4 Asts


CJ Watson
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 171 lbs.
Birthday: 04/17/1984
29 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Bishop Gorman
Previous Team: Tennessee , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
6.6 Pts, 1.6 Rebs, 1.7 Asts


Carl Krauser
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 193 lbs.
Birthday: 05/13/1981
32 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Notre Dame Prep
Previous Team: Pittsburgh , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
7.7 Pts, 4.0 Rebs, 1.7 Asts


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