|Illinois stars stand out at College Practice Camp|
A variety of skilled potential basketball prospects descended on Ann Arbor Saturday to participate in Michigan's one-day College Practice Camp. Unlike many such camps which focus exclusively on gameplay, this event was geared toward skill development under the tutelage of John Beilein and the Michigan coaching staff.
The first half of the camp focused on individual and small group drills, as well as group meetings off the court, with five-on-five scrimmage activities set for the latter portions of activities.
Among the standouts was Normal (Ill.) small forward Keita Bates-Diop, who is expected to receive a scholarship offer from the Wolverines on June 15, when it is legal for college teams to offer 2014 prospects.
Standing in at 6-7, the long and lanky Bates-Diop had a solid showing in the five-on-five session, but best put his talents on display during the skills work, where he showed impressive versatility. While not overpowering on the inside, he is very quick and is a strong shooter from longer range. He will need to gain muscle to make the next step into the college game, but that is not a major concern given that he won’t see a college court for another two and a half years.
Lisle (Ill.) Benet Academy center Sean O'Mara has very good size at 6-9, 220 pounds and also had a good day at the camp. He is not the fastest player getting up and down the court, and has areas of to improve on in his defensive game, but he really stood out for his offensive abilities. Posting up on a number of occasions, he displayed a strong collection of skills when isolated on a lone defender.
Selma (Ind.) Wapahani shooting guard Grant Evans doesn’t stand out much physically, standing in at 6-3 and a slender 165 pounds, but he actually proved to be a tenacious rebounder down low. Best known for his shooting skills, the lefty has a very quick shot and demonstrated plenty of range from out deep, though probably didn’t have his best day in terms of accuracy.
Another reputed shooter in attendance who likewise impressed more with his play near the basket was Chatham (Ill.) Glenwood shooting guard Peyton Allen. While he did not have a great day shooting from outside, he showed on more than one occasion the ability to take the ball to the basket.
Yet another Illinois native, Belleville East guard Darreon Reddick also had a strong showing. In individual skill work, he showed good accuracy from outside, but played a different role in five-on-five play, running the point. From that position, he demonstrated the ability to work his way inside and then dish to open targets on the perimeter.
While all of the prospects mentions so far will be 2014 graduates, one rising senior to watch at the camp was Bowling Green (Ohio) power forward Vitto Brown. That extra year made quite a difference as Brown was arguably the most physically imposing player at the camp. Standing in 6-7, 220 pounds, he played exceptionally well in the five-on-five portion of the camp, pulling down several rebound and proving to have some strong offensive skills in the paint as well. He even showed the ability to make shots from outside and should be a player fans continue to keep an eye on.
Standing in at 6-6, 200 pounds, Noblesville (Ind.) Guerin Catholic power forward Aaron Brennan also had a nice showing at the camp, with a solid midrange shot and the physicality to play inside.