Chris Paul Elite Camp 2010, Day One

June 11, 2010

By Marcus Shockley

The Chris Paul Elite Guard Camp is exactly what it sounds like: a high intensity skills camp designed to work specifically on the skills needed to be an elite point guard, not just at the college level but beyond.

This event is a no-nonsense camp not intended to showcase players, but to work strictly on their game. Chris Paul immerses himself and the attendees in all-out workouts, and the pace is fast, with only a couple of minutes per drill before switching to a new drill.

The court is divided into college and high school players, and on the college side is a bevy of known stars and up and coming players. Kyle Singler, Nolan Smith and Seth Curry from Duke, along with incoming UNC freshman Kendall Marshall and Harrison Barnes. Wake guard and local star CJ Harris is also in attendance, as well as Durand Scott (Miami), Brandon Triche (Syracuse), “Scoop” Jardine (Syracuse), and Kemba Walker (UConn). I’ll go more into the college players in a future post. It’s important to note the presence of Kyle Singler and Harrison Barnes, forwards working their butts off in a point guard camp.

Harrison Barnes high release is nearly indefensible by a guard, with Barnes’ 6’8″ size and high release getting off shots easily.

The first night features a single workout session and my focus was primarily on the high school players, and I’ll be posting more about several key recruits in attendance including Rodney Purvis (PG, 6’3″, 2013), Marquis Rankin (PG/SG, 6’0″, 2011) and Bishop Daniels (PG, 6’2″, 2011) as well as many more which I’ll cover in more detail. Rankin has committed to Virginia Tech.

The camp is intensely instructive, with coaches giving constant instruction to players on position, footwork and most notably defense. Although scouting players isn’t as accurate after these workouts as their legs tire, there was still much to glean from the first night.

One highlight of the camp was watching Harrison Barnes working out in drills with Chris Paul, and one on one with Chris Paul taking part, going against Kendall Marshall and several other players.

Quinn Cook (PG, 6’1″, 2011) was unable to participate in the first night of workouts because he tweaked his ankle the previous night in a summer league game. He said he felt confident he could participate the next day and was icing his ankle.


The Harrison Barnes Odyssey

March 29, 2010

Jeff Reiners, a blogger who lives in Iowa and writes The Pete Myers Rules (a blog that often waxes poetic about days gone by in the NBA, such as when Charles Barkley was known as a stud power forward and not for being a complete buffoon), has written an extensive post about his journey to see Ames, Iowa high school basketball star Harrison Barnes (SF, 6’7″, 2010), a UNC commit and possibly the #1 pick in the 2011 draft.

Harrison Barnes

The journey to see Barnes in person is detailed, down to the stumbling up the stairs to the top of the Wells Fargo arena in a slightly inebriated state, the sets that the Ames High School team employs and how Barnes is used. It makes a strong visual, particularly if you’ve seen Ames play this season:

They basically try to bait teams into throwing lazy passes to the middle of the floor where Barnes lurks. Barnes’ job is to play the passing lanes and use his amazing quickness to pick off passes and head the other way for dunks.

Barnes effect on the games this season has been to pull the focus of the defense on him and free up several other Ames players, and Ames is not a one man show. Souix City East, Ames’ opponent, finally tried to slow down the Ames offense by taking the air out of the ball:

Sioux City East really jammed on the brakes in the 2nd quarter as the pace slowed to a crawl. It worked in that it prevented Ames from going on a huge run (they only scored 7 points) but they also stopped themselves from scoring (East totaled 2 points the entire 2nd quarter).

But even without a shot clock and perched high in the rafters, finally everyone got what they wanted to see from Barnes:

He caught an outlet pass at half court with a defender right in his path. He dribbled hard from half court all the way to the right side of the lane. Once there he planted, crossed over to his left leaving his defender in the dust, took off about a step inside the free throw line, hung for that extra half second and finished over the rim with one hand. Very rare to see a high schooler that can sky like that.

Barnes’ run is described here are length, but it’s only a snippet of the phenom he has become and the attention he’s brought to Iowa.


UNC Recruit Harrison Barnes is POY

March 21, 2010

North Carolina Tar Heel basketball recruit Harrison Barnes (SF, 6’8″, 2010) has been named the Iowa Gatorade Player of the Year for the second straight season. Considered by many to be both the top high school player in the nation for the class of 2010 and also a candidate to only play one year in college, Barnes is racking up the awards and will soon be playing in the McDonald’s All American game and Jordan Brand Classic.

Barnes is also the choice for the Iowa Newspaper Association’s “Mr. Basketball” in the state of Iowa:

The INA also named Ames senior Harrison Barnes as its “Mr. Basketball” choice for 2010.
Barnes, a 6-8 forward who finished his high school career as Ames’ leading scorer with 1,787 points, will play college basketball for Roy Williams at the University of North Carolina.


ACC Recruits in the McDonald’s All American Game 2010

March 16, 2010

McDonald's All American 2010

With the release of the 2010 McDonald’s All American rosters come the usual bevy of future ACC players who are honored by this annual showcase game. Here’s a rundown of the four Mickey D’s players who have already committed to the ACC.

North Carolina has three players who will be suiting up, including Reggie Bullock (SG/SF, 6′6″, 2010), Kendall Marshall (PG, 6′4″, 2010) and Harrison Barnes (SF, 6′8″, 2010). Barnes may be the top prize in the 2010 class, and it may be tough to keep him in Chapel Hill longer than one season.

Duke will be represented by Kyrie Irving (PG, 6′3″, 2010), another player who is special enough that the term ‘one and done’ may apply. A fast player who can handle the ball incredibly well on the break, Duke fans are already salivating at the prospect of his running the team.

Of the remaining undecideds, only C.J. Leslie (SF, 6′9″, 2010) is thought to be considering an ACC school, down to either hometown NC State or Kentucky. Brandon Knight (SG, 6′4″, 2010) had been considering his own hometown school of Miami but eliminated them recently.

Although most fans only see the players who make the final roster, there are a lot of players who are nominated but don’t make the final selection. You can view all of the nominated players here.

The game will take place on March 31, 2010 at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus, Ohio. ESPN will televise the boys’ game at 8:00 pm EST, with the girls’ game being shown earlier on ESPNU at 5:30 pm EST.

The Jump Manual


Harrison Barnes Picks UNC

November 13, 2009

And Harrison Barnes, the all-world Iowa standout has picked UNC and will play for Roy Williams and the Tar Heels. A massive pick up for an already loaded UNC team.

The have landed a top offensive player, with a lot of maturity and poise. Gotta love his ability to put the ball on the floor and take a defender off the dribble. He’ll be fun to watch at the collegiate level.


Less than an hour from Barnes’ announcement, and nobody knows nothin’

November 13, 2009

So the question of the day, at least until 4pm, is ‘Where is Harrison Barnes going to go?’. I’ll post that when he announces, but I wanted to post some thoughts on Barnes’ game, the skills which he will take wherever he ends up.

Barnes is built like a SF, but he’s got serious ballhandling ability, is extremely fluid and poised with the ball and can play defense. He’s definitely got the skills to become an NBA 2 guard.I hesitate to say that he would ever play PG in the pros, because moving him there would limit his offensive options and I really don’t know if he’s the type of player to direct an offense. In my mind, he’s an offensive catalyst and unlike a lot of NBA and college ‘big’ guards who carry the ball and push off in order to play the position, Barnes actually can handle the ball, can slash to the hoop and can shoot from outside.

I’ve seen knocks on Barnes ability to create his own shot, but honestly I haven’t seen that as an issue. If anything, I’d like to see how well he can shoot from outside when he’s guarded by better defenders at the collegiate level; his release seems fluid but a tad slow, but that might just be because he makes it look so easy. Time will tell. All in all, he’s got a great game.


Signing Day Commences; Harrison Barnes to Announce Friday

November 10, 2009

So as Signing Day blasts out all kinds of activity, including the news that Lorenzo Brown (PG/SG, 6’4″, 2010) and Ryan Harrow (PG, 5’11”, 2010) will finally sign with NC State, Paul Hewitt and Georgia Tech got Jason Morris (SF, 6’4″, 2010), the big prize is still out there on the board: Harrison Barnes (SF, 6’6″, 2010).

Harrison has stated that he will announce this Friday, and the only thing that seems clear is no one really knows where he is going. Stay tuned.