Hoop Group Future All American Camp (Part 4)
By Chick Gillespie
Here are some more standouts from the Hoop Group Future All American Camp:
Darrick Jones Jr. 6’5” 2020 SF
Millwood School (Midlothian, VA) - Jones was another guy who took some time to warm up but once he did well lets just say he caught a few peoples attention. I didn’t get to see him in the tryout portion of camp so I wasn’t sure what I’d see when the camp games got underway on Friday morning. I only saw him twice and he was so so in game one on Friday morning making some good plays and some not so good ones too. You could see the athleticism and the nice shooting touch and a better than average handle so clearly the ability was there to take another look. While watching a game that night he was playing on an adjacent court and I saw some flashes that he just got off to a slow start and was now heating up. In game two which ended up being a second close loss for his team Jones stood out with an array of dribble drive forays to the basket coupled with several smooth pull up jumpers. He engaged defensively making plays and expending effort and didn’t dwell on any bad plays he made. There is a lot to like in this young man and I’ll be anxious to see him develop moving forward.
Cam Thomas 6’3” 2020 SG
Oscar Smith HS (Chesapeake, VA) – Unlike at Peach Jam where he seemingly couldn’t miss Thomas was actually mortal at this camp. He moved well without the ball and stepped in nicely on catch and shoot opportunities with a sweet stroke that was sometimes off the mark. The impressive thing about this was Thomas didn’t seem to dwell on his misses and continued to hustle back on defense. He has a crafty handle that gets him driving lanes and as I mentioned a very pure jumper that is fairly reliable all the way to the arc. He does sometimes get beat defensively which most HS aged players do from expending more energy on the scoring side of the ball and relaxing a bit on D. Thomas did however share the ball and had several nice dimes that caught the opposition completely off guard and these are plays that he should continue to incorporate into his arsenal to make him a more rounded player as well as a dangerous one too.
Gabriel Wuor 6’11” 2020 C
Trinity International School (Las Vegas, NV) – This sin city product was a bit of an unknown coming into the camp but surely left with some eyebrows raised and definitely intrigued by his obvious upside. Starting off he’s a very good rebounder with shot blocking skills as well. He works hard down on the block and his motor is quite good too. Offensively he’s a work in progress with very raw moves and footwork but the body just keeps plugging away and he gets results. While you wouldn’t call him a fluid athlete with the ball in his hands just yet he still made shots even if they weren’t aesthetically pleasing. He did take a few 10-12 foot jumpers that looked rather good form wise and athletically he moves well and he can run the floor which leads me to believe that we are looking at someone just scratching the surface of what he could become and I am looking forward to getting a glimpse of the finished product in a few years.
Bol Akot 5’11” 2020 PG
Proctor Academy (Andover, NH) – This young man may have been the purest PG in camp as he constantly looked for openings to drive and dish scoring only when he saw something he could exploit with his speed. Akot showed great speed when dribbling upcourt and super control of the rock in doing so. He sees the floor with a surgeons eye and zips sweet passes to teammates in scoring positions. If a defender slides to far over and leaves the basket exposed Akot shows a tremendous burst to get inside for the quick bucket. From the perimeter his shot looked ok but in the two games I viewed 15-20 foot jumpers did not seem to be his forte at the moment. On the defensive side of the ball he has those quick twitch reflexes that allow him to disturb the oppositions offensive flow by getting steals with lightning quick strips or just putting pressure on the ballhandler to force a turnover. One thing is for certain as far as Akot is concerned and that is he has really taken to the PG role and that’s a position that is always in demand.
Woody Newton 6’8” 2020 SF
McKinley Technology HS (Washington, DC) – Newton was for all accounts a kind of unsung guy on his camp team making plays from offensive rebound putbacks to slashing layups in traffic to spot up jumpers which found the bottom of the net. So how was he unsung you ask, well that is quite simple he wasn’t in my humble opinion anyway, the first or even the second option on most offensive sets. He also didn’t demand the ball either preferring to play a role and take what he could get which is commendable. This young man made plays in the flow of the game and was highly productive in what I thought were limited touches. Having seen him in only 2 games though it was abundantly clear that he plays under control and seldom rushes anything. If he makes a bad play he brushes it off and uses his smarts to try and make something happen to get the ball back. He rebounds really well and he is steady defensively using good body position to keep opponents in front of him. Nice upside moving forward and plenty to like about his overall game.
Dyondre Dominguez 6’8” 2020 SF-PF
New Hampton, NH School – My guilty pleasure player for sure as this kid was a junkyard dog in all three games I observed his team play. Not the most athletic young man but he clearly had one of the top motors in the entire camp. He had a great nose for the ball scuffling for loose balls and rebounds and coming up with quite a few 50/50 balls as well. Dominguez was fearless driving to the hole getting buckets with slashing drives or straight power moves thru contact too. He showed some touch as well hitting some midrange jumpers and a few 3 balls to boot. Defensively he played hard not giving in to faster players by using good positioning to get his man out of his comfort zone. Dominguez plays more like a PF but has some SF skills in his game and over the next couple years we’ll see if he can meld them together to make him a multi dimensional threat.
That wraps up Pt. 4 from Albright College at the Future All American camp.