Notes from Day 1 of LeBron Camp

The first day of the LeBron James Skills Academy doesn’t allow for much in the way of reporting. Players aren’t available for interviews, and if you break that rule, you lose your credential. Nike makes this very clear, and the company has shown over the years it’s not afraid of suppressing the media. (You do remember the Jordan Crawford dunk you weren’t supposed to see, don’t you?)

Regardless, Indiana had a pair of in-state recruits at this camp in Branden Dawson and Gary Harris. Both seemed to acquit themselves relatively against strong competition.

The high school players had a two-hour workout on Monday with the first half being all about skill instruction (shooting drills, passing drills, ball-handling drills) and the second consisting of pick-up games. Dawson at times seemed a tad too loose during the skill instruction, but showed off his considerable length and range, moving quickly to spots and making deep jumpers. He also hit a nifty turnaround jumper during a pick-up game that served as his highlight of game action.

Considering the dynamic of the camp, Harris seemed more interested in sitting back and learning than trying to dominate play. He continues to show improvement in his all-around game. During drills, he hit shots from all over the court, and looked natural in his ball-handling. There were times during the pick-up games that he seemed to willing to sit on the perimeter and wait for something to happen, but he did crash the boards and snuck in for a put-back against taller opponents in one instance.

The high school players were divided up into two groups on Monday, with one playing in the main gym at James Rhodes Arena at Arkon University and another across the street at the school’s recreation center. Harris and Dawson were both in the latter group. Among the players from that group who stood out to me was Ricardo Gathers, a 6-foot-6, 235-pounder from Riverside Academy in LaPlace, La. Rated No. 20 overall in the Class of 2012 by, Gethers bullied skinnier players around the basket and stuck most of his arm in the rim on a fast-break dunk. Anthony Davis, the 6-foot-9 star from Chicago and an Indiana recruit, had his moments, but at 187 pounds, he’s extremely skinny.

Some other notes from Day 1:

  • During the college players’ workout at James Rhodes Arena, LeBron James worked out with several current and former Cleveland Cavaliers teammates including Damion Jones and Jawad Williams. He and his crew added Chris Paul for several pick-up games. Pretty sure they won all of those, though the college guys were showing they had a lot more to play for.
  • James reportedly declined comment about his free agency after the camp.
  • Illinois point guard Demetri McCamey and Penn State guard Talor Battle represented the Big Ten among the college players. Ohio State’s William Buford, who was listed on the camp roster was not present.
Share the Scoop!


  • 4guards #1

    Tuesday, July 6, 2010 - 7:38 AM EDT

    We lost another good one to Butler. Kellen Dunham off the boards.

  • J Pat #2

    Tuesday, July 6, 2010 - 9:00 AM EDT

    if Crean had gone after him you would say…oh NO, another 3 star guard! Have a coke and a smile 4G and a wonderful day!

  • TheRegion #3

    Tuesday, July 6, 2010 - 9:46 AM EDT

    Can’t believe Crean has yet to get a commitment from BP as to when the oil spill will be stopped. Why did we hire this guy…


  • Hoosier Clarion #4

    Tuesday, July 6, 2010 - 9:59 AM EDT

    The sky has been falling ever since Alford’s laundry basket started posting

  • TheRegion #5

    Tuesday, July 6, 2010 - 10:10 AM EDT

    Alford is a horrible recruiter, can’t believe Alford lost this kid to Butler.

  • Tom #6

    Tuesday, July 6, 2010 - 11:01 AM EDT

    Cody Zeller would do himself well to go to Butler…Great School…Great Program…Great Fit…Great Coach…He would be very successful at Butler and a star in the league…Which would give him excellent NBA opportunities.

  • Laffy #7

    Tuesday, July 6, 2010 - 11:30 AM EDT

    4G = biggest loser on the net

    You’re right, if Crean had got that kid, no one would have cried louder than 4G.

  • 4guards #8

    Tuesday, July 6, 2010 - 12:12 PM EDT

    I have been talking highly of the kid for a while. Guess you are wrong once again.

  • Engel #9

    Tuesday, July 6, 2010 - 1:38 PM EDT

    Crean’s gotta go big or go home in 2012. Kids like Dunham are nice, but I’d take Patterson, Ferrell or DSR over him anyway of the week.

  • 4guards #10

    Tuesday, July 6, 2010 - 1:48 PM EDT

    Crean is going to be sent home after next season if he can’t bring in Zeller and fails to reach .500.
    I also agree that I would rather have DSR, Patterson, and Ferrell over Dunham. My point is that I would rather have Dunham than any kid in our 2010 class and over the majority of the kids on our current roster.

  • Hoosier Clarion #11

    Tuesday, July 6, 2010 - 2:04 PM EDT

    I doubt very highly Coach Crean’s tenure at IU will have anything to do with Zeller’s college choice.
    I’ll take recruits like WS an VO any day. Dunham is not B10 material and his committment proves it.
    4brainpiercings has trouble evaluating talent above Horizon league caliber.

  • 4guards #12

    Tuesday, July 6, 2010 - 2:16 PM EDT

    Butler level talent would be considered a good thing considering they were within one shot of winning the national championship. Also, there were B10 schools recruiting Dunham.
    If we end up with a few out of DSR, Patterson, Hammons, Ferrell , Harris, Perea, Kaminski, then we should have passed. If we end up Jurkin, Aget, and some other foreign project we have never heard of (which is more likely) then we should have been all over Dunham.

  • Jubilee #13

    Tuesday, July 6, 2010 - 3:08 PM EDT

    I wish I could see the future….then I would know if we should have signed Dunham or not…..thankfully, Crean knows what the future holds.

    4guards, do you sign Dunham now or take a chance on guys that can win big?

    The answer is easy.

  • Hoosier Clarion #14

    Tuesday, July 6, 2010 - 3:18 PM EDT

    4brainpiercings is a fortune teller of the highest order. He is also an excellent evaluator of Horizon league talent.

  • Caleb #15

    Tuesday, July 6, 2010 - 7:51 PM EDT

    Dunham is widely considered the 10-12 ranked player in the state of Indiana for 2012. Not huge into rankings, but they do differentiate talents.

    Dunham could sail up the rankings with some major ddevelopment. Quite frankly, though, IU is and should be focusing higher on the food chain. We arent going to battle Ball State and Wright State (Dunham’s other two offers) for talent.

    Hoping to see Butler turn the run into better recruiting. THis is a run-of-the-mill kid for them. Could he take an unheard of growth spurt and get to 6’8″ by the time he’s a college frosh and develop a freakish handle a 3pt jump shot and get drafted #9 in the NBA draft? Sure. Wouldnt bank on it though.

    And Detroit is getting some serious talent to the North.

    Good luck to Kellen. He was never on IU’s radar so let’s not waste time talking like he was. Moving on………

  • james brassiere #16

    Wednesday, July 7, 2010 - 8:48 AM EDT

    clarion is this website’s pride. he and that brochure guy.

  • Hoosier Clarion #17

    Wednesday, July 7, 2010 - 11:59 AM EDT

    The brochure guy and I both thank you kindly.

  • IUlifer #18

    Friday, July 9, 2010 - 6:19 AM EDT

    Dunham was 100% on Crean’s radar. Yes, there was no offer to this junior to be, but be assured IU was paying A LOT of attention to this kid. Dunham knew what he wanted. No need to wait for all the other offers to come in…and they would have.

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