CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Andrew Harrison's
stare as he flanked the center jump circle awaiting the tip-off of his team's Thursday night matchup gave it away.
This was his time.
Maybe it was the recent snub from USA Basketball's U18 team. Or it could have been the media's insistence on anything and everything Harrison-related taking the twin angle. Identical twin brother Aaron
is a star in his own right and was also in attendance at the National Basketball Player's Association Camp on the campus of University of Virginia last week.
Whatever it was that got under the 6-foot-4 Fort Bend Travis (Richmond, Texas)
product's skin helped the rising senior separate himself from the rich talent pool, especially at the point guard position, at the annual event.
His sturdy, 200-pound frame allowed him to dictate the pace when guarded by relentless defenders like Ja'Quan Newton
of Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia)
or recent Georgia Tech commit Solomon Poole
of Parker (Jacksonville, Fla.)
Harrison's success rate of getting into the lane off the bounce matched that of masters like Baltimore's Aquille Carr
or Anthony "Cat" Barber
of Hampton (Va.)
Being pursued by the likes of Baylor, Kentucky, Maryland and Villanova, Harrison handed out a camp-high 4.8 assists per contest over three days of games, a full two assists per game more than any other player.
The defensive tenacity shown by Harrison was impressive. He picked up opposing point guards full-court at times and turned them two or three times before they could get rid of the ball. He dove for loose balls, challenged opponents and supported his teammates.
Other point guards that impressedD'Angelo Russell:
Louisville kid now at Montverde Academy (Fla.)
under the tutelage of Kevin Boyle. The 2014 lefty has a chance to finish in the Top 10 of his class and play in the McDonald's All-American Game. Russell is 6-3 but plays 6-5. He possesses good body control, shields the ball extremely well in traffic and found ways to get his shot off against bigger opponents. Red Bull-ish energy level, could be scary good.Nigel Williams-Goss:
The polished Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.)
shot caller plays with Kendall Marshall-esque tempo and control. Williams-Goss does not get sped up or frustrated by frantic on-ball defense, momentum swings or bad calls. He's a facilitator of the finest order.Parker Jackson-Cartwright:
The diminutive left coaster with offers from most of the Pac-12 brought both his silky floor game and a documentary film crew with him to NBPA.Other notablesKuran Iverson:
The versatile 6-9 forward can handle, has a catch-and-shoot jumper that could be sponsored by Kodak and traverses the delicate boundaries between skill sets and positions that scouts so commonly place on players effortlessly.Kevon Looney:
A 6-7 'tweener from the Class of 2014, this Milwaukee prospect has garnered heavy attention from many of the NCAA's finest programs and for good reason. Looney has a mid-range game, an extra gear in the open court and a date with stardom on the next level.
Rising junior threw down the best dunk of the event Saturday afternoon in a forgotten-about consolation game, but that's such a miniscule part of what the game-changer brings to the table. He rebounds on both ends and owns a serviceable handle against ball pressure. Defensively, Vonleh has a strong enough base to guard power forwards and some centers, plus the quickness and desire to guard the perimeter. Vonleh is a jewel and will be in contention for No. 1 player in the land as a senior. Cliff Alexander:
Chicago workhorse never seems to get tired. Double-double machine. Alexander got out in transition and finished violently, well above the rim, with two hands. What's in the water in the Windy City these days?Chris McCullough:
The rangy forward was productive in the title game, tallying 13 points and six rebounds. McCullough gets off the floor in a hurry and has timing that can't be taught when leaving his feet for blocks.Troy Williams:
Heading to Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.)
next year, the 6-7 wing had a tremendous attitude in camp and it helped his play. Williams put up a camp-high 29 in his last game by playing to his strengths – crashing the glass, getting out in transition and creating offense from his defense. He's at his best when the pace is frenetic. Seemingly on the verge of a commitment to Kentucky or North Carolina in recent months, that idea may be on the shelf for the time being.Zena Edosomwan:
The 6-8 Harvard pledge plays below the rim, but his Luis Scola-like arsenal of post moves puts him near the head of the class. Will be a double-double guy the moment he laces 'em up for Tommy Amaker.Kennedy Meeks: West Charlotte (N.C.)
big man may be the best interior passing post player in the 2013 class. Conditioning is a concern, but his soft hands, fundamentally-sound feet and affable demeanor aren't.