Thursday, July 8, 2010

Of Dove, Wolf and Huskies

Went to Gampel tonight to watch UConn players run at the conclusion of the school's hoops camp, which is running this week and next.

Jerome Dyson and Taliek Brown were in the house, and Tony Robertson has been here the previous few nights. Kemba Walker was back from LeBron James camp (he said he had no idea which way LeBron would go in his decision). Jamaal Trice and Darius Smith are still here, taking summer courses to try to boost their GPA's in order to transfer. Trice confirmed that he is, indeed, transferring -- he just has no idea where yet.

Jon Mandeldove is here, too. Big Dove said he'll be pulling a Stanley Robinson next year -- in other words, paying his own way while taking classes and holding down a job. Mandeldove has an apartment off-campus so he said he'll be paying in-state tuition. He also said he's nearly done with classes, and hopes to be completely done after the first semester so that he can concentrate solely on hoops for the second.

A few other nuggets:

***Walker will play for the USA Select Team against the NBA-stocked U.S. national team from July 18-25 in Vegas. He's already earned rave reviews at both the Deron Williams and LeBron James camps this summer, and feels he's really emerged as a true leader.

“I was talking a lot (on the floor),” he said. “I think I showed I’m a leader. And my shooting, I think I’ve improved a lot in that aspect.”

Walker will be one of just three scholarship upperclassmen on this year’s UConn team and is a co-captain with senior guard Donnell Beverly. The Huskies have seven incoming freshmen this season, the most since the early 1990’s. I asked him if he feels this year’s team is his team.

“I don’t feel it, I know it is,” he responded. “I’m just looking forward to being a leader.”

***Dyson, who went unselected in last month’s NBA Draft, will head to Vegas next week to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers summer league team.

***Ater Majok looks pretty good. Yes, it's just summertime pick-up games, but he made some moves and finishes that I haven't seen him make before. Jeremy Lamb can play a little bit, too.

***New commit Enosch Wolf's father apparently played basketball at Ohio State and was a teammate of Detlef Schrempf's on the German national squad.

***The Huskies will have a slightly different ... um ... complexion this season. Walker has already noticed it. We're told that a few weeks ago, while German Niels Giffey was making an official visit, Walker dribbled up the court and saw Tyler Olander, Giffey, as well as African natives Majok and Charles Okwandu ahead of him. He stopped his dribble.

"Man," Walker said, "we've got some di-versity this year!"

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