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July 10, 2004

ABCD Camp: Stars in the making

TEANECK --
After using the first day of ABCD Camp to acclimate themselves to their new teammates, coaches and styles of play, many of the top players stepped up their games even more while others struggled Friday during Day 2.

**** One player that didn't need to adjust on the first day was Nate Minnoy, a 6-foot-3, 240-pound small forward from Chicago. Minnoy dominated Day 1, averaging 20 points per game, and maintained his high level Friday by averaging 16 points. And he's certainly not lacking in confidence.

"If a big guy guards me, I can go by him. If a little guy guards me, I can bang him down low and post him up," said Minnoy, who has been offered by Purdue (his favorite), Virginia Tech, Mississippi and Toledo. He's also considering Seton Hall.

Minnoy is built very similarly to former Rutgers star Rashod Kent, possessing the body of a football player and the quickness of a guard -- things that could enable him to play multiple positions in college.

"I don't have a position," he said with complete confidence. "I'm just a basketball player."

Minnoy, one of the most closely watched prospects and the No. 9-rated player after two days of play, is expected to make his college choice in early September, so other schools wishing to jump on the bandwagon still have time.

**** Casiem Drummond, a 6-foot-10, 253-pound junior-to-be from Bloomfield Tech, had a decent Day 1 but broke out during Friday's afternoon session, posting one of the camp's few double-doubles with 11 points and 13 rebounds, leading his Spurs to a 76-55 win over the Rockets.

Drummond, who lists St. John's, Kansas and Connecticut as his favorites, was pleased with his progression.

"In the first game (Thursday), I stunk. In the second game (Thursday), I improved. Then today was the best so far," said Drummond, who also has received interest from Seton Hall but none from Rutgers.

**** Lance Thomas, a 6-foot-8, 200-pound junior-to-be from Scotch Plains-Fanwood, stepped up his game Friday, posting 9 points and 3 rebounds in his Clippers' 76-63 loss to former teammate Derrick Caracter's Warriors and 8 points and 2 steals in a 77-68 victory over the Magic.

Many of the coaches at ABCD camp aren't looking for players who can score. They're looking for players who can do the little things. Thomas is one of those guys, which explains why -- despite the lack of scoring numbers -- Thomas is receiving big-time interest from Duke and Wake Forest.

For more on Thomas' game and how he might relate to Rutgers, log in to RutgersFan.com early Sunday morning.

**** Ahmad Nivins, whose name has been mentioned as a possible target of Rutgers, is a player who has yet to establish himself after two days of play.

Nivins, a 6-foot-9, 215-pound senior-to-be from St. Anthony, was nearly invisible on Day 1 and posted a combined 11 points and 7 rebounds on Day 2 -- including a 9-point, 3-rebound effort in his Suns' night-session 70-65 loss to the Jazz.

But Nivins thinks he do more. Much more.

"I'm not happy because I'm not touching the ball as much as I want to," said Nivins, who has offers from St. Joseph's, Clemson, Seton Hall and Rutgers.

Nivins wants to stay close to home and in the Big East, but he'll have to prove he can do much more to make those offers stand. His biggest problem -- and likely the reason he isn't getting many touches -- is he doesn't always position himself well in the paint to receive a quality entry pass, getting stuck behind defenders. He is a solid rebounder, however, and does play good defense.

**** There have been two verbals at the camp so far. Eric Devendorf, one of the best players at last year's camp and a dominant force and teammate of Lance Thomas on the Clippers, has committed to Jim Boeheim and Syracuse. Devendorf, a 6-foot-3, 180-pound guard, had 11 points in both games Friday.

The other committment was from 6-foot-5, 180-pound forward Tommie Liddell of Belleville, Ill. Liddell will play a year of prep ball at Hargrave Military Academy before becoming a UNLV Rebel.

**** Rutgers isn't going after 6-foot-7, 215-pound forward Kahiem Seawright anymore. At least that's what he said Friday. Seton Hall now appears to be moving in on the lanky forward, who has been a force on the boards the past two days but has shown little on the offensive end.


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