UM Hoops was in attendance for Michigan’s 2012 College Practice Camp in Ann Arbor on Saturday. The camp featured a number of top Michigan targets and you can skim the entire roster here. The younger classes (2015 and 2016) played throughout the morning and early afternoon while the older group (2013 and 2014) took the floor in the afternoon.
Both age groups went through the same drills and then scrimmages, with drills taking up most of the time at camp, along with some 3-on-3, before moving on to 5-on-5 scrimmages. Video and photos weren’t allowed but we’ll have plenty of scouting tidbits in the days to come, beginning with underclassmen scouting after the jump including notes on Chandler White (right), Prentiss Nixon and many more.
Chandler White (2015, G, Indiana Elite)
White looked to have some trouble running the ball handling drills initially, but as soon as he was in a competitive situation it was clear he was among the best players in his age group. He certainly displayed the most complete set of skills out of any player in his age group – he can shoot from anywhere on the floor, including from beyond the arc, and is a remarkably strong finisher at the hoop. His game is very advanced, and he is just as comfortable on the fast break as he is in half-court sets. When he was aggressive, it was nearly impossible for his defender to stop him from making something happen, whether by shooting, taking it to the rack, or finding the open man. White is an advanced player and really stood out among his peers.
Prentiss Nixon (2015, G, Illinois Wolves)
Nixon is a smaller guard than White, but just as talented. His long-range jumper is remarkably consistent for his age and looks really smooth. He looked great during the ball handling drills and while his team struggled during the scrimmages, he stood out. He is justifiably fearless about shooting from anywhere on the court, but also has the ability to navigate the paint. He has an excellent spin move that he uses often and his quickness is what makes it so dangerous. He is able to control the ball in traffic and always keep his head up, displaying above average passing ability. Nixon is certainly a player to watch this July and into next season..
Chris Palombizio (2015, G, Chesterton, Ind.)
According to NCAA rules, Zack Novak couldn’t be in the gym to watch his friend’s brother Chris Palombizio play, but he was at the Crisler Center waiting to talk to him after he finished. Palombizio, a Chesterton native, didn’t shoot the ball to his capabilities but showed off other areas of his game. During 3-on-3 drills he played very good defense and got a nice baseline block on Chandler White. In 5-on-5, Palombizio was aggressive in going to the basket and finding open teammates — he’s quick and has great handles and was able to get by most defenders. His hands were very active on defense and late in camp he found his long-range shot and was able to knock down a few. Palombizio is a smart player with serious skills.
Lamonta Stone (2015, G, Bowling Green, OH)
Lamonta Stone II is the son of the elder Lamonta Stone, an assistant basketball coach at Bowling Green. And as one would expect from a coach’s kid, he was extremely impressive and well-versed in nearly every drill, especially in the myriad ball handling drills the Michigan coaches threw at the prospects. Though Stone had trouble finding his shot in the scrimmage portion of camp, he remained aggressive in taking the ball to the rack and finding open teammates, despite his short stature. Stone seemed much better-tailored for running an actual offense instead of the one-on-one-oriented play common at camp scrimmages, at times forcing looks to teammates who weren’t moving to get open. However, it’s clear he’s a talented player with plenty of tools. He’s lightening quick and has great court awareness.
Michael Benkert (2015, Wing, Center Grove, Ind./Eric Gordon All-Stars)
When I saw Michael Benkert play on the AAU circuit with the Eric Gordon All-Stars this summer I was impressed, and I was impressed with him again at camp. Benkert is a versatile player who can knock down 3-pointers or take the ball to the hoop with ease. He dominated 3-on-3 drills, taking the ball to the rack and often coming away with points. During scrimmages, Benkert at one point nailed three straight deep balls and was also effective getting out into transition. He teamed up with Chandler White for 5-on-5’s and the duo was almost unstoppable, especially in the transition game.
Bakari Evelyn (2015, G, Southfield Christian)
Watching Southfield Christian point guard Bakari Evelyn shoot in drills, it looked as though he wasn’t getting enough elevation and he wasn’t squaring up to the basket. But when he had a man in front of him and a hand in his face during scrimmages, it became clear he shoots that way for a reason: it goes in. In 3-on-3, Evelyn consistently knocked down tough midrange jumpers. In 5-on-5 scrimmages, Evelyn executed his team’s offense well, finding open teammates off of his drives to the basket.
Tahjai Teague (2015, Wing, Pike, Ind.)
Teague is an aggressive, athletic wing prospect out of Pike High School in Indiana. He has long arms but is very strong and able to get to the rim. He was very impressive in the transition game during scrimmages, finishing with a couple of monster slam dunks. Teague is a versatile player who has no trouble getting to the basket, but his jumpshot looked like it needed a little work. Teague was impressive on the defensive side of the ball, with his defense on the interior being exceptional.
Brad Brechting (2015, F, Grand Rapids Storm)
Brad Brechting came into camp a bit under the radar but he looked like a legitimate young post prospect. At 6-9, he’s very thin and lanky, but he’s aggressive and once he learns some mechanics he could be very dangerous. He’s raw, but he grabbed a ton of rebounds and showed off an ability to take the ball inside and finish. He fouls often and sometimes neglects to establish rebounding position in the post because his height makes it too easy for him to grab boards. But Brechting is certainly an in-state prospect to watch.
Others to remember: Deleon Brown, Myo Baxter and Tyler Williams.
Look for much more from College Practice Camp in the hours and days to come.