King City: Final Rundown

Nick Johnson

CLEVELAND– Nick Faust has been impressive. Real impressive. Play closed at the King City Classic with a flurry from a handful of guys.

Nick Faust, SG: He's got the feel of a kid who will push for Top 25 status. He's hungry and smoking hot. We left Thursday night after seeing a barrage of 3s. Early Friday morning the only noticeable change was that LeBron was in South Beach. His past two days displayed his range, overall game and significant month-to-month improvement.

LaQuinton Ross, F: He's been a household recruiting name since he burst onto the scene as a freshman. For much of his high school career, he's been the hunted. Entering his senior season, Ross is cast in the role of hunter. On the last day of camp he put forth his most competitive effort and not only played on the perimeter but in the lane too. He's got talent as evidenced by back to backs with a 3 and an up and under inside. If he can replicate the effort he had on Friday the coaches will be impressed.

Dorian Finney-Smith, F: While James McAdoo was injured, DFS put Boo on his back. His summer camps have been situations where he's blended in. Here's our take: team guy. The setting suits many, but not all. We'll watch him closely in July and expect to see him play his best ball with Boo. The skills are there, from his shot to his instincts on the glass.

Nick Johnson, SG: This was the best we've seen him play since the spring. Johnson's crisp jumper found bottom a lot and he played with pace and smarts. The most impressive dunk we saw all tourney long belonged to him. Johnson cradled it in traffic and came out of nowhere to hammer one down that stopped play.

Myck Kabongo, PG: America's most engaging point guard personality was solid, not spectacular. At this point, one might be inclined to think his tank is running low. From the start of June through the Classic, he may be then most traveled senior of them all.

Julian Royal, PF: When he strikes that balance between post and perimeter he winds up looking like a productive hybrid four-man. He's even got a counter move inside. He finished up strong.

Hearing whispers that Connecticut could be poised to move on Josiah Turner. … The North Carolina Tar Heels seemed to spend a considerable amount of time watching Khem Birch. … Chris Mack got watch his guy Dez Wells and Wells' good friend Rodney Purvis because they were on the same team. Also benefiting from the pairing was Roy Williams. The UNC head coach watched every game of P.J. Hairston who also ran with Purvis and Wells. … It looked like Khem Birch's final head coaching crowd today included Jim Boeheim, Roy Williams, Bill Self and Paul Hewitt. …

There were five Georgians and most of the Oakland Soldiers involved in the championship game at camp. … Zach Price continues to show incremental improvements. He's also demonstrated a hunger to get better. … Best shooters at camp included: Faust, Kentavious Caldwell, Jabari Brown, Nick Johnson, Myles Mack, Terry Whisnant and Dai-Jon Parker. …

Here's an interesting nugget. Cedrick McAfee played his best basketball on the final days of both NBA Camp and the King City Classic. He shot it well today. … Dezmine Wells is important to Xavier on a number of fronts. He's a proven beast off the dribble and strong handler. He's also a great teammate, the kind of guy who will make it his business to lock down recruits that are on campus. …

Here's my take: Kentavious Caldwell could be the next James Anderson. Slightly different games but big number guys who have that DNA to get buckets. Caldwell is a better defensive player and maybe stronger without the ball. …

Nick Faust, and this is a list you want to be on, likes Villanova, Maryland, Tennessee, Penn State, UNLV, Oregon State, Massachusetts, West Virginia, Marquette and Virginia. … Ben McLemore always lists Kansas and Missouri first. The rest of his offers include Tennessee and Illinois with Kentucky and Louisville keeping tabs. …

Kevin Ollie isn't going to win a ring with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Ollie retired and is now on staff at UConn. The Huskies gave him a baptism by fire as he rolled into Cleveland solo on his first mission. …

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