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Notes: Hoops Elite Camp

Penn State’s first Elite Camp under second year head coach Patrick Chambers turned out to be a huge success over the weekend, headlined by future Nittany Lions Brandon Austin and Isaiah Washington.

Penn State commitments Isaiah Washington and Geno Thorpe.

Over 50 campers partook in the two-day event, which saw the attendees go through a few instructional sessions before breaking down into teams and playing a number of games. The turnout was diverse as well, seeing players from as far north as Minnesota and as far south as North Carolina make the trip.

Here are a few notes from the sessions:

- Washington and his team, coached by assistant Brian Daly, ended up winning the camp’s tournament portion, and the 2014 Pennsylvania native was impressive throughout. The 6-foot-3 guard looked very comfortable handling the ball going up against some of the older guys, and knocked down some impressive shots - the most of which came when he nailed a three while getting fouled, completing a four-point play.

- Running alongside Washington under Daly’s watch was 2013 Mishawaka (Ind.) Penn guard Leo Svete. It was Svete’s second trip to State College in June, and the senior-to-be took the chance to show his stuff in front of the coaches. Svete played very well - getting to the bucket when he wanted to, rebounding the basketball and showcasing his range - and though he still hasn’t picked up an offer, he made an impression on the coaches.

- It was more of the same from Austin, and its getting hard to put his performance’s into words without repeating previous accounts of the 6-foot-6 Philly product. Austin was impressive - he dropped 51 points on Friday night (the games ran 40 minutes) - balling out while coached by assistant Keith Urgo. The wiry swingman ran a little point, played off the ball, spotted up, and even dunked on a few other players. He actually did not play the final game on the BJC floor after tweaking his leg, but the Imhotep Charter guard already knows about playing on the main floor - taking home a state title earlier this year .

- Playing on Austin’s team was the biggest uncommitted name in attendance, 2013 Sidwell Friends (D.C.) guard Josh Hart. The Team Takeover guard, who was a bit banged up after going up against top competition at the Kevin Durant Skills Academy last week, was still able to turn it on in spurts this weekend. He is a versatile player on the wing, who is a great defender but really shows his stuff out in transition. Hart will be one of the 80 top high school players attending at the LeBron James Skills Academy later this week.

- The missing committed name is Geno Thorpe, and that’s because the 2013 guard didn’t partake due to injury. It isn’t anything serious, and had this been a tournament Thorpe admittedly would have suited up, but he still made the trip from Pittsburgh to hang with his future teammates. All signs are pointing towards Thorpe pairing with Austin and playing for Team Philly during the July period.

- A name that stood out as someone who came in under-the-radar was 2013 Grafton (Wis.) High guard Scotty Tyler. The 6-foot-7 baller turned some heads with his athleticism and shooting prowess. Tyler put in a gritty performance in general, and could not be left open or else he was knocking down the shot. He had nice range as well. There’s a report Penn State has followed up with an offer, but I’m in the process of confirming it myself.

- There weren’t many bigs at the camp, but one who stuck out was 2013 Duluth (Minn.) center Akolda Manyang. The 6-foot-10 prospect showed some good hands in the paint and was able to finish consistently around the rim. Playing AAU with Howard Pulley All Stars, Manyang averaged over five points and rebounds a game on the Nike EYBL circuit.

- Making the trip from Indianapolis (Ind.) Pike guard Zavier Turner, a 5-foot-8 guard playing AAU with The Ville. Turner was a spark plug running the point with endless energy, who put his teammates in good positions to score. Obviously size is holding him back, but the kid can play.

- 2013 guard Ameer Jackson who plays AAU with Team Ignition out of Virginia showed some good vision in the open court, hitting the paint and finishing while also giving others open looks.

- A couple of younger guys that played well were 2014 Team Philly guards Basil Thompson and Rashann London, who each showed bright spots during their games. Also keep an eye on a couple of Team Final products in 2013 forward Dom Reid and 2014 wing Jahyde Gardiner. Gardiner and Austin seem to have a good relationship, and were shooting around together for a solid 20 minutes before anyone else showed up for the final session.


And Ones

- Former Penn State quarterback Todd Blackledge was in attendance with his son Harrison Blackledge, a 2013 guard out of Canton, Ohio. The elder Blackledge was joined in the BJC stands by head football coach Bill O’Brien, who made an appearance on Saturday.

- I mentioned this in a thread, but Tim Frazier is one of 20 college players to get an invite to the LeBron James Skills Academy later this week. Frazier made some noise out in Chicago at the Deron Williams Skills Academy in June, and will now head out to Las Vegas later this week to suit up with the country’s best. The full rosters will be released in the coming days.

- Finally, I heard some good things about incoming freshman Donovon Jack from a couple of different sources. From what I gathered, Jack has some serious athleticism for his size, and at 6-foot-9 he could surprise some people this fall.

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