Thursday, June 21, 2007
Memphis' Elite Overnight Camp (Recruiting Targets - Elliott Williams, Angel Garcia, Kenny Kadji, Leslie McDonald)
Budding hoop stars show for Cal camp
Four recruits demonstrate skills for Tiger coaches
By Dan Wolken
June 17, 2007
By the end of this weekend, University of Memphis coaches could very well have an idea of what their 2008 recruiting class might look like.
Three of the Tigers' top targets for the coming year -- St. George's guard Elliot Williams, wing forward Angel Garcia and center Kenny Kadji -- participated in Memphis' Elite Overnight Camp on Friday and Saturday, where they were able to showcase their skills in front of coach John Calipari.
In addition to Briarcrest guard Leslie McDonald, a class of 2009 recruit, the Elite Camp included four potential McDonald's All-Americans.
Though Calipari can't comment on unsigned recruits per NCAA rules, Memphis would clearly be happy to sign Williams, Garcia and Kadji and complete a recruiting class that already includes Philadelphia twin forwards Marcus and Markeiff Morris.
Though Williams' name is familiar locally, Garcia and Kadji's participation lends credence to the idea that Memphis isn't just a national program (as Calipari likes to say) but international.
Garcia, listed at 6-foot-10, is originally from Puerto Rico and in fact is leaving Memphis today for a two-month trip with his national team. After being discovered by a prep coach in Chicago, Garcia moved to the United States without speaking much English.
Both his language and basketball skills have developed rapidly in the past year, and Garcia is now one of the most highly sought-after big men in the country, ranked 33rd by Rivals.com.
Garcia, whose long-range shooting and dribbling skills wowed observers in the Finch Center, said Saturday he was in no rush to make a college decision but mentioned Indiana, Florida and Louisville as schools he was considering.
"I have one more year to think about it," he said. "I feel comfortable here, real comfortable. I like the guys. They're real nice guys. I'm having fun. I think I fit in."
Kadji, a more conventional post player at 6-10 and 250 pounds, grew up in Cameroon and France. Kadji's family, which runs a sports academy in Cameroon, realized his basketball potential and found the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., through the Internet.
Since moving there in the fall of 2005, Kadji has been a highly-touted prospect and has risen to 21st in Rivals.com's latest rankings.
Matt Ramker, who runs the Florida Rams AAU program with which Kadji participates, said he is only considering Memphis, Kansas State and Florida. Ramker said Kadji will announce his decision on July 26 at a news conference in Las Vegas, where the Florida Rams will be playing in a tournament.
"He can play with his back to the basket or facing in certain situations," Ramker said. "He's a very, very good shot blocker and rebounder, adequate shooter. He's got to develop his body a little bit."