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October 17, 2011
USA Basketball: Sunday stars
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- For the second day in a row of USA Basketball's 17-and-under team mini-camp, there was zero question as to who the baddest dudes in the gym were as five-star juniors Jabari Parker and Aaron Gordon continued to play at level all their own. But Rondae Jefferson and Johnathan Williams III were among the players that finished the weekend strong.
Rondae Jefferson, SF- A physical wing, the junior's strength was important for him as camp wrapped up. As others grew tired, he grew stronger and even more relentless on the glass and attacking the lane. He mentioned Pitt, Penn State, Villanova, Rutgers, Temple and St. Joseph's among those who have been on him the hardest.
Dominique Collier, PG- At only 143 pounds, the sophomore point is going to have to get stronger so that he doesn't get pushed around physically. But, he was able to fight through some fatigue and is very slippery off the dribble. His bread and butter is making things happen for himself and others in the lane.
Tyus Jones, PG- The five-star sophomore is so smooth and efficient that he stands out without standing out. What that means is he's always making the right decision with the ball, makes shots when needed and communicates with his teammates.
Justise Winslow, SF- A physical wing, the five-star sophomore was steady all weekend. Because of the high level of other players in camp, he couldn't rely on just being a bully and allowed him to show that he has a jumper and ability to do things besides get to the bucket.
Justin Jackson, SF- A Texan from the class of 2014 like Winslow, Jackson is on the opposite end of the spectrum in terms of physicality. But, that doesn't mean he isn't tough and he's bigger than you might think at 175 pounds. He's a shot-maker with skill and is particularly good along either baseline.
Demonte Flannigan, PF- Give the junior a lot of credit for playing with intensity and getting after it the entire weekend. At around 6-foot-6 or 6-foot-7, he's a power player who knows how to use his 230-pound frame to punish opponents.
Jonathan Williams, PF- On Saturday, Williams suffered a nasty fall on a dunk attempt that resulted in a hip/lower back injury. Sunday, the 6-foot-8 junior sucked it up and got after it until the injury stiffened up and forced him back to the sidelines. He's long and quick and causes a lot of problems as a hybrid four man.
Joel Berry, PG- The sophomore is strong and steady and looks like he'll end up on the high major level. He uses strong shoulders and hands to keep defenders at bay and is a good enough jump shooter that opponents can't compensate by just playing way off of him.
Trey Lyles, PF- The Indiana-bound big man can really shoot it for a big guy and has a very good skill level facing the hoop. At times, though, he gets into the habit of just hanging on the perimeter. On Sunday, the 230-pounder got into the lane and roughed it up a bit to good results.
Beejay Anya, C- Even though he only measures in at about 6- 8, the junior is able to play much bigger than that because of his 7-foot-5 wingspan and 9-foot-3 standing reach. He's dropped almost 40 pounds since June and the results are evident as he's quicker off the floor and faster from end to end. He blocked a lot of shots and attacked rebounds at the rim during a nice weekend outing.