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SoCalHoops Recruiting News

adidas Double Pump WCAS #2:
Two Players Take Center Stage--(July 12, 2000)

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adidas Double Pump West Coast All Star Camp

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Cal State Dominguez Hills


1000 E. Victoria, Carson, CA


Session #2:  July 11 through 14, 2000


300 top players, D-I coaches

Eric Fowlkes of Milwaukee amazed the coaches last night with his high-flying act.

While a lot of the "big name" guys who had filtered in from ABCD and Nike Camp during the morning and afternoon were taking it easy last night, two players we've never had the chance to watch previously, and who very many others haven't seen either, took center stage.  One, a rising junior from, of all places, Portland, Maine, played in the first evening game on Court 2, and he had the assembled coaches buzzing. The other, a rising senior from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, not only had everyone buzzing, this guy had everyone up crowded around Court 1 throughout most of the last game of the evening, and people were yelling, hollering, whooping it up because rarely have we ever witnessed a dunking exhibition so amazing and consistently and thoroughly. . . well, so . . . unbelievable.

The first player we're talking about is Nik Caner-Medley (6'-6" Jr. SF/PF) from Deering HS in Portland, Maine, who is a truly marvelous player, with broad, square shoulders, athletically built, who runs the floor, and can score in a variety of ways, whether that's shooting from way out behind the three point line, or driving and flying to the basket.  And looking at this young man, you can tell that he's only going to get better, bigger, stronger and will, in our view, be a high-major recruit in another year.  How good is Nik?  Well, he was matched up for most of his Utah team's game against the California team's own Maurice Tyree (6'-8" Sr. F) who just returned from ABCD where he had some very impressive performances, and unlike the others who returned from ABCD and wanted to take the evening off, Maurice looked fresh in the afternoon, and was ready to play.  But he probably had no idea he'd be running into Caner-Medley, who performed admirably, defending the bigger player and scoring repeatedly in the face of some very tough defense.    Of course Maurice got in his own shots, but Nik really showed that he can play against the top players.   Tomorrow's afternoon game should be a good matchup against Justin Williams (6'-8" Sr. C) from Marshall HS in Milwaukee, who happens to be one of the guys from the Friends of Hoop Wisconsin teams that Price Johnson brought to the camp, and it should be an interesting matchup.

But on Thursday, Utah (which also features Archie Dupree Copeland (5'-10" Sr. PG) who also attended ABCD and who showed last night that he's as solid as any point guard on the West Coast),  will play Arkansas which features Louis Amundson (6'-6" Sr. F), Simon Casel (6'-6" Sr. PF) from Germany, and Errick Craven (6'-2" Sr. PG), and this should be an interesting and exciting game.   Later that evening, Utah will play Maryland, with Aaron Gentry (6'-7" Sr. F) from Riverbank, CA and USA Development Basketball attendee Marques Crane (6'-4" Sr. SG/SF) from Ocean View. 

Caner-Medley's story is an interesting one. His father is originally from Artesia, and he attended junior high school in the area in the late 60's.   Nik's father, Joe Medley, would have attended Artesia HS, but Nik's grandfather (Joe's father) was involved in development agencies in Asia, and evidently that's where Joe spent his high school years.   He moved back to the SoCal region to attend college at Pomona College, and he later went on to graduate school, eventually becoming a college professor in Portland, Maine where he and Nik now reside (The "Caner" part of Nik's hyphenated last name is his mom's).   Nik averaged 17 ppg last season, 7 rebounds per game, 4 assists and 4 steals, was named 2nd Team All-Maine, and carries a 3.8 GPA, so this should get schools like Stanford, Cal, UCLA and other academically oriented West Coast schools interested in a hurry.

But if the buzz around the CSUDH gym after his first performance is any indication of the interest he generated, we don't really need to spread the word about Nik Caner-Medley, because the coaches are already becoming aware of this young man all on their own. 

* * * * *

The other player who really woke the place up last night was Eric Fowlkes (6'-3" Sr. G), a solid 195 lbs of acrobatic, solid muscle who put on one of the most impressive dunking exhibitions we've seen take place in the course of a game in many years.  Eric, who is from Milwaukee and has played at the Bob Gibbons Classic with Price Johnson's Wisconsin FOH team this past spring, isn't really a secret in the midwest or on the east coast, but he was certainly a surprise to many of the coaches in the house, who either hadn't heard about him or seen him before.   While Eric's 18 ppg, 8 assists and 5 rebounds are impressive stats, what really had everyone amazed was his ability to dunk in the many ways he found to accomplish that.   We saw him complete a full 360 slam while running in from midcourt with two defenders on him, another time with a flying tomahawk while soaring over a stunned defender, and several other dunks which threatened to break a backboard.

Eric is not a physically imposing player, but he's really, really strong, and has really rockets in his shoes.  We're not sold yet that he's a true high major recruit because it's one thing to be able to dunk like a madman and quite another to be a skilled team basketball player, but the truth is, Eric is also a pretty good team player, and besides the ability to humiliate a defender with his sheer athleticism, he has excellent court vision, a good handle and passes the ball.  Of course by the last 6 minutes of the game, everyone was giving the ball to him, so it was pointless for him to pass since he had an obligation to the crowd and his teammates to jam it down the opposition's throat,  so it was really hard at that point to assess Fowlkes' ability to do much else.  But we'll see if he can keep it up against other and tougher opponents through the course of the next two days of games and into one of the All-Star games that he's sure to be in on Friday morning before everyone breaks for Vegas. . . . 

* * * * * * * *

There was obviously a lot more to report on besides these two guys, but they were just the biggest, best  and most noticeable surprises on a night when we saw and heard lots of surprising things.  We'll have more this morning, including the schedule of games for today (Wednesday, July 12, 2000).

See you there.

 The Swish Award
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