Sunday, June 12, 2011
Posted: 1 p.m.
By Ryan Feldman
This weekend, three of the best Philly players in college basketball got a first-hand look at what it takes to become an NBA all-star.
Syracuse senior Scoop Jardine, Wake Forest sophomore Tony Chennault and Bucknell sophomore Cameron Ayers were all chosen to participate in this weekends CP3 Elite Guard Camp, in Winston Salem, N.C., hosted by Chris Paul.
Only 17 college players were invited, and three of them were from Philly. Jardine and Chennault both played at Neumann-Goretti High School, while Ayers attended Germantown Academy.
Its great, Jardine said. You got some of the best point guards in the country that youre competing against every year. And you got the best point guard in the NBA teaching you. Ive built a good relationship with Chris Paul and hes helped me throughout my college career, so its an honor.
Among the other college players at the camp were North Carolinas Harrison Barnes and Kendall Marshall, Dukes Seth Curry and Andre Dawkins, Wisconsins Jordan Taylor, Floridas Kenny Boynton, Syracuses Brandon Triche and Memphiss Will Barton.
The players learned drills and tricks from Paul to improve their ball-handling, shooting and decision-making.
While at the camp, the players also had an opportunity to pick Pauls brain and get to know the New Orleans Hornets' point guard on a personal level.
I asked him little things about the game, about different things to become a better basketball player, Chennault said. Its kind of cool because hes an NBA All-Star and hes at the camp all day and its 24-hour access while were at the camp.
Chennault and Ayers are both coming off their freshman campaigns. Chennault had a sub-par year, averaging 4.5 points and 1.9 assists in 15 games during an injury-plagued season. He sat out for more than two months with a broken foot. Wake Forest struggled and was just 1-14 with Chennault in the lineup.
Ayers averaged 7.5 points and 1.4 assists per game as a freshman. The 6-foot-5 guard will likely take over at point guard for Bucknell in the fall.
It was definitely an honor to come out here and learn from one of the best point guards in the league and the world, Ayers said. I was really excited. I knew this was a great chance to put a small school like Bucknell on the map, and fine-tune my game and work on the areas of my game that I need to work on.
Jardine, a fifth-year senior, also attended the CP3 Elite Guard Camp last summer. He used what he learned in June 2010 to improve his game as a junior and he hopes to do the same once again this year.
The thing I learned most last year was about being consistent and paying attention to detail, Jardine said. I have to lead by example and be a vocal leader.
Jardine averaged 12.5 points and 5.9 assists per game as a junior. Syracuse lost in the third round of the NCAA tournament to Marquette, but in the fall the Orange will likely be a pre-season top-five team.
This year Im staying consistent about working on my body, Jardine said. Im going to be staying in shape at all times during the year and working on my jump shot. Im staying busy and staying in shape and working on my game with whatever Im doing.
Jardine has one more year of college left before he takes the next step and becomes a professional basketball player. For Chennault and Ayers, they have plenty of time to improve.
Philly basketball is great, Ayers said. It definitely shows how talented Philly is basketball-wise. It shows how good Philly is and how well we can compete.
Ryan Feldman covers college basketball and the NBA Draft for his website, TheHoopsReport.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.