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June 29, 2014

Nitt Clips: Advanced Skills Camp Highlights

From their two committed prospects in Mike Watkins and Deividas Zemgulis to the Penn State men's basketball program's top uncommitted target, guard Josh Reaves, the Nittany Lions welcomed some of the best hoops prospects in recent memory to campus this past weekend.

While Penn State still has two available scholarships to fill for the Class of 2015 - of which Watkins and Zemgulis are expected to sign during the early signing period in mid-November - there were plenty of interesting prospects from the classes of 2016 and 2017 as well.

Starting with Penn State's most sought-after recruit from the Class of 2015, guard Josh Reaves showed why he's getting so much love from the Nittany Lions' staff. He's definitely a scorer, using crafty moves to get to the basket and keeping defenders honest with a nice mid-range jumper, but what really pops out is his athleticism. The kid is flat-out quick and can get to the rim with ease. As his recruitment winds down and he makes a decision at the end of July or in early August, he's a guy Penn State fans will be watching very closely.

As noted in our Thursday preview of the camp, Rivals' No. 150-ranked prospect in the Class of 2015 was present in small forward Kipper Nichols out of Lakewood, Ohio. Beyond being physically impressive, Nichols showed why he's rated as a three-star and is rising.

Moving to the Class of 2016, highly-sought prospect A.J. Wilson was also present. Long and lean, listed at 6-foot-7 1/2, Wilson can jump out of the building and had a step-back shot that went home with regularity. He's going to be an interesting prospect to watch.

Additionally, big man Joe Hampton was every bit of the 6-foot-7, 250 pounds he's listed at. He's still a bit raw and can probably trade a little of his weight in the weight room, but he was a solid defender and shot the ball well.

As for Watkins and Zemgulis, the Nittany Lions' already-committed prospects for the Class of 2015, they both impressed throughout the weekend.

To start with Watkins, at first glance his size isn't overwhelming, but he's really filled out from the prospect he was a year ago at this same camp. Combined with his athleticism, jumping, and frankly, his ultra-competitiveness, Watkins showed why he's been rising up the Rivals rankings.

If there's an area that needs improvement, he's still picking up some of the intricacies of the game, but the attitude and flat-out athleticism and talent are unquestionably there.

Zemgulis - who I was advised to always call Davis, so as to not butcher his first and/or last name - was a guy who will undoubtedly get bigger and stronger in the coming years, but dropped shots in defenders' faces and, maybe more important, cleaned up around the basket. Granted, that's not going to happen in the Big Ten against the trees, but he's feisty, seemingly always knows where to be on both ends of the floor, and will bring some size and shooting to the wing at Penn State.

We collected some video highlights of Watkins, Zemgulis, Reaves and others, which you can check out below:

Penn State NEWS


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