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June 20, 2012At the NBA Players Association Top 100 camp this past weekend in Virginia, Kendall Stephens and Bryson Scott learned about the next levels of basketball from those who've been there before.
The camp is run by former and current NBA players and coaches, for the benefit of a hundred-or-so elite high school players hand-picked to attend.
"They really emphasized how much you have to think the game in college," said Stephens, who joined Scott as the two Purdue Class of 2013 commitments to attend the camp, "and just emphasized a lot of little things we might not have already known a lot about, like the right ways to defend ball screens and things like that."
James Posey, John Lucas III and Roger Mason were among the pros Stephens said he spent the most time with.
Scott's team was coached by Terry Dehere, the former Seton Hall legend and long-time NBA guard. Lucas III and Toney Douglas were among the other players he worked with during drills.
"I was just paying attention to everything little thing they said," Scott said, "with them being guards and me being a guard."
The Fort Wayne Northrop star said the greatest lessons he took from NBA Camp didn't have all that much to do with basketball.
"Be more humble, work hard and don't focus too much on outside stuff, those were the big things," he said. "But a big one was just the importance of hard work."
As for the games, Scott was content with his performance.
"I didn't play the way I wanted to offensively," he said, "but I got after it defensively. ... I didn't want anybody to score on me, so I was pretty dialed in."
Stephens wasn't dissatisfied with his play, but his trademark shooting didn't quite click in Virginia.
He'd have had good reason to be tired, though, if that was the case, after enduring flight delays that left him idled at O'Hare from 6 a.m. to nearly 8 p.m. on his departure day.
"My body felt a little fatigued, but it wasn't anything that was an issue or anything," Stephens said. "Part of that was just from playing and part of it was probably travel, but I didn't go all the way out there to make excuses."
Stephens didn't get to his room at NBA Camp until around midnight. By that time his roommate was asleep. Stephens didn't realize it was Scott until the following morning.
To that point, Stephens, an Illinois native, hadn't gotten to see much of his future classmate.
"I was surprised by his tenacity at the defensive end," Stephens said. "And he really looks like he knows how to control (a game) and run an offense. He looked really good."
Scott left with a similar impression of Stephens.
"He's a knockdown shooter and he really locked in on defense," Scott said.
At Purdue, Scott will have the ball in his hands often. He now knows who he'll be trying to get the ball to on the perimeter.
"Driving and kicking, I'm going to be looking for him," Scott said. "Hopefully I can get countless assists off that."
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