Another impressive Ice player was 6-11, 300 pound center James Lang. He moves quite well despite his girth, scoring inside and clearing out space for rebounds. A lot of people compared him to Wake Forest's new frosh Eric Williams, but Lang is a bit lighter on his feet. I loved the way he attacked the offensive glass in particular. Once some of his footwork is refined a bit more, he will certainly be able to contribute at a very high level.
James Lang, C, Alabama Ice:
"Possibly no player received more buzz at the Dean E. Smith Center than the heavyweight Lang. Looking simply on the surface, you wouldn’t pay that much attention to him, but after watching explosive dunk after explosive dunk, your opinion changes. Listed at 6-11, 305 pounds, Lang gets off the ground faster than anyone with comparable size and height. A lane filler, Lang showed deceptively quick post moves, soft hands, and great positioning on the low block. While it remains to be seen if this was just a good weekend, for at least one tournament Lang shined. " - SM
Lang is a 6-11, 300+pound post prospect who has evolved from a plodding banger into an aggressive, surprisingly athletic warrior. Lang does more than just throw his weight around. He throws it down on people. Several times over the course of the weekend he finished plays with emphatic jams whose force shook the basket supports long after he’d trotted back to the defensive end. Lang was certainly one of the biggest sleepers in the tournament, and he should get ample attention from SEC schools on the lookout for big men.
6-11, 305 and counting, senior (Parkway Christian H.S./Birmingham, Ala.)
This Mobile native is a big, big man. But he carries it well. Lang's bigger (thicker, heavier) than he was a year ago, but surprisingly, he's also become more athletic. He's got some explosive power in his game, which resembles (I didn't say "compares to") the raw strength and athleticism of Shaquille O'Neal. Lang possesses excellent hands, thick shoulders, hand strength and if he gets the ball down low in dunking position, watch out! He can really catapult that bulk of his and snap the rim back. It's very difficult to stop someone that big, when they have the power, agility and confidence to do a strong imitation of a Shaq two-handed power dunk.
Lang, while not a gazelle, runs the floor well for his bulk. At the Gibbons Tournament, his conditioning and stamina were impressive. He's carrying a few extra pounds, but he's still just a high school player.
If Lang continues to play like he did at the Gibbons tournament, his stock will rise quickly. He's also got some toughness/meanness about him, which for a post player isn't a bad thing. He works hard and he's still developing. Lang has a pair of excellent mitts and he can score on the low block. He'll be playing with Kenny Harris' Alabama Ice at the adidas Big Time in Las Vegas and he's gonna be at adidas ABCD Camp this weekend in New Jersey.
6-11, 305-pound rising senior James Lang (Central Park Christian H.S./Birmingham, Ala.) is moving his big caboose up and down the floor better and working much harder than last year. He had several effort plays and was just about unstoppable around the basket. In the opinion of quite a few observers, he gave 6-10, 265-pound rising senior Kendrick Perkins (Ozen H.S./Beaumont, Texas) a run for his money as the camp's toughest center matchup (and this year's edition of adidas ABCD was loaded with quality big men).
ESPN.Com Rates him as the No.5 Prospect in America!
Eddy Curry Info
NBA Comparison: Shaquille O'Neal
Strengths: Has more strength and polish than Shaq at the same age. The only thing that can stop Eddy Curry from becoming the next dominant force in the NBA is Eddy Curry. Has off the charts strength. athleticism is very good for a player his size. Has learned to score despite constant double and triple teams. Has a nifty turn around, can even knock down the occaisional 18 footer. Unlike Shaq and Wilt, does not have the achilles freethrow curse.
Weaknesses: Weight has become a concern. Consistency. Has had his ups and downs over the course of his senior season. In a much hyped matchup with Tyson Chandler, Curry left the 30+ scouts who came to see the matchup scratching their heads. Must continue to "want it" and develop to ever become the player that Shaq is.
Nicknamed "Baby Shaq". Has a better combination of strength and agility than anyone in high school since Shaquille O'Neal. Very soft hands, excellent leaping ability. Still has a lot to learn but his game is further along then Shaq was at the same age. Has a great turn around hook shot. Overpowers everyone he goes up against. Could be the missing piece to stop a Laker championship run. Even has a decent 3 point shot which he displays on occasion. Doesn't appear likely that he'll play in college. Barring a complete shocker, will be Audi before ever
stepping onto a college campus.
He's called "Baby Shaq" with good reason. With Curry's combination of size and mobility, some have compared him to the Lakers superstar. He's got a soft touch in the paint and can shoot a baby hook. Defense needs work, not surprising for a player so young.
Eddy has been given the knickname "Baby Shaq" because of his likeness to Shaquille O'Neal and the power he exhibits with his style of play. Eddy has a super combination of size, strength, and agility. His story is similar to Tim Duncan's in that basketball was his second sport of choice and he didn't pick the game up until he was already a teenager. While Tim was a swimmer, Eddy started out as a gymnast. After growing to over 6 and a half feet, it became apparent to Eddy that basketball may be the sport he was meant to play. Eddy dropped the tights for a pair of shorts and a tank top and he now dwarfs nearly every opponent he faces. What is most intriguing about him is how untapped his talent really is. He is just learning the game and with another year or two of getting familiar with basketball, he may take the world by storm!
Strengths: Huge at 290 he fills the lane and knows how to use his body runs the floor well though not a speedster .... Is the most mobile, and agile player his size that I have just about ever seen .... Physical inside player draws contact and gets to the free throw line .... Good hands catches most passes thrown into post after getting it he can power the ball to the basket or use his variety of post moves ... Explosive leaper gets off the floor quickly and can dunk with authority .... Unlike many young power players Curry doesn't struggle from the free throw line ... Due to his strength and surprisingly quick jumping ability Curry can rebound with the best of them .... Limitless potential the only thing that could stop Curry from achieving star status is him...
Weakness: Height although he is listed at 6-11 he looks about 6-10 so one has to wonder will he continue to grow and what position will he play power forward or center ... Has not always been in the best of shape one has to wonder if he has the drive to keep himself in shape... Must continue to watch his weight ( Curry did lose 30 pounds this season) as he has a tendency to wavier a few pounds during the season .... Looks lost when he is 14 feet from the basket needs to develop some moves facing the basket... Has had some games where he has looked sluggish and uninterested in the action although to his credit this usually didn't happen all that often but has happened enough to worry some scouts ...
Clutchcity.net Notes on Eddy Curry
The comparisons to Shaquille O'Neal have been made for well over a year now and as expected Curry is declaring for the NBA Draft straight out of high school. Some even wondered if the kid wouldn't come out after his junior season when he averaged 24.6 points (hitting 62% of his shots), 11.2 rebounds and 4.2 blocks per game against some terrific high school competition. Put up 22, 10 and 3 as a senior. Scored 28 points, 8 rebounds and 4 blocks in the 2001 McDonald's All-American Game and was named the MVP for the effort. Said one opposing high school coach, "Eddy Curry is a mountain man. He's a mountain of a man. He's huge, and he's going to get the ball one way or another. You can't stop him."
Strengths of Eddy Curry
Big, strong and moves extremely well due to his gymnastics background. Didn't pick up basketball until 9th grade so his talent and potential is untapped. Overpowering player in high school yet has very good (and large) hands and can get high up off the floor. Unlike Shaq, can hit free throws, knocking down 70% from the charity stripe. Very strong move to the hoop and shows excellent center skills in the post. Also praised for his passing skills out of the paint.
Weaknesses of Eddy Curry
Some say he's 7-feet tall, others say 6'9". Some say 310 pounds, others 280. Some say could be better suited as a power forward rather than a center. Not a dominating shot blocker. Hype of Curry as "Baby Shaq" has left some scouts disappointed. While he went "Diesel" on high schoolers, he's going to find many in the NBA tough to overpower. Could use work on his condititoning.
Eddy Curry Seems more POLISHED PUT James Lang seems bigger and More Athletic and overall better prospect.