ORLANDO, Fla. (STATS) - A draft supposedly weak on point guards will have a big effect on the stay-or-go decisions of Dominic James and Ramon Sessions.
But strong play at the NBA's predraft camp would help make that choice a whole lot easier.
"It's gotta be the right timing, and for me, hopefully it's right now," said James, the Marquette sophomore who was a first-team Big East selection last season. "With not that many point guards in the draft, or (scouts) not thinking very highly on some of the guards in the draft, I feel like it's the perfect timing for me. I just gotta go out there and show 'em what I can do."
M's Acie Law. That could leave a lot of teams hoping to find a steal at that position in the second round, and many of those prospects are trying to build their case at this week's camp.
While James is more well known, Sessions is the one who may be having the most impressive week of any point guard in Orlando.
A three-year starter at Nevada still trying to decide whether to return for his senior season, Sessions is among the camp leaders with 26 points and 12 assists through two games, with only one turnover in 40-plus minutes. He's shown off good passing skills and a very respectable jumper along with a fearlessness when driving inside among much bigger post players.
"They say it's not that strong, the guard class," Sessions said, "I just feel like if I come out and play my game, we'll see what happens. ? I feel like I'm doing an OK job. At times, I probably get careless with it. I just wanna run the team. Points, I'm not worried about."
His effort in Thursday night's final game - 16 points, five assists and no turnovers - even had camp coach Mark Aguirre shouting to Sessions on the way to the locker room how he "liked his game".
While it may be hard for teams to pass up on Sessions in the second round if he keeps this up, James has an outside shot of going earlier.
Despite being only 5-foot-11, James led the Golden Eagles last season with 14.9 points and 4.9 assists per game. Being small in stature has not prevented him from being a good creator and consistently driving into the paint this week, though he's often had trouble getting off good shots amidst the frontliners.
James was tentative during the first half of the camp, going scoreless without an assist in his first game on Wednesday. However, he was much more aggressive Thursday night with a television audience watching, getting to the free-throw line six times while handing out four assists and making two steals.
"I'm getting more of a feel for it now," James said. "I got my first game jitters out the way yesterday. Now I'm just coming out there playing like I usually play, just getting guys involved and doing exactly what the coaches tell me to do, and I'm having a blast doing it."
Time is running out for James and Sessions to decide if they'll keep their names in the draft or go back to school. The deadline is June 18, with the draft to follow 10 days later.
Both feel this camp, which was watched Thursday by high-level front-office personnel like Rod Thorn of the New Jersey Nets and Chris Mullin of the Golden State Warriors, will play a critical role in deciding whether to head off to the NBA.
"Yeah, it will because of all the GMs out there," Sessions said. "I'll wait on my feedback to come back and see what they say. I'm just taking it a day at a time, it's no big rush. I know the 18th is coming up, but that's a while from now."
Another reason it might be in Sessions' best interest to leave school early is that he'll no longer have fellow prospect Nick Fazekas to dish to at Nevada, and he might not have Marcellus Kemp back, either. Both players made Sessions' job that much easier, helping his assist total and giving him extra open looks.
Fazekas averaged more than 20 points in each of the last three seasons and is expected to be picked early in the second round. Kemp, who averaged 18.5 points last season, has a year of eligibility left but is 23 years old after sitting out two seasons due to injury and might not wait any longer to try to make the NBA.
James would not have to deal with any defections of major importance if he were to head back to Marquette, but he's using this camp as a barometer to see if he's better off heading to the pros now.
"Most definitely, just from the feedback I'm gonna be getting back from my coaches and the people I have within my circle," James said. "They're talking to the decision makers in the league and just getting a report back from things I need to get better at.
"It's a win-win situation for me. I feel like if I go back to college, I'm gonna be a lot better player. And most definitely if I make it to the NBA, it'll be a dream come true."
That dream just may happen later this month for James and Sessions, because the pool of can't-miss point guards remains pretty shallow.

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