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July 14, 2012
Adidas Invitational: Stars of 2013 step up
As tournament play continued on Saturday on Day 4 of the Adidas Invitational in Indianapolis, the class of 2013 stars began to shine bright in front of a packed house of college coaches. In addition to the rising seniors, several highly recruited 2014 prospects stood out.
PG Kasey Hill, 6-foot-1 Montverde (FL) Academy 2013: Hill was spectacular again for his Florida Elite team, which rolled over opponents on its way to a final four berth on Sunday. Simply on another level when compared to any other 2013 point guard at the event, Hill was able to produce highlight play after highlight play on Saturday. Whether it was scoring around the rim acrobatically, throwing down a dunk in transition, pulling up for a jumper off of a high ballscreen, or hitting the deep set shot, Hill was able to score in a variety of ways. The Florida commit is still best as a passer, where he can pick out who he wants to get a layup and then throw pinpoint passes. Heading into the last day, the five-star guard is looking like the tournament MVP.
SF Tyrone Outlaw Jr., 6-foot-5, Roxboro (N.C.) Person 2013: The three-star guard from North Carolina is a gifted scorer off the dribble and good in the mid-range game. Outlaw has a polished handle and good size in his frame for a wing player, and knows how to use both to his advantage when creating shot opportunities. He's not an overly quick prospect, but he is good at changing speeds to create shots for himself. Also a player who is not afraid to take the clutch shot, Outlaw hit a pair of contested jumpers that proved to be the difference as Garner Road advanced in the round of 32, before falling in the next round.
PG/SG Elijah Brown, 6-foot-3, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei 2013: Just hours removed from a 30-point performance in a Double Pump N Run win, Brown did not back away from the challenge that Kasey Hill and Florida Elite presented on Saturday. Brown is a deadly shooter with a strong frame who can really score in bunches. The son of Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike Brown, Elijah shows a strong understanding for the game, and a commitment to defense. The Rivals150 combo guard is a capable ballhandler who can go by defenders in the full court, but is really good off the ball as a shooter who can attack the basket and pull up as well.
PG/SG Jonathan Williams, 6-foot-2 Southfield (Mich.) Lathrup 2013: The Toledo commit is the third guard on his Michigan Mustangs team, behind Michigan commit Derrick Walton and Iowa State pledge Monte Morris, but he is still a big-time talent whose stock is rising. The electric combo guard is one of the toughest scorers on the Adidas circuit to defend because of his athleticism, craftiness at the basket, and finishing ability near the rim. Williams exploded for 30 points as his Mustangs rolled past Indiana Elite on Saturday, making some Midwestern high major coaches rethink why they might have overlooked him in the past.
C Joel Embiid, 7-foot, Montverde (Fla.) Academy 2013: A long and mobile true 7-footer, Embiid has really improved his recruitment over the past four days with strong play as the big body to go alongside five-star power forward Chris Walker. Embiid is a high-motor player who can block shots around the rim, rebound the ball, and loves to run the floor. While his offensive game is still raw, he shows two of the signs that college coaches look for in a high major recruit: soft hands and quick feet. Embiid showed toughness around the rim when powerfully taking it up to score, and also looked like an efficient passer out of double teams for Florida Elite.
C Trevor Thompson, 6-foot-11 Indianapolis IMG Academy 2013: Thompson might not be the biggest name on his Eric Gordon All-Stars team (which has five players already committed to high major programs), but the center -- who is headed to Florida from Indiana to spend a year at Postgrad -- is a talent as well. Thompson erupted for 16 points and 10 rebounds, as well as a few blocked shots, in a quarterfinal win over Team Nashville, leading to several Big Ten college coaches furiously paging through their roster books to learn his name. Thompson does a nice job of sparking EG10 with energy off the bench, while using his length and leaping ability to be a shot-blocking specialist.
PF Soma Edo, 6-foot-5 Richardson (Texas) Berkner 2013: Edo is far from the most skilled player at the Adidas Invitational. He doesn't have a true position as an undersized power player, and he isn't someone that the big schools are necessarily tracking at this point. But he is far and away the premier athlete playing in Indianapolis. The forward routinely made plays above the rim on Saturday, including an alley-oop finish that he caught and slammed home just a few inches from the top of the backboard. Edo brought the crowd, and even some typically reserved college coaches, to their feet in warmups as he threw down consecutive between-the-legs dunks; and then proceeded to produce a double-double on the court in a Dallas Mustangs' overtime loss to Dream Vision in the quarterfinals.
PF Isaac Copeland, 6-foot-8 Raleigh (N.C.) Miller School 2014: Copeland is an athletic forward with a high ceiling to continue to develop as he keeps working on his ball skills. Right now, the Garner Road forward is able to give his team great energy, run the floor well for a young 6-foot-8 prospect, and score in traffic around the rim. Several high major coaches tracked Copeland on Saturday as his team advanced to the round of sixteen before falling in overtime.
PF Shane Hall, 6-foot-8 Paintsville (Ky.) Johnson Central 2014: Hall is both skilled and athletic as a face-up forward who can do damage as a scorer or rebounder out of the high post. Playing in his first tournament with a loaded Louisville Magic 16u team, Hall quickly found his niche as an energizer and a post presence. Beginning in April, the forward put himself on the map as a must-watch prospect, and colleges are taking notice as coaches were jotting notes on more than just D'angelo Russell and Quentin Snider.
SF/PF Leron Black, 6-foot-7 Memphis White Station 2014: Black is a good athlete and high-post scorer with a toughness and quiet-but-profound swagger to his game. The forward can play on the wing or down low, but it's tough to tell sometimes as it just seems like Black is everywhere at once on the court. A tenacious rebounder, the four-star is way more than just a scorer for his Team Thad 16u squad. He even showed big-time versatility on Saturday by leading the break down court as a ballhandler and finishing twice with scores through contact at the rim.
SF/PF Marcanvis Hymon, 6-foot-8, Memphis Whitehaven 2014: Another Rivals100 prospect from the class of 2014 on Team Thad 16u who can play inside or outside, Hymon is a talented athlete with great intensity as well. Probably more comfortable right now as a low- or high-post scorer, Hymon can step out to the wing and knock down jumpers with great consistency. On the block, he oozes toughness as a power scorer with good footwork and the ability to generate contact. Also a high-level rebounder, Hymon is a star on the gritty-but-talented Memphis-based team who will be competing in Sunday's semifinals.
C Idrissa Diallo, 6-foot-11, Los Angeles Ribet Academy 2014: The Compton Magic center is still in his development phase, but he can block shots. Diallo has a mature upper body and length that gives him the impression of being even taller than his 6-foot-11 listing. With good mobility and huge paws to swat shots, grab rebounds, and dunk the ball, the rising junior is one to watch for.
SG Rasheed Gillis, 6-foot-2, Toronto Richview 2015: A Canadian prospect from one of the circuits best 15u teams, CIA Bounce, Gillis is an athletic talent with the beginnings of a nice wing skill package. He's a tough-minded scorer who loves to compete and is physical around the basket. He is a versatile prospect who can score from and defend multiple spots on the floor. Gillis is already one of the highest-regarded 2015 prospects in Canada, and with scoring outbursts like he had against Ohio Basketball Club and Compton Magic becoming the norm, he'll be considered one of the 2015 prospects regardless of country sooner rather than later.