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August 4, 2013
Adidas Nations: Looney enjoying big summer
GARDEN GROVE, Calif. -- The second day of the finals of the Adidas Nations program means the summer is that much closer to the end. While that will give many of the top players a much-deserved break from the court, it also means they will go home and focus more on recruiting. Five-star Kevon Looney will sort through his final six, while the upwardly mobile Chinanu Onuaku said he will go slowly as he examines his many options.
Visits next for Looney
The summer has been a big one for Looney, a forward from Milwaukee (Wis.) Hamilton. Whether it was hitting events with his Milwaukee Rebels summer team or playing in camps such as NBPA, the LeBron James Skills Academy and this weekend's Adidas Nations, Looney has been on the move.
Now the skilled forward is going to get a break, and he's looking forward to charging his batteries. However, the fact that he's been on the road for most of the last three months hasn't impacted his play at Nations. Looney has rebounded, made jumpers and made plays at the rim. Looney also has done a good job of causing problems on defense by getting into passing lanes, and he generally has been good.
Looney said he will visit all but Wisconsin officially (it will get an unofficial) and that while he's likely to decide before his high school season, he plans to take all five visits and he doesn't see himself pulling the trigger on a decision before completing his visits. Dates should be set within the next few weeks.
Looney hasn't been immune to speculation about his recruitment. He has heard talk that the Blue Devils are considered the team to beat, and he did his best to downplay it.
"I've heard everybody saying that," Looney told Rivals.com. "I'm still open, though, so we'll have to see."
Onuaku continues climb
Earlier this summer, Rivals150 player Onuaku said he felt he was underrated. The product of Upper Marlboro (Md.) Riverdale Baptist was 100 percent right.
Ranked No. 120 in the class of 2014, Onuaku is due for a healthy bump into four-star territory when the rankings are updated.
At Nations, he's been showing more of what has worked for him all summer. Onuaku plays like a big man and doesn't venture far from the rim. He is relatively slender, but at almost 6-foot-10 he has good overall size and he doesn't mind being a physical guy who does the dirty work.
While Onuaku is going to be rushing up the rankings, he's not in a rush to figure out his recruitment.
"I haven't set any visits yet," he told Rivals.com. "I'm not sure when I'll cut my list down, either. I just need to get home and think about it some."
According to Onuaku, he has offers from Miami, Maryland, Seton Hall, DePaul, Xavier, Pittsburgh and more. He said USC is the latest program to offer and that UCLA, Texas and Louisville have reached out of late.
More Saturday notes and lists from Adidas Nations
The nation's top player in the class of 2015, Malik Newman, has been very good at Nations. Of course, that isn't a surprise given that he is always a top performer. What has been most impressive, though, is Newman's efficiency. Surrounded by other top-end players, Newman has been taking good shots and because of that he has locked in and has found his groove. During the first two rounds, he was locked in before struggling a little with his shot in Saturday night's game. Despite his struggles Saturday night, he didn't force things and when it mattered most he came up big. His 2015 USA Red team had been fighting back from a deficit most of the night, and Newman hit a deep 3-pointer in the final 30 seconds to give the team the lead as it squeezed out a win.
Top 50 big man Reid Travis has used one official visit to check out Gonzaga. Now the four-star from Minneapolis (Minn.) De La Salle is trying to figure out the best way to use his other visits. Because he's rugged and strong, he's been able to bang around in the post, but like many other kids in attendance he's looking forward to getting time off. Travis said that once he gets home and sleeps in his own bed for more than two days in a row he'll be ready to set his officials. UCLA, Minnesota, Stanford, Michigan State, Georgetown and Notre Dame are among those competing to land visits.
Rising junior five-star Carlton Bragg played very well during the morning session. The 6-foot-8 combo forward is well-known for his ability to get from rim to rim in a hurry, but his outside shooting is showing up more and more. He doesn't handle like a wing, but the ability to face up and make jumpers out of pick-and-pop situations really opens the floor for Bragg and helps him overcome a lack of strength.
A smooth scoring guard who plays with good pace, Jalen Coleman is trending more toward a pure shooting guard than a combo guard. The No. 30 player in the class of 2015, Coleman said he has offers from Indiana, Purdue, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Illinois, Cincinnati, Arizona, UCLA, Memphis, Providence and Michigan, among others. Coleman said he probably will visit some campuses unofficially this fall, but he has not locked anything in.
We watched Australian import Jonah Bolden a bit more on Saturday, and he looks to be legit. He likely needs to factor into the class of 2014 rankings, and it's just a matter of how high he ends up. At 6-foot-8, he can really shoot, he has great length and he runs the floor well. He confirmed that he'll spend his senior season at Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep, and there's little doubt that high majors will be interested.
Another international player who has been intriguing is Andrey Desyatnikov. A member of Russia's 19U national team, Desyatnikov is a mobile and fluid 7-foot-3 center. He lacks strength and has a bit of an age advantage on the high schoolers (he turned 19 in May), but he looks like a kid we will hear more from down the road. He blocked shots and scored opportunistically in the lane.
Ohio State-bound D'Angelo Russell is putting the finishing touches on a strong summer. Whatever slump bothered the Montverde (Fla.) Academy shooting guard during the spring seems to be fully passed, and the lefty has looked like he's playing without a care in the world.
Big man Myles Turner said his list of 25 soon will shrink to eight schools. The five-star has a pretty good idea of which schools will be making the cut, but he's not going to release them until he and his father go over them during his flight home from Nations. Turner confirmed that he has set up an official visit to Kansas in early October for the Late Night in the Phog event.