If "star watching" is enjoyable to you, the Adidas Invitational is the place to go. Everyone who is anyone in the coaching world was on hand in one of the gyms being used to watch prospective players compete. Legends such as Coach K, Coach Roy Williams, Coach Cal, and Coach Calhoun were all in attendance. However, the crowd was not just full of the big names. Every level was well represented, all the way from high-majors on down to DIII and NAIA schools. I spent my day watching 7 different Indiana based AAU teams. Now, here is the abbreviated version of my day at the Adidas Invitational.
Game 1: Spiece Select 2012-Irwin vs. Florida Elite
Final: Florida Elite 63-34
I came away from this game very impressed with 2012 Whitko Point Guard, and Stetson recruit, Logan Irwin. It is always a refreshing sight when a teams best player is also its hardest worker, and that is exactly what Logan is. He is one of the best on-ball defenders that I have watched and caused many turnovers with that pressure defense. On the offensive end he is just as effective. He has a different looking shot, but it does go in a good amount of the time. I think that a place like Stetson is a perfect fit for him.
Game 2: Spiece Gym Rats-Baldwin vs. East Coast Fusion-Dalton
Final: East Coast Fusion 76-69
If any low Division II or NAIA school is looking for a solid power forward in the Class of 2012, I have found a sleeper. Tyler Arrowsmith of Churubusco High School is certainly under the radar, but if he puts many more games together like the one I saw today that won't last long. He poured in 21 points off of the low block, showing a very quick baseline drop step move that appeared to be un-guardable. I like his length and his array of post moves, really hope to see him playing at the next level.
Game 3: Team Southern Indiana 2012 Red vs. SDA Pump N Run 17U
Final: Pump N Run 74-61
Darryl Baker is a great player and certainly a Division 1 talent, but I found myself watching two other guys on this team even more than him. Those guys would be Keegan Kincaid a 6'1'' Point Guard from Switzerland County H.S. and Grant Meyer a 6'0'' PG from Silver Creek. Both are very strong and quick with the ball in there hands. Kincaid is a better 3 point shooter, and Meyer is a absolute lock down defender. Both have good athleticism and work hard which makes them very disruptive on the defensive end. Any NAIA or DII school that needs a point guard needs to make a call to either of these guys, they are the type of player that wins you games. Could probably play Division II ball in the right fit.
Game 4: D3 Pride vs. Minnesota Heat
Final: D3 Pride 70-46
I was starting to think that I was a jinx to the Indiana teams. Finally, D3 Pride picked up a victory with me in attendance, along with a slew of Division I coaches. Notre Dame commit Austin Burgett scored 17 points in front of his future Coach, Mike Brey. Also impressive was Point Guard Jacobby Bledsoe from Hamilton Southeastern. He displayed a smooth outside shot, as well as quick and explosive moves going to the basket. Also a solid defender. He will be a very good pick up for a mid-major team, I know Cincinnati was on hand to watch him today.
Game 5: Indiana Elite One vs. Team Eleate (AZ)
Final: Team Eleate (I failed to write down the score)
Terre Haute North Forward, Matt O'Leary was very impressive today. He showed the ability to knock down an outside shot, as well as the ability to get inside and finish around the basket. Point Guard Kellon Thomas from Southport also impressed me. He is very strong and can shoot the 3. Both guys would be very good pick-ups for a low to mid-major. Coach Tom Crean was in the stands to watch IU commit Ron Patterson. San Diego State, Boise State, Ball State, Missouri, and Lamar were all in attendance as well.
Game 6: Indiana Elite Team Indiana vs. Connecticut Basketball Club
Final: Indiana Elite Team Indiana 81-73
IU commit Jeremy Hollowell lead the way for IE with 24 points. He showcased a much improved outside shot, as well as increased aggressiveness going to the rim. Down the stretch Point Guard, and fellow IU recruit Yogi Ferrell was big, scoring many of his 15 points in the final minuets. In the next day or two make sure you check Youtube for the HUGE dunk that Hanner Perea threw down towards the end of the game.
Game 7: Eric Gordon Central Stars vs. Nashville Celtics
Final: 91-73 EG10
Coach Brad Stevens and Coach Matt Painter was in the crowd, as well as coaches from Tennessee, Liberty, and Stetson. Uncommitted Point Guard D.J. Balentine knocked down 3 3's on his way to 16 points. I suspect that he may pick up another offer or two in the coming weeks. Purdue commit Ronnie Johnson lead EG10 with 21 points.
Well there you have it. That was my very busy, yet fun, day in a nutshell. Now it is time to go to sleep so I can get up early and do it all over again. I will mainly be watching 16U teams tomorrow. Should be another fun day!
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