ADIDAS NATIONS DAY 3: Evals Pt. 1
Player evaluations on the nation’s top 2013 recruits competing at Adidas Nations in Southern California.
Long Beach Poly's Jordan Bell.
Garden Grove, Calif. – The Next Level Sports Complex served as a first-class host facility for one of the world’s top high school basketball events of the summer. The energy was intense as international and USA teams competed for a spot in Monday night’s televised third place and championship games, which will air tonight on the CBS Sports Network beginning at 8 p.m. EDT.
The following is a snapshot of nearly every Team USA 2013 player (two rosters):
USA 2013 RECRUITS
Height, position, high school and state in parenthesis.
Jordan Bell (6’8 F, Long Beach Poly, CA): Bell’s stock continues to rise as his offensive game rounds into shape. Scored 13 points in a game on Saturday, and was explosive to the rim in Sunday action which included a nifty up and under move at the basket as well as a ferocious slam dunk in transition that came right into the face of camera crews. Remains one of the top on-ball defenders in his class as he can contest shots anywhere on the floor.
Nate Britt (6’1 PG, Gonzaga, MD: Silky smooth point guard. The North Carolina commit is like a great white shark as he comes down the court in transition with his head and eyes swaying back and forth to survey the floor; dominates games in ways that don’t always show up on the stat sheet.
Isaac Hamilton (6’4 SG, St. John Bosco, CA): Explosive, but struggled somewhat through Sunday’s games. Jump shot lost some of its form from highlight reel efforts at Adidas Super 64 in Las Vegas, but still remains one of the top shooting/combo guards in his class with some big college choice decisions looming.
Kendal Harris (6’3 SG, Berkner, TX): Solid footwork and smart off the ball, but got limited touches on a stacked USA 2013 Blue roster. Did not score much, but has been steady on defense throughout.
Zack LaVine (6’3 SG, Bothell, WA): One word, steady. The UCLA commit steadily averaged about 10 points per game on efficient shooting; allowed the game to come to him on a roster of all stars. Smart player, and a devilish defender; quick enough to defend smaller guards, and rangy enough to be a pest around the basket against taller players.
Power Forward Jermaine Lawrence
Jermaine Lawrence (6’10, Pop John, NY): Really impressive this week. Played with high energy and was an impact player on both ends of the floor. Has a mean streak in him. My advice, play mean more often.
Jarrell Martin (6’8 F, Madison Prep, LA): Loved his energy throughout the weekend; played with a purpose. Great explosiveness off the floor, and proved strong enough to finish through contact. At times was a monster on the glass, and consistently found ways to fill the stat sheet on both ends of the floor.
Jordan Matthews (6’3 SG, Santa Monica, CA): Looked comfortable playing alongside the nation’s best. Scored 15 points in Saturday evening game on 6-for-13 shooting, proving that he belonged. Plays in balance and has a good overall feel for the game as he avoided the double team several times with quick decision making.
Devin Williams (6’9 C, Montverde Academy, FL): Did not finish with consistency throughout the weekend, perhaps trying to force the issue too many times on the low block. Solid footwork, though, for a big man, but needs to continue to develop 2-3 go-to scoring moves to make his reaction time quicker after the catch or offensive rebound.
Nigel Williams-Goss (6’3, SG, Findlay Prep, NV): One of the more polished players in the class. He’s not overly fancy, but makes the proper read time and again with the ball in his hands. The Washington commit will serve whatever role his coach needs him to be on any given day. As has been tweeted, most analysts needed to take a second look before realizing that Williams-Goss had shaved off his dreadlocks for the event.
Kasey Hill (6’2 PG, Montverde Academy, FL): Everything Billy Donavan expects out of his point guards, pure quickness. Hill is explosive with the ball in hands, continually applying pressure by trying to put the defense on its heels. The Florida commit has been solid this weekend, has an excellent shooting stroke, but needs to continue to improve by avoiding his “instinct” to fall-away on jump shots even when he’s wide open.
Allerik Freeman (6’3 SG, Olympic, NC): Freeman is dangerous with the ball in his hands. While he does need to make quicker decisions to avoid from becoming stagnant as a ball handler, the decisions he does make are typically the right ones. He shows excellent form and rotation on his outside shot, and can thread defenses with crisp passes. Had 19 points and 9 assists in a game Saturday evening.
Brannen Green (6’7 F, Mary Persons, GA): An 18-point effort (6/10 FGs) was followed by no points in 20 minutes the following morning. However, he sat out the Saturday evening session and did not play Sunday so he likely suffered a minor injury (could not confirm). Excellent hands for a big man. I was impressed by his willingness to show hard in the post and flash across the paint
Kasey Hill shows all the signs of a University of Florida point guard.
Zak Irvin (6’4 SG, Hamilton Southeastern, IN): The Wolverines are getting a good one in Irvin. Playing alongside Florida commit Kasey Hill in the backcourt, Irvin was quick to attack the basket from the wing while knocking down open perimeter looks within the flow of the offense. He’s a gritty defender, and looks like a natural for a high-major shooting guard.
Jordan Mickey (6’7 F, Grace Prep, TX): Produced at a high level all weekend, fully committing himself as a consistent rebounder and inside scorer for his team. Demonstrated an ability to knock down the spot-up jumper, and has a solid feel for the game.
Karviar Shepherd (6’9 F, Grace Prep, TX): Shepherd is one strong young man. He punished 2014 center Jahlil Okafor in a game Saturday, denying touches into the post. Shepher is a warrior type that has the lower body leverage to fend off bigger post players.
Chris Walker (6’8 F, Holmes County, FL): A natural scorer that fills up the stat sheet in a variety of ways. His athleticism is off the charts which should translate into a successful college career for the Florida commit.
**Part II will focus on 2014 recruiting prospects, and notable international players.
Gary Randazzo is a west coast recruiting analyst and publisher of WildcatSportsReport.com. Follow him on Twiter @garyrandazzo.