2013 Michigan commit Zak Irvin.
Garden Grove, Calif. – Limited action on day 1 at the Adidas Nations championships in Southern California. Here’s a quick rundown of the evening’s only session of action:
Team Australia upset USA 2013 Red 74-72. Dante Exum from Melbourne, Australia was stellar, leading his club past the Americans with a 17-point effort on 5-of-6 shooting. Exum handled the defensive pressure from top 2013 guards such as Florida-bound Kasey Hill as he had three assists and no turnovers. Hill did his best to keep USA in the game, hitting on 5-of-8 field goal attempts to finish with 13 points and 5 dimes. Michigan commit Zak Irvin added 16 points while Florida commit Chris Walker knocked down 6-of-7 shots to score 12 points and pull down 8 rebounds.
Latin America’s Tony Trocha jumpstarted his weekend with a 14-point, 9-rebound effort to lead his club over team Asia 81-60. The 6-foot-11 center easily handled the speed of the game and looked comfortable playing with his back to the basket.
In the night’s only other competitive game, team Africa pushed USA 2014 Blue to the wire thanks to an incredible performance by Clint Capela. The 6-foot-8 forward from Congo scored 19 points, but turned heads with his 20 rebounds. USA 2014 Blue erased a 10-point first quarter deficit and outscored Africa 39-23 over a 20-minute stretch to get the victory. Trey Lyles and Remelo Trimble led the way with 11 points each. In what would prove to be things to come for 247Sports second-best Class of 2014 prospect Jahlil Okafor, the 6-foot-10 big man had to fight and claw his way through a 5-point, 7-rebound effort. Okafor was just 1-for-9 from the field and while he held his own on the low block, looked slow to react after the catch.
USA 2014 Red blew out team Europe 81-53 thanks to the scoring duo of Noah Vonleh and Shaqquan Aaron. Vonleh, the third-best overall recruit in the Class of 2014 by 247Sports ignited what would prove to be a dominant showing at Adidas Nations over the entire event with 23 points and 12 rebounds. Aaron was equally impactful with 18 points and 5 boards on 6-of 11 shooting.
Baylor freshman Isaiah Austin impressed in his first game in the College Counselors Division. Playing against experienced collegiate players like Peyton Siva, Ray McCallum, Kyle Wiltjer, Pierre Jackson, Deshaun Thomas, and Mason Plumlee, Austin hit on 9-of-12 tries from the field to score 20 points in an 84-74 victory. Austin also had 8 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks. Ohio State’s Thomas had 21 points in the loss while Sean Kilpatrick (Cincinnati) and Nate Wolters (South Dakota State) had 17 and 15 points, respectively.
In the other college counselor game, Baylor’s Pierre Jackson had 23 points in a 98-84 loss. Jackson and Louisville’s Peyton Siva traded baskets throughout the game as Siva’s 17 points were good enough to push his club to victory in this fast-paced affair. This game was all about speed as Siva played alongside UConn’s Ryan Boatright (10 points), Notre Dame’s Jack Cooley (17 points, 8/10 FGs), and Cardinal teammate Wayne Blackshear (8 points). Jackson had the lightning-quick Memphis duo of Joe Jackson (5 assists) and Adonis Thomas (19 points) to go along with mobile big men Mason Plumlee (Duke, 17 points) and Erik Murphy (Florida).
**Saturday’s Day 2 report will feature more in-depth player profiles and results from the nation’s top high school recruits.
2014's Shaqquan Aaron has put together a strong summer as his recruitment continues to pick up.
Gary Randazzo is a west coast basketball analysts and publisher of WildcatSportsReport.com. Follow him on Twitter @garyrandazzo.