You know that big AAU tournament that took place last week in Long Beach that I've been writing about -- Adidas Nations? Well, it employed a bunch of Bruins as counselors: Norman Powell, Tony Parker, Bryce Alford, Kevon Looney and Jonah Bolden, and they played several of their own games for the media. NBCSports and NBADraft.net took notice.
... the honor of best performer at Adidas Nations goes to Powell, who was consistent on both ends of the floor throughout the weekend. The rising senior was aggressive offensively without being reckless, and if he can carry over that level of play into the season that bodes well for Steve Alford’s Bruins.
If an MVP were handed out at Adidas Nations, he would receive our nod. Powell was a dominant and consistent force of nature. He started the camp out by measuring a 40 inch vert. The BAM testing results seem to be squirreled away by the Adidas reps every year, but this was a tasty treat that got out. His elite athleticism wowed the crowd and scouts with spectacular dunks, some in traffic and he also showed an adroit ability to finish non-dunks with touch. He was active in the passing lanes generating steals and was a constant force on the glass. Powell has elite level defensive potential and could end up a stopper, a la Tony Allen, at the next level, despite his lack of height.
Tony Parker was NBC's biggest surprise. Parker converted frequently around the basket and was hard to keep off the boards. Kevon Looney didn't participate in the scrimmages, Jonah Bolden was raw, and Bryce was...well Bryce. (There was no free video on these games available to post, and certain video behind firewalls tells a different story to my eyes).
Here's the other news:
Here's the other news:
- Jaylen Brown watch: There's been no tweets on his visit last week, but he had good things to say about the staff and his Georgia compatriots, Tony Parker and Jordan Adams. On the other hand, a few kind words to the local paper about the local school, Georgia, caused this famous college basketball pundit to change his forecast from UCLA to Georgia.
- Sports Illustrated says the Spurs got a steal when Kyle Anderson fell to #30 in the Draft. The usual qualifications about his athleticism apply, but a smart player and a smart team seems like a match made in heaven.
- Zach LaVine gets a tough statistical treatment by this Timberwolves blog, but in the end, on the court, he had a good Summer League.
- I've been saying recently that we should get a high quality big in the 2015 class -- even if it isn't Stephen Zimmerman. 7'4" Jean Marc Christ Koumadje has only been playing basketball for 18 months, but after an outstanding summer, the offers piled up. He named UCLA as one of his top three schools.
- College hoops has already started. You can catch Kentucky in the Bahamas on ESPN and the SEC Network. They've impressed, particularly freshman center Karl Towns. Skeptical Bruins might refer to our successful China trip back, but I've got to say, they look good, and the new freshman point guard, Tyler Ulis, might just beat out Andrew Harrison or they will throw a three guard lineup out there.
- Yikes! USC picks up another top recruit, Bennie Boatwright in the class of 2015. Alford apparently cooled on him some time ago, but nevertheless, USC, in 2014 and 2015, has picked up Jordan McLaughlin, Elijah Stewart and Chimezie Metu, all top-50-ish players, in addition to Boatwright.
- Cautionary tale: I hope this doesn't become us. Providence College of the Big East heavily recruited Donovan Mitchell for two years, babysitting him through every AAU game all over the Northeast, and stuck with him through a broken wrist. This summer he was upgraded to a five-star by the scouting services, and he immediately accepted an offer from Louisville.