INDIANAPOLIS -- Saturday was my first full day at the adidas Invitational after arriving on Friday from the Peach Jam. So what did I learn? Well, there are two guards who have cranked up their games, plus Canada is locked and loaded with another 2016 prospect.
Here are some nuggets on those and others from Saturday’s action at the adidas Invitational. Sunday’s championship game will be televised on ESPNU live at 2 p.m. ET.
Macura makes his move
While I was at the Peach Jam, two names kept coming up because of their play at adidas, both of them 2014 guards. J.P. Macura (Lakeville, Minn./Lakeville North) of D1 Minnesota and Bryant McIntosh (Greensburg, Ind./Greensburg) of Eric Gordon’s AAU team started collecting high-major offers this week.
Rising senior guard J.P. Macura is improving his stock at the adidas Invitational.
Macura, a wing who can make 3s but is also a heady player, has already taken one official visit. Butler had him on campus officially, which means he has four more official visits to take. Butler head coach Brandon Miller was courtside for Macura on Saturday.
Offers from Butler, Gonzaga and Minnesota plus interest from Miami and NC State stick out. Macura is just now entering the phase of his recruitment where he can scan the gym and see big boys. What took so long?
“I wasn’t that good (last year),” he said. Especially as a shooter. “I was face guarded all the time,” he added.
The deal with Macura is that he has enough swagger to believe he’s the best guy on the floor. “(College coaches) see that I can see the floor and have the ability to shoot,” he said.
In Indianapolis, that’s been proven. The rest is gravy and we’ll see who shows up to see him in Vegas later this month to make that final push for a visit.
McIntosh makes his point
Top-10 rising junior big man Stephen Zimmerman (Las Vegas/Bishop Gorman) and Dream Vision were one of the favorites to make the finals at adidas. Not anymore. McIntosh hung 26 points on them in a Saturday playoff game and their bid ended at his hands.
So, what happened to Dream Vision? How about this honest assessment from Dream Vision forward Jamal Aytes (San Juan Capistrano/JSerra Catholic): “No. 30. That’s what happened. He destroyed us.”
McIntosh decommitted from Indiana State before the July evaluation period began. On that same night, Florida State called and offered him a scholarship. Now he has Davidson and Auburn after him. Tigers coach Tony Barbee is in Indianapolis presenting his case.
Indiana’s Tom Crean and Purdue’s Matt Painter watched him knock out Zimmerman on Saturday. Vanderbilt, Missouri, Clemson, Xavier and Dayton are looking. Northwestern head coach Chris Collins attended a few games.
“The right school will find me if I play the way I’m capable of playing,” McIntosh said.
Duke already has Grayson Allen in the 2014 class, but McIntosh said he grew up a Duke fan. Duke is McIntosh’s Utopian school, if you will.
Wright may need the spring to sort it out
West Coast 2014 guard Namon Wright (Los Angeles/Findlay Prep) has a bunch of schools with new head coaches on his list. He loves UCLA, his hometown school, but he’s concerned with his list.
“It’s a lot of new coaches and I won’t be able to see how they play until the season starts,” Wright said.
Oregon and Washington still have the same head coached, but UCLA and USC don’t. Look for Arizona State and Gonzaga to also be involved.
ESPN 100 center Goodluck Okonoboh had Indiana's Tom Crean and Syracuse's Jim Boeheim watching him on Saturday.
Good luck to Boeheim and Crean
ESPN 100 center Goodluck Okonoboh (Boston/Wilbraham & Monson), one of the nation’s best defensive players, had his bid to make the finals at adidas rejected when a layup from ESPN 100 point guard Kaleb Joseph (Nashua, N.H./Cushing Academy) rolled off the rim. The shot would have sent the game into overtime against an upstart squad from Quebec.
In the stands for that game were two head coaches who should factor prominently into Okonoboh’s decision: Indiana’s Tom Crean and Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim.
Plenty to Bragg about
ESPN 60 power forward Carlton Bragg (Cleveland/Villa Angela-St. Joseph) turned in one of the most impressive stretches I’ve seen all July. He could be C.J. Leslie without the baggage and even more game.
He wasn’t shooting like this in April, and athletically he has exploded. He’s a good bet to be a top 10 prospect and his rise likely won’t end there. It was a straight-up show on Saturday night: blocking shots in transition, pummeling the rim and making jumpers.
They’ve got next
• Canada has two big-time players in the 2016 class. I saw Jamal Murray at Peach Jam and in Indianapolis I quickly had a chance to see wing Justin Jackson (not to be confused with the UNC-bound 2014 wing Justin Jackson or fellow 2016 wing Josh Jackson). Oh, my. This kid is all of 6-foot-7 and has a jumper and major bounce.
• What’s better than showing up to a game to see one player and then stumbling onto a young post player? Rising sophomore big man Terry Bradley out of a Florida attends the same high school that produced late bloomer Chris Perry last year. Following the adidas Invitational, Bradley will be a national-level big man. All Bartow High does is produce big men!
• Rising sophomore guard Leland Green goes to school blocks from the beach at Redondo Union High in California. It’s good to be him because no matter the surroundings, he’s going to look good. He’s a strong athlete with lots of energy and graced with talent.
Up next: Sunday is championship day at adidas (2 p.m. ET on ESPNU). Honestly, a lot of teams with upper-tier talent were eliminated on Saturday, so we’ll see how it all plays out as Kevon Looney (Milwaukee/Hamilton) is the lone top 10 player left in the field heading into Sunday. I’ll have a final blog from adidas for Monday.