Thursday, July 11, 2013
Best of Reebok Breakout Classic Day 1
By Adam Finkelstein
PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia University gym was alive Wednesday evening as the Reebok Breakout Classic opened to a wave of big-name college coaches, including John Calipari, John Thompson III, Larry Brown, Mike Brey, Jay Wright, Scott Drew, Kevin Ollie and Steve Alford.
Once the clock struck 5 p.m. and the doors opened to release a jammed lobby full of coaches, a full set of games highlighted Reebok's most recent successful national camp. Among the players who put on their best effort in front of the litany of elite coaches was Class of 2014 top-25 recruits Emmanuel Mudiay, Rashad Vaughn and Josh Perkins along with surging three-star PF Malik Price-Martin.
Here’s a look at Day 1 of the event.
Emmanuel Mudiay (Arlington, Texas/Prime Prep) vs.
Rashad Vaughn (Golden Valley, Minn./Findlay Prep) The opening set of games pitted arguably the top two prospects in the field against each other. The individual matchup was a little anti-climactic as Mudiay got the better of Vaughn in leading his team to a lopsided victory. Vaughn, the nation’s No. 1 SG, was a little out of his element having to be both his team's primary playmaker and ballhandler, whereas Mudiay was 100 percent comfortable running the show for his squad, operating in the open floor and navigating ball screens in order to create scoring opportunities for teammates.
Maryland commit Romelo Trimble's leadership abilities stood out on Day 1 of the Reebok Breakout Classic.
Jordan McLaughlin (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Etiwanda) vs.
Romelo Trimble (Arlington, Va./Bishop O'Connell) This showdown featured a pair of ESPN 100 point guards with contrasting styles, as McLaughlin used his quick playmaking ability to offset Trimble's power and efficiency. While the stat sheet was essentially a wash, Trimble's total impact won out because of his approach. In a camp setting where most are out for individual honors, Trimble differentiated himself by keeping his team organized. He wasn't consumed with making plays at every opportunity, but instead moved the ball while finding timely opportunities to make shots and strong straight-line drives.
Tyler Lydon (Elizaville, N.Y./New Hampton)
2015, F, 6-foot-8, 181 pounds
Status: Lydon is being recruited by Vanderbilt, Boston College and Notre Dame, among others. Coming off a solid first season on the EYBL circuit, this performance further solidified Lydon’s status as a prospect on the rise. He was a perfect 3-for-3 from behind the 3-point line, but it was his high motor and overall activity level that really caught our attention. Lydon got his hands on a lot of balls on both ends of the floor, covered the court and further intrigued with a frame that is just beginning to fill out. He'll reclassify next year at New Hampton and that's a move that should pay big dividends as he seems poised to continue developing into a star.
Twice as Nice
Devin Robinson (Chesterfield, Va./Christchurch School)
2014, SF, 6-7, 175
Status: Offers from Auburn, Connecticut, Miami, Rutgers and VCU, among others.
Robinson was one of the breakout performers from the 2012 Breakout Camp, and he picked up where he left off at this year's event. A long and highly athletic swingman, Robinson had his head all over the rim for a series of explosive put-back dunks and also got loose in transition a few times. While his high wire act brought the gym to life, he showed some signs of developing skill with a 3-pointer and a couple of nice passes off the dribble. Robinson’s strong play didn't go unnoticed either, as his following of coaches was among the deepest of the night.
Ray Kasongo (Scarborough, Ont./St. John's NW Military Academy)
2014, PF, 6-8, 230
Status: Offers from NC State, Arizona, DePaul, UCLA and USC.
While he wasn’t the focal point for his team offensively, Kasongo battled his way to a solid first outing with 14 points and six rebounds. His production came via his willingness to do the dirty work: throwing his body around inside the paint and going hard to the glass. The majority of his points came off the offensive glass as he showed off some athleticism with a particularly hard dunk. At the end of the day, he carved out a role for himself and proved he could produce at the highest level.
Most Intriguing Big
Malik Price-Martin (Miami/Northeast)
2014, C/F, 6-9, 215
Status: Offers from the likes of Connecticut, Kansas State, Louisville, Memphis, Miami, NC State and Tennessee.
For a prospect who has been well known on the circuit for a seemingly long time, Price-Martin still has a ton of upside left to discover. In one moment he'll go to the post and tantalize scouts with advanced footwork to get to his jump hook, then he'll show a soft touch that extends away from the basket. He had power and length around the rim, which allowed him to complete one of the biggest dunks of the first day of camp. Price-Martin also ran the floor well, galloping up and down the court with long, graceful strides. On the opposite end of the spectrum, though, was his disinterest in rebounding the ball. This guy is highly talented with a potentially very bright future if he commits himself to maximizing his tools.
No. 24 rising senior Josh Perkins is among the few pure point guards in the 2014 class.
Purest Point Guard
Josh Perkins (Aurora, Colo./Huntington Prep)
2014, PG, 6-3, 185
Status: Considering Kentucky, Kansas, UCLA, Baylor, Minnesota and UConn, among others.
In a field full of talented point guard, Perkins stood out as the purest of the group. His poise with the ball in his hands was off the charts, and he was in complete control of the game while keeping the defenders mystified. While his pass-first mentality and impeccable court vision were certainly his calling cards, he mixed in enough individual offense – highlighted by a smooth step-back and the ability to get into the lane off of ball screens.
Princeton bound guard Amir Bell (East Brunswick, N.J./East Brunswick) could be a real problem in the Ivy League. He has great size and length in the backcourt, a smooth floor game and is becoming a more consistent shooter from the perimeter.
Jeff Roberson (Dallas/Triple A Academy) features a strong slashing game that will translate at the next level. He's physically gifted with size and athleticism, plays in straight lines and either scores through contact or gets himself to the free throw line.
Ghassan Nehme (Colorado Springs, Colo./Cheyenne Mountain) is a scoring guard who showed that he can get his shot off and put points on the board against the highest levels of competition with an 18-point outing.
Leroy Butts (Arlington, Va./Bishop O'Connell) was one of the better offensive rebounders of Day 1. He's long and bouncy at the rim with a quick second jump and the soft hands to convert on tip-ins.
Brandon Sampson (Baton Rouge, La./Madison Prep) showed flashes of the talent that landed him at No. 35 in the ESPN 60, combining some explosive displays of athleticism around the rim with a solid pull-up game and dependable 3-point range.