NCB On The Trail: 2013 adidas Invitational

Big-name stars bow out early at adidas 

July, 15, 2013
7/15/13
4:19
PM ET
video Editor's note: This is the latest entry in Dave Telep's July Road Trip blog. Throughout the month, Dave will check in each day he's on the road while covering some of the biggest basketball recruiting events in the country. He'll let you know where he is, offer some highlights of the day and give a quick look at what's next.

INDIANAPOLIS -- Like Brad Stevens from Butler, I’m out. Well, at least for a few days.

This blog has been rocking on the road since July 6 and it’s time to shut it down for a few days while I head home to rest up for the next leg of the road trip. We started in Las Vegas and spent time at the LeBron James Skills Academy, then shuttled down to South Carolina for the Nike Peach Jam before finishing up in Indianapolis at the adidas Invitational this past weekend.

So this is the final installment of the July Road Trip blog until Friday, after we go live from the Best of the South in Suwannee, Ga., starting on Thursday.

For the championship of the adidas Invitational on Sunday, we had several surprises.

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INDIANAPOLIS -- The fifth annual adidas Invitational, which finished its five-day run on Sunday with Spiece Indy Ice being crowned champion of the platinum division, was a first-class event with 162 teams and many top prospects competing in the 17-and-under division alone.

Big-name recruits like Goodluck Okonoboh and Stephen Zimmerman proved why they are among the most highly sought prospects in the nation, while several under-the-radar players also made names for themselves.

After five days of competition, here are five things we learned from the 2013 adidas Invitational.

Comparing Okonoboh and Noel

[+] EnlargeGoodluck Okonoboh
Kelly Kline/AdidasESPN 100 center Goodluck Okonoboh has drawn comparisons to friend and former teammate Nerlens Noel.
As I watched ESPN 100 center Goodluck Okonoboh (Boston/Wilbraham & Monson) over the five-day event, I reflected back to watching Nerlens Noel during his high school days. Over the years, I’ve had a chance to study the games of both Boston natives, who were one-time teammates at the Tilton School (N.H.) and with the BABC travel team.

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INDIANAPOLIS -- The fifth annual adidas Invitational kicked off the July evaluation period this past week with more than 300 teams competing from Wednesday through Sunday. The pool was deep with potential players for all college levels, including high-major stars, mid-major prospects and under-the-radar recruits who emerged as talents to watch.

Let’s take a look at several top players from multiple classes who caught our eye throughout this elite five-day tournament. Here are our adidas Invitational superlatives.

[+] EnlargeSam Logwood
Kelly Kline/AdidasESPN 100 SF Sam Logwood showed off his athleticism and versatility at the adidas Invitational.
Most Explosive
Sam Logwood (Indianapolis/La Lumiere)
2014, PF/SF, 6-foot-7, 205 pounds

AAU: Eric Gordon All-Stars (Keeton)
Offers: Auburn, Mississippi State, Indiana State, Bradley and Miami (Ohio)
Interest: Oregon, Michigan State and Duke
Logwood is a combo forward who is more of a power forward at this time with a college-ready body. He excels in transition with his ability to play above the rim on the break, and in the half-court set he is a good two- or three-dribble straight-line driver who can finish through contact. Logwood will have to continue to develop his jumper and ballhandling. He is also a good rebounder, especially on the offensive glass, where his second jump is as quick and explosive as his first. Logwood is a capable multiple-position defender as well. He can switch and contain positions 1 through 3 and can defend a power forward in a small lineup. The bottom line is that Logwood plays hard and competes on both ends of the floor.

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2014 guards making moves at adidas 

July, 14, 2013
7/14/13
11:42
AM ET
Editor's note: This is the latest entry in Dave Telep's July Road Trip blog. Throughout the month, Dave will check in each day he's on the road while covering some of the biggest basketball recruiting events in the country. He'll let you know where he is, offer some highlights of the day and give a quick look at what's next.

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.

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INDIANAPOLIS -- Day 4 at the adidas Invitational on Saturday featured bracket play as the field was narrowed to a final four. There were several upsets on Saturday as both Dream Vision and Mass Rivals were among the strong teams to get beat, which should make for an open field heading into the finals. The championship game will be televised Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on ESPNU.

With so much high-level action on Saturday, here’s a look at four players who stood out on Day 4 at the adidas Invitational.

Kevon Looney (Milwaukee/Hamilton)
2014, PF, 6-8, 190


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INDIANAPOLIS -- Most young players are good at two things: taking the ball to the basket and/or knocking the down the 3-point jumper. But in the case of ESPN 25 small forward Mario Kegler (Jackson, Miss./Callaway), his ability to hit his mid-range jumper is what makes his game special. And he's been proving that this week at the adidas Invitational.

"Mario can get his own shot in the mid-range areas at will. He is a tough matchup," said AAU coach Omhar Carter of MBA Hoops.

Many high-major college programs feel the same way about Kegler, who already has offers from Ohio State, UCLA, St. John's, UNLV, Oklahoma and Texas and is receiving strong interest from Duke and others.

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INDIANAPOLIS -- ESPN 25 combo guard Josh Langford (Huntsville, Ala./Madison Academy) has lived up to the hype this week at the adidas Invitational following a great showing last month at the NBPA Top 100 Camp and after a great freshman season.

Langford, who is ranked No. 1 in Alabama and No. 15 overall in the nation in the Class of 2016, has offers pouring in -- and don't expect that trend to stop any time soon. He currently holds offers from Vanderbilt, Florida, Providence, Alabama, Tennessee, Auburn and Mississippi State, among others.

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INDIANAPOLIS -- As the teams fight for a chance to advance to the championship game, Friday at the adidas Invitational was another day of passionate basketball. With two games per day, each team needs not only its stars but also its supporting players to step up.

Saturday marks the last full day of competition and begins bracket play as we move toward Sunday’s championship game, which will be televised on ESPNU at 2 p.m. ET.

But before we get to that, here’s a detailed breakdown of a few young players who separated themselves with their strong play on Friday during Day 3 of the adidas Invitational, including ESPN 60 forward Carlton Bragg and a pair of rising 2016 prospects.

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INDIANAPOLIS -- Class of 2014 PG Bryant McIntosh (Greensburg, Ind./Greensburg) has had a couple of very impressive performances at this week’s adidas Invitational. The 6-foot-3 guard has displayed a great feel for the game to go with his good size in front of the number of college coaches packing the gym.

Bryant McIntosh
Reggie Rankin/ESPNFormer Indiana State commit Bryant McIntosh has landed new offers from FSU and Auburn.
That should bode well for three-star prospect who is seeing renewed interest in his recruitment since decommitting from Indiana State earlier this week.

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INDIANAPOLIS -- The adidas Invitational is in its fifth year of competition and boasts a notable list of alums, headlined by recent NBA first-round picks Andre Drummond, Cody Zeller and Shabazz Muhammad. This year’s event began on Wednesday and will conclude on Sunday with the championship game, which will air live on ESPNU at 2 p.m. ET.

Thursday marked the first full day of competition and the players’ intensity was apparent from the start, with top-10 junior Stephen Zimmerman and Florida recruit Brandone Francis among the day’s elite performers.

Here’s a look at who stood out among the star-studded list of participants on Thursday.

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INDIANAPOLIS -- The first day of the adidas Invitational kicked off Wednesday, and a trio of 2016 recruits wasted little time in making their presence felt in the packed gymnasium.

Playing for the Spiece Indy Heat AAU squad, point guard Clarence C.J. Walker (Indianapolis/Arsenal Tech), combo guard Vijay Blackmon (Marion, Ind./Marion) and wing Reginald Jones (Marion, Ind./Marion) were three players that seized the opportunity to make a statement at the onset of the event.

Here’s what made the sophomores stand out.

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