This entire week I am going to be heading over to the Pump Brothers Summer basketball tournament at Loyola Marymount University. I plan on giving you some insight on some of the top High School prospects in the country and offer some observations from the tournament.
The first game I watched was between the Northwest Panthers (Seattle-Tacoma area) and Sun Youth (unknown where they are from?). The Panthers were definitely the more talented team, which brought such notables as Danny Manning, Lorenzo Romar and John Calipari into attendance. These coaches were watching two of the top prospects in the nation in PG Abdul Gaddy and SG Avery Bradley. Here are my impressions of each player:
Avery Bradley SG
According to Rivals.com, he is the 16th ranked player in the nation and Arizona, Florida, USC, Texas, UCLA and Wake Forest are all schools Bradley is considering attending. Bottomline, the kid has plenty of talent. He can shoot from the outside, athletic and can slash to the basket and score at will. However, he is quite lazy and played zero defense. He doesnt seem overly motivated and did not show me that he is a competitor. Some of these things you can change about him when you get him on campus, but I do not like him as a player. I’m sure because of his talent he will be a good but he needs to grow up.
Abdul Gaddy PG
According to Rivals.com, he is the 14th ranked player in the nation and Arizona, Cal, Gonzaga, Kansas, Memphis, Oregon, Texas, USC and Washington are all the schools Gaddy is considering attending. Hands down Gaddy is a tremendous prospect and an extremely good PG. He is has good size and long arms and it was every pleasing to watch a PG in AAU who looks to pass first. He has a very quick first step and a great handle. He sees the floor exceptionally well and looks to score when his team needs finishing well at the basket. He needs to work on his defense and probably improve his outside shooting, but both will come with a good coach in college. This kid is a special PG and look for nice things from him on the next level. Though not as skilled and quick, he reminds me of a Derrick Rose.
Overall, the game was much closer than what it should have been. Sun Youth stuck with the Panthers all throughout due to some tough competitive players on their team. Though they are getting heavily recruited, the bigs on the Panthers were unimpressive. Sun Youth’s big men were slower, less athletic and not nearly as skilled as the Panther’s big men but they were able to outrebound the Panthers significantly and kept their team in the game. The Panther’s bigs will have to play much better in order for them to go farther in the tournament.
The second game I watched was between Mater Dei and the Bay Area Ballers. Mater Dei had signifcantly more talent and won the game easily. Mater Dei has the Wear (Travis and David) twins on their team that are standouts at 6’9 a piece. Both will be attending UNC and Coach Williams has two exceptional recruits coming his way. The two are very similiar players and are strong big men who can play inside and out. Both have very soft hands and are very fundamental around the basket. They are very skilled and will be a nice fit into the UNC program.
Another player on Mater Dei who was impressive was their PG Gary Franklin. He really sees the floor well and knows where his team’s bread and butter is and make sure that David and Travis Wear get their inside looks. He will be a solid college player and a great floor leader. Word on the street is Arizona looks to be his school of choice. Personally, I think Arizona is a stretch for Franklin. He should attend a school that is a notch below Arizona and flourish in a slightly lesser program.
I will continue to post my thoughts on the tournament all week. If there is a player/team you want me to check out and report back my thoughts, please let me know.