Unfortunately, we here at Busting Brackets have not been able to attend the Adidas Nations tournament. That being said we have been following online through scouts and on as many feeds as humanly possible and will give you some of the insight of what has been going on over the weekend.
2014’s top recruit Jahlil Okafor has been looking extremely good in all of his games. He has shown that he is in terrific shape and is comfortable running the court all game long. Thanks to his motor and skill, he has been dominating on the inside against all of his opponents and is really cementing his status as the best player in the class of 2014.
In the younger crowd, Stephen Zimmerman, a 7”1 center in the class of 2015, has really impressed with his performance. He has shown a lot of agility and dexterity combined with his size which makes him an extremely intriguing prospect for the big division schools. Zimmerman currently holds offers from most of the usual suspects and after this tournament, he could see himself rise up on some rankings lists. While it is unlikely he will go from second to first the Rivals list, ESPN has Zimmerman ranked 7th, which frankly seems a bit low for a big man of his skill and body type.
During the counselor championships which features all the college players at the Adidas Nations tournament, Louisville’s Russ Smith took on Chris Jones, who was in Junior College but is Louisville bound. Smith abused Jones on offense and really defended him well when it was Jones’ opportunity to return the favor. Smith is looking even better than last season and this should bode well for the Cardinals’ chances at a repeat championship.
Sticking with the Louisville Cardinals, a little bit of bad news came from the camp today as it was announced Montrezl Harrell’s time at the camp was over following a knee injury. A freshman last year, Harrell was picked by many to be Louisville’s break out star this season and has received a lot of buzz over the summer after playing for team USA at the under 19 championships and winning gold. The injury appeared ACL related and an MRI will be done to acquire more information about the severity of the injury. Here’s to hoping it is only a scare because Harrell is an important part of the Cardinals team and a fun player to watch in general.
While the Adidas Nations camp is a fairly serious scouting opportunity for many teams, the players are also there to have some fun. Yesterday, the NBA camp counselors, which included Derrick Favors, Jerryd Bayless, Jeff Teague, Arron Afflalo and Iman Shumpert scrimmaged against the college kids. With the college kids, they also mixed in some 2015 and 2016 recruits to give them a chance to play against the pros. For the younger players, this was like a dream come true to test their mettle against the best in the world. Not only is it a great moment, it provides an excellent experience to learn from and grow from it. Seeing how good the NBA players are will make all the younger guys work that much harder to attain the same type of skill level.
The finals will go tomorrow and will be between the 2014 USA Reds and the 2014 USA Blues. The red team features Jahlil Okafor, Kevon Looney and Jaquan Lyle. As for the blue team, it has been led all camp long by forward Trey Lyles who might just be the big man who can fairly challenge Okafor one on one. Heading to the finals, they are set on a crash course that will determine the winners of the Adidas Nations camp and it should be a great match up to watch.