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July 12, 2012

Adidas Day 2: Hopkins erupts


MORE: Hill fits bill at Adidas

Day 2 of the Adidas Invitational in Indianapolis was highlighted by the performances of some 2013 West Coast prospects, as more than 325 college coaches stopped by to take in the action. With some young guns also making names for themselves, the full slate of games provided nonstop, high-level action, and several breakout performers.

1. PG Jaron Hopkins, 6-foot-5 Mesa (Ariz.) Dobson 2013: Hopkins is as smooth a penetrating combo guard as you will find on the AAU circuit, and he looked better than any prospect on the floor in the morning session, although his Compton Magic squad fell to Ohio Basketball Club. Hopkins isn't looking to shoot jumpers on the offensive end, he wants to get to the painted area and score it.

A fluid athlete with great size as a guard, and good length to extend past defenders, Hopkins can also see the floor and dish the ball off on penetration; but he is best at scoring. When he gets into his zone offensively, he is capable of making multiple plays in a row, as he did on Thursday when he tallied 15 of his game-high 24 points in the first half.

2. SG Isaac Hamilton, 6-foot-4 Los Angeles (Calif.) St. John Bosco 2013: Hamilton is one of the best pure scorers in his 2013 class, and the five-star guard did just that on Thursday: score. Being able to put it in the basket from all three levels, especially with his smooth handle allowing him to get to good scoring spots on the floor, makes Hamilton a near unstoppable offensive force. He can run at point guard, shoot it well from distance, and is a high-level athlete who loves to try and dunk everything on the break. Hamilton led his Dream Vision team back from a 20-point deficit against the Michigan Mustangs to grab a six-point win, and scored just under 30 points in the victory. Head coaches from Washington, Connecticut, Kansas, and UCLA tracked Hamilton on Thursday, while several other elite programs were represented by assistant coaches.

3. PF Anthony January, 6-foot-8 Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft 2013: January, who was originally a 2014 prospect but who will be reclassifying to the 2013 class and attending prep school next year, is an explosive athlete who brought the crowd to its feet several times in two Dream Vision blowout wins as he and his teammates put on a dunking display. January is a physically mature big man who is an excellent two-foot leaper around the basket with power. But he is even more explosive when running his lane as a trailer in transition. He shows a keen understanding of how to space himself around the basket to get open for dump down passes, and will finish with authority. On both ends of the floor, he'll actively pursue rebounds, and he isn't afraid to mix it up inside defensively by altering shots.

4. PF Jordan Mickey, 6-foot-8 Arlington (Texas) Grace Prep 2013: Mickey is a hardworking inside-outside forward who plays with a lot of energy on the boards and defensive end of the floor. A passionate rebounder who pursues every ball like it has his name stamped on it, Mickey tallied double-digit boards in both games for his Urban DFW Elite team on Thursday. Also a gifted offensive player, the four-star power forward showed nice touch from mid-range, while attacking the rim with strength. Mickey is also a high-level athlete who can explode up to finish around the rim, or run the floor and make plays as a trailer in transition.

5. PF Devin Williams, 6-foot-8, Cincinnati Montverde Academy 2013: After a slow start, the four-star bruiser from Ohio Basketball Club went to work in the second half of a morning comeback victory over the Compton Magic. He outworked and overpowered his opposition. Williams scored multiple times in a row, drew fouls just about every possession down, and used his wide base to demand the ball in the post. Williams is often criticized for his lack of lift around the basket, but he showed a nice amount of skill and footwork in creating post baskets for himself in aggressively leading his team to a critical win. Head coaches from Ohio State, Michigan State, Xavier, UCLA, Pittsburgh, and Florida all stopped in to watch Williams play.

6. PG Cornelius Elder, 6-foot, Nashville Ensworth Academy 2013: Elder might be a four-star football prospect, but he can get it done on the hardwood as well. An explosive athlete with excellent top speed from end to end, he's a gifted ballhandler who can get to the rim. For a player who relies very seldom on his perimeter jumper, it's amazing how easily the speedster can get to the rim in the half court. On Thursday, Elder led his Team Nashville squad to two wins by making opposing guards look silly as he blew past them off the dribble and scored around the basket, where he has excellent body control after taking a hit. A pure point guard and floor general, Elder also is able to shine on the defensive end by using his quickness to pressure the opposition into turnovers.

7. SG Kelly Oubre, 6-foot-5 Richmond (Texas) Bush 2014: Oubre is a skilled young guard with great size and good athleticism. A very consistent 3-point jumper is the focal point of his offensive game, although he did try and show coaches in attendance that he can put the ball on the deck and attack when the defense crowds him. Oubre, of New Orleans Elite, does a nice job of using his size to shoot over smaller opponents, or bully them around the basket to get second-chance points. He's a very good athlete who can finish above the rim in transition, and gives a hard-fought effort on just about every possession. The four-star wing could project as a guard or forward at the next level, giving him the kind of versatility that coaches love.

8. PF Craig Victor, 6-foot-8 New Orleans St. Augusta 2014: Victor is one of the most talented prospects in his 2014 class as he combines a great physical frame with athleticism and some intriguing, but developing, ball skills. The four-star from New Orleans Elite, who plays up an age group on the AAU circuit, was all business on Thursday as he out-competed opponents by using his wide shoulders and strong lower body to carve out space. Victor is able to convert mid-range jumpers but he was best when trying to operate offensively around the basket, where his physical tools are simply too much for the opposition to deal with. A hardworking defender who is quiet but mentally tough, Victor has the intangibles to become one of the 2014 class' most dominant interior threats.

9. SF Trevon Bluiett, 6-foot-6 Indianapolis Park Tudor 2014: Bluiett is known as an explosive wing scorer. On Thursday, the four-star poured in 32 points for Spiece team, including a barrage of long-distance jumpers. With great size for his position, and an improving ability to make plays off the dribble, Bluiett is one of the top perimeter scorers in his 2014 class. What we like about him is his pace. He doesn't force the issue and he usually is very good at waiting for offensive opportunities to come to him instead of pushing too hard for shots. His athleticism is still developing, but Bluiett has become a nice all-around player who can do more than score.

10. C D'jerry Baptiste, 6-foot-9 Wilbraham (Mass.) Monson 2015: Baptiste is an unknown but promising young big man who performed extremely efficiently against older competition on Thursday with East Coast Elite. He's a long, well-built and athletic defensive presence who can block shots. He eventually caused the other team to just settle for jumpers. With his athleticism, he is able to chase down rebounds near and far from the basket, and shows good effort in getting up and down the court in fast-paced play. Baptiste's offensive game is still a work in process, but he is able to powerfully finish with two-handed dunks when he has smaller opponents on him, and he works so hard on the glass that he is prone to put-back baskets.




 

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