Adidas Invitational – Recap

16 Jul
Carlton Bragg

Carlton Bragg

The 2013 Adidas Invitational had a certain Ohio feel to it during the last few days, as teams from the Buckeye State made deep runs into platinum bracket play in front of hundreds of college coaches in Indianapolis. With the tournament being held during the first of three July evaluation periods for Division I colleges, several prospects from Ohio earned new scholarship offers, or at least got their names circled as players for coaches to keep eye on during the second and third periods.

By the tournament’s end, Team Work had walked away with the 15u title, Ohio Basketball Club took home second place in the 16u division and the Team Work 17u team put on quite a show before falling to the eventual champions in the semi-finals. Here’s a look at players who starred in front of us at the Adidas Invitational……

  • Peyton Aldridge – ’14 SF/PF Leavittsburg LaBrae: With high major schools keeping an eye on him the 6’7 combo forward again proved that he does one thing better than most guys on the circuit, he wins. Aldridge did a little bit of everything for his Team Work squad, rebounding, scoring in a variety of ways and defending multiple positions as he helped lead his team to the semi-finals. An above average athlete that has a non-stop motor, Aldridge mentioned Northwestern, Purdue, Boston College and Notre Dame as big name schools involved, but also holds offers from several mid-majors, including Akron and Davidson, who attended all of Aldridge’s games.
  • Gavin Skelly – ’14 PF Cleveland Westlake: When it wasn’t Aldridge making plays for Team Work it was the 6’8 big man Skelly. He used his athleticism and motor to attack slower forwards and centers, especially as a ballhandler in the open court, and like his teammate, showed an ability to score in a variety of ways. Skelly’s upside has some new high majors beginning to show interest in his game, with Butler, Notre Dame, Purdue, Stanford, Boston College, Iowa and others showing intrigue, while over a dozen mid-majors have offered.
  • Justin Bibbs – ’14 SG Montverde (FL) Academy: The versatile guard from Ohio Basketball Club drew the attention of several colleges to his games over the week, with Xavier, Cincinnati, Virginia Tech and Dayton being constant fixtures in the stands. The 6’4 Bibbs has been trying to prove that he is an improved shooter from three, however, he’s still far more effective as a slasher who can finish or pass with athleticism. The lefty has a solid handle that allows him to be a primary ball-handler, and with his strength he’s a tough matchup when he’s making great decisions.
  • Jalen Hudson – ’14 SG Akron St. Vincent St. Mary’s: The Virginia native who lives in Akron is suiting up with Team Loaded NC this summer, and made an impact in their super pool games on a talented team. Hudson has been adding consistency to his three-point shot, and has always had the athleticism to be an intriguing player in Ohio’s 2014 class. The 6’3 guard mentioned sixteen offers, including Dayton and Rhode Island, along with interest from West Virginia, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and Xavier.
  • Satchel Pierce – ’14 C Pittsburgh (PA) Kiski Prep: The big fella from Akron is playing with Team Adidas PA, a local team to his Pittsburgh area prep school, and finds himself on one of the more talented teams in Pennsylvania. Pierce did what he normally does in our one viewing of his team, he clogged the paint with his massive size, showed good mobility in running the floor and provided a few blocked shots. Unfortunately, Pierce didn’t really get enough touches on the offensive end to evaluate his progress in that area, but did finish the game in double-figure scoring with a few put-back buckets and post-scores on his limited touches.
  • Carlton Bragg – ’15 PF Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joe’s: From September at John Lucas Camp to today it seems that Bragg’s star power grows every single minute. In Indianapolis, the 6’9 power forward was in full effect, dominating the competition en route to a championship game appearance for his Ohio Basketball Club team. Bragg’s athleticism gives him an advantage over opposing forwards, as he can really get out and run in transition. However, it’s his skill level that makes him a dominant prospect. Bragg showed the ability to handle the ball, consistently knock down the three-pointer and played with a ton of passion all week long. Coaches from Illinois and Ohio State were constant fixtures at his game, but Michigan State, Kentucky, Louisville and several others also stopped by to see the consensus top-25 rising junior.
  • In addition to Bragg, Ohio Basketball Club also got strong performances from the rest of their rotation as they advanced through the bracket. A few players that stood out include Isaiah Jones (Cincinnati Woodward PG), Devon Andrews (Cleveland Lorain SF), Devon Robinson (Cleveland John Adams SF) and Craig Randall Jr (Medina PG/SG).
  • Jon Teske – ’16 C Medina: We didn’t get to spend much time watching 15u basketball, but one player that stood out in a major way was Team Work’s star center, Teske. A 6’9, and possibly still growing, big with a pretty touch on his jumper, Teske dominated the game that we evaluated, a Team Work overtime victory over the Houston Defenders. Teske has good length and mobility for a player his size, and while he’ll need to add considerable strength to be an impact player at the next level he has the exact skill package that college coaches love in modern big men. Additionally for Team Work, combo forward Luke Vargo (Columbus Dublin Coffman SF/PF) also impressed, showing versatility, a high motor and an improved ability to step out and shoot the basketball.

Notes from around the circuit:

  • Zach McCormick – ’14 Cincinnati Turpin PG/SG: The 6’2 combo guard from the Kentucky Travelers AAU program earned a major offer over the weekend at the Nike Peach Jam/EYBL Finals, as he scored a Tennessee offer. The Volunteers were previously listed by McCormick as one of the schools that he was most interested in, and join Marshall and Western Kentucky as the slight favorites to land him.
  • Grant Benzinger – ’14 Cincinnati Moeller SG: Radford and Brown are the latest to offer the 6’3 shooter from the Shining Stars AAU program. Reports said that Benzinger had another big week in Indianapolis at the Hoosier Shootout, after previously earning praise from us after his showing at the Ohio AAU State Tournament.
  • Luke Kennard – ’15 Franklin SG: The 6’5 wing from King James helped his team to a semi-final performance in the 16u division at the Nike Peach Jam, accumulating an impressive trio of offers in the process. Duke, Kentucky and Michigan State all offered scholarships to Kennard after the Peach Jam, while North Carolina and Louisville have also began to step up their interest.
  • A.J. Harris – ’15 Dayton Dunbar PG: The 5’9 floor general from King James picked up a Xavier offer on Monday afternoon, shortly after teaming up with Kennard in King James’ semi-final run in the 16u Peach Jam. Harris’ offer from the Musketeers gives him a second local offer, as he earned a scholarship from Dayton way back before his freshman season began.
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