ASU targets galore at Adidas event in Vegas

Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley and his staff were all in the same gym to open Wednesday's live period, and understandably so. More than a half dozen top ASU targets were playing in one location and SunDevilSource.com was there.

LAS VEGAS -- It's a Three Stripes world now for Arizona State basketball.

Just weeks after the program made the switch from Nike to Adidas, Sun Devils Bobby Hurley -- wearing the highly coveted Yeezy 350 Boost shoes -- was joined by his entire staff here at the Cashman Center on Wednesday's opening night of action in the Adidas Summer Championships.

A flood of coaches from the around the country joined ASU in the spacious seven court venue, taking the floor at 5 p.m. sharp, with 28 games on the docket -- four per court through the night's conclusion.

Hurley watched, in succession, former ASU 2016 small forward commit Brendan Bailey, current ASU 2016 wing commit Sam Cunliffe, Top-100 2016 wing target Mario Kegler out of Mississippi, and Top-100 2016 post target De'Ron Davis out of Colorado.

Clearly he's swinging for the fences.

While those games were going on, other ASU targets including Top-100 point guard Payton Pritchard,Top-100 Indiana shooting guard Eron Gordon -- brother of former ASU guard Evan Gordon -- and a number of 2017 high profile prospects were observed by ASU assistant coaches in the gym.

Thursday through Sunday ASU coaches spread out and take in additional games at Adidas as well as the Fab48 and Bigfoot Hoops events, with games scattered far-flung across the valley.

Kegler impressed by ASU

At one end of the court Hurley sat with assistant Levi Watkins along the baseline and opposite the ASU staff on the other baseline, first-year Mississippi State coach Ben Howland sat with one of his assistants.

That may be the battle for Mario Kegler in a nutshell.

ASU's trying to parlay its relationship with Kegler, formed primarily through assistant Brian Merritt's longstanding relationship with Kegler while running John Lucas' high profile camps, to pry the No. 1 small forward in the South out of his home state of Mississippi.

Howland is going to do everything in his power to try to prevent it.

"It's crazy man," Kegler said following his MBA Hoops' opening game win over Oakland Rebels. "It's very stressful. It feels like a bunch of babies everywhere around the house, constantly calling you from everywhere. I'm just trying to get through all this playing and then figure it out."

Kegler, a 6-foot-7, 215 pound small forward, hasn't had much time to think. He's been in Europe, New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and several other destinations on a fatigue-inducing summer circuit. It led to a bruised toe that kept him off the court last week, but he's back for the Summer Championship and looked like he's ready to have a big impact.

Kegler is an impressive pull up jump shooter who also has a violent attack at the rim, but he was most excited Wednesday about getting in the head of an opponent that led to two fouls in quick succession.

"So far we coming along, everybody clicking right," Kegler said. "I think we're going to do big things. I've always been [passionate]. I don't like to lose, I take everything personal."

Kegler bonded with Cunliffe at the Pangos All-American Camp in May and they subsequently visited the school together. Cunliffe is trying to get Kegler to join him in Tempe. It's a possibility, but Kegler is still playing it pretty close to the vest.

"I like ASU," he said. "Great coaches, talk to them almost every day. It was great. I liked the facility, the people there are great. I've known Brian Merritt a long time and he's recruiting me really hard and is a good guy. Bobby Hurley just wants me to come in and do my thing.

"We'll see what happens. I'm really not going to be thinking too much about my schools and everything until after this week. There's been too much going on to really [focus] on that yet."

Hurley selling Pritchard on similarity

After the West's No. 3 point guard prospect decommitted from Oklahoma just before the July evaluation period started, ASU immediately became one of the suitors.

Payton Pritchard understands why.

A hard-charging 6-foot-1, Pritchard and the new ASU coach have some things in common in terms of style as players.

"It's been great with ASU," Pritchard said. "Bobby Hurley is a historical point guard, one of the best ever. He's been telling me a lot about the program and the direction it's been going. The players they've been recruiting, players they think are about to commit, it's big time.

"He says we play a lot of similarities in the game, toughness, things like that."

Louisville recently offered Pritchard and the West Linn, Oregon, star is hearing from schools across the country and hasn't had time to fully process it all.

"I'm not even sure on visits yet," Pritchard said. "There's like 10 schools in the mix. I would like to visit them all but that's probably not realistic. I don't even know for sure if I'll sign in November or wait for the spring, honestly. It just depends on how things go.

"With ASU, it looks like a very nice campus. I've seen pictures of the basketball facility there and it looks great. I think I'm going to take a visit down there and see the campus for myself sometime. I'm not sure when yet."

ASU conveys clear interest to Bailey

Soon after Hurley was announced as ASU's new coach, Utah small forward Brendan Bailey decided to re-open his recruitment and explore other options.

Since that time, the sweet shooting 6-foot-7 American Fork High School product has seen his stock soar. Big time offers came along with the ascension, including one from Arizona and he's now the No. 37 overall prospect in the class.

Bailey showed why Wednesday, when he made six 3-pointers on eight attempts as his DreamVision squad boat-raced an overmatched team from Alaska.

"I feel like I've gotten a lot more recognition this year," Bailey said. "I knew I had to perform better than in the past to get scholarships and help get my teammates scholarships. It's a lot different this year, there's a lot more coaches in the stands and I'm talking with a lot more coaches. It's a lot better."

Bailey -- whose sister plays volleyball at ASU -- told SunDevilSource previously he needed time to build a rapport with Hurley and ASU's new coaches, particularly after the assistant who recruited him to ASU, Stan Johnson, moved on to Marquette.

Hurley was joined by Watkins and Merritt on the first game of the live period to watch Bailey. ASU was the only program to have three coaches in attendance at the game.

"I haven't talked to them a lot recently but saw they were here at the game today," Bailey said. "I still haven't built up the relationship yet so I'm not sure yet but they do seem like really good guys.

"I'm going to start creating my list pretty soon. It'll be a Top-5 or Top-6, I haven't really decided yet. I've already taken two visits, to UCON and San Diego State. I'm planning on a couple more visits, Gonzaga and Marquette. We're scheduling those."

Bailey said he will likely take a LDS Church Mission right out of high school and reclassify to 2018 as a result.


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