Adams goes off
The must-see player heading into adidas Nations was 7-foot-0, 210-pound 2012 New Zealand center Steven Adams, who committed to Pittsburgh last July.
The word was that Adams is good, but it's hard to believe how good he actually was. Against USA Red 2013 on Saturday morning, Adams absolutely went off, scoring 37 points and pulling down 14 rebounds.
He's tall, strong, athletic, moves very well for his size, can step out and shoot the midrange jumper, has soft touch around the glass, tries to dunk everything around the basket, rebounds the heck out of the ball and blocks shots.
It's tough to properly evaluate him compared to American players of the same age group, but he's without question a very high level prospect.
He's also modest. Talking to Adams after his dominant performance, he claimed he didn't play well, focusing more on the fact that his team lost.
"I don't look at is individual," he said. "I look at is as a team thing."
That's good news for Pittsburgh fans, as is the fact that Adams has no intentions of trying to get to the NBA instead of playing in college.
"I'll definitely go to college," Adams said. "If I break my leg or something I need something to fall back on."
With normal development, it will be tough to keep Adams in school long, but he should make a big impact right away in the Big East.
Adams says that Pittsburgh originally found out about him through a connection to his coach.
"(Dixon) found about me from my coach," he said. "He told him I'm alright, apparently. He's cool; he's a nice guy."
Jamie Dixon has coached some high level players, but not too many guys with the ultimate upside of Adams. He couldn't have given a better first impression on Saturday.
Hamilton close to decision
Isaac Hamilton has narrowed his school list to two, he has a favorite and a decision is coming soon.
He also could be a package deal.
But the former Los Angeles Crenshaw 2013 shooting guard isn't about to choose a college, as he's more worried about selecting a new high school.
"I have two schools," Hamilton said, "Findlay Prep and (Bellflower, Calif.) St. John Bosco."
Isaac says his leader is St. John Bosco, where he could be teamed with his little brother, 2014 forward Daniel Hamilton.
"They have a new coach, I know what they're trying to put together and it's going to be great," Hamilton said.
While he's intrigued by the possibility of going to Findlay - "It's a national schedule and national exposure," Hamilton said - he's also leaning towards playing with his brother in high school.
"I think (Bosco) would be a great fit for me and my little brother," he said.
Frazier on fire
adidas Nations has some shooters, but not too many guys like Keith Frazier.
The 6-foot-4, 180-pound Irving (Texas) wing has been lights out throughout the event. On Saturday morning, Frazier knocked down six three-pointers for Team USA 2013 Blue against Team Europe, ending up with 20 points.
Frazier had at least that many threes on Friday night, scoring 24 points in an 87-85 victory over Latin America.
His shooting prowess has been appreciated by those with the closest view of it.
"Man, Keith is a natural born scorer," teammate Isaac Hamilton said. "He can shoot. He has unlimited range."
Another teammate, Nigel Williams-Goss, agrees.
"Keith Frazier has been big," he said. "He's knocking down shots for us."
Frazier will have his toughest matchup in his next game Saturday afternoon, when Team USA 2013 Blue takes on Team USA 2012 Blue, which is led by some athletes who will have the chance to slow Frazier down, in Kris Dunn and Winston Shepard.
Brown transitioning to Cali
The son of new Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike Brown, 2013 wing Elijah Brown recently made the move from St. Edward High School in Cleveland to Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei.
Moving from Cleveland to Los Angeles hasn't been too much of an adjustment for Brown.
"It's been easy," Brown said. "Moving from Cleveland to L.A., there's not much to complain about, especially weather wise. I've been on the beach, something I couldn't do in Cleveland. I've definitely been enjoying the weather out here."
The transition on the court has been easy for Brown too. With his father watching on, Brown put together one of the best performances of the camp's opening day, scoring 27 points with 9 rebounds in an exhibition 84-79 victory for Team USA Red 2013 over Team Asia.
Brown followed that up with 15 points and 4 rebounds in a Friday evening victory over Team Africa.
"I just went out and everything was working for me," Brown said. "I was getting to the hole and knocking down shots."
Even though Brown's move to Mater Dei hasn't been met with too much fanfare, the wing's play at adidas Nations shows he could make an impact on a talented squad that also features Stanley Johnson, Katin Reinhardt, Xavier Johnson and maybe Shaqquan Aaron.
"Over the past year I've developed a more complete game," Brown said. "I've been working on my ball handling and getting my shot more consistent."
If this weekend has been any indication, Brown has definitely improved and could make a loaded Mater Dei squad even better.