Las Vegas: Notebook

LAS VEGAS -- The Las Vegas Notebook discusses the Louisville Magic's guard combo, the west coast's elite lead guards and Dante Exum's intentions to come to the United States.

Best guard duo on circuit?

The AAU circuit is filled with plenty of talented guard combinations, but you'd be hard pressed to find a pair that has been more successful than Quentin Snider and D'Angelo Russell.

The Louisville Magic guards teamed up for a pair of 16's division titles in July and the two shared the event MVP trophy at the adidas Super 64.

So what makes the two 2014 guards so successful?

"I think it really started when those guys teamed up at Nike camp and they were just feeding off each other," Louisville Magic coach Ellis Myles told Scout.com.

Snider, who scored 23 points in the Super 64 championship, is deceptively quick and always seems to find a way into the lane. If he's not dropping in a floater or pulling up, the 6-foot-1 guard is looking for his 6-foot-4 counter part.

While Russell can play some on the ball, he relinquishes those duties to Snider and looks to get his points from the wing. Both are legit shooters, but also capable of attacking off the bounce and creating their own shots.

"I think it's something very special," Myles said of his duo. "I know Q is committed to Louisville and if D'Angelo decided to go there it could be something very, very special."

Outside of Louisville, Russell has strong interest from Indiana, Ohio State, Kentucky, Cincinnati, Xavier and others.

Three PG's in west stand out

During my time in Las Vegas for the final evaluation period, I spent time tracking the top point guard prospects on the west coast.

Having already seen Parker Jackson-Cartwright a number of times, I was excited to compare him to Jordan McLaughlin and Colorado native Josh Perkins. What I quickly realized is how talented all three are and each in a different way.

Jackson-Cartwright is the best passer of the three. At 5-foot-8, he fearlessly attacks the opposition and looks to create. Despite his size, he's fearless his IQ is off the charts.

McLaughlin, a 5-foot-11 lead man from Etiwanda (Calif.) High, is a speedster with impressive athleticism and probably the leader in both categories. On his travel team he's forced to score, which he can do from both mid-range out to three.

The sleeper of the three is Josh Perkins. Not many in the industry have evaluated him, but he's sure to gain some steam nationally.

At 6-foot-3, Perkins has great size, handles the ball extremely well and is a very good passer. Throw in that he can score at the rim, from mid-range and out to three (had four threes in game I watched) and he's a high level prospect.

Scout.com's West Coast Analyst Josh Gershon says all three are immediate contributors at the high major level.

"In recent years, the West Coast has really been in need for a recruiting class with multiple high level point guards," Gershon said. "That's exactly the case in 2014. Parker Jackson-Cartwright, Jordan McLaughlin and Josh Perkins are all on the fast track to being point guards that can play a prominent role on very successful teams on the next level."

With these three the debate is just beginning and it'll be a fun battle to watch over the course of the next year.

Foreign guard will get high major looks

Internationally Dante Exum is well known.

Exum, a 6-foot-4 guard, led the Australian National 17's team in scoring at 17.2 points a game in the FIBA U17 World Championship.

This past week, Exum was in Las Vegas participating in the adidas Super 64 with the Australian Institute of Sport. While some players on the AIS team will likely stick in Australia and play professionally, Exum has intentions of coming to the United States.

"I'll come here for college in 2014," Exum told Scout.com.

And it appears college programs are well aware. SMU, LSU and Boise State already offered him a scholarship and all three tracked in Las Vegas, as did North Carolina and Saint Mary's.

Exum's father – Cecil Exum -- played at UNC from 1980 to 1984, so there's an obvious connection there.

"Great school," he responded when asked about North Carolina. "It's definitely a great school. I would love to go there."


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