Monday Live Blog
3:05: Games have begun, with a set of consolation games kicking it off.
3:18: Consolation games can be hit or miss, as is playing out presently. Though elite center Cliff Alexander has been the best player here, his team is down 20 in the first half. Devin Robinson, Dwayne Morgan and Grayson Allen are playing well.
3:28 JaQuan Newton has enjoyed a solid week. I've given the point guards here a tough time, but he consistently has brought the energy needed to impress at such a venue.
3:30: I haven't seen his team as much, but don't infer that Stanley Johnson has been anything less than outstanding. His hard work in the offensive glass and ability to play outside/in has been commendable.
3:45: Sure, he needs skill refinement, but 2015 wing Jaylen Brown is one of the most fun athletes here. On court two, Rashad Vaughn and Malik Newman are going head to head. No clear advantage for either so far.
3:51 Also on court 2, Isaac Copeland is having his best game. Evan says he scored 21 points with 10 minutes remaining.
3:59: That's it for the first set of games. Now on to a pair of semifinal contests.
4:24: These games are far more spirited, not surprising given it's the winner's bracket. On court 1, aggressive PF Angel Delgado is displaying more offense than previously believed. He's establishing deep position and scoring with hooks and strong drives, usually to his right.
4:32: On court 2, wings Kelly Oubre and Theo Pinson are turning in solid outings. PF Reid Travis is neutralizing the length of Chris McCullough and others with his power.
4:54: Point guard Lourawls Nairn puts a playoff foul on PF Malik Abdul-Abu. All involved seemed to be okay. Meanwhile, elite junior Ivan Rabb is asserting himself inside on court 2. He's finishing well with both hands and getting his hands on tips.
5:14: We have a pair of winners and will be back after the break at 7:00 pst.
7:03: We're back and ready to rumble once more here in Vegas. First up is a round of two consolation games, followed by the championship and third place game at 8:00.
7:19: So far, these games are what we thought they were. Little guys are trying to dunk from too far away, centers are shooting threes and no one is playing defense. And that's why Cheick Diallo gets extra credit for playing so hard. He's beasting on both ends, scoring with agility and quickness on his short jump hooks. The 2015 forward hasn't dominated as he did at the NBPA camp, but he's certainly been an elite here as well.
7:36: This isn't the Malik Newman you'll see in a meaningful game, but even now his superb talent is abundant. You can question whether he's a point guard; no one ever will question that he's a scorer. The junior will challenge for the top spot in the class through the end of his of his prep career.
7:55: The prelims are over and the final is set to tip.
8:06 Shaqquan Aaron has buried a couple deep jumpers, but Angel Delgado is hustling and point guard Shelton Mitchell is running the show to give their team a lead. A caveat here is that many players have left for the airport, so the games have been shortened and the teams' rosters look very different from compared with earlier.
8:31 Given the cobbled together nature of the teams, the final has been fairly competitive. Zylan Cheatham made a great contest of a dunk and took awkward fall. The scrappy utility forward appeared to hurt his wrist, but it didn't appear too serious.
8:42: And that concludes our live blog from Vegas. Hope everyone enjoyed it!