But all that did was reinforce the idea that the Classic's primary contribution this week is to serve as a platform for new names, and Wednesday got off on the right foot.
While the rosters primarily consist of seniors (Class of 2014), some intriguing underclassmen are taking the court as well.
DOUGHTY SERVES NOTICE
Local point guard Samir Doughty drew very interested eyeballs in his first live outing of the summer. The slinky 6-3 guard actually slots as a tall point guard, but he possesses the size to occupy the wing as well. He first caught our attention at the Pitt Jam Fest back in April, and he's now riding a clear incline toward greater recruiting intensity.
Doughty is quick and shifty and is a fine transition finisher thanks to outstanding body control. He did mostly drive to his right, so we'll be looking for him to go left more frequently in the coming days. Meanwhile, he missed the only jump shot we saw him attempt, another area to watch. But his size, ballhandling ability and athleticism make him a likely high-major target.
At this juncture he's mostly hearing from Philadelphia programs — he cited Temple, La Salle and Villanova specifically — and will continue to tour with the Philly Pride. He said he doesn't have any offers just yet, but look for that to change soon.
PRICE-MARTIN, OTHER BIGS DISPLAY PROGRESS
One guy who hasn't been hot over the past 24 months is Malik Price-Martin. The skinny big man certainly is a good talent, but at one time he enjoyed blue-chipper status and was believed to be a potential national prospect. He didn't carry that momentum forward as much as he would have liked, but Wednesday at the Classic served as a turnaround.
Price-Martin competed on the backboards, blocked a couple shots and scored on nice up-and-unders. He's still a little gawky and doesn't appear to have the best balance, but at 6-8 he doesn't need to be a ballerina. If he competes as hard as he did on day one, he'll have a fine collegiate career.
A relative latecomer to the party, Chinanu Onuaku is another big man to monitor. The 6-10, 250-pound center is a physical rebounder who does his best work on the defensive glass, using his size and strength to seal off would-be offensive rebounders.
He also possesses surprising jump shooting touch, although he may have hit one more three-pointer tonight (one) than he will total in college. His footwork and low block offense remain a work in progress, but he's competitive head-up against nearly every big man in the class with just a few exceptions. As such, he'll big a major contributor at the next level.
PERKINS, LAW ALSO MAKE IMPRESSION
Josh Perkins was the best player on the court during his first outing. The Huntington Prep-bound floor general may not be the quickest driver, but his passing ranges from effective, to wild, to extraordinary, to extraordinarily wild. He'll drive his future college coach crazy from time to time, but he'll also lift his club to some wins single-handedly.
He not only finds teammates in transition, he sets up plays using a crossover dribble and looking off defenders. The sizzle-to-substance ratio sometimes redlines, but so does the entertainment factor and it's better to tamp down a talented guy than coach up someone untalented. Bottom line.
Perkins' jump shot is inconsistent, but when he focuses on the smartest attempts he can knock them down a solid percentage. Clearly, though, it's his playmaking that makes him a national standout.
We evaluated Vic Law on the EYBL circuit and generally came away thinking he was capable of more than he'd demonstrated. On day one here, however, he showcased confidence and scoring balance. He's a tremendous one-footed leaper capable of eye-catching slams when he's able to time his steps, and he wields a smooth medium-range jumper off the dribble.
Law also attempted to post up at one point and loft in a jump hook from eight feet, and although he missed badly that's one component of his game he's wise to incorporate. If he'll become more assertive and not blend in for long stretches, he'll finish his summer on a high note. Given that he's already committed to Northwestern, the future Big Ten performer gives the Wildcats a superior athlete and signature commitment for first-year coach Chris Collins.