Las Vegas: Day Four Notebook

LAS VEGAS -- Isaiah Whitehead will sort out visits following the July evaluation period, Thomas Welsh continues to show improvements and a host of players stepped up on Saturday in the Las Vegas events.

Whitehead plans to visit three

Isaiah Whitehead is planning to take at least three official visits this fall.

"After this I'm going to start planning my visits out," Whitehead said after a game at the Fab 48. "I'm definitely going to visit Syracuse again, Arizona maybe and UCLA. Those are the definite ones right now."

"After this tournament, I'm going to sit down and work it out with my mom," he added.

What sticks out about those three schools?

Syracuse: "They are great. They have good guards like myself. They play the zone and you can't beat that. They have a great campus, a great coach and just a great program."

Arizona: "They just came in. They said [when I go] on the visit that I would understand them much more and they have a history of guards. It's a good school."

UCLA: "I think they are trying to come back with the new coach. I just kept looking and they kept talking to me and hopefully I'm going to visit them."

Whitehead said Minnesota, St. John's and Miami are also involved in his recruitment.

Welsh continues rise

The performance of the day on Saturday came from 7-footer Thomas Welsh.

Welsh won a match up with five-star center Myles Turner during a morning elimination game. Welsh showed off his terrific touch by hitting a right jump hook and five mid-range jump shots.

Two years ago this type of performance from Welsh would have been somewhat unthinkable. He was slower, struggled changing ends and wasn't sure of himself on either end of the floor.

In June at the Pangos All-American Camp he showed significant improvement in his game. He moves better, has developed a consistency from mid-range and is clearly more confident as a scorer.

Now he's tracking as a legit high major recruit and has a host of those type of schools have offered him scholarships. He's currently ranked No. 75 overall in the 2014 class and is likely to move up.

Notable Performers

  • New Williams, PG/SG, Earl Watson – Last evaluation period, Williams broke out. This week he's been solid. At 6-foot-2, he's an impressive athlete that is at best when he has the ball in his hands. On his AAU team he spends most of the time off the ball, but is still effective as a jump shooter. The southpaw has good range on his shot, a fairly quick release and is consistent out to three. He also hit a mid-range pull-up and flashed his vision in a morning game.

  • Isaiah Whitehead, SG, Juice All-Stars – When Juice needed Whitehead late in a first round elimination game, he stepped up. The 6-foot-4 strongly built wing prospect hit a couple of threes off the bounce and finished off two plays at the rim that put the game out of reach. As a scorer, Whitehead is as good as it gets in the 2014 class. He's comfortable going off the bounce, is able to get his shot when he needs to and the consistency in his long-range shot over the last year is notable.

  • Myles Turner, C, Texas Select – Although I thought Thomas Welsh got the upper hand on Turner in their morning match up, it's not like Turner played bad. In fact, quite the opposite. The 7-footer knocked down a pair of mid-range jump shots and finished a couple of players around the rim, including a step-through finish. Defensively, Turner had a half dozen blocks, with most coming from help side or in transition.

  • Makinde London, PF/C, D13 – An intriguing recruit, London, who is pushing 6-foot-10, is mobile and athletic. He's able to run the floor well, will contest shots and flashed impressive ball skills for his size. London also showed good hands and touch. Offensively he didn't show much with his back to the basket, so that's an area for improvement, but he's equipped with a lot of raw ability.

  • Matt Ryan, SG, New Heights 16's – There's been some buzz building around Ryan, a 6-foot-6 shooting guard, recently. A very good shooter, Ryan had his jump shot on display in an elimination game Saturday evening. He has good form on his shot and is capable of making shots from well behind the three-point stripe. He didn't show much off the dribble, but his ability to make shots from deep was one of the reasons New Heights was able to advance past a good D1 Minnesota team.

  • T.J. Leaf, PF, Compton Magic 2016 – In an evening game, Leaf, a 6-foot-8 power forward, impressed with his skill level. He prefers to step away from the rim and either shoot jump shots (range to 21-feet) or attack off the bounce. With that said, he will post up from time to time and has a nice jump hook. He also has very good touch around the basket, a nice set of hands and moves up and down the floor well.


  • Joe Furtsinger had a good morning game for Earl Watson Pangos Elite. The 6-foot-9 big man has good hands and touch inside. He showed a mid-range jump shot and got on the glass more than I've seen in the past.

  • Craig Victor had Travis Ford and Steve Alford at his game against New Heights. Assistants from LSU, Arizona, Ohio State and Oklahoma were also on hand.

  • Fred Hoiberg and Bo Ryan were the only two head coaches at Henry Ellenson's final game in the adidas Super 64. Assistants from Indiana, Minnesota, North Carolina, Michigan State and Marquette were also on hand.

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