John Lucas: 2015 Standouts

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- A number of 2015 prospects stood out at the John Lucas Midwest Invitational, but it was Australia native Deng Adel, 6-foot-4 guard Antonio Blakeney and top 10 recruit Carlton Bragg that stood out the most.

Every year the John Lucas Midwest Invitational ascends on Louisville (Ky.) and consists of a strong group of junior prospects, plus a number of highly regarded freshman and sophomores.

This years crop at the camp was talented and deep. The 2015 class had a number of standouts, including a few prospects (Deng Adell and Lucas Johnson) that performed well for the first time on a national stage.

During the two-day event, John Lucas and his staff put the more than 120 campers through intense drill sessions, plus they participated in four camp games.

Deng Adel, SF – Prior to camp, I wasn't familiar with Adel and there's a good reason why. A native of Australia, Adel came to the United States a few weeks ago and the John Lucas Midwest Invitational was his first event since arriving. Adel, who will play this season at Bradenton (Fla.) Victory Rock Prep, was one of the top performers at camp.

Adel has impressive ball skills and showed an ability to not only start breaks, but also attack defenders off the dribble in the half court. He was effective driving the ball and used his impressive athleticism to finish once around the rim. He has good form on his shot and made jumpers from both mid-range out to three. It was just one event, but Adel has the look of a future high major prospect.

Lucas Johnson, SF – The John Lucas Midwest Invitational always provides us with a good look at young talent, plus some under the radar 2015 prospects. To date, Johnson, a 6-foot-5 slashing wing, wasn't a name necessarily on my radar. But if this weekend was any indication of the future, Johnson will likely have a bevy of good mid-majors and high majors on him. Using his athleticism and strength, Johnson actively attacked the basket. He finished well at the rim, played well through contact and made a number of plays in transition. Johnson has the potential to be a good defender and played with great energy throughout the event.

Dikembe Dixson, SF – Buzz in the state of Kentucky has been building around Dixson, a 6-foot-6 versatile wing prospect. Athletically he's quite gifted, as he moves fluidly, races end-to-end and is an impressive leaper. At camp, he used his athleticism by attacking the basket in the half court and making plays at the rim in transition. Although I didn't see him attempt any threes, he did hit a mid-range pull-up. With his size, length and ability to move his feet, Dixson has the potential to be a good defender down the road.

Nate Fowler, PF – Fowler stuck out to me as one of the better 2015 post players at the camp. At 6-foot-8, 215-pounds, Fowler has a strong body that is tough to push out of the paint. When he received touches on the block, he made quick, effective post moves. He connected on a handful of right jump hooks, which appears to be his go-to move, and he showed very good touch on the block.


Blakeney has big weekend
Antonio Blakeney, SG – From a pure scoring standpoint, Blakeney is one of the better guards I've come across in the 2015 class. His jump shot is consistent and he's able to make shots off the catch or off the dribble. He's comfortable attacking off the dribble, has a nice mid-range pull-up and also showed floaters at the John Lucas Camp. Since my first look at him in early June, Blakeney, a 6-foot-4 guard, has improved his game and has become a much more efficient scorer.

Stephen Thompson, SG – Scoring is what Thompson, a 6-foot-3 wiry guard, does the best and that was certainly on display on Sunday at camp. Thompson is a very good shooter with range and he made jumper after jumper when I watched. On top of the threes he made, Thompson went off the dribble for mid-range pull-ups and dropped in floaters.

Jalen Coleman, SG – Saturday night was when Coleman, a 6-foot-3 wiry, strong guard, caught my eye. He was aggressive with his opportunities and made strong moves towards the rim. When he wasn't able to get all the way to the cup, he showed poise with his pull-up jump shots and knocked them down with consistency. Coleman looked stronger and more confident from a scoring standpoint than when I saw him in the spring.

Carlton Bragg, PF – Bragg impressed during the two-day event with his mobility, skill and effort level. At 6-foot-8, pushing 6-9, Bragg moves up and down the floor very well. On top of that, he's also a very good athlete. He was active on defense, as he contested shots and reeled in rebounds. On the offensive end, he has a lot of tools. He can stretch the floor to 21-feet with his jump shot, has good touch inside and runs the floor rim-to-rim looking to score.

Jeremy Hemsley, SG – With the way the event was set up, it wasn't possible to see every team in action for significant amount of time. Unfortunately, Hemsley's team was among the teams I didn't get to see much. With that said, in the brief time I watched his squad, Hemsley put his immense talent on display. A very good athlete, Hemsley used his athleticism to make plays in transition and also kept defenders honest with his jump shot. He's one of the premier wing prospects on the west coast in the 2015 class.

Dejounte Murray, SG – Murray secured a spot in our post-July 2015 top 100 and his performance at Lucas camp certainly validated that ranking. The 6-foot-4 lengthy wing is a legit scoring threat. He played on a loaded camp team, so he didn't get a ton of touches, but when he did he took advantage of them. He has a high skill level and at camp he was effective attacking off the dribble. He finished well at the rim and also showed confidence in his floater.

Jerekius Davis, SG – Unfortunately I didn't get to see Davis in a game with his camp team, but he managed to standout during drill work. In fact, Davis impressed the most with his defense. He moves his feet well laterally, has good strength and takes pride in stopping the opposition. He also showed good form on his shot and made mid-range pull-ups during a one-on-one drill.

Moustapha Diagne, PF – Diagne's peers could learn a lot by watching Diagne play. The effort level and intensity he brings to the game every time he touches the floor is impressive, but most importantly it translates to production. Diange is a very good rebound that grabs boards in and out of his area. He also contests shots and will play physical with the opposition. Offensively he has pretty good touch, especially over his left shoulder and he's strong and tough enough to finish off plays through contact.

Kyle Ahrens, SG -- Ahrens impressed at camp with his ability to make shots. The 6-foot-4 wing has good form on his shot and has a fairly quick release. In what can sometimes be a wild setting, Ahrens also showed high IQ and made smart plays when he had the ball in his hands.


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