Adams has big outingThere are times basketball players get hot and seemingly every shot they throw at the rim goes in. Jalen Adams was in one of those modes in the first half against Team Loaded on Thursday. Adams, a 6-foot-3 guard out of Ashburnham (Mass.) Cushing, scored Mass Rivals’ first 21 points and finished with 25 at the half. Adams hit threes off the catch, made off the dribble jumpers and had a number of nifty finishes at the rim. While Adams is currently ranked No. 55 overall in the 2015 class, he’s due a bump in the rankings. In fact, Adams should be considered among the top shooting guard prospects in the class. His ability to score is dynamic and he’s versatile with how he can score his points. Adams is a pretty good athlete with an impressive first step. He’s a long-range threat, is a good pull-up shooter, adjusts his shots at the rim and can also spend time on the ball. Mass Rivals coach Vinny Pastore, who has coached Adams the past few years on the AAU circuit, told Scout.com he has the full package at the two guard spot. “Jalen Adams has the perfect combination of attributes,” Pastore said. “He is an elite athlete, an elite basketball player with an elite IQ. Jalen Adams ability to score the basketball in every way imaginable separates him from his peers. “He not only creates space, then gets to where he wants, but he finishes consistently every way and from every angle. He also is an extraordinary distributor of the basketball and makes all his teammates better by providing them the ball at the right time and in the right spot.” In late June, Adams pledged to Kevin Ollie and Connecticut. In my eyes that’s a great fit and style for Adams. Ollie has had success with similar guards like Shabazz Napier, who recently led the Huskies to a National Championship. -- Evan Daniels
Green making name for himself in VegasIt’s been a successful couple of days for 6-foot-7, 195-pound 2015 small forward Dominic Green, who entered Las Vegas without any scholarship offers but that’s likely to change. The Northwest Panthers prospect had a successful junior season for Renton (Wash.) Hazen, winning MVP of his league but still entered this week only with interest from Montana, San Jose State, Nevada, Portland and Portland State. After two days, Arizona State, Gonzaga, Marquette, Oregon and Washington State all jumped in the mix, with more schools expected to join shortly. “I haven’t played in any big stages,” Green said. “Last year was my first year and I didn’t play much. People just haven’t seen me.” With Green’s size, length – he has at least a 6-foot-11 wingspan – and shooting ability, his recruitment is bound to seriously pick up, especially given the serious lack of available prospects at the position out west in 2015. It doesn’t hurt that schools always want shooters, something that Green definitely is. “I’m a good shooter,” he said. “On defense I use my length to block shots and get steals. I need to tighten up my dribble but everything else is pretty good. I also need to get stronger.” When Green’s recruitment gets serious, he’ll take his time and find the right place. “I want a college that will develop my game and get me better as a player,” Green said. “I’ll take as long as it takes to find the right school.” -- Josh Gershon
Tough Decisions For Coaches
If you're a Division I coach employed by a school that has any sort of budget, covering Las Vegas the past two days made for an easy decision. Between the three primary events — Adidas Super 64, Fab 48 and Las Vegas Classic — feature teams from the Nike, Adidas and Under Armour circuits along with literally hundreds of unaffiliated squads. While the travel time from gym to gym can become painstaking, the opportunities to mine talent and forge deepening relationships with recruits emphatically exists.
But Friday will be different. We don't quite know what to expect. For one thing, some coaches are loathe to spend too much time in one place because they feel they need to spread around to cover talent at other venues, most notably AAU Nationals now taking place in Louisville, Ky.
But tomorrow takes on extra importance because of USA Basketball. Some of the country's very best prospects are in Colorado Springs — including Ivan Rabb, Malik Monk, Malik Newman, Diamond Stone, Dennis Smith, Josh Jackson, and many others — and Friday is the only day open to college coaches. For those hunting elite players, at least, attendance essentially is mandatory.
All that said, due to the nature of the huge fields — and the emergence of surprises such as Dominic Green and Theodore Holloway — there's still plenty of ground for coaches to cover here in Vegas. And besides, given the numbers of coaches we've seen enjoying the nightlife after the games conclude each night, there may be other motivations in play as well. Don't expect too much dropoff on Friday, if for no other reason!-- Rob Harrington