It was a hectic week in Las Vegas with three different AAU tournaments going on during the third and final evaluation period in July. AllHoosiers.com was in Vegas throughout the week -- the only Indiana media outlet on hand -- and analyst Justin Albers watched a number of IU targets.
Here are some evaluations on those IU targets from this week in Vegas.
1. Grant Weatherford, G, Indiana Elite: Weatherford doesn't have an high-major offers, but I'm including him in these evaluations because I was impressed with his play this week.
Weatherford, a 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, is extremely athletic and carries around a huge chip on his shoulder. He's not afraid of anybody, and he's a big reason why Indiana Elite is 6-0 so far in the Super 64 and playing in the Final Four on Sunday.
Weatherford has guarded five-star prospects on multiple occasions this week, and he's completely taken them out of the game with his physicality, strength and toughness. He reminds me of former Purdue guard Chris Kramer, and he's a guy I would want on my team if I were a college coach.
2. Kyle Guy, G, Indiana Elite: Guy wasn't the highest-ranked target at the adidas Super 64 this week, but he played about as well as anybody.
Guy, a 6-foot-2 guard, is playing up with the 2015 Indiana Elite team, but you wouldn't know it. He is an excellent ball handler, has a bit of sneaky athleticism, displays above average court vision, and shoots the ball extremely well. Guy is the complete guard package, now he must focus on getting stronger and adding to his thin frame.
When Indiana Elite found itself in a tight game late, Guy wanted the ball in his hands, and he routinely came through. He has a competitive edge to him you simply can't teach and he understands the game like someone much older than he is.
3. De'Ron Davis, F, Colorado Hawks: There's no doubt Davis is an elite prospect, but his offensive production is still inconsistent at this point. He's clearly still developing his offensive game, but he does have some productive moves around the basket and has added a midrange jump shot to his arsenal.
Davis, 6-foot-10 and 230 pounds, is also a good rim protector on the other end. While he's still a work in progress, Davis has definitely improved since the spring and has the physical characteristics to be a productive big man in college.
Davis has offers from Indiana, Louisville, Colorado, Arizona, and others, and he, too, would like to visit Louisville in August.
4. Braxton Blackwell, F, Atlanta Celtics: Blackwell is about as versatile as they come at 6-foot-8, and his versatility was on full display this week in Vegas.
With elite guard Kobi Simmons participating in team USA U17 tryouts in Colorado Springs, Blackwell opened the tournament as Atlanta's primary ball handler. Blackwell brought the ball up the floor for three straight games, and he handled it well. He's a very good passer for his size, and he tends to surprise you with his athleticism.
With Indiana coach Tom Crean watching, Blackwell drove the ball to the rim from mid court, leaped up and over a defender and laid it in for an and-one. Crean was thoroughly impressed, smiling and repeating "wow" from his courtside seat.
Blackwell has a long list of offers, but Indiana has done a good job recruiting him and has as good a chance to land the Nashville, Tenn. junior as anybody. He still needs to improve as a mid and long range shooter, but if he does that, Blackwell will be the total package for whichever school he chooses.
5. Rawle Alkins, G, NY RENS: I hadn't seen Alkins play in person before this week, and walked away with mixed feelings on him after seeing two games.
On one hand, his defensive intensity was sometimes lacking and he too often settled for difficult shots instead of finding his teammates for easier ones. Alkins is a bit of a volume shooter, and I wonder how that fits in with what Crean wants to do at Indiana.
But on the other hand, there's no doubt he possesses all the physical tools necessary to be an elite college guard. Alkins has unbelievable athleticism and strength, and if he gets a step on a defender, it's over. But he doesn't always work to gain that step and too often settles instead for a contested perimeter jump shot.
Alkins is a capable shooter, but he needs to take only the open shots and drive to the basket or pass if he's not open.
6. Thon Maker, F/C, Team Loaded Virginia: There's not much I can say about Maker that hasn't been said already. He's a big-time prospect. He can shoot it from the perimeter, run the floor as well as any high school big man I've ever seen, block shots, and score around the rim. Maker has a high motor and always plays hard, regardless of the opponent.
His offensive stats aren't always overwhelming, but as his guardian, Ed Smith, told me this week: He knows when to take over a game if he has to. And that's the sign Maker is a star in the making.
The biggest news to come out of the adidas Super 64 is what I reported on Wednesday. That is, Maker is not likely to reclassify to the 2015 class. There just isn't enough time. He could do it, but it would be very difficult.
Smith said Maker will take a visit to Indiana either in August or the fall.
7. Matur Maker, F, Team Loaded Virginia: Thon's younger brother, who plays with him on the 17U team, has gotten significantly better than when I saw him play in May.
Matur is playing up two classes, but he usually holds his own on both ends. He scores his baskets on effort plays and rebounds most times, and he's a solid defender. Matur Maker also runs the floor well. Indiana remains his only offer, but I believe he's mostly flying under the radar because of the age group he's playing in.