I’ll have updates on IU targets in the 2016 and 2017 classes the throughout the first July evaluation period, which began Wednesday at 5 p.m. and ends this Sunday at 5 p.m. You can find more news and notes in the premium basketball forum here.
**2016 C Thon Maker (No. 8 in Scout Top 100) had the most impressive performance of the day. Opening against the top-ranked player in the Class of 2017, DeAndre Ayton, Maker dominated in the paint and on the glass as he finished with a double-double of 23 points and 17 rebounds at the Gauntlet Finale in Atlanta.
**2016 G Rawle Alkins (No. 21 in Scout Top 100) got off to a solid started, posting 16 points on 6-for-11 shooting from the field with five rebounds in 21 minutes of a 78-61 NY Rens win over Brookwood Elite at the Gauntlet Finale in Atlanta.
**Speaking of strong starts, 2016 F De’Ron Davis (No. 56 in Scout Top 100) finished with 16 points, six rebounds, three steals and one block in his opening game, as the Colorado Hawks dfeated Florida Elite 62-58 at the Gauntlet Finale in Atlanta.
**Nike EYBL’s Peach Jam, one of the top events in the country, kicked off Thursday with plenty of IU targets in action.
**Miles Bridges, a 2016 F and No .25 in Scout Top 100, had arguably the best start to Peach Jam out of all Indiana targets there. Bridges, playing for The Family, opened with a double-double of 22 points and 11 rebounds in 39 minutes of a 68-65 loss to Georgia Stars. He followed up with 26 points and nine rebounds in 31 minutes of a over Las Vegas Prospects. Through two games, he’s averaging a double-double of 24 points per game and 10 rebounds per game.
**Someone who’s been quietly impressive at Peach Jam has been 2016 F Kassoum Yakwe. He’s unranked in the Scout Top 100, but put together two solid outings in North Augusta, S.C. 6 points, 11 rebounds, 10 blocks in a 88-74 win over MOKAN Elite, then 10 points, 13 rebounds, 5 blocks in a 77-49 win over E1T1. Through two games: 8.0 points per game, 12.0 rebounds per game, 7.5 blocks per game. His AAU club, PSA Cardinals, won both of those games, with an average margin of victory so far of 21 points per game.
**Shifting to the 2017 class for a moment, 2017 F Michael Porter (No. 3 in Scout Top 100) had 25 points and nine rebounds in his opening game, an 88-74 loss to PSA Cardinals, then finished with 22 points and seven rebounds in the second game, 68-67 win over NY Lightning. The MOKAN Elite prospect is averaging 23.5 points per game and 8.0 rebounds per game through two games at Peach Jam.
**Returning to the 2016 class, Alkins put on an absolute show in his second and third Gauntlet Finale games. In the second game, he recorded 18 points – including four 3-pointers – in a win over Dennis Smith and Team Loaded, per Justin. With Tom Crean watching in the third game, Alkins had his best Gauntlet Finale performance yet, finishing with 24 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in an 87-77 victory over Indiana Elite. The win put Alkins’ NY Rens in the Gauntlet Finale title game, according to Justin. Alkins is averaging 19.3 points per game through three contests at the Gauntlet Finale.
**2016 G Bruce Brown, whose team BABC is competing at Peach Jam, opened with a double-double of 24 points and 10 rebounds in a 67-57 win over NY Lightning. He posted 20 points and five rebounds in his second game, a 66-67 win over Elfrid Payton Elite. Through two games: 22.0 points per game, 7.5 rebounds per game.
**Leading off with 2016 G Rawle Alkins Friday's highlights, which should come as no surprise to anyone. He dropped 24 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in front of Tom Crean in his third Gauntlet Finale game, which led the NY Rens to the championship game. In the championship, he poured in 34 points against the Atlanta Celtics, one of the top defensive teams on the circuit according to our Justin Albers. Alkins' final (unofficial) Gauntlet Finale numbers: 23.0 points per page, 5.0 rebounds per game. Albers says he wouldn't be surprised if Alkins ends up being the top ranked guard in 2016.
**Switching to the Peach Jam, which featured plenty of IU targets today as well, including 2016 F Tony Bradley. Like Alkins, Bradley's performances got better and better. Bradley had 21 points and seven rebounds in 28 min of an 88-82 win over MOKAN Elite, his third Peach Jam game. In his fourth Peach Jam game, he posted a double-double of 22 points and 12 rebounds in 26 min of an 82-71 win over NY Lightning. Bradley is currently No. 34 in the Scout Top 100, but I could see him being ranked a few steps higher in the final rankings for 2016.
**2016 IU targets are playing well in the first July eval period, and Miles Bridges was another example of that. The forward, ranked No. 25 in Scout Top 100, posted 25 points and seven rebounds in 89-66 loss to Houston Hoops at Peach Jam. Earlier Friday morning, recorded a double-double of 18 points and 13 rebounds. In four Peach Jam games, Bridges averaged a double-double of 22.8 points per game and 10.0 rebounds per game.
**According to The Indianapolis Star's Zach Osterman, 2016 F Thon Maker is "averaging 20.7 points per game while leading the [Under Armour All-American] camp with 15.7 rebounds and 3 blocked shots per contest." Maker, a 2016 IU target, has been getting rave reviews from our own Evan Daniels and many other national basketball recruiting analysts.
**In 2017 IU target news, it was a pretty quiet Friday. Michael Porter, a forward ranked No. 3 in the Scout Top 100, had a nice outing earlier Friday morning with a double-double of 21 points and 12 rebounds in 26 minutes of an 88-82 loss to E1T1 at Peach Jam. Late Friday night, Porter finished with 14 points, four rebounds and 3 assists in 26 min of a 59-53 win over BABC, his fourth game.
**One noteworthy performance from a 2017 IU target came from 2017 NY Rens guard Jose Alvarado, who had He 19 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in a win over the Michigan Mustangs tonight according to our Justin Albers. Albers also reported that Alvarado will play for a Gauntlet Finale title on Saturday morning. Here's what Albers had to say about Alvarado late Friday night: "One of the best leaders I've ever seen in AAU ball. All of his team's games are close, and yet he always finds a way to get his team a W."
**2016 G Tony Carr, ranked No. 39 in Scout Top 100, has been noticeably absent on the box scores for Team Final having not recorded any stats. Well, now we know why. In a Friday notebook for D1Circuit.com, City of Basketball Love owner and editor Josh Verlin says Carr “informed his teammates that he likely wouldn’t be able to play in the tournament due to a hip injury." I haven't seen anything yet regarding a timetable for his return to AAU play.
**Another 2016 IU target update, this time on Miles Bridges. He finished with 26 points, 10 rebounds, six asists in a win over City Rocks at Peach Jam, per D1Circuit. He's still averaging a double-double with 23.4 points per game and 10.0 rebounds per game through five Peach Jam Games.
**2017 G Jose Alvarado finished with 23 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists in an 80-72 loss to New Orleans Elite at the Gauntlet Finale. Alvarado has played very well, and Saturday's performance follows a 19-point, 9-rebound, 7-assist outing Friday. Justin will have a story on Alvarado on the site sometime this weekend. I wouldn't be surprised to see Alavardo enter the Top 100, or at least get closer, with his gradual improved performances at Peach Jam.
**2017 F and IU target Michael Porter finished with a double-double of 18 points, 13 rebounds in 32 min of a 68-63 loss to Elfrid Payton Elite at Peach Jam. Porter, No. 3 in the Scout Top 100, is averaging 20.0 points per game and 9.0 rebounds per game through five Peach Jam games.
**Late Saturday afternoon, 2017 IU targets Paul Scruggs and Kris Wilkes dropped 24 and 20 points, respectively, as Indy Hoosiers won 76-63 over Tennessee Bobcats at adidas Invitational in Indianapolis according to Trevor Andershock (@INBBallSource).
**2016 F Kassoum Yakwe finished with 16 points, 10 rebounds, two blocks in a 58-56 loss to Team Takeover in Peach Jam quarterfinals. His final (unofficial) Peach Jam numbers: 9.2 points per game, 11.4 rebounds per game, 5.0 blocks per game.