The AAU basketball programs are back on the road this weekend, with major shoe company sponsored events occurring. While adidas has taken up shop in Indianapolis, Ind., and Nike is to the east in Lexington, the Derby City hosts the Under Armour certified event at the MidAmerica Sports Center.
It's also a brief three-day evaluation period for college coaches.
Here's a notebook from the first day at Under Armour.
University of Louisville assistant Mike Balado represented the Cardinals program, arriving prior to the first game of the evening and kept his eyes on a number of recruiting targets.
First on Balado's list to watch was the DC Blue Devils team and four-star shooting guard Markelle Fultz. The Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha Catholic prospect, who holds an offer and has previously visited U of L, was effective in his first outing of the event, leading all scorers with 20 points a 69-48 win.
“I can play the one, two, three or four,” he said afterward. “I just try to get my teammates going first really and then show that I can score the ball in any type of way.
“I also like playing defense. I like getting after it on the defensive end. I try to check the best players on the other team.”
The 2016 prospect spent most of his time on the offensive end attacking the rim, with seven of his eight made field goals coming inside the arc. The 6-foot-3 guard also pulled down seven rebounds and totaled two assists.
In addition to Louisville, Fultz also holds offers from Arizona, Georgetown, Kansas, Maryland, Miami, South Carolina, Virginia, Xavier and others.
“Right now, I'm just trying to enjoy it and go day-by-day,” he said, adding that he hopes to focus more on an eventual decision later this summer.
Sunshine State Teammates
With a pair of Team Breakdown teammates holding Louisville offers drew Balado's attention next. The team out of Florida features 6-foot-4 guard Eric Hester and 6-foot-9 forward Dewan Huell, both in the 2016 class.
Huell led his team with 12 points to go along with eight rebounds and three steals, while Hester added 11 points in a 51-47 loss to Net Gain Sports.
Hester also holds scholarship offers from Florida, Georgia Tech, Miami, South Florida, Virginia Tech, Wichita State and others. Huell's offer list includes Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Miami, South Carolina and others.
The Cardinals assistant had to bounce between courts a few times, including while forward Josh Jackson, Scout.com's number two-rated prospect in the 2016 class, was on the floor with his 1Nation team.
Balado wasn't alone, as Jackson drew the largest crowd of coaches on the night.
The 6-foot-7 forward recorded a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds with just about every major program watching from the stands.
The final game of the evening featured another prospect that currently holds a Louisville scholarship offer. 2016 five-star small forward Terrance Ferguson of Dallas, Tex., had the Cardinals assistant's attention in the nightcap.
The 6-foot-6 prospect is viewed more as an outside threat, but on Friday evening he continued to display his ability to work in the paint, as well.
“Most players think I'm just a shooter, so that's how they play me,” he explained. “When I go around them they don't know how to guard me, so I can do both.”
He led all scorers with 19 points on 6 of 15 shooting. He also totaled five rebounds and a pair of assists in a 77-59 win over Philly Pride.
Cardinal Authority chatted with Ferguson following the game. Check out his comments of his play, plus his thoughts on Louisville.
Ferguson also holds offers from Arizona, Arkansas, Baylor, Kansas, Oklahoma, SMU and others.
The event was flooded with college coaches. A few head coaches that were noticed include Roy Williams, Richard Pitino, Larry Brown, Frank Martin, Leonard Hamilton and Orlando Antigua. Dozens of other programs were represented by assistant coaches.
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