INDIANAPOLIS—Some of the top prospects from around the country have made their way to North Central (Ind.) high school and the heart of Indianapolis for the 2013 Adidas Invitational.
The July evaluation period officially opened up at 5 p.m. (EST) Wednesday evening and GoBlueWolverine was on hand for all of the action on day one of the five-day event.
Tracking the Maize & Blue
Michigan assistant coach Jeff Meyer sat courtside at several different games at the NCAA certified tournament, here’s a closer look at where the bright maize shirt was seen and who the Wolverines were tracking on opening night:
6:15 p.m.—Coach Meyer was in the front row to watch 2014 Milwaukee Running Rebels five-star power forward Kevon Looney.
7:30 p.m.—Coach Meyer double dipped during the 7:30 slot, starting with 2015 targets Michael Benkert and Brennan Gillis of the Eric Gordon Central Stars taking on the Ohio Basketball Club and 2015 five-star power forward Carlton Bragg (we’ll have more on Bragg Thursday).
After watching a half of that highly competitive game, Meyer made his way to the main floor of North Central to get an eye on 2015 combo guard Tyler Williams of Urban DFW.
8:45 p.m.—The final time slot for game action on Wednesday, coach Meyer again double dipped, watching the first half of 2015 PG Sedrick Barefield and the Compton Magic before finishing the evening watching 2016 Eric Gordon All-Stars’ shooting guard Eron Gordon.
2014 five-star PF Kevon Looney vs. 2014 five-star PF Craig Victor—By far the best match-up of the action on night one, 2014 Michigan target Kevon Looney, the No. 1 power forward in the land, and his Milwaukee Running Rebels went head-to-head with the No. 3 power forward in the country in Craig Victor and New Orleans Elite.
Looney knocked down a deep two-pointer early, his foot just barely grazing the three-point line, while on the other end, Victor made it a point to attack the basket. Primarily hanging around on the perimeter, dribbling or spotting up, Looney never found a true rhythm in his first game. On a few occasions in the first half Looney broke down Victor, looking to attack and possibly get to the line but to the Louisiana native’s credit, it didn’t happen.
An encouraging sign out of Looney came with his vocal chords. Not necessarily known for being much of a talker, Looney demanded the ball on the wing at times and even worked his team in and out of sets offensively. On a team run by a score first type of point guard, this is what Looney needs to be in order to attain the level of production a player of his caliber should have. Look for Looney to bounce back on day two here in Indianapolis.
Sedrick Barefield, Compton Magic, c/o 2015—Not much more needs to be said on Barefield’s first game at the Adidas Invite aside from the fact that he struggled to find a rhythm. Not able to buy a jump shot all game, Barefield utilized his passing ability to find streaking cutters for lay-ins and a few bunnies of his own in the second half by running the floor hard. The most impressive aspect of Barefield’s game Wednesday came defensively. Sometimes difficult to get highly recruiting players to buy in defensively, that is not the case with Barefield, constantly showing active hands, jumping in and out of passing lanes, and forcing his man into difficult jumpers fading away from the hoop. A regrettable first game for Barefield but with plenty of time to prove himself over the next four days the young man should bounce back with vigor.
De’Ron Davis, Colorado Hawks, c/o 2015—The young man had a very productive evening game against Dorian's Pride 16U. Davis scored in multiple ways with no one capable of slowing him down or stopping him from doing what he wanted to do inside and outside, on both ends of the floor. De’Ron blocked shots and rebounded well with his 6-foot-9, frame, playing an intense brand of basketball the coaches in attendance must love. Davis will be a fun one to watch the rest of the way in Indianapolis, matching up against some more top-notch competition.
Austin Conway, Colorado Hawks, c/o 2015—Last year, at this same event, Conway was extremely impressive and despite it now being 2013, that hasn’t changed at all. Austin is a tough, quick, get after it type of point guard that loves the physical aspect of the game which probably has something to do with his football background. Conway never seems to allow the defense to rush him, playing at his own pace and having a nice feel for when to set up his teammates or set himself up for an open look. Conway gets to the basket with ease and either dishes off a pass to a teammate for an easy one or takes it all the way himself. Conway gets others involved out on the floor -- including a knack for knowing when to get his big teammate De’Ron Davis a look in the post -- is a solid defender, and a very capable leader on the floor.
Tyler Williams, DFW, c/o 2015—Tyler's game seemed a bit off this evening and didn't seem to be too assertive on the offensive or defensive end. Williams has a versatile game and not much of it was on display tonight, as he appeared to watch instead of play, something a bit out of the ordinary for him. Williams did mix it up and rebound though, as well as score a couple of tough buckets through contact, but there is untapped potential in his game that should come out as the days go on.
Eron Gordon, Eric Gordon All-Stars, c/o 2016—While Eron Gordon is not at the level of his older brother, Eric Gordon, yet, he certainly has the tools to get there someday. Right now, Gordon is more of a combo guard at 6-foot-2, 175-pounds, and displays good athleticism and vision on the court. He has knack for finding contact on the way to the rim, which causes him to get ample opportunities at the free-throw line. He can hit it from beyond the arc, too. He showed decent handles. But in the long run he’s more of shooting guard. Can he grow? Can he get bigger? If that’s the case, then he has a chance to generate even more attention from programs. This is just based off one game, so will have to see how he progresses throughout this week. But he’s a high upside prospect.
Xavier Cochran, Dorian’s Pride, c/o 2015—The go to guy on Dorian’s Pride 16u, Cochran was as aggressive as possible Wednesday. The smooth left hander snuck and slithered his way into the paint at will in a blowout loss to the Colorado Hawks, often finding himself at the free throw line or dropping in a high arcing floater over the outstretched arms of defenders. Cochran was able to knock down a couple of jumpers inside the arc, unable to find consistency from deep.
Look for more evaluations, recruiting notes, interviews, analysis and highlights all week long on GoBlueWolverine.com, all from the Adidas Invitational in Indianapolis.
Kyle Bogenschutz, Josh Newkirk and Andre Barthwell contributed to this report.