From Scout.com's Rob Harrington:
Josh Perkins was the best player on the court during his first outing. The Huntington Prep-bound floor general may not be the quickest driver, but his passing ranges from effective, to wild, to extraordinary, to extraordinarily wild. He'll drive his future college coach crazy from time to time, but he'll also lift his club to some wins single-handedly.
He not only finds teammates in transition, he sets up plays using a crossover dribble and looking off defenders. The sizzle-to-substance ratio sometimes redlines, but so does the entertainment factor and it's better to tamp down a talented guy than coach up someone untalented. Bottom line.
Perkins' jump shot is inconsistent, but when he focuses on the smartest attempts he can knock them down a solid percentage. Clearly, though, it's his playmaking that makes him a national standout.
In Indianapolis, assistant Ed Schilling was very prominently in the stands watching Kevon Looney go against Craig Victor.
From GoBlueWolverines.com on that match-up:
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.
From Scout.com's Brian Snow:
Craig Victor, PF, New Orleans Elite – It was a good showing for Victor. He took a challenge on head on and got the best of Kevon Looney, though it was a close battle. Victor showed why he is one of the elite players in the class. He scored it fairly well down low and held his own with Looney on the glass. Also Victor was really locked in on the defensive end and forced Looney to settle for jumpers. Overall it was a very good showing on a very bright stage for Victor.
Kevon Looney, PF, Milwaukee Running Rebels – While Victor got the slightly better end of the highly touted matchup, it was by no means any kind of beating. Looney still had his moments. Though he stood outside too much, Looney did hit a few threes and then crashed the offensive glass. Defensively he had a few blocks and played with his usual high motor style.
Besides UCLA assistant Schilling, in attendance at that game were Tom Izzo, Mike Krzyzewski, Rick Pitino, Thad Matta, Sean Miller, and Johnny Jones along with assistants from Kansas, Tennessee, Oklahoma State, Memphis, Wisconsin, Michigan, Kentucky, Texas, and Georgetown.
Schilling then watched five-star 2015 post Carlton Bragg. Snow's description:
Carlton Bragg, PF, Ohio Basketball Club – Currently Bragg is rated No. 12 in the class and a very strong argument could be made that he is underrated. That is how good Bragg is becoming. The five-star was simply dominant. He scored on the post, scored facing the rim, handled the ball in transition, made passes, used his athleticism, and showed a high motor. Overall Bragg was borderline dominant and had the look of an elite level talent.
Also watching Bragg: Tom Izzo, Tom Crean, Thad Matta, and John Groce, joined by assistants from Kentucky and North Carolina.
The Peach Jam in South Carolina, which is the finals of the Nike EYBL tournament, starts today. UCLA assistant Duane Broussard is in town for that event.
Alford will spend the morning in Philly, then go to Indianapolis for Friday and a part of Saturday, Dallas for one game of Myles Turner in the Lone Star Classic, and then head back to Los Angeles for the Pangos Sweet 16 and Double Pump Tip-Off Tournament.
Alford is using a private plane to traverse the country.
Even though there wasn't a UCLA coach at the events in Los Angeles, and won't be until Saturday, Scout.com's Josh Gershon watched some potential UCLA prospects:
Isaiah Thomas, 2015 C, Oakland Rebels 16U: Watching Thomas in April in one viewing, he was clearly an intriguing talent who required more viewings. Seeing him again on Wednesday, he cemented his standing as a good young prospect. Thomas has favorable size and length, nice hands, finished with his left and right hand in the paint, rebounded well, blocked shots, finished above the rim and dropped in a right-handed hook. He's already can play but just scratching the surface of what he's capable of.
Josh Palmer, 2015 SF, Double Pump Elite 16U: Palmer transferred to SoCal from Memphis and sat out last season following a health issue, but has since been cleared and played well on Wednesday night. An athletic small forward at 6-foot-6, Palmer played hard, got out in transition and finished above the rim several times, hit a three off the catch, scored on the offensive glass and defended very well, coming up with multiple steals.
Michael Oguine, 2015 PG, Double Pump Elite 16U: An athletic point guard, Oguine is very fast but plays under control. He used his athleticism to finish above the rim, block shots and come up with steals. As a point guard he handled the ball well and made some nice drive and dishes for assists, as well as making some crisp advance passes setting teammates up. He's talented and has plenty of upside.
Donovan Mitchell, 2016 PF, Team Superstar 15U: It's just the first day of the July period, but Mitchell may be the most exciting 2016 West Coast prospect that emerges all month. First, some background: He's 6-foot-7, has grown four inches in the past year, his father is 6-foot-7 and mother is over 6-feet - both were professional athletes - and the kid is expected to keep getting taller. He's a volleyball player who will miss the next two Eval Period weekends due to Team USA obligations, a great accomplishment considering he's only played volleyball for two years.
The background all checks out whether he can play or not, but thankfully he has game as well. Mitchell plays hard, can guard the perimeter and post, moves his feet well for a kid his size who is still growing, has a nice frame with good length, was active on defense and used his quick hands and anticipation to come up with steals, rebounded outside his area, blocked shots and scored both in the post and facing the basket. The kid is a terrific prospect at this stage.
Cameron Scatterwhite, 2016 SG, Arizona Power 15U: A long wing with a good frame, Scatterwhite is a very good athlete with quick hands and feet. He has impressive lateral quickness and used his physical intangibles to defend very well on the ball, also coming away with several steals. Scatterwhite hit from outside and showed good body control cutting to the basket. He's a good young prospect. ***More from Thursday***
Where the UCLA prospects will be in first July Evaluation Period:
adidas Invitational (Indianapolis) - Isaiah Bailey, Sedrick Barefield, Carlton Bragg, Jabari Craig, Idrissa Diallo, Kaiser Gates, Chase Jeter, Kevon Looney, Goodluck Okonoboh, Rex Pflueger, Derryck Thornton Jr, Craig Victor, Cameron Walker, Namon Wright, Stephen Zimmerman
Basketbull Summer Championships (New York) - Isaiah Whitehead
Double Pump Summer Tip-Off (Los Angeles) - Lonzo Ball, Chance Comanche, Jeremy Hemsley, Trey Kell, Kendall Small, Trevor Stanback, MIchael Oguine.
Lone Star Classic (Dallas) - Myles Turner
Nike EYBL Finals, Peach Jame (South Carolina) - Bennie Boatwright, Trevon Bluiett, Jalen Brunson, Zylan Cheatham, Montaque Gill-Caesar, Isaac Haas, Max Hazzard, Aaron Holiday, Stanley Johnson, Brodricks Jones, Trey Lyles, Thon Maker, Charles Matthews, Chimezie Metu, Malik Newman, JaQuan Newton, Kelly Oubre, Ivan Rabb, Devearl Ramsey, Elijah Thomas, Reid Travis, Justise Winslow
Pangos Summer Sweet Sixteen (Los Angeles) - Austin Armstead, Robert Cartwright, Brekkott Chapman, Tyler Dorsey, Vance Jackson, Jayce Johnson, Jordan McLaughlin, Malik Pope, Thomas Welsh
Reebok Breakout Camp (Philadelphia) - Vance Jackson, Dominic Magee, Jordan McLaughlin, Josh Perkins, Ray Smith, Stephen Thompson Jr, Rashad Vaughn.
July Preview: 2014 Recruiting Class - The evaluation periods begin this week, and here are the prospects in UCLA sights for the 2014 class...
July Preview: 2015, 2016 Prospects - Here's a check list of the younger prospects UCLA will watch in July...