Adidas Unrivaled: Day One Notebook

The first of three five-day evaluation periods are underway for NCAA coaches and Xavier’s staff is out on the road looking for future Musketeers. On Thursday, MusketeerReport was on hand at the Adidas Unrivaled players’ camp in Chicago.

2016 Point Guard Targets Battle

The most interesting part of the Adidas Unrivaled players’ camp as it relates to Xavier recruiting involved a pair of 2016 point guards that already have Xavier offers going up against each other in the evening session.

Payton Pritchard and Anthony Cowan are both smaller point guards that rely on their quickness and skill, so it was a fairly even match-up.

Pritchard really stood out, not only in the match-up against Cowan but really the whole day. The 6-1 floor general from Oregon was aggressive from the tip. After making a few nice passes in transition, he started really gaining confidence and began attacking successfully on several straight possessions where he was able to get into the lane and make plays for himself and others. His greatest asset is his tight handle and his ability to accelerate to top speeds while staying under control and making moves. He showed great vision and made some really good decisions when pushing the ball in transition, and he made crisp passes in the half court. He also did a nice job of changing paces to get past his defender, and finished off a few tough drives to the rim. On the defensive end, he made an impact by using his lateral quickness to harass ball handlers and create turnovers.

Cowan can also play fast with the ball in his hands, though he got off to a little slower of a start in the head-to-head match-up. Once Cowan settled in, he began showing off the part of his skill-set that separates him from a lot of other young, quick guards – his ability to shoot. He hit three 3-pointers, and also made a nice shot off the dribble from the mid-range. In an earlier game, he didn’t score as much but pitched in with multiple assists and steals.

Both guards ended up with 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting in the head-to-head match-up. Pritchard also had seven assists, three steals and two turnovers, and Cowan had one assist and no turnovers.

Pritchard has offers from Wisconsin, Indiana, Oklahoma, Oregon, Iowa, Arizona State, Villanova, Butler, UCLA, Oregon State, Virginia, Tulsa, Washington and UNLV in addition to Xavier, while Cowan has offers from Maryland, Florida State, Miami, Penn State, DePaul, Rhode Island and Xavier. Both of these guys have received a lot of early attention from the Xavier staff.

Cumberland Shows Off Scoring in Spurts

The Musketeers’ home state of Ohio is loaded with prospects in the 2016 class. One of the players the staff has been tracking for a long time now but hasn’t been talked about a ton on this site is Wilmington guard Jarron Cumberland.

Cumberland is a unique prospect in that he has the physique of a combat tank with guard skills. At 6-foot-4, he possesses great upper-body strength and is a knockdown shooter with range.

On Thursday he impressed by getting buckets in other ways than just banging in long threes, and he also showed that he’s capable of getting hot and piling up points in a hurry. In his first game of the day, he had a stretch in the first half where he scored 10 of his 12 points for the game all in a stretch of about 10 possessions. He was only 1-for-4 from three, which is usually his strength, but showed off some nice moves to get to the mid-range and did a good job of shielding the ball with his strong frame when finishing at the basket.

He struggled in the second half of each game a little bit, and showed a tendency to try to do too much instead of involving his teammates at times. He has some shake in his game, but his handle getting tighter is a necessity going forward as well.

His development is going to be interesting, because his feet are slow, which makes him a sub-par defender. He’s going to have to work hard to get his body into the best shape possible, because there is no doubt he’s capable of making an impact on the offensive end.

Cumberland is currently receiving interest from Michigan, Purdue, West Virginia, Missouri, Cincinnati, Iowa State, Dayton, Virginia Tech and Xavier.

Other Notes:

- Perhaps the most impressive player on Thursday that Coach Carter watched at the Adidas Unrivaled camp was 2016 Virginia guard Curtis Jones. I didn’t get the chance to watch Jones and plan on doing so on Friday, but Jones created a buzz with his play. The 6-2 scoring guard put up 17 points (6-12 FG, 3-6 3PT) in the early game, and then had 16 points (6-8 FG, 4-4 3PT) in the second. A stat line like that in an all-star camp setting is pretty rare.

- Coach Mack was in Indianapolis watching one of the Musketeers’ top 2015 prospects in Raymond Spalding the last two days. Spalding went for 36 points in front of Mack on Wednesday night, and then scored 14 in a blowout win on Thursday. Spalding got an offer from Rick Pitino and the hometown Louisville Cardinals a month ago, and on Thursday Spalding confirmed that Louisville was the top school on his list at the moment, adding that Xavier and Indiana were second and third in his top three. He also stated that the list was not final, and Duke had recently been in contact.

- Mack also got a chance to watch 2016 big man Joey Brunk in Indy. Brunk, a skilled 6-foot-10 center, has offers from Purdue, Iowa, Ole Miss, New Mexico and Xavier. Michigan State, Notre Dame, Nebraska and Butler were all there watching Brunk as well, as the big man didn’t have a big-game scoring-wise but did show off his coordination, skill and effort, particularly on the glass.

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