DUNCANVILLE, Texas – It’s now been a few days since the adidas Gauntlet Dallas wrapped up. That makes it a good time to look back on the event one last time with some final notes on players that either flew under the radar or thoughts on some teams and the college coaches who turned out.
Now, some final thoughts from the weekend, including a few players not previously mentioned.
- A number of college coaches expressed some frustration at having only this weekend to go out and see players during the spring, and you can’t blame them. The one weekend came as a result of Easter being a week earlier and on what would normally be the first of two such weekends. The NCAA didn’t approve another weekend for Division I coaches to go out to these events to make up for it. One weekend not only had coaches scrambling to multiple cities, but also allows for very little to be accomplished heading into July. They usually use the April weekends to zero in on who they have to watch more closely in July.
- It’s not surprising that Game Elite led the weekend in scoring. They are loaded with athletes and size, and while Jaylen Brown (6’7″ Jr. SF, Atlanta (GA) Joseph Wheeler HS) gets a lot of the pub and was second in scoring on the weekend, he’s far from alone. Damon Wilson Jr. (6’5″ Jr. SG-SF, Powder Springs (GA) Our Savior New American School) also caught our eye, while Shawntrez Davis (6’8″ Jr. PF, Hapeville (GA) Tri-Cities HS) is a prospect worth a look.
- It’s also not surprising that Virginia-based Team Loaded allowed the fewest points. While their perimeter players are good, they have great rim protectors in Thon Maker (7’0″ So. PF-C, Martinsville (VA) Carlisle HS) and brother Matur Maker (6’9″ Fr. PF, Martinsville (VA) Carlisle HS). The elder Maker is a tremendous prospect who has a great motor to go with his length, and while he tends to force some shots offensively that aren’t there you can be optimistic that he’ll improve on that. Matur is a fine prospect in his own right, though not on the level of his brother.
- The Michigan Mustangs aren’t like they used to be but one player who did catch our eye in a blowout loss was Devin Edwards (5’10” Jr. PG, Jackson (MI) Lumen Christi HS). He’s small but has a good body and can drive effectively, either to pass or finish, including with contact.
- Quietly, Billy Wampler (6’5″ Jr. SG, Eau Claire (WI) Regis HS) had a nice weekend, finishing fourth in scoring. He was active and battled, and showed a touch shooting out to long range.
- Wampler has a couple of good teammates who impressed. Carter Asche (6’9″ Jr. PF, Raymond (MN) Maccray HS) has a good frame and shoots well enough to be a stretch power forward. Jalen Mobley (5’11” Jr. PG, St. Paul (MN) Johnson HS) is stronger than he looks and has three-point range on his jumper.
- Jalen Adams (6’2″ Jr. SG, Roxbury (MA) Cushing Academy) is known for being able to score just about at will, but he was third in assists on the weekend as Mass Rivals went 5-0.
- Terrence Birdsong (6’6″ Jr. SF, Memphis (TN) Hamilton HS) is a nice prospect. He’s long, athletic and not a baby physically, and he can hit from long range. He also got a couple of stickbacks, though at the defensive end he didn’t show the best footwork.
- Florida Elite has a deep roster of prospects, and one who stood out some was Eric Turner (6’5″ Jr. SF, Gainesville (FL) The Villages Charter HS). Athletic and with a good body, he showed some good offensive abilities, although he also made an ill-advised pass once that led to a layup for the opponent.
- Marc Syle (6’9″ So. PF, Cutler Bay (FL) Edison HS) truly gave it all he had. He has a good motor and is a nice prospect, but he got undercut on one play and landed hard, apparently on his tailbone. He returned later and in the next game, but was clearly limited.
- Indiana Elite’s youngest team here has a couple of prospects, and one who might not leap out at you right away is Grant Pedigo (6’5″ Fr. SF-PF, Indianapolis (IN) Franklin Central HS). A baby physically, he showed a nice feel for the game and was active at both ends of the floor to get in a lot of plays.
- Rashard Odomes (6’7″ Jr. PF, Copperas Cove (TX) High) has a good frame and is a plus athlete. The lefty has good ball skills and could stand to upgrade them more, and showed three-point range.
- T.J. Leaf (6’10” So. C, Lakeside (CA) Foothills Christian HS) is an intriguing prospect, as he has a little length and a good frame to go with some tools at both ends. He showed a post move to score and was in his fair share of plays, with a highlight being a sequence where he blocked a jumper and then got a layup at the other end. Teammate Kendall Lauderdale (6’8″ Jr. PF, Fullerton (CA) La Mirada HS) is also a frontcourt prospect with some potential, as the lefty has a good frame and body and hit from mid-range as well in close.
- Quietly, Emmanuel Olojakpoke (6’7″ Sr. PF, Houston (TX) Cy-Spring HS) was second in rebounding this weekend. Long and with a body that’s still developing, his skill package isn’t great right now (he came up short often on close field goal attempts), but he’s a solid complementary player who will do some dirty work.
- Deon Barrett (5’9″ So. PG, Mesquite (TX) Lancaster HS) is a small but quietly effective point guard who was among the weekend’s leaders in assists.
- Speaking of point guards, Joel Okafor (6’0″ Jr. PG, Richmond (IN) High) is a well-built and tough floor leader who will take contact and keep going.