LADERA RANCH, CA. – It was the first full day of action at the adidas Summer Championship on Thursday as the three stripes brand pitted some of its best leading up to bracket play beginning on Friday. Follow along for all of the action and as Corey Evans is in southern California recapping the things throughout the day.
LONGEVITY IS KEY FOR USC
For as many wins that Andy Enfield has celebrated on the recruiting trail of late, the best might be still to come with Evan Mobley. The super sophomore was fabulous on Thursday and while he is far from where he needs to be from a physical standpoint, the talent and raw abilities continue to show themselves.
The younger brother of Isaiah Mobley, a five-star junior who has already committed to USC, Evan Mobley’s upside is staggering. His fit today’s game like a glove where he can score over either shoulder but also step out and extend the defense with the perimeter jumper. However, he is best served on the defensive end thanks to his length, quick feet and instincts, all of which he uses in defending each spot in the frontcourt.
While he has yet to make his verbal commitment official, it would be one of the biggest upsets in recent time if he were to not suit up for the Trojans one day. With his dad, Eric Mobley, now on staff at the Pac 12 program, and his brother headed that way a year from now, Andy Enfield is set to finish with a top-10 class in 2019 and follow it up with arguably the best frontcourt prospect in the 2020 class; USC may no longer be known just for the pigskin.
MATT HURT IS MR. BLUE BLOOD
Is there a better definition for a blue blood target than Matt Hurt this summer? The top-five forward has been one of the more talked about and well-targeted prospects since he stepped onto a high school playing floor three years ago and the interest has only increased in recent months.
Super skilled and a more than above average shot maker that can convert from each level on the court, for the second straight night, Duke’s Coach K, UNC’s Roy Williams, Memphis’ Penny Hardaway, and Indiana’s Archie Miller were in attendance. However, they were not alone as Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, and Ohio State each dispatched an assistant coach of their own.
Where he will land is a total question mark and while, at one point in time, the best bet would have been Kansas or UNC, it looks as if there is still some time to go before a clear cut favorite emerges in the race for the uberly-talented prospect.
TRENDON WATFORD IN NO RUSH
There doesn’t seem to be an end near for Trendon Watford whenever it comes to choosing a college to attend in the fall of 2019. One of the most versatile forwards in America, Watford told Rivals.com that he plans on waiting the college process out until the spring, a timetable that has been a consistent theme with most five-star prospects in recent time.
Down to a final eight, Watford was watched on Thursday by head coaches from Memphis and Indiana, along with assistants from Florida State, LSU, Vanderbilt, Kansas, Alabama and TCU.
No visits have been planned just yet but he did say that once his July becomes complete, that he would sit down and begin to schedule trips to a few of those on his list.
Much of the talk of late has centered around Memphis and the fact that he is playing for Mike Miller’s former travel program and alongside Tigers’ top targets James Wiseman and Lawson will not diffuse such talk. However, this recruitment is far from over as he remains a priority for each of the eight involved.
MARCS WATSON DRAWS A CROWD
For entering his last month of travel ball play, it is a total guessing game with where Marcus Watson might be leaning. The four-star wing out of Georgia is one of the more powerfully built high school prospects that you’re going to find and add in his shot making prowess and explosiveness at the basket and there is a reason behind why programs touching both sides of the nation remain entrenched within his recruitment.
On Thursday afternoon, head coaches from Oregon, Ole Miss, Auburn, Georgia, Georgia Tech and Texas A&M, along with assistants form Virginia Tech, Vanderbilt, Clemson, Oklahoma State and Florida State checked out Watson.
Selecting a favorite at this time remains difficult but Watson has made a handful of visits to the local Georgia Tech program, though Oregon also hosted him for an unofficial visit in the spring. I would expect for a more cut list in the coming weeks with it being peppered by ACC and SEC programs.
TALENT ABOARD FOR ITPS
In its first year of adidas sponsorship, the ITPS program has made major noise this summer. While its 17-under unit is led by top-50 center Oscar Tshiebwe, there is more on the way. David Early, Isiah Warfield and Donovan Johnson have the chance to be highly pursued in the coming years as the crop of rising juniors displayed their primary strengths on Thursday morning.
Early, one of the more unique wings in the 2020 class, looks better to be recruited on the football gridiron rather than the hardwood. Strong and bulky, Early has a much underrated feel for the game as he can create for others but also has major range on his jump shots.
Warfield, a good looking off guard from the suburbs of Pittsburgh, could evolve into a power conference target for some of the regional programs. He can defend different positions, make shots and shows a frame that should only improve as he ages.
Johnson, the younger brother of UNC forward Cam Johnson, is further ahead with his game and physical development compared to his older sibling. His IQ for the game is intense and so is his ability to adapt to today’s positionless game of basketball.
Altogether, coaches from Virginia, Butler, Michigan, Duquesne, Penn State, Iowa State, South Carolina, Harvard, Ohio, Lehigh, Texas and George Washington watched the trio of intriguing class of 2020 prospects.
KEON EDWARDS BEGINS THE DAY
Assistants from Texas, Virginia Tech, Virginia and Old Dominion settled in for the first session of the day between the 15-under units for Team Knight and Team Faith. While there will be much time before a more comprehensive Class of 2021 Rivals150 is published, it would be safe to assume that Keon Edwards will be safely within them.
Standing easily above 6-foot-7, Edwards is the next prospect out of Texas to be highly recruited. While he is just an infant in this stage of his development, the upside and talent with him is impressive. He can run the high ball screen set, is a fluid athlete at the basket and once he becomes accustomed to his body, evolve into a versatile defender.
Edwards finished with three made 3-point jumpers and also made a few plays that appeased the eyes. abilities. Expect for the best from the south to pursue in the years ahead with blue blood interest more than warranted.