basketball Edit

Adidas Gauntlet: Five-star Brown shows out

DUNCANVILLE, Texas – On the first night of April's two live evaluation periods, Adidas assembled all of its top teams and players at the Bob Knight Fieldhouse just outside of downtown Dallas. The highest-ranked player in the building, five-star sophomore power forward Jordan Brown, delivered.

BROWN SOLIDIFIES TOP-FIVE STATUS IN 2018

Jordan Brown
Jordan Brown
Adidas

The No. 4 player in the 2018 top 75, five-star power forward Jordan Brown, lived up to his lofty status on Friday night. With UCLA head coach Steve Alford, along with assistants from California, Kansas and others watching the 6-foot-10 power forward from Roseville (Calif.) Woodcreek was sensational in a 23-point and 10-rebound effort.

Skilled, athletic and very polished for a young post player, Brown showed off every bit of his expansive arsenal. He hit short- to medium-range jumpers, altered shots, spun for dunks, ran the floor and delivered some impressive passes. The scary thing was that he thought he could have played better.

However, he was happy that he and Play Hard Play Smart got the win over the Showtime Ballers.

"It was good just to get the team back together and get a win," said Brown. "This is one of our first times together and we did well.

"I think that I played all right. I kind of wore down a little in the second half."

On the recruiting front, Brown listed offers from California, UCLA, Arizona and Kansas and said that St. John's was the most recent school to offer. He took multiple visits to Cal during his sophomore year and said that the Golden Bears have recruited him the hardest thus far.


WALKER DECIDING BETWEEN 2016 AND 2017

Antwan Walker
Antwan Walker

His Team Loaded Virginia squad fell to the New England Playaz, but 6-foot-7 combo forward Antwan Walker of Team Loaded Virginia was one of the more intriguing prospects on Friday night.

As a senior, Walker led Washington (D.C.) Woodson to an undefeated season and now he's got a decision to make between heading to prep school or signing somewhere late.

Walker showed athleticism, the ability knock down an open jumper and a high running motor during a 12-point and five-rebound outing. Among those sitting courtside were Georgetown head coach John Thompson III and Xavier's Chris Mack, and Walker said that both of those programs plus others such as James Madison and Rhode Island have offered.

According to Walker, he's got the necessary GPA to qualify as a 2016 prospect but he's waiting on his SAT score. Should he decide to sign late he would be a very nice late score. If he goes to the class of 2017, he's the type of late-bloomer who could receive serious consideration for the Rivals150.

FRIDAY NOTES FROM THE GAUNTLET

Jairus Hamilton
Jairus Hamilton

With several coaches looking on, 2018 four-star small forward Jairus Hamilton looked like a legitimate ACC wing. With Virginia Tech's Buzz Williams and assistants from Wake Forest, North Carolina, Kentucky and many other programs watching he led his Team Loaded North Carolina squad with 22 points in a loss to the Mass Rivals. Ranked No. 54 overall in 2018, Hamilton can get to the rim, has a body built for contact and is a good athlete. He listed offers from Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Tennessee and Hampton to go along with interest from Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, N.C. State, Oklahoma and many more.

From the minute he checked in, New England Playaz power forward Jerome Desrosiers changed the intensity level of his team. A hard-nosed and sound combo forward, he attacked the rim, hit his open jumpers and gave his team energy to feed off of in a 15-point and five-rebound effort.

There's no question who is in control for the Mass Rivals. Four-star point guard Makai Ashton-Langford has his team in order and because he never panicked, his team never panicked while coming back from a double-digit deficit to handle Team Loaded North Carolina, as he contributed 15 points and nine assists. Langford listed offers from Connecticut, Boston College, Providence, Creighton, DePaul, Rhode Island and St. Bonaventure.

His jumper wasn't falling from deep but five-star sophomore shooting guard Romeo Langford looked like a smooth scoring machine in a 25-point and nine-rebound effort for the Eric Gordon All-Stars. The object of increasing attention from Louisville, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Kansas Duke and many more, he might be ranked too low at No. 14 nationally.

When he attacks the rim, four-star junior small forward Chaundee Brown can be a load. The CP 25 Southeast Elite wing who ranks No. 76 in the class of 2017 finished with 17 points and eight rebounds but he could have been even more effective. He settled for jumpers at times when his high-major body allows him to get to the rim and finish at will.

We'll get a longer look at him later this weekend but we were quite intrigued with what we saw from 2017 wing Roberto Gittens. The 2017 wing and his Team Bradley Northwest Panthers unit took a loss but he looks like a potential Pac-12 wing. Gittens looks to be about 6-foot-5, is athletic and drained four of his five three-pointers.

An intriguing sophomore wing, Keyshawn Bryant of the Showtime Ballers had more of an impact on the game than his 12 points and six rebounds would suggest. He's got 6-foot-6 size, athleticism and he has a knack for being around loose balls. A three-star prospect, Bryant said he just picked up his first offer from James Madison. Florida, Florida State and Miami have all showed interest.

Unafraid to let shots fly, junior combo guard Renathan Ona Embo of Play Hard Play Smart is one to watch for the Rivals150. Pushing 6-foot-4, he has good size, can create a shot and has some athleticism. His shot selection needs some work but he was pretty effective with 17 points, seven rebounds and three assists.