Adidas Gauntlet offers spotlight to Grady, Claxton
ATLANTA – On the second day of the second stop of the 2016 Adidas Gauntlet, we learned more about a pair of prospects that don’t get the national attention they probably deserve. Kellan Grady, who recently committed to Davidson, made his presence felt in a big win over Basketball University on Saturday afternoon. We also went off the beaten path to see where Nicolas Claxton is in his development.
Grady patterns game after Curry
Whether it’s the number on his jersey, his college choice, his game or all the above, it doesn’t take long to see who Kellan Grady patterns his game after.
“Half the drills I do, they are drills I learned from Steph Curry,” Grady said. “One-handed lay-ups, one-handed floaters, no-look one-handed passes, and stuff like that, I try to pattern all that after Steph Curry.”
His drill work has certainly paid off. At 6-foot-5, he’s a very good ball-handler and makes smart decisions with the ball. He only tallied 12 points in the win over Basketball University, but he recorded seven assists and no turnovers while being the primary ball handler.
His future college coach, Bob McKillop, has been in attendance for each of his games this weekend and is showing the type of love that earned him Grady’s commitment earlier this month.
“Davidson, to me, was the best combination of academics and basketball,” Grady said. “Basketball in the sense that it’s a place I can go in and play early and be productive for four years. That was my biggest criteria. I want to be productive for four years. Steph triggered my initial interest, but Bob McKillop and Matt McKillop are great guys and did a great job recruiting me.”
High-majors coming after Claxton
Playing off the main site of the Adidas Gauntlet in a small gym, Nicolas Claxton and Team South Carolina stormed back from an 11-point deficit late to defeat Indiana Elite Central.
Currently ranked as the No. 102 prospect in the 2017 Rivals150, the 6-foot-10 forward possesses a unique skillset. First of all, you would assume because of his height that he’d spend most of his time in the paint and would be most comfortable there. That’s not the case. He’s very skilled player on the perimeter. He handles the ball very well, can shoot from deep, and can make plays off the bounce.
He’s not a super explosive player, but plays with great pace. At this point, the schools recruiting are banking more on potential than his current production, but that seems like a calculated risk. Claxton has a long list of schools coming at him.
“Florida State, Georgia, Baylor, Maryland, Notre Dame, Wake Forest and there is a bunch more I can’t remember,” Claxton said. “I’m wide open right now though.”
Claxton said Georgia and Notre Dame stopped by for home visits during April. NC State head coach Mark Gottfried and Iowa State head coach Steve Prohm were both in attendance with assistant coaches at their side. Florida State and UAB were courtside as well.
MORE NEWS & NOTES
Nick Weatherspoon, younger brother of Mississippi State guard Quindary Weatherspoon, had a phenomenal game on Saturday afternoon as he went for 33 points. He’s not just a scorer, though. He’s very talented and willing passer. North Carolina contacted him after his game. Georgia recently offered.
Greg Bowie is talented scoring guard from Basketball University. The 6-foot-1 lead guard went for 21 points in a close loss to the New England Playaz. The Texas native is a natural in ball-screen situations.
Immanuel Quickley looks like one of the more talented point guards in the 2018 class. He makes all the right decision with the ball and hits big shots that you want from your primary ball-handler. He possesses great size at 6-foot-3 and is more than adequate athletically.
Romeo Langford had Kentucky head coach John Calipari make a special trip to Atlanta just to see him, and it’s easy to see why. He’s a very smooth 6-foot-6 wing with elite talent. On the final play against Team Fast with the game tied, he glided through the lane and scored the game-winner.
One of the bigger sleepers on the Adidas circuit has to be Khalid Thomas of Team Fast. The 6-foot-7 wing is an impressive athlete with a perfect stroke. Right now, only Montana has offered with other mid-majors showing interest. Expect that to change if he plays like he did Saturday going forward.
Matthew Hurt will likely be ranked among the top prospects in the 2019 class nationally. The game just comes really easy to him. He has a pretty three-point stroke. He’s a really crafty finisher at the rim. At 6-foot-9, he’s multi-positional player that has yet to see his body fill out. He’s an elite prospect.
Elias Harden added offers from Maryland and Texas A&M on Saturday after multiple strong showings this weekend. The 6-foot-6 wing is known more for his shooting ability, but this weekend he’s showing more off the bounce and more toughness.