By Bryan Kriss - firstname.lastname@example.org
Like usual, there was a lot of talent on display at the adidas Invitational. Florida Elite (formerly Florida Rams), Louisville Magic 16s, and Team Thad 16s were possibly the most dominant performers we saw from a team standpoint, but there were a number of individual standouts as well. Here is a quick look at some of the best performers:
Kasey Hill (Florida Elite) - Hill impressed all tournament long with his ability to control the game and practically do whatever he pleased. He has always been explosive with the ball, but his new-found ability to consistently knock down jumpers from deep makes him almost impossible to defend. If defenders pressured him he was able to use his quickness to beat them off the dribble and get into the lane where he effortlessly set up open teammates and finished even the most difficult layups. If defenders decided to play off of him he would simply pull up and knock down the three-pointer.
Chris Walker (Florida Elite) - Walker's combination of length and athleticism is elite even by NBA standards. He is a difficult matchup in high school and is a constant threat for tip dunks and alley oops. He's also capable of knocking down open jumpers and can handle the ball reasonably well for a player his size. Walker's physical tools and potential alone make him a big-time prospect, but he certainly has some areas to work on. In the games we saw, he struggled to finish around the rim and at times looked uncomfortable and unsure what to do with the ball in the paint.
Leron Black (Team Thad 16s) - Black had an excellent tournament and is an absolute joy to watch. A long and athletic combo forward, Black plays with a level of passion and energy that is matched by very few. He is a nightmare in the press and helps force a lot of turnovers. He aggressively attacks the basket and does a great job of rebounding on both ends of the floor. Black is more of a power forward at this time, but he is a solid shooter and ball handler whose future may be at small forward if he puts in enough work.
Anton Beard (Team Thad 16s) - Beard scored at a high level all tournament. He made numerous three-pointers and frequently got to the rim in transition. Beard is a talented guard and should be a solid fit at Missouri.
Reid Travis (MN Pump N Run) - Travis is a strong and explosive combo forward who can score in a number of ways. He did a good job of getting offensive rebounds and either finishing or getting to the free throw line where he converts at a high rate. He also displayed a solid hook shot and jumper with range to the three point line. He is a little undersized as a power forward, but he is skilled enough to find ways to score and is more than capable of playing from the perimeter when being defended by bigger players. Travis looks improved from last summer and should receive plenty of attention from high majors this July.
Isaac Hamilton (Dream Vision) - Hamilton is a very skilled wing player who scores at a high level. He is a big-time shooter with a smooth release, but also handles the ball well and does a good job of getting to the rim.
Noah Vonleh (Mass Rivals) - Vonleh didn't exactly produce like a top 5 player, but his talent is easy to see. It isn't often that a player with his size, strength, and explosiveness can handle the ball and shoot the way he can at such a young age. Having said that, it would have been nice to see him play with a higher motor and look to take advantage of his physical gifts around the basket a little more often.
Marshawn Wilson (MN Pump N Run 15s) - We didn't get to see Wilson as much as we would have liked as his games were usually played at a different location, but he was impressive in the limited action we saw. Wilson is capable of playing both guard positions and good things tend to happen when the ball is in his hands. He is a good shooter pulling up off the dribble, but is at his best when he is attacking the basket. His handle, explosiveness, and motor make him very difficult to defend at the 15s level. Expect high majors from around the Midwest to show serious interest this July.
DeRon Davis (Colorado Hawks 15s) - Davis is another player we only saw briefly, but for a 2016 player he stood out to us right away. He has good size already and the frame to get stronger. He also appeared to be a good athlete with a solid skill level. Definitely a player to keep a close eye on moving forward.