It was another excellent adidas Nations global event held in Southern California this past weekend. Many of the top USA recruits from the 2014 and 2015 classes participated. The championship game featured 19 players in the top 100 for their particular class. The five international teams featured some of the better 18 and under players from Africa, Russia, Australia, the Philippines and Latin America. As always thanks to adidas for their hospitality and for coordinating and promoting the event. A special thank you to Ben Mann and the adidas PR staff for their quick updates and photos each night.
Here are NetScouts Basketball’s All-Tournament Teams.
All -Tournament First Team
Most Outstanding Player: Kevon Looney, 6’8, Milwaukee, WI, USA 2014 Red. Although his team came up short in the final game Looney impressed us the most. The 6’8 combo-forward is ranked #9 by ESPN. We would have him higher. Looney can do it all. He just needs to add some strength and he’ll be in the NBA after a year of college. Looney shot 61% from the field, was fourth in rebounding (7.2 pg), second in steals (1.8 pg) and easily first in blocked shots (4.0 pg), all in only 22 minutes per game. Looney is three inches sorter than the consensus #1-ranked player in his class, 6’11 Jalil Okafor, his teammate at the event. At this stage Looney is a much better defender, a much better shot blocker, has a more varied offensive game and plays harder.
D’Angelo Russell, 6’4. Montverde Academy, USA 2014 Blue. The Ohio State commit was instrumental in his team winning the title, hitting the key shots and playing great defense on Stanley Johnson in the second half of the title game. Russell had 11 points, eight rebounds and four assists in the championship game. He has skills across the board and will be a great addition for the Buckeyes.
Trey Lyles, 6’10, Indianapolis, IN, USA 2014 Blue. Lyles was consistent throughout the event, finishing as the #2 scorer at 16.6 ppg, the sixth best shooter at 62.1%, the second best rebounder at 9.4 rpg and the second best shot-blocker at 2.1 bpg. He isn’t the most athletic player but he certainly knows how to play. He came up with ten points, eight boards and three assists in the title game.
Jalil Okafor, 6’11, Chicago, USA 2014 Red. Okafor has all the tools to be the first pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. He has touch around the hoop, can shoot from mid-range and has an NBA body. He’s slimmed down recently and is in better shape. He sometimes doesn’t play as hard as he could, needs to improve his shot-blocking skills and his general defense. Okafor was the third leading rebounder (9.2 rpg) and the seventh leading scorer (13.7 ppg) at the event. He had a nice title game with 14 points and eight rebounds but had no blocks.
Reid Travis, 6’7, Minneapolis, 2014 USA Blue. One of the top power forwards in his class, Travis impressed with his strength and his inside-out game. He even hit two straight three-pointers in the title game. Stanford seems to be in the lead for his services.
All-Tournament Second Team
Stanley Johnson, 6’7, Mater Dei, USA 2014 Red. Johnson had a strong first half in the title game with 15 points and finished the contest with 17 points and 11 rebounds. He was solid throughout the weekend averaging 11.8 ppg, showing his excellent rebounding ability and playing hard on defense.
Malik Newman, 6’4, Jackson, MS, USA 2015 Red. Newman may be the best scorer in the 2o15 class. He has a quick release and range. He averaged 13.7 ppg and shot 40% on three-pointers.
Michael Nzei, 6’8, Nigeria, Team Africa, Our Savior New American (NY). The power forward was the best rebounder at the event (10.6 rpg) and had twice as many offensive boards (6.4 pg) as any other player. He shows very quick jumping ability, and had several quick dunks, one over 7’0 Myles Turner that was the best individual play of the event. The 2014 recruit will be on most teams recruiting lists now.
Sidy Ndir, 6’3, Senegal, Team Africa. The smooth shooting lefty had his best game in leading his team to 3rd place with a 23-point performance in which he connected on three three-pointers. Ndir can score from mid-and-long range as well as on penetration. He was third in scoring (16.4 ppg) and shot 41.7% on three-pointers.
Mikhail Kulagin, 6’2 Russia. The combo-guard showed a solid shooting stroke while averaging 15.4 ppg and three made three-pointers per game. Kulagin had the game of the event against the Philippines in which he was all over the court, scoring 22 points, grabbing 15 rebounds, dishing out nine assists and coming up with four steals.
Most Outstanding International Player: Sidy Ndir, 6’3, Senegal, Team Africa
Michael Nzei, 6’8. Nigeria, Team Africa, Our Savior New American (NY).
Mikhail Kulagin, 6’2, Russia, Triumph
Pappa Sadia Ndiaye Diatte, 6’7, Senegal, Team Africa. Diatte was active and consistent in leading his team to third place. He was the second leading scorer for the Africans at 13.4 ppg, was tough on the boards and showed some shooting ability away from the hoop.
Nehdi Ngouma, 6’2 Algeria/Congo, Team Africa. The PG showed poise and scoring ability for Team Africa. He saved his best for the third-place game in which he scored 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting including 2-of-3 from long distance combined with seven rebounds, four assists and three steals. He led the event in steals at three per game.
Braian Angola Rodas, 6’6, Colombia, Latin America. The 6’6 Rodas shot a lot and had a few off games but when he was on he was impressive and showed his scoring ability. He finished he event as he fourth leading scorer (16.0 ppg), was second in steals and had a 28-point game.
Lucas Gabriel Vezaro, 6’1, Brazil, Latin America. The combo guard is a streak shooter who also scored 28 points in one game. He scored at a 14.0 clip and was able to draw fouls, getting to the foul line 34 times in his five games, connecting on 79.4% of his free throws.
Jonah Bolden, 6’8, Australia. The lanky Bolden was the most impressive Australian, averaging 13.0 ppg and 7.0 rebounds before an ankle injury forced him to sit out his final two games.
Arvin Tolentino, 6’5, Philippines. Playing on a weak team, Tolentino still showed he has the ability to score, leading the event with 17.8 ppg over his four games. He also made 50% of his three-pointers (6-of-12).
Thanks to adidas for the photos and hospitality throughout the event.