Adidas Finale: Top 10 Takeaways
LADERA RANCH, Calif. — The adidas Gauntlet Finale came to a close this weekend and with it, the travel basketball season is just about complete. For members of the 2020 class, it was their final chance to impress on the Three Stripes circuit. Caleb Murphy and Jordan Geronimo made sure to do that, and they lead our top 10 takeaways from Southern California.
1. Caleb Murphy does it again
The Rivals150 guard made sure to put a cherry on top of what has now become the summer of Caleb Murphy. A super-skilled guard with tremendous breakdown abilities, Murphy has no issues getting places with the ball. His jumper is a work in progress, but his defense isn’t. If he can consistently knock down shots, the ‘P word’ (professional) might begin to be thrown around alongside his name. He will visit USF next month, with Florida becoming the latest to offer what has become a top priority target for many of the nearby SEC and ACC programs.
2. Jordan Geronimo is a stud in the making
It is like clockwork every summer with the Mass Rivals program: The adidas outfit always has one guy who morphs into a high-major prospect right in front of our very eyes. Jordan Geronimo is the latest one to do so. A long-armed, strong, athletic, instinctive defender and capable shot-maker, Geronimo is coming after a spot in the Rivals150. He just corralled an offer from Indiana, as that programs joins other such as Iowa, Penn State, Providence and Texas A&M in doing so.
3. Jabari Smith solidified his standing as a top-five prospect
There was a little backlash when we slapped the fifth overall ranking next to Smith’s name last month. Too bad those same critics didn’t see what he did in Southern California. The sky is the limit for Smith, a long-armed, smooth shot-maker with underrated passing abilities. The bluebloods are going to come calling, but I’m not entirely sure that will intrigue him like it would some others. Auburn, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech and LSU have already placed a priority upon him.
4. The rising junior class features quality playmakers
We have already written about Isa Silva and his passing abilities. Not many do it better than the Compton Magic product, which is why Arizona, Stanford and Virginia have placed a high priority upon him and a visit to UCLA could soon be in the cards. Carter Whitt is a bigger lead guard who looks for others before himself and might have the opportunity to slide up a year and into the 2020 class. Not to be outdone, Harrison Ingram, while more wing than point guard, can make practically any pass needed, which is a big reason why his YGC36 bunch came away with the 17-under championship trophy.
5. West Coast natives improve their stock
We all knew how good Chibuzo Agbo, Dalen Terry and Tari Eason were before the beginning of the summer, but they somehow found a way to improve their national standing. Agbo is a shot-maker with added toughness in the frontcourt, and he just picked up an offer from Arizona. The Wildcats recently offered Terry, too, as the giant playmaker is already an elite defender on the perimeter. He has become a must-get for half of the Pac-12. Eason boasts similar offers and attention with Colorado and USC sitting as the two to beat. However, programs such as Cincinnati, Florida and Virginia Tech have also caught his eye.
6. Jalen Bridges ends on a high note
Jalen Bridges was formerly a member of the 2019 class who decided about a year ago that he would take a prep year this upcoming fall. His performance over the weekend was surely the best we have seen of the Wildcats Select product. The perfect small-ball power forward for today’s game, Bridges made shots in a variety of ways and also displayed sneaky explosiveness in the lane. Some schools have asked for his fall of 2019 enrollment. Instead, he will stick with his plans as Pitt, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio State and Xavier are just a few that are high on his college list.
7. Sleepers pop up
The adidas Gauntlet Finale provided the platform for some of the more unheralded prospects to leave a positive impression, thanks to their play in California. Tyler Simon doesn’t hold a single high-major offer, but is making a case for a spot in the Rivals150. Brandon Angel is a long-range specialist; Cal and San Diego have emerged as suitors. Lastly, Javonte Johnson, who holds just four scholarship offers, should be a must-get for MWC members. New Mexico is the only league affiliate to be entirely invested with the good-sized scorer, defender and playmaker.
8. The top of the 2023 class shows early promise
After getting a look at Canadian wing Elijah Fisher recently and Mikey Williams in California, it is safe to say that the incoming freshmen crop isn’t half bad. We haven’t even brought up the name of Bronny James which will, of course, bring crazy attention to the sport. Fisher and Williams look to be two of the best nationally and the latter already shows a skill set that should work well as he matures.
9. Hunter Sallis is primed for his national emergence
One of the more talented guards to come out of Omaha, Neb., Sallis is the type of breakdown artist who can get whatever shot he wants. He has gotten taller, stronger and more skilled and has already seen the in-state powers, Creighton and Nebraska, and Iowa State, Kansas State, Oregon and UCLA have come calling. Sallis is good, and he will quickly become a top target for many top programs.
10. Coaches' sons show up
Mason Miller, already in the Rivals150, got better as the week wore on, thanks to his half-court skill set and deceptive athleticism. The son of Memphis assistant coach Mike Miller has already picked up offers from the Tigers, Creighton, Florida and TCU. The four-star forward is joined on the Hoop City 16-under bunch by rising junior T.J. Madlock, the son of another Memphis assistant coach: Tony Madlock. T.J. is a tough combo guard who can create for himself and others. On the OSA Crusaders 16-under squad, the sons of Creighton assistant coach Preston Murphy and Drake head coach Darian DeVries made a name for themselves, too. Preston Murphy Jr. is a rising sophomore who brings a blue-collar approach to the backcourt, while Tucker DeVries is a premier shot-maker found in the 2021 class.