BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Pool play came to a close and the tournament play heated up on Saturday at the Adidas May Classic. A lot of the games were decided by wide margins, and Indiana Elite got a very strong performance from Hanner Perea to come away with a pair of decisive wins.
Perea looked Elite
Coming into the tournament there was no doubt that at the 16-and under level Indiana Elite was going to be tough to compete with. The host team is one of the most talented in the tournament, and that was on full display against undermanned competition.
For the most part the highlights of Indiana Elite's win came from Hanner Perea. The 6-foot-8 forward is a physical specimen, and someone with absolutely freakish athletic ability. More than that though, Perea has a solid feel for the game and good hands around the rim and on the break.
In the win Perea was a monster. He blocked shots, snatched rebounds well above the rim, converted in transition, and threw down incredible ally-oops. His skill set is still a little raw on the post, but his strength and athleticism make him a very difficult matchup for most forwards, especially at his age level.
Joining Perea with a solid performance was D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera. The Indianapolis native continued his excellent spring with his play on Saturday. After struggling some with his outside shot at the beginning of the season, Smith-Rivera has caught fire from deep and is now a very reliable shooter. He is still at his best going to the rim using his power and great ability to change speeds, but now that the perimeter jumper keeps defenders honest he is even tougher to deal with.
Beyond those two, Indiana Elite had a solid showing from Obij Aget and Kenny Kaminski. Aget has been up and down with his play to this point, but he was blocking shots, running the floor, and corralling rebounds to make an impact. Kaminski is a high level shooter who is showing a greater aptitude for grabbing rebounds around the rim and scoring in the paint. Those are still growth areas for him, but the 6-foot-7 forward is definitely coming along in those areas.
Youngsters showed off
One of the highlights of the event has been the 15-and under super pool action. In a morning game between Ohio Basketball Club and Eric Gordon All-Stars, some impressive performances were on display.
There is no doubt that Devin Davis has stepped up his game since the high school season. The 6-foot-4 wing from Warren Central High School has been a new player for Eric Gordon, and it is showing in his production . Davis is a high level athlete who plays with a big time motor. He attacked the rim and scored, defended at a high level, and handled the ball well for a young wing. If he keeps improving, the sky is the limit for Davis.
Davis' two running mates on the wing were also very impressive. Basil Smotherman is an extremely skilled 6-foot-5 small forward who can shoot it at a high level out to three point range and also has an advanced ability to handle the ball in traffic and create for himself or teammates. Zak Irvin didn't get much run at the varsity level, but he is proving that he is more than ready to step in. Irvin is a long and athletic forward who is really shooting it well from deep, and on Saturday he was maybe the best of the three for Eric Gordon in a second half where they dominated OBC.
For OBC the story was Demonte Flannigan. The 6-foot-6 bruising forward has a nice face up game, solid athleticism, and a strong ability to score on the block. He still needs refinement, and to find a position between power forward and center, but the potential is definitely there. Eric Gordon simply had no one who could contain him.
Bryson Scott of Spiece Indy Heat continues to tear it up at the 15-and under level. While not a super athlete, the 6-foot-1 Scott handles it well, is a bull in transition, and is showing a solid ability to set up teammates. Still what he does best is score, but the other parts of his game are definitely coming along, and he has a motor that simply never stops.
Every time Vitto Brown steps on a basketball floor he shows marked improvement. He is still raw, but the 6-foot-6 big man can really flash potential at times. He hit a hook in the lane, hustled for rebounds out of his area, and scored off of feeds using his excellent hands. Down the road he has a bright future.
While he isn't playing at the 15-and under level, Darryl Baker is a solid looking prospect for Team Southern Indiana. Coached by former Indiana Hoosier, Sherron Wilkerson, Baker is coming off of a broken tibia, but still has a lot of game. He is a combo guard who is always in attack mode and looking to score. His outside jumper needs a lot of work, and his athleticism isn't where it was before the injury, but he can really get to the rim with his impressive ability to handle the ball, quickness, and strength.
Other notable performances
The Michigan State Spartans picked up a good one in Dwaun Anderson. We saw him for the first time in October, and the athletic specimen continues to make strides. He is very left hand dominant, but the 6-foot-4 guard has the quickness to get where he wants on the floor, and also is a reliable shooter in the mid-range. Beyond that Anderson does a good job of making his teammates better.
Also playing well for the Michigan Mustangs was Trey McDonald. McDonald still has room to improve, but the 6-foot-9 big man has the frame and length that not too many players possess. Also he has a big time motor and runs the floor hard every time out. McDonald dominated down low when he got the ball for the Mustangs, and has shown a major improvement with his offensive game from this time last year.
Give credit to Nick Osborne. The 2012 power forward is finally healthy, and it shows in his play. Osborne has grown since last summer, and is a completely different player. He can score inside and out, and has improved his strength. He is getting mostly mid-major interest right now, but at a legit 6-foot-7 and pushing 6-foot-8, Osborne could be a major stock riser in July if he continues with his strong play.
While Osborne showed the most improvement for the Eric Gordon Central Stars, the man for that team is Jeremy Hollowell. Everything on the court just comes so effortless for Hollowell that it almost looks like he is coasting at times. The 6-foot-6 wing has long arms, a great outside shot, and is now understanding mentally what it takes to be a big time player. On Saturday in an absolute dismantling for Eric Gordon, Hollowell was dominant when he wanted to be.
Sporting his Indiana shirt in warm-ups, Aaron Thomas didn't disappoint with his play. The 6-foot-4 wing blew up in Akron and continued it in Bloomington. He paced the Queen City Prophets all day long, and just knows how to score. It isn't always a thing of beauty with Thomas, but his pull up jumper is very much improved, and his athleticism has benefitted from added strength. Thomas continues to see his stock rise.
A player from Louisville making big strides with his game is Remy Abell. Abell is now a legitimate 6-foot-4 combo guard. His ball handling, shooting, and strength are all above average for his position, and he looked very impressive in a Saturday tournament win.
There aren't many hidden gems in Indiana but one of them is Harry Wills. The 6-foot-1 combo guard from Ben Davis High School torched All-Ohio Purple for 29 points in his team's one point win. Wills is a high level athlete with a nice looking shot, though he is at his best getting to the rack. Right now his college attention is minimal, but that should really change once coaches get to see this 2012 prospect play.
Darryl Baker has an offer from Xavier to go with interest from Purdue, Ohio State, Indiana, Michigan State, and Butler.
Basil Smotherman says Xavier and Purdue have offered. Also he is hearing from Michigan State, Indiana, Michigan, and Notre Dame.
Zak Irvin has Indiana, Purdue, Xavier, and Michigan State on his list.
Bryson Scott says playing with his twin brother Brenton is not something he plans to do in college. Right now he has heard from Michigan State, Xavier, Indiana, Illinois, Purdue, and Notre Dame.
Vitto Brown noted that Michigan State and Xavier have come by the school to see him.
Jeremy Hollowell said he has offers from Indiana, Ohio State, Illinois, Tennessee, Xavier, Cincinnati, Iowa, and Indiana State. Also recently he fielded a call from Louisville.
Nick Osborne has an offer from Ohio University and interest from Purdue, Iowa, Butler, and Ball State.
Remy Abell has offers from IUPUI, Akron, and Wright State. Also he has heard from Belmont and Marshall.