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Evans' Takeaways: Las Vegas Friday

The summer is winding down and, as the class of 2018 nears the end of their travel career, underclassmen have begun to emerge. Trey McGowans and Jordan Campbell had another impressive outing in Las Vegas but it was R.J. Hampton who kicked off the day with a dominant outing in front of a handful of Power Five head coaches.

RELATED: More Las Vegas takeaways | McDonald's Friday takeaways from Orlando


R.J. Hampton
R.J. Hampton (USA Basketball)

After taking home gold medal honors with the United States under-16 group in Argentina, R.J. Hampton has used that experience to take his game to the next level. While his team went down in defeat on Friday morning, Hampton was fantastic. His hesitation move on the dribble attack is going to send someone to the hospital one day and his ability to take over a game with his passing and scoring is already off the charts.

Fighting for the initial No. 1 spot within 2020 Rivals150, Hampton stated his case for why he is the best.

“I feel like I am the best because I am one of the few players that can do everything on the court,” he said. “I play defense, pass the ball, shoot it and get to the basket. There isn’t much of a weakness in my game but I do need to work on some stuff.”

Hampton has visited Texas, TCU and Baylor so far, and hopes to take a few more trips this fall.

“I am going take a visit to Texas A&M for their football game against LSU, I am going to visit Oklahoma State and I need to get down to Kansas.”


Jordan Campbell
Jordan Campbell

Facing off against Wisconsin commit Tyler Herro, Jordan Campbell showed some major grit not backing down against the more highly-touted prospect. A strong and tough-minded scoring guard that does most of his work around the basket, Campbell drew rave reviews from the college coaches thanks to his motor and the physicality that he brought to the floor.

Campbell is the type of guard that wins a lot of games in college, but up to this point his recruitment has not attracted much high major attention.

“Right now I have been recruited by mainly Nevada and San Diego State. I don’t know many other schools,” he said. “Right now, my main focus is on San Diego State. I had a lot of brothers that went there and they told me that is it a perfect fit. I went up there and took a visit. They play my style with an up-tempo pace, quick offense and getting up in transition.”

Whether the Aztecs are able to land the tough-nosed scorer or not, it does seem as if Campbell is likely headed to the Mountain West Conference where he should become an immediate college contributor.


Jared Butler
Jared Butler (Jon Lopez/Nike @NikeEYB)

Making the switch to the Adidas circuit for his final weekend of travel basketball, there really was nothing else for Jared Butler to prove to the throng of college coaches and the media that continue to evaluate him. Thanks to his toughness, continued progressions and competitive grit, Butler's stock has continued to improve in recent weeks.

Holding offers from some of the best programs nationally, Butler recently pulled in ones from Wichita State, Cincinnati, Purdue and Virginia. For the longest time, many believed that it would be difficult to pull the New Orleans native out of the southeast. Keeping that in mind and thanks to their early pursuance, Texas and Alabama have been the most talked about and likeliest of destinations for him. Shaka Smart and Avery Johnson have been constant observers in Las Vegas but there might be a sleeper school now in the mix.

Butler did confide that the Longhorns and Tide were potentially his top two but Virginia has made a late push and is now in the conversation. Indeed the Wahoos may now secure an official visit in the coming months and have a final say with where the tough and productive Louisiana native attends college.


Trey McGowans
Trey McGowans

Trey McGowans was one of the break out performers of the second live period at the Oladipo Skills Academy in Washington, D.C. For some college coaches, evaluating newer prospects at a skills camp is rather difficult which made it that much more vital that they had the chance to see McGowans with his Upward Stars unit this week.

Not only has McGowans proved that he belongs, the 6-foot-2 guard has quickly morphed into a well-rounded playmaker that can score and distribute, all of which has turned his recruitment into a high-major affair. The Carolina native is explosive, well-rounded and can really impact various portions of the stat sheet.

McGowans did say that VCU, Ole Miss, TCU, South Florida and Georgia are the schools most in contact but noted that the Rebels and Rams have begun to separate themselves from the pack.


Trendon Watford
Trendon Watford (USA Basketball)

Closing in on the last few days of the travel basketball calendar, there was no shortage of college coaches crisscrossing the Las Vegas heat on Friday. Keeping tabs on who was watching who, we take a look at which school was in attendance for some of the more nationally recognized recruits.

Class of 2020 guard R.J. Hampton hosted UNC head coach Roy Williams, Oklahoma State head coach Mike Boynton and assistants from TCU and Texas for his morning session.

Alabama, Mississippi State, Florida and Kentucky dispatched assistants to watch five-star 2019 forward Trendon Watford on Friday morning.

Pitting some of the top Midwest prospects against each other, head coaches from Notre Dame, Illinois, Purdue, Ohio State, Nebraska, UConn, Xavier and Minnesota were on hand for Robby Carmody, Dwayne Cohill, Eric Hunter and Aaron Henry.

Head coaches from Georgia Tech, UIC, Northern Iowa, SMU, UT-Arlington and Colorado watched skilled 2018 forward Kristian Sjolund.

In a West Coast battle, head coaches from Arizona State, Wichita State, Arizona, Utah, Washington, Gonzaga and San Diego State watched a group consisting of Bryan Penn-Johnson, Isaac Johnson, Matt Mitchell and Kyree Walker.