Nations Saturday: Duval above all
GARDEN GROVE, Calif. -- When his team needed him the most, five-star Trevon Duval showed why he's the top ranked point guard in the class of 2017. More on him and several other big names from Saturday's Adidas Nations action.
RELATED: Friday recap
DUVAL SHOWS IT ALL
Playing against a spirited Asia Pacific Team, five-star point guard Trevon Duval and his stacked Team Harden squad found themselves in a bit of a pickle.
Featuring nine five-star prospects on their roster, Team Harden came out a bit nonchalant and before they knew what hit them the Asia Pacific team, led by three-star forward Mayan Kiir, had them in trouble. It isn't always easy to start taking a game very serious halfway through, but ranked No. 5 overall in 2017, Duval was there to save Team Harden.
Time after time, Duval got into the lane and found ways to convert at the rim or get himself to the free throw line in a 24-point outing. Not only is he explosive, he's strong as a bull and does his best work in tight spots. Rivals.com spoke with some NBA personnel in attendance, and while they want to see more from his jump shot, they all thought he looked like one of the most NBA ready prospects in the gym - college players included.
In the evening session, Duval came back with an 11-point, eight-assist effort and was also very aggressive as a defender. After attending Dallas (Texas) API during his junior season, Duval will soon decide on a high school for his senior season. In late August or early September, he'll most likely release a top 10, and he'll be looking to decide during the late signing period. Arizona, UCLA, Baylor, Kansas, Maryland, Villanova, Louisville and many others will be in the mix.
TUCKER LOCKING IN ON VISITS
He hasn't formerly cut his list down just yet, but four-star wing Jordan Tucker is getting close.
The 6-foot-7 wing scorer, who ranks No. 38 overall in 2017, told Rivals.com that he's waiting to see if Duke is going to offer. He said that feedback he's gotten from the Blue Devils is that they will most likely do so once their staff is finished with coaching USA Basketball at the Olympics.
Should the Devils offer, they will be a lock to make Tucker's final list, and he will look to set up a visit. Others Tucker mentioned in good position to receive official visits are Indiana, Syracuse and Maryland, while programs like Villanova and Connecticut are among those in the mix for his fifth visit.
TWO STANDING OUT FOR USHER
Thanks to a great summer run with the Atlanta Celtics, three-star shooting guard Jordan Usher has pretty much secured a spot in the post-summer Rivals150 for the class of 2017. At Adidas Nations, he indicated that he's getting close to finalizing his college list.
However, Usher also admitted that of the schools on his list, the Sun Devils and Trojans are staring to stand out and he's set up a visit to USC for August 25th and Arizona State on September 25th.
"I feel like I'm a priority for them and those are the two schools that I'm in communication with every day," said Usher. "I feel like I can get in there and play early at both of those places. I like the West Coast and the Pac-12 is a great setup so they are good options right now."
MORE SATURDAY NATIONS NOTES
Through two days of action at Adidas Nations, no underclassmen has been more effective than 2018's No. 3 ranked player, Zion Williamson. After a 25-point, four-rebound performance in the Saturday nightcap as his Team Wiggins squad (made up of all underclassmen) lost a high scoring and entertaining game to Team Harden (featuring nine 2017 five-star prospects), Williamson had an efficient 14-point outing in a narrow loss to Team Canada. Through three games at Nations, Williamson is shooting an absurd 82.1 percent from the field. A lot of that has to do with him using his power and explosiveness to generate one point blank attempt after another. Williamson picked up offers all summer long and at this point has too many to list. He plans to take a look at things in the next few weeks and look into some unofficial visits during the Fall.
After some struggles shooting the ball on Friday night, 2018's No. 69 ranked player, A.J. Reeves, looked strong during Saturday's first session and was off to a good start in the second session before suffering a minor back injury. An impressive wing athlete with a strong build, Reeves has been known as a to the rim guy, but he showed some touch while hitting a pair of three-pointers and some mid-range jump shots.
He hasn't set up trips just yet, but Rivals150 guard Christian PoPoola mentioned BYU, Rutgers and Lehigh as programs in good position to receive official visits. An aggressive athlete who loves to attack the rim, PoPoola mentioned San Diego and Loyola Marymount as two other programs that he felt were making him a priority.
Based on his entire summer and the way he's played at Adidas Nations, Virginia Tech bound Nickeil Alexander-Walker looks like a potential All-ACC caliber player. Primarily a smooth jump shooter with clever dribble setups, he's made 62 percent of his shots. Plus, his 6-foot-5 frame gives him great positional size for a shooting guard.
In case there was any question about whether his top spot in 2017 was secure, No. 1 DeAndre Ayton has turned in an impressive performance at Nations. He's shot the jump shot very well, done damage at the rim and rebounded the ball very well. Through two days Ayton is averaging 16 points and 10 rebounds per game, and nobody has shown the ability to remotely slow him down. Arizona, Kansas and Kentucky remain out front for his services. Ayton said he would likely start looking into setting up his visits during August, and that he's leaning towards signing late.