Basketball Recruiting - Simmons rises up at Adidas
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Simmons rises up at Adidas

ATLANTA -- There are three quality events in Atlanta during the first July evaluation period between the Adidas Uprising, the Elite 32 and the Best of the South. Rivals.com split time between all three events on Thursday.
Simmons bounces back
After getting off to a slow start to the first July recruiting period on Wednesday night, the Atlanta Celtics bounced back Thursday with a close win over Team Loaded Virginia in the morning and followed that up with a convincing 79-61 victory over a very talented Compton Magic team.
A big part of the struggles for the Celtics on Wednesday was due to Kobi Simmons not playing up to his usual ability. That wasn't a problem against the Compton Magic. The five-star point guard pumped in 16 points and dished out six assists. Instead of settling for jumpers, he was constantly getting into the paint and making plays for himself and others. He also got out in transition a few times for some crowd-pleasing dunks. Simmons' backcourt-mate Joshua Langford once again showed why he's a five-star prospect and one of the best guards in the class. He chipped in with an efficient 17 points.
Four-star center James Banks also had a rough first day, but he too bounced back with one of his better games he's played. He recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds and also rejected three shots.
Anfernee McLemore, like Banks, posted a double-double with the exact same stat line of 10 points and 10 rebounds. His stock is on the rise as Celtics coach Horace Neysmith says offers have rolled in from Oklahoma State, Ole Miss and Rice recently.
Head coaches from Texas, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, Clemson, South Carolina, UCLA, Oregon, California and Notre Dame were on hand to see the Celtics take on the Compton Magic.
The Celtics advanced to play in the championship Friday night.
Alkins sparks Rens late
The NY Rens punched their ticket to the championship game to face the Celtics after a late surge by Rawle Alkins helped secure a victory over Indiana Elite.
From nearly start to finish, the Rens controlled the game, but could never quite put away Indiana Elite. With just a four-point lead with only about three minutes left in regulation, Alkins sparked his own 8-0 run with two break-away dunks and two assists. The 15th ranked prospect in the 2016 Rivals150 has a big, strong body that he uses to punish defenders in the paint. He's a more explosive athlete than he appears with such a big body, but he can rise in a hurry. The five-star prospect had a number of top high-major coaches sitting courtside including, John Calipari and Tom Crean.
Despite taking a tough loss, Virginia commit Kyle Guy once again played very well for Indiana Elite. He's not the type of player that Tony Bennett needs to worry about losing early to the NBA Draft due to his lack of height for a shooting guard, but he's going to make an impact early in Charlottesville and will have a very productive career.
Four-star guard Quentin Goodin didn't have a great first night in Atlanta, but he was feeling it on Thursday night. He dropped an impressive 28 points and did everything he could possibly do to keep Indiana Elite alive late, but it wasn't enough.
Big day for Brown
In the updated rankings for the Class of 2017, Nike South Beach center Zach Brown sits at No. 12 overall. It doesn't take long to see why.
A legitimate 7-foot-1, Brown is an impact player on both ends of the court. Offensively, he got off to a slow start against Southeast Elite, but he became the focal point of South Beach's offense in the second half and routinely finished with emphatic dunks. Usually young post players have the bad habit of bringing the ball down low when they catch it, but Brown is very fundamentally sound and always keeps the ball high and away from defenders. On the other end of the court, just his length alone causes problems. When you factor in that he's quick off his feet and agile, you have an elite defensive prospect.
Only heading to his junior year, Brown says he's taking the recruiting process slow and letting his parents talk to the college coaches. He says Kentucky, Miami, UCLA, N.C. State and Syracuse have been in contact. He plans to dive into the recruiting process a little deeper once his junior year starts.
Four-star power forward Alex ReeseClick Al Durham has become one of the better scorers in the southeast in the Class of 2017. Now at 6-foot-4 with great length and athleticism, the Georgia native is a reliable shooter from deep and is crafty enough to find ways to score going towards the basket. IndianaClick News and notesHere to view this Link. and Rhode Island recently stepped up with offers.Here to view this Link. had a tough morning on the court against Nike South Beach, but had a number of coaches on hand to check him out, including Avery JohnsonClick Al Durham has become one of the better scorers in the southeast in the Class of 2017. Now at 6-foot-4 with great length and athleticism, the Georgia native is a reliable shooter from deep and is crafty enough to find ways to score going towards the basket. IndianaClick News and notesHere to view this Link. and Rhode Island recently stepped up with offers.Here to view this Link. from AlabamaClick Al Durham has become one of the better scorers in the southeast in the Class of 2017. Now at 6-foot-4 with great length and athleticism, the Georgia native is a reliable shooter from deep and is crafty enough to find ways to score going towards the basket. IndianaClick News and notesHere to view this Link. and Rhode Island recently stepped up with offers.Here to view this Link. and Mark FoxClick Al Durham has become one of the better scorers in the southeast in the Class of 2017. Now at 6-foot-4 with great length and athleticism, the Georgia native is a reliable shooter from deep and is crafty enough to find ways to score going towards the basket. IndianaClick News and notesHere to view this Link. and Rhode Island recently stepped up with offers.Here to view this Link. from GeorgiaClick Al Durham has become one of the better scorers in the southeast in the Class of 2017. Now at 6-foot-4 with great length and athleticism, the Georgia native is a reliable shooter from deep and is crafty enough to find ways to score going towards the basket. IndianaClick News and notesHere to view this Link. and Rhode Island recently stepped up with offers.Here to view this Link..
Jarrett AllenClick Alex O'Connell, the younger brother of Georgia Southern freshman forward Shawn O'Connell, had a strong showing for the Atlanta Celtics 16U. The bouncy shooting guard from Milton High School in Georgia is now a legitimate 6-foot-5 and shoots the ball at a very high level. Here to view this Link. and Deandre WilliamsClick Alex O'Connell, the younger brother of Georgia Southern freshman forward Shawn O'Connell, had a strong showing for the Atlanta Celtics 16U. The bouncy shooting guard from Milton High School in Georgia is now a legitimate 6-foot-5 and shoots the ball at a very high level. Here to view this Link. both were great down the stretch to help Texas PRO close out Team Loaded NC. Allen doesn't do anything flashy, but plays his role as an interior presence very well. He's a consistent finisher and came through in the clutch with two free throws with Texas PRO only leading 65-64 in the final seconds of the game. Williams, a 6-foot-8 combo forward, is one of the more versatile players around.