Throughout live period, I will be sending out a recap of what I saw each day. On Sunday, I was at Elite 32 in Atlanta, Georgia to witness a pair of Houston sneaker teams in action.
Team Breakdown 62, Basketball University 52
Basketball University 57, 1 Family 43
Basketball University was shorthanded at Elite 32, playing without Greg Brown and Charles Smith, and split a pair of games against talented opponents. The two contests were almost identical in nature, with one side jumping to a big early lead while the other fought back hard in the second half to no avail. BU cut a 15-point deficit to 3 points late against Team Breakdown, and led 1 Family 32-10 before cruising home the rest of the way. Quentin Grimes was productive in both contests, scoring 21 and 18 points respectively while mixing in a couple of highlight-reel plays, including a hard-to-describe dribble move to free himself for a 3 against 1 Family. Will Baker had his best day of the week, scoring in double digits in both games and showing off a variety of moves in the post. Baker is among the most skilled bigs in the 2019 class, and as he becomes stronger and more aggressive he is going to become a dominant force inside. Sahvir Wheeler scored 10 points against Team Breakdown, and had perhaps half a dozen steals while proving to be a major nuisance on defense. Wheeler exited late in the game with a minor leg injury, but came back and toughed it out against 1 Family, which was key because BU only had six players to start the day. Tyron McMillan and Colin Warren both made significant contributions against 1 Family, each having their best game of the summer while scoring in double figures and making plays defensively. Overall, I thought BU performed quite well under the circumstances at the end of a tough week.
Showtime Ballers 68, Houston Defenders 63
Every once in awhile, you get beat by a special performance from an opposing player, and that was the case here. Defenders were in front throughout the first half, but Blake Hinson (a two-sport star with a football body) nailed five 3s in a short stretch early in the second half to give Ballers the lead, and Defenders could not quite erase a 14-point deficit in the final minutes. Hinson finished with 30 points despite not making a 2-point basket (six 3s, 12 FTs). Jabari Rice led Defenders with 17 points, and showed his shotmaking ability while also being active on the offensive glass and on the defensive end. Now that Rice has chosen to attend prep school, he going to attract a ton of attention as a 2018 recruit. Miller Kopp scored 16 points, another solid effort in a summer that has seen him become a household name nationally. Kopp received his latest offer from Washington State this morning, and the list of schools pursuing him stretches from coast to coast. Jaylon Williams was particularly impressive, finishing with 11 points and showing off terrific energy end-to-end. I’m a huge fan of kids who can make an impact without the ball, and Williams certainly fits the bill. PJ Byrd scored 10 points in limited minutes as coach Aaron Harrison got his entire bench some playing time in this one. Byrd has long been one of the best facilitators in Houston, but his outside jumper looks to be much improved, and he made a pair of threes late as Defenders nearly pulled off the comeback.