Throughout live period, I will be sending out a recap of what I saw each day. On Wednesday, I arrived in Las Vegas and got to see four games involving Texas programs, two at the adidas Summer Championships and two at The 8 (which is the showcase bracket involving premier EYBL teams at the Las Vegas Classic). Unfortunately, all four games followed the same pattern, with the Texas team holding a big lead at half before fading late.
D1 Minnesota 63, Yes II Success 59
Brookwood Elite 67, Basketball University 60
These two games went on simultaneously on adjoining courts, as Yes II Success led by 13 and BU by 11 at intermission. Chris Mullins and Nigel Hawkins provided offense for YIIS early, and when Mar’Qualen Grant hit a 3 before the halftime buzzer, it appeared they would keep their July adidas winning streak intact. The team went cold, however, and D1 Minnesota executed well throughout the second half, led by top 2019 prospect Matthew Hurt who finished with a game-high 20 points. Mullins scored 14, Hawkins 11, and Grant 10 for YIIS.
For BU, their three stars all started off hot before Brookwood Elite keyed in on them in the second half, as BU got very little from their supporting cast in this one. Will Baker had his most productive game of the summer, and showed why he is such a highly touted 2019 recruit while flashing an array of moves on his way to 24 points. Quentin Grimes nailed five 3s and finished with 19 points while outplaying his counterpart Luguentz Dort (a consensus top-50 2018 from Quebec, Canada), who managed 12 points on 4-14 shooting. Sahvir Wheeler added 12 points and 6 assists in defeat for BU.
Mac Irvin Fire 76, RM5 69
New Jersey Playaz 104, Houston Hoops 94 (OT)
After making the trip from Cashman Center to Spring Valley HS, I walked into the gym to see Keonte Kennedy and Chris Harris nail 3s in the final minute of the first half to give RM5 a 41-30 lead. The second half was all Mac irvin Fire, as highly-ranked 2018 prospect Ayo Dosunmu led a furious rally to stake his team a 68-60 lead with 3 minutes left. In a flash, RM5 scored 9 points in a row on a pair of 3s from Kennedy and a 3-point play from Tyrese Maxey. Mac Irvin made the key plays late, scoring the final 8 points to seal the win. De’Vion Harmon and Reggie Chaney led RM5 with 16 points each, while Kennedy added 15 on five made 3s. Harmon is super smooth, and uses a variety of advanced moves to free himself in traffic. Chaney has always been highly regarded, but has improved a ton in the past year and has had some impressive performances when I have seen him this summer. Kennedy added offers from Memphis and Fresno State last week, and I keep waiting for one of the major in-state schools to step in and offer the sharp-shooting 2-guard.
The Hoops and Playaz followed on the same court, and put on an absolute show for a packed house in an incredibly entertaining, back-and-forth contest. On a court full of stars, Javonte Smart stood out from the opening tip, nailing threes and finding Mitch Seraille and Tyreek Smith for baskets inside when he drew an extra defender. Matt Mayer also asserted himself early, and was especially effective in the high post, where he can shoot, attack, or find open teammates. Throughout the game, Hoops simply had no answer for Naz Reid, who confirmed his status as one of the best players in the country in a sterling performance. A late first half run gave Hoops a 46-39 lead, but Jahvon Quinerly turned up the heat with a dazzling display of drives to the basket to open the second half and give Playaz the lead. Antoine Davis knocked down three 3s as the teams traded baskets for a long stretch late in the game. A Smart 3 gave Hoops the lead in the final minute, but Reid made a long putback at the buzzer to send the game to OT, where Playaz dominated an exhausted Hoops side that only suited up six players. Reid scored 32 for Playaz, while Quinerly added 27 as both showed out in this one. Mitch Seraille led Hoops with 21 points, Matt Mayer had 20, Javonte Smart 18, Jacobi Gordon 14, Antoine Davis 13 in another solid effort that the team likely would have won with one more body to rely on off the bench.