Throughout live period, I will be sending out a recap of what I saw each day. On Thursday in Vegas, I was at the adidas Summer Championships, and got to see some exciting action that ended with positive results for local programs.
Texas BU Nation 16U 80, Team Loaded VA 16U 75
An enticing matchup between top 2020 prospects Isaiah Todd and RJ Hampton was delayed by over an hour after one of the goals broke during warmups, but once the game finally tipped off, it was all Hampton as he put on a show while carrying his team to victory. In front of a long list of coaches that included Roy Williams and Bill Self, Hampton was steady early before catching fire in the second half on his way to 36 points. Although he has put up huge numbers throughout the summer, in my eyes this was his best performance to date while notching a win over a team with far more talent across their roster. Hampton nailed back-to-back 3s at a crucial juncture with just over two minutes remaining that gave Texas BU Nation the lead for good, and he certainly made a compelling case for the #1 spot nationally in 2020 in this dominant effort.
Texas PRO 93, Boost Elite 68
After dropping a 1-point game to Indiana Elite late Wednesday night, PRO bounced back impressively, blowing open a close contest with a big late run in the final minutes. Jae LeDee got PRO off to a hot start, crashing the offensive glass and getting multiple putbacks, and he continues to prove he is one of the best rebounders in the country. The battle to land LeDee has really heated up, as Will Wade, Kelvin Sampson and several others were in attendance to see him. After fighting off several runs from Boost Elite throughout the game, Kevin Obanor and Darius Mickens closed the deal with a flurry of baskets as PRO rolled to victory. Obanor has been consistent throughout July, and provides a great combination of skill and toughness on the interior, and Boost Elite simply had no answer for him or LeDee in this one. This was a breakout performance for Mickens, who scored from all three levels and possesses the length to be a real nuisance on the defensive end. Obanor scored 19 points, while LeDee recorded a double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds, and Mickens added 17 points. Darreus Brown scored 22 points. Kyler Edwards had 19, Remy Minor 14, and Elijah Elliott 11 for Boost Elite, a new program based out of the DFW metroplex. Brown, who played at ProVision this past season, is a sharp-shooting guard who had coaches buzzing while knocking down 4 threes in the second half. Minor, who attends Bush HS, had one of his best games of the summer, and helped to keep Boost Elite in the game until the late stages.
Basketball University 77, Juice All-Stars 66
Basketball University 63, IEBP All-Stars 51
BU picked up a pair of wins as they pulled away from Juice AS late before jumping on IEBP AS early and cruising to victory. Quentin Grimes scored 23 and 25 points in another productive day that saw John Calipari, Shaka Smart, Bill Self, and Sean Miller courtside for both games. Will Baker had 12 points and 10 rebounds against Juice AS before putting on his second impressive offensive showing of the weekend when scoring 22 points against IEBP AS. Baker is going to improve even further with more game experience in the next year, and belongs in the top 50 nationally in 2019. Javonne Lowery made the move to 17U for the weekend to help out a shorthanded roster, and had a big impact against Juice All-Stars when scoring 16 points and providing excellent defense as well. Souleymane Doumbia had his second big game in as many weeks, posting a terrific 14 points and 14 rebounds against Juice AS. Doumbia needs to add strength to become a better defender and must focus on catching the ball when in comes to him in the post, but this was another step forward for him after his 19-point, 20-rebound performance at GASO last week. Having completed three pool games 2-1, I look forward to seeing if this squad can make any noise when bracket play starts Friday afternoon.
Although I did not get to see the game in person, I must also give a shoutout to LJ Cryer, who dropped 43 points as Basketball University 16U picked up an 80-73 win over San Francisco Rebels. With Javonne Lowery playing 17U this weekend, even more of a burden was placed on Cryer to provide offense for this team, and he has delivered as BU 16U has won both of their pool games thus far. Throughout the summer, Cryer has proven to be the best 2020 in the Houston area, and this performance only further cements that status.