The squeaks of the sneakers, the blazing heat from the sun, yes my friend it is July and that means high level hoops. Things tipped off in grandiose fashion with Indianapolis quickly establishing itself as the hub for the opening week of action.
Three events highlight the hoops landscape with the old favorite The Hoosier Shootout and its offspring the BTI Indiana Shootout along with the adidas Invitational consuming the city with round ball fever.
The Tennessee Travelers 17 and under got the leather ball rolling right along starting opening day with a 2-0 mark led by some outstanding balanced play from Rico White (Bearden) and Brandon Lopez (Austin East). Yes Lopez is back among the Tennessee prepsters for his senior campaign. Lester "The Action Figure" Wilson (Carter) put on a monster dunking display in the second game and the steady smooth young hands of Shannon "Big Time" Hale (Science Hill) continues to impress high major coaches from coast to coast.
Jumping over to the Hoosier Shootout, Joey Boedwig (Knoxville Catholic) sank a pair of foul shots leading the adidas Team Hustle to a victory in pool play today. Ty Greene (Bearden) made the most of his initial foray into the summer hoops scene playing well in both contests, while prep teammate Dion Fair (Bearden) did his thing from the point. Phillip Stevens (Knoxville Catholic) also drew praise for his efforts this afternoon.
The Tennessee Travelers 16 and under squad split their two games this afternoon at the Shootout with Jack "The Natural" Montague (Brentwood) playing very well in both games. My homeboy Matt Shown (Alcoa) drew some accolades for his solid play in the second game while Jaylen Allen (Science Hill) and Braylen "Vitamin B" Bennett (Carter) also shone bright with their efforts in both contests.
2-0 is the start for the Tennessee Travelers 15 and under squad including a tough 59-40 victory over one of the three thousand Spiece teams in the event. Several college coaches sent me notification of the sterling play of Asa Duvall (Brentwood Academy).
Just over the massive construction effort that is the Circle City, the adidas Invitational got underway with the Nashville Celtics having the unfortunate circumstance of being selected for one of the Super Pools without having two of their better players with Alex Poythress (Clarksville Northeast) playing with that Lebron guy and DeAndre Barnette (Liberty Tech) also unable to participate.
Kendall Anthony (Liberty Tech) scored 14 points and Zavion Williams (West Creek) added 12 as the undermanned Celtics fell to the well oiled 43 Hoops squad from Minnesota. The Celtics came back from a huge deficit in their second contest against the Kansas City Pump and Run before running out of gas.
The Celtics 16's overcame the deficit in their opener behind 26 points from John Ross Glover (USJ). The rising junior scored on a veritable potpourri of power moves and short jumpers; as well as, power drives which gave him endless foul shooting opportunities. Taylor Barnette (Kentucky) added 16 points in the comeback win including a quick 7 points to bring the Celtics back into the game late in the second half. Daijon Williams (Clarksville) added 14 points and Kielan Blanks (Spring Hill) finished with 12. The 16's were set to play their final pool game tonight; we will have details for you tomorrow.
Staying at the adidas, the Memphis Select completed day one action at 1 and 1 behind some balanced scoring and team play.
Demarc Richardson (Briarcrest Christian) was praised for his scoring and defensive efforts while Robert Houston (Craigmont) knocked down five 3's and ran the point in the absence of Cedric McAfee (Melrose), who is also playing some ball with that fella named Lebron down at his skills camp.
John Hudson (Dyer County) keeps busting them from deep for the Select, who continue to get solid play from McCoy Polk (Memphis Overton), Tim Allen (Whitehaven), Octavious Ellis (Whitehaven) and Eric Richardson (Alabama).