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July 8, 2010

Adidas Invitational: Day two brings excitement

Indianapolis, Ind. - The Adidas Invitational kicked into high gear on Wednesday as teams began falling by the wayside and others made moves towards a title. There were several standout performances, but Jerome Seagears did a great job and showed the type of prospect that he is becoming.

Seagers leads Assault past scrappy Canadian bunch

Brookwood Elite isn't a name that probably many players on the D.C. Assault roster were afraid of coming into their game, but the Canadian team showed very early on that it was going to be a battle. Assault didn't come out super focused, and Brookwood began to seize a little bit of control. Still the play of Jerome Seagears proved to be the difference.

A jet quick point guard, Seagears can get overshadowed at times during the summer by his running mate Quinn Cook, but with Cook representing the USA in Germany, it is Seagers chance to run the show and he is making the most of it.

Seagears is a 6-foot-1 and loves to push the ball with pace, but he is more than just fast, he knows how to play. Against Brookwood, Seagears made solid decisions with the basketball, got his teammates involved, and also ran the show. More than anything though he flat out had it working from the field.

Scoring is something that comes naturally for Seagers and it is because he can do it in so many ways. Seagears is excellent in using ball screens, especially going to his right, and when he does get the screen he is threat to either get a paint touch off the drive or shoot it from deep. Either way it often resulted in a bucket. Also Seagears used the step back jumper as a weapon, and it was his performance that got D.C. Assault the victory.

The biggest reason why the game was close was due to the play of Jonathan Thsimbuy. Thsimbuy is a 6-foot-5 wing who has an absolute stud. He will be attending high school basketball in the states next season, and he could play his way into becoming a household name.

Thsimbuy at this point seems mostly to be a driver/slasher type of wing, but his jumper has solid form from the mid-range. He didn't really attempt much from the perimeter, but that was because D.C. Assault couldn't keep him from getting into the lane. He is 6-foot-5 with great strength and a nice handle going either to his right or to his left. His performance made things close, and certainly drew the attention of coaches who were in attendance.

Other notable performances

Nick Jacobs - Either teams can't figure out that Jacobs is left handed or simply no one can stop him from going over his right shoulder with the left and scoring. At nearly 6-foot-8 with long arms, broad shoulders, and an impressive physique, the 2011 post has been tough to stop down low on the block. He exclusively scores with his left hand, and doesn't show much of a desire to go with the right, but he simply gets buckets. In a morning win Jacobs kept on scoring off of post moves or offensive rebounds. Also he was a presence on the defensive end where he blocked or altered several shots.

Kevin Ware - Ware is an athletic guard who is still searching for a position. Right now he turns the ball over too much to be a point guard, and might not shoot it well enough from deep to be a pure scoring guard, but he does have excellent athleticism and the ability to get his own shot in the mid-range. He had a solid morning performance scoring on some impressive tough jumpers, but his turnovers at times did come back to haunt the Celtics. If he can clear that up, he will be a major factor going forward.

Kevin Ferrell - After not having his best day on Tuesday, Ferrell got back with it on Wednesday. His pull-up jumper is an absolute weapon, especially on the fast break, and also he is excellent at pressuring the ball. Sometimes his lack of strength can expose him, but that will come in time with maturity. Also Ferrell had his three pointer working, and he did a good job of striking the balance between being a scorer and a distributor.

Austin Etherington - The Indiana commitment had a good day. His jumper was falling, but more importantly he showed a desire to get to the rim. Etherington gets into problems when he settles for being only a jump shooter as it negates his size and athleticism. On Wednesday the 2011 wing attacked the rim using his dribble, and that got every facet of his game going in route to a solid scoring day.

Cody Zeller - Indiana Elite is simply a different team when the 2011 power forward isn't in the game due to foul trouble. Zeller rebounds like crazy on both ends of the floor, and runs the court so well that it makes easy buckets possible for himself and others. Also Zeller is showing more and more ability to score with his back to the basket, and as that continues to get better so does his stock in the eyes of coaches.

LeBryan Nash - There has never been any doubt that Nash is an athletic cat. With his strength, size, and athleticism he is tough to match on the wing, and really no one has stopped him to this point. Nash was able to have his own personal dunk fest at times, and that gave his teammates opportunities. Having a motor that is always working is a growth area for Nash, but the physical tools are there to be a dominant player on both ends of the court.

Grandy Glaze - Glaze is just a tough kid. The 2011 power forward is an absolute bull in a china shop who always is giving maximum effort. Physically he is limited because of his height, but he makes the most of it. Always a guy that did most of his work on the block, Glaze is now beating bigger defenders off the dribble and then finishing through their chests with his strength and smarts. He needs to be aggressive all the time going to the rim, but the skill level is definitely on the rise for Glaze despite his limitations.

Jordan Williams - The 6-foot-6 small forward passes the look test right away with his long arms and impressive build, and he has been producing at a high level to go along with it. Williams is attacking off the dribble, finishing down low with athleticism, and defending very well for the Dallas Mustangs. He does need to get stronger, but the way he is playing is impressive despite not always getting many touches throughout the game. There just aren't many players his size with his length that have a solid skill level.

Matt Costello - One of the very pleasant surprises of the day was Costello. He arrived late for his team's game, and when he was gone they were down double-figures. Upon his arrival things changed. Costello showed a lot of toughness down low rebounding the basketball, and the 6-foot-9 class of 2012 big man also showed some face up game. A good shooter, Costello is a threat beyond the three point line, and can score off a post move as well as in catch and shoot situations. Rebounding has been a growth area for Costello, but he has made huge strides in that area, and now could be one of the better pick and pop interior players in his class.

Anton Wilson - Athleticism and energy sum up Wilson's game. The 6-foot-4 wing can shoot it from deep, though his foot work does leave something to be desired, but it is his ability to create off the dribble that is most impressive. Wilson has excellent athleticism and long arms which allows him to get space for his shot, and also have a clean release. He does need to temper his shot selection some, but when going good he lights up the scoreboard in a hurry.

Denzell Valentine - He isn't the most athletic wing, but Valentine really can play. He has a good build and a high basketball IQ which allows him to make up for his lack of athleticism. Valentine is an excellent shooter with deep range, and also is crafty enough to get to the rim because he knows how to change speeds and create space using footwork and the dribble. Defensively will always be a challenge for Valentine, but he is a flat out winner who knows how to score.

Dontonio Wingfield - The class of 2013 wing was solid in helping his Team Jordan squad pullout a big win. Wingfield is someone who absolutely loves to use the middle of the floor. All of his drives come from the wing and go to the midline where he either uses his excellent court vision to get a bucket for a teammate, or converts with athleticism and a solid jump shot. He does need to improve on catch and shoot situations from deep, but his passing and natural instinct to score make him a good looking prospect going forward.

Basil Smotherman - It was a tough day at times for Smotherman. Though he clearly is getting more athletic, Smotherman didn't have that killer instinct to score. He does have all the skills as he can dribble, pass, and shoot well for a young big wing, but he needed to be more aggressive with his team trailing and in need of a bucket. Already holding several high level offers, Smotherman showed the flashes that make him highly touted, but also the flaws came out.

Devin Davis - While Smotherman is the smooth skilled one, Davis is the athletic high-motor part of the Eric Gordon All-Stars 2013 wing duo. Davis had a solid day, and did most of his damage going to the rim off the bounce or by using his athleticism to get offensive rebounds and convert. When his team looks for a bucket Davis is clearly the guy that they go to, and for a time he kept them in it by getting several key buckets. Still at 6-foot-5 Davis must become a better shooter as right now he isn't a huge threat from outside of 15 feet.

Ishmael Wainright - He plays 15-and under basketball, but Wainright physically looks more like he should be a junior in college. He absolutely is a grown man and plays with bad intentions. At 6-foot-5 with broad shoulders Wainright currently does a lot of damage down low because he overpowers people, but also he can play from the outside as well off the bounce. He will of course have to continually move to the perimeter, but he is showing some aptitude to do that already, and his strength and mature body are never going away.

School Lists

Kevin Ferrell has offers from Indiana, Illinois, Ohio State, Butler, Notre Dame, Purdue, Washington, Virginia, Michigan, and Florida.

Jordan Williams listed Kansas State, Texas A&M, Arizona State, Arizona, Texas Tech, Washington, Georgia, SMU, and North Texas.

Matt Costello holds offers from Michigan, Butler, USC, and Oklahoma. He also has strong interest from Michigan State, Purdue, Ohio State, and Iowa.

Jerome Seagears says he has offers from Cincinnati, Rutgers, DePaul, Clemson, Maryland, and Boston College with interest from Arizona and Georgetown.

Jonathan Tsimbuy says New Mexico State has offered and is the only school showing interest. That should change in the very near future.


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