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July 16, 2012

What We Learned: Adidas Invitational

MORE: Adidas Invitational: Championship Sunday

After five full days at the Adidas Invitational in Indianapolis, several college coaches were calling this year's event the deepest and most talented in recent memory. With more than 25 Rivals150 players in attendance from the 2013 class and more then 10 from the 2014 Rivals100, the tournament provided plenty of lasting impressions.

Top of the hill

There can be absolutely zero discussion as to who was the best prospect at the Adidas Invitational. Florida commit and Florida Elite point guard Kasey Hill was incredible over the five-day stretch. He somehow found a way to get better each game in leading his team to a championship.

The smooth 6-foot-1 pure point guard is as gifted of a passer as there is in his 2013 class, where he is ranked as the No. 7 overall prospect. Hill is also one of the most elusive players in his class of the dribble, and showed in Indy that he is able to consistently knock down long shot after long shot when left with space.

Future head coach Billy Donovan watched Hill like a hawk in Indianapolis, and the two-time national champion who is known for developing NBA talents had to be excited with what he watched.

Underclasmen have depth

As well as the 2013 class performed in Indianapolis, it was the 2014 kids who stole the show. Five-star prospects D'angelo Russell and Noah Vonleh were more than impressive; while four-stars Quentin Snider, Kelly Oubre, Leron Black, Marcanvis Hymon, Craig Victor, Daniel Hamilton, Trevon Bluiett, and Isaiah Bailey were all solid as well.

Russell and Snider, in particular, stood out as kids who can win games for their coaches with their diverse offensive skills, fluidity in moving through defenders in the open court, and elite vision as passers.

Noah Vonleh also showed his high ceiling, and why Eric Bossi has him ranked as the No. 3 overall prospect in that class. Vonleh is a raw athlete with power who is able to play on the wing, in the high post, or down on the block; while playing with a high level of energy all game.

Black and Hymon might be two of the biggest sleepers in their class, as both forwards playing with a relentless style on the court, have great athleticism, and are skilled inside and outside.

Bright future in Indiana

The depth of the 2015 class in Indiana continues to impress as several prospects from the Hoosier State stood out in 15u action. With the champion (Eric Gordon All-Stars), another final four team (Spiece Indy Ice), and two other top teams (Indiana Elite/Team Indiana and Spiece Indy Heat) the Indiana rising sophomores looked like the best of the bunch. On the Eric Gordon roster, everyone knows about 2016 guard Eron Gordon (Eric's younger brother). But in Indy, it was the other players who stepped up, and had college coaches buzzing. Forwards Michael Benkert, Ryan Welage and Brennan Gillis proved that they belong on the biggest stage. Meanwhile, guards Sean McGee and Dwayne Gibson also impressed. The All-Stars boast a roster of 10 future Division I players, with all of them playing at that level over the five-day event.

Indiana Elite/Team Indiana has some of the top young guards in the nation with Hyron Edwards, a smooth point guard with a mature feel for the game, leading the pack. In addition to Edwards, Elite has more future stars in Chandler White and wings Stanley Duncan and twin brother Everett Duncan.

Other Indiana natives who stood out were Spiece prospects Jalen Coleman and P.J. Thompson.

West Coast Wings win

Two of the top scorers at the event were five-star shooting guard Isaac Hamilton and four-star combo guard Jaron Hopkins, both West Coast prospects who play for California-based AAU teams.

Let's start with Hopkins, who plays with the Compton Magic on the circuit but resides in Arizona and who ran off over 25 points in games against Ohio Basketball Club and the Ohio Phenoms. Hopkins is a dangerous scorer that has excellent athleticism, and put that to the test with some big-time dunks in Indy. While being tracked by coaches from UCLA, USC, Colorado, Kansas, Oregon, Washington, and Nebraska, the 6-foot-5 versatile guard was able to get to the rim at will with his array of dribble moves and quickness. Ranked No. 64 in the 2013 class, Hopkins can rise even higher in the rankings as he continues to prove that he can shoot the ball out to the 3-point line.

Hamilton, a Los Angeles-based guard who led his Dream Vision team to a semifinal appearance, is one of the most gifted players on the circuit at using one or two dribbles to create separation to get his shot off. He shows really nice touch in the mid-range game. He has an advanced understanding of how to play in tight spaces, and is a deadly scorer with athleticism on the break. As a five-star shooting guard with size at 6-foot-4, Hamilton doesn't appear to be in even the slightest amount of danger to lose his No. 12 overall ranking. UCLA, USC, Kansas, Washington, and Arizona State all stopped in to watch Hamilton.



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