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August 3, 2014
Jones, Poyser stand out at Adidas
GARDEN GROVE, Calif. -- Rising senior small forward Derrick Jones continued to finish the summer strong while Canadian point guard Jalen Poyser was making some major noise at Adidas Nations this weekend.
Jones taking things easy
The No. 33 player in the class of 2015, small forward Derrick Jones, has a very laid back approach to his recruitment.
The 6-foot-6 small forward from Radnor (Pa.) Archbishop Carroll said he has been letting his father and coaches handle the majority of his recruitment.
"I trust them," Jones said. "I'm going to start setting some visits up here soon and when I get on the visits I will ask more questions."
According to Jones, he would like to knock out a couple of visits during the month of August -- he just isn't sure where yet. Schools under consideration include Kentucky, Syracuse, Villanova, Indiana, Connecticut and SMU.
Capping off a strong summer, Jones was very good during a Saturday night with 18 points while being efficient from the floor. He attacked the rim and showcased his high flying athleticism, hit a three and was active as a rebounder and passer during a terrific all-around performance.
Poyser making most of opportunity
Jalen Poyser was an eagerly anticipated prospect prior to Adidas Nation, and he did not disappoint. Through two days, the 6-foot-3 point guard from Canada has been impressive while proving without a shadow of a doubt that he is a high-major-level floor general.
Currently an unranked three-star, Poyser is looking very much like a guy capable of making a run into the next edition of the Rivals150 for the class of 2015. Though it has been a long summer, Poyser says he is finding the energy to give a max effort while in Garden Grove.
"I think it starts with our actual team and playing defense," said Poyser when asked how he still has energy while many others don't. "Once we have our defense set, we get momentum and energy and it picks all of us up and it is good for me."
Though he is on the lean side, Poyser has good size overall and a nice feel for the game. He is adept at penetrating defenses via the dribble, can score in the lane and makes very good decisions.
He is certainly glad for the opportunity to show more people what he can do.
"I think it is a great opportunity for me," Poyser said. "Being able to be recognized by scouts even knowing there aren't college coaches here is a good thing pushing forward."
According to Poyser, he will get more serious about his recruiting and deciding on visits after he finishes up with Nations and the Nike Global Challenge in a few weeks. He has heard from Oklahoma, Michigan, Michigan State, Wake Forest, California, George Mason and Idaho among others and doesn't have any favorites.
News and notes
After Nations is over, five-star forward Brandon Ingram will stick around and take an unofficial visit to UCLA. Next weekend he'll visit Duke and he is also planning a visit to Kansas in October. Pushing 6-foot-9, he is a very interesting prospect in that his game is that of a true wing and you just don't see many wings that size in college. Once he adds strength, though, Ingram has legitimate tools to play at the highest level of basketball and he could get there quickly. Currently ranked No. 25 in 2015, he is one of many highly rated players who is pushing for a bump in the rankings. He is definitely deserving of it and there will have to be some tough decisions made at the very high end of the rankings.
Some people say class of 2015 four-star Bennie Boatwright is a stretch four. Others like him as a combo or small forward. Whichever position you want to label him, Boatwright's game is jump shot heavy and he has very good size at nearly 6-foot-8. He is looking stronger than ever physically and mentioned Washington State, Arizona State, Oregon, Connecticut and Gonzaga as some of the schools most active in his recruitment and under consideration for official visits.
Four-star big man Tony Bradley had a very nice morning game on Saturday. The 6-foot-9 big man from Florida was strong on the glass and did a good job of converting in traffic. He is very much playing up to his ranking of No. 55 in the class of 2016.
Team Wall 2016 steamrolled the Latin America squad in a Saturday morning game. The play of 2016 four-stars Rawle Alkins and Maverick Rowan had a lot to do with it as they scored 22 and 21 respectively.
Built like a strong safety, Alkins is a beastly wing who loves to attack off the dribble. On a few occasions, he would rip a rebound at the defensive end and drive all the way to the other end for buckets. His jump shot remains a work in progress, but he shoots it well enough that defenders at least have to respect him from deep, and that's a good start.
Headed to Pittsburgh, Rowan usually relies on his three-point shooting to soften defenses. With his deep jumper not falling, Rowan did a nice job of using his 6-foot-6 frame to get into the lane and be a factor on the offensive glass. He is a good athlete, has a very good feel for being in the right place at the right time and is an instinctive scorer.
Kobi Simmons has picked right up in Garden Grove where he left off at basically every other stop he's made this summer. The 6-foot-4 point guard who is a five-star prospect in the class of 2016 is an electric offensive player who can create for himself off the dribble and has loads of confidence in his game. Despite playing pretty much every big name event he could, Simmons still has fresh legs with plenty of pop in them. He doesn't have dates set just yet, but said that he is looking to schedule unofficial visits to Kentucky, Kansas and Missouri this fall.
The only class of 2017 player in attendance, 6-foot-8 combo forward Billy Preston, has handled himself very nicely. He is a rangy forward who stretches defenses with his ability to shoot from deep, he can score in the lane and he has a great frame to build on. As we start looking towards a first crack at ranking the class of 2017, it is hard to envision him not making an initial top 25 and he stands to be in the mix for early five-star status.
Over the past couple of months, Adams has gotten much stronger. The addition of a power game to go along with his already tremendous first step, skilled ball-handling and ability to make tough shots makes him a load. He is a master of the pull-up jumper and plays with unwavering confidence. On the other hand, Walker is a good sized wing at about 6-foot-7 who has also added strength. He has picked his spots through two days of play and knocked down open looks when given the opportunity. He could always be a little more aggressive, but his all around play at Nations has been strong.
Eric Bossi is the national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.
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