There are a bunch of guys in polo shirts at North Central this afternoon, which can only mean one thing: the July college basketball evaluation period has arrived. The Adidas Invitational starts today at North Central with more than 400 teams and roughly the same number of college coaches expected. Keep checking here for updated coverage from the tournament:
10:10 p.m. – When you come out for your first game of July wearing Superman socks (complete with a cape), you’d better be able to back it up. Carlton Bragg, a 6-9 rising junior from Cleveland, helped his Ohio Basketball Club 16s team to a 70-62 win over the Eric Gordon Central Stars on Wednesday night.
“That’s something me and my point guard looked up,” Bragg said. “We saw them at Wal-Mart and picked them up for the first game. Like them?”
Bragg was watched by Indiana coach Tom Crean, West Virginia coach Bob Huggins, Ohio State coach Thad Matta and Illinois coach John Groce, among others, on the first night of the evaluation period. Kentucky assistant Orlando Antigua was also in attendance.
Bragg reiterated what he said early this week in that he plans to visit Indiana sometime soon, possibly in August. He said he’s especially intrigued by Indiana after the Hoosiers put Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo in the NBA last month, with both taken in the top four picks.
“I want to be an NBA prospect,” he said. “Hard work pays off, you can tell. I’m far from it, but getting closer and closer every day.”
Bragg has visited Illinois and Ohio State. He said he was “wowed” by the Illinois visit and said “it feels like family” at Ohio State.
“Illinois is trying to get a national championship,” he said. “That’s what they told me. I’m the missing piece of it. They want me to come down and commit. We’ll see.”
Though he has some options, Bragg said he doesn’t plan to commit anytime soon. He said that won’t happen until his senior year.
9:52 p.m. – The Houston Defenders are getting the better of the Eric Gordon All-Stars, leading 38-23 at halftime. Joe Burton, a 6-6 rising senior, is have a big game for the Houston team. He’s ranked No. 103 in the class nationally by Rivals.
9:33 p.m. – Now watching North Central rising sophomore Eron Gordon and his Eric Gordon All-Stars team play the Houston Defenders. Gordon is playing up two age groups. Indiana assistant Steve McClain here watching, along with Butler assistant Michael Lewis, Purdue assistant Jack Owens, Kansas State coach Bruce Weber and a number of others.
8:32 p.m. –
Carlton Bragg and his OBC 16s team is leading the Eric Gordon Central Stars 37-29 at halftime. Michigan State coach Tom Izzo has joined the parade of coaches watching here at Northview Middle School.
8:12 p.m. – Indiana coach Tom Crean, West Virginia coach Bob Huggins, Illinois coach John Groce and Ohio State coach Thad Matta among those watching Cleveland standout Carlton Bragg. Bragg, a 6-9 rising junior, is wearing Superman socks. Interesting. His Ohio Basketball Club team is beating the Eric Gordon Central Stars 27-17 in the first half.
7:53 p.m. –
De’Ron Davis, a 6-8 1/2 rising sophomore standout for the Colorado Hawks, said Indiana is in his top five along with Arkansas, Colorado, Arizona and Kansas.
Davis said it “meant a lot” that Indiana coach Tom Crean attended his first game of the July evaluation period.
Davis’ teammate, 5-10 rising junior Austin Conway, also spoke very highly of Indiana. Though he is also considered a top football recruit, Conway said he sees himself as a basketball player and intends to play that sport in college.
Davis and Conway have not yet visited Indiana, but hope to do so this summer.
7:18 p.m. – Here’s a little more from an earlier conversation with Brownsburg rising junior K.J. Walton, a 6-3 guard with offers from Illinois State and Xavier and interest from much of the Big Ten Conference and Butler, among others.
Walton said he spoke with new Butler coach Brandon Miller on Tuesday.
“He said they were going to recruit me hard and were really interested,” Walton said. “I hope (an offer) is coming. We’ll see.”
Walton said he had a good relationship with Miller previously and was happy to hear he got the job.
“I sent him a ‘congratulations’ text so he thanked me for that,” Walton said. “Butler has a great program so I’m happy he got the job. When they started recruiting me, he was the one who called me and we talked about the NBA Finals and stuff like that. It was almost like a brother relationship. It was real good.”
6:55 p.m. – Impressed with both De’Ron Davis and Austin Conway of the Colorado Hawks. Davis is a 6-9 forward, very mobile for his size. Conway is 5-10, super quick and has a lot of interest in football. Colorado Hawks are up 32-23 on Dorian’s Pride at halftime. Indiana coach Tom Crean still here watching Davis and Conway.
6:29 p.m. – Indiana coach Tom Crean and Butler assistant Michael Lewis are among the coaches watching Colorado Hawks guard Austin Conway (2015) and De’Ron Davis (2016). Both players were standouts in last year’s tournament. Colorado and VCU also among the schools here for this game.
6:19 p.m. – Caught up with Zionsville 6-10 junior Derrik Smits, who recently picked up offers from Butler and Xavier recently. Smits said he talked with Butler coach Brandon Miller on Tuesday and Miller told him his offer was still on the table.
“He told me my offer was still there and they still feel the same about me,” said Smits, who rolled his left ankle in Spiece Indy Heat’s 65-34 win over the Dallas Mustangs.
Smits said Butler is still one of his “favorite schools” despite Brad Stevens leaving for the Boston Celtics.
“Obviously I’m not a fan that he left, because I love Brad Stevens and he’s a great coach and wish him the best at Boston,” he said.
6:13 p.m. – Spiece Indy Heat rolls to a 65-34 win over the Dallas Mustangs. K.J. Walton, Park Tudor’s Bryce Moore played especially well. Walton finished with 17 points and Sean McDermott of Pendleton Heights added 13.
5:44 p.m. – Corydon Central’s Bronson Kessinger is a nice player for Spiece as well. Smooth 6-7 forward, has offers from Indiana State, IPFW and IUPUI. Spiece way ahead here, leading 50-30 with nine minutes left.
5:32 p.m. – Spiece Indy Heat 16s pulling away from the Dallas Mustangs, up 40-17 at halftime. Other notable coaches here including Greg Lansing of Indiana State, Marty Simmons of Evansville and Matthew Graves of South Alabama. Brownsburg’s K.J. Walton has 15 points.
5:18 p.m. – Indiana coach Tom Crean also now watching Spiece-Dallas Mustangs. Good game so far for K.J. Walton. Spiece is up 23-13 late in first half.
4:55 p.m. – Caught up for a few minutes with former North Central Mr. Basketball Jason Gardner, who is now an assistant at Memphis after leaving Loyola (Ill.). Safe to say he’s recruiting a different type of player at Memphis.
I’m watching the Spiece Indy Heat now. Brownsburg’s K.J. Walton, Zionsville’s Derrik Smits, etc. Butler, Indiana State, Tennessee, Illinois, Boston College among the schools with coaches here watching. Michigan State’s Tom Izzo and assistant Dane Fife, along with Xavier’s Chris Mack and Indiana assistant Steve McClain also now in attendance. Spiece is playing the Dallas Mustangs, a team also loaded with prospects.