CARTERSVILLE, Ga. – From emerging young stars to unranked players destined for major jumps nationally there were plenty of revelations after the second session of the adidas Gauntlet.
Here are just a few of the things we learned.
Ashton Hagans is this year’s Collin Sexton
It took two sessions of summer shoe circuit ball, but it looks like we’ve zeroed in this year’s Collin Sexton, the senior guard at Pebblebrook (Mableton, Ga.) who started last summer unranked and finished his senior high school season at No. 6 overall in the ESPN 100.
Hagans, a sophomore point guard with Game Elite-2019 (Ga.), is not currently ranked in the ESPN 25, but after another dominant weekend on the Gauntlet it seems likely that his fortunes will change substantially.
Hagans was arguably the most impressive player in Atlanta, posting 22 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists in a win over the top point guard in ESPN 60 Immanuel Quickley and following that up with 14 points, seven assists and six rebounds in a win over the No. 3 overall player and No. 1 shooting guard in the ESPN 60 Romeo Langford.
He also leads the Gauntlet in assists, dishing out eight per game and is third in steals at 2.7 per game.
Hagans isn’t looking like a top point guard in the 2019 class he’s looking like THE top point guard in the class.
Buy stock in Hagans.
Brock Cunningham won’t be outworked
Urban ASAK (Texas) forward Brock Cunningham doesn’t lead the Gauntlet in scoring because he’s the most gifted scorer or highest jumper or because he’s got unstoppable post moves; the real reason is more practical.
He simply won’t be outworked on the floor.
Cunningham is a warrior on the court and plays with a motor that remains in overdrive, chasing down 50/50 balls, scrapping and clawing for position in the paint and running the floor with purpose.
That has translated into 23.5 points and 10.8 rebounds per game, No. 3 overall in the Gauntlet.
His latest two offers have come from Utah and Texas, but chances are great that more will jump in after another dominant showing.
Montez Mathis is a blue collar star
Good luck finding a harder working guard than Mathis, a shooting guard with Team BBC (Md.). Consistently, all weekend, Mathis showed the full scope of his game and came up big for his team from hitting big threes to locking up defensively to racking up countless deflections on the defensive end.
Mathis, who is averaging 18.3 points per game, is blue collar and not only does he not mind doing the dirty work on the court, he seems to embrace it. Still, don’t mistake that assessment and label him a role player, Mathis has star qualities that are showing clearer every time he steps onto the court.
Four teams remain undefeated
After two Gauntlet sessions four teams remain unblemished: Mass Rivals (Mass.), Team Loaded-VA, New England Playaz (Mass.) and the Louisville Magic (Ky.).
Mass Rivals does it by sharing the ball (13.4 assists per game), Team Loaded-VA does it by scoring (No. 1 in the Gauntlet with 79.1 points per game) and rebounding (No. 1 in the Gauntlet with 45.1 rebounds per game), the New England Playaz do it with defense (No. 1 in the Gauntlet allowing just 48.3 points per game) and the Louisville Magic does it by committee.
Who will continue their unbeaten run?
We’ll find out more at the adidas Regional Qualifiers a month from now.
Isaiah Todd’s buzz is warranted
The Team Loaded-VA 16’s forward is quickly picking up “next big thing” buzz and after watching him this weekend it’s clear that he’ll catapult near the top, if not at the very top of the 2019 class.
At 6-foot-10, Todd plays almost exclusively on the wing; handling the ball like a guard, leading the break, knocking down shots and protecting the rim on the defensive end. When he went into the paint, he was unstoppable, using his size and length to create easy scoring opportunities for himself.
The best part?
Todd doesn’t buy into his own hype.
“The only thing I think about is hard work,” Todd told USA Today. “That other stuff I’m not worried about. I just want to get better.”
A mentality for success.
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY