Michigan State coach Tom Izzo was in attendance at the Adidas Summer Championships on Wednesday watching Brookwood Elite (Quebec, Canada) and Basketball University (Houston, Texas), which featured two players ranked in the ESPN Top 100 for the class of 2018: Luguentz Dort (No. 24) and Quentin Grimes (No. 29).
Izzo would not say specificially which players he was watching but said he’s excited about the blue-chip talent that has descended upon Las Vegas. Izzo said he’s looking forward to watching as many of the potential recruits as he can but stated that he and his staff have a regret.
“Were working so much we don’t get to enjoy the city,” he said.
Coaches Bill Self, Kansas; Bobby Hurley, Arizona State; Scott Drew, Baylor; and Wayne Tinkle, Oregon State; were also taking in the game, as was Arizona assistant coach Lorenzo Romar.
Paul tops Anthony
The first game of the day at the Las Vegas Classic at Spring Valley was between Team CP3 and Team Melo, sponsored by the NBA stars. Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul’s squad got the better of New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony’s 89-47.
The game featured four players in ESPN’s top 100 list, including Team CP3’s Jaylen Hoard (22), Coby White (26) and Rechon Black (64), and Team Melo’s Noah Locke (80).
“It’s not about each individual kid, it’s about the team and the program and the kids,” said Paul, who was a coach for Team CP3. “We’ve been fortunate to have a bunch of great kids over the years and we’re going to continue to try to build our program.
Coaches turn out
Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, Kentucky’s John Calipari, Arizona’s Sean Miller and Villanova’s Jay Wright were among the head coaches in attendance for the first game of the Las Vegas Fab 48 Tip-Off Challenge at Bishop Gorman High.
The game between Team Breakdown (Florida) and Playaz Basketball Club (New Jersey) featured four players in ESPN’s top 100: Jahvon Quinerly (15), Anfernee Simons (21), Elijah Weaver (46) and Jalen Carey (55).
All have yet to make a college selection except Simons, who is committed to Louisville.
Locals escape in double OT
For most coaches, winning games tends to be an afterthought on the AAU travel circuit.
Don’t tell that to Las Vegas Knicks program director Lamar Bigby.
The Las Vegas Knicks rallied from a seven-point deficit with under three minutes to play in regulation and won 75-70 in double overtime over Urban DFW Elite (Texas) at Cashman Center.
“I love to win,” Bigby said. “But it’s not all about winning or losing. Ultimately, it’s about getting these kids scholarships. But when you see those boys play like that and win like that, you gotta love it.”
Junior-to-be Aguir Agau hit a pair of free throws with three seconds left in regulation to tie the game. He also had the game-tying put-back dunk in the first overtime. The Knicks outscored Urban DFW Elite 7-2 in the second overtime.
“Today, I might be the proudest program director in the history of AAU because I watched our guys make plays to win the game,” Bigby. “I’m kind of emotional right now … We stress one heartbeat, one body.”
In the stands
Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball sat courtside in the nightcap at Cashman Center to watch younger brother, LaMelo, and the Lavar Ball-led Big Baller Brand squad take on Zion Williamson — the No. 2 overall recruit in the country — and S.C. Supreme in the Adidas Summer Championships. NBA guards Andrew Wiggins (Minnesota Timberwolves), Jamal Murray (Denver Nuggets) and Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers) also were sitting courtside at the game.
Quote of the day
“There’s so many good players and so many tournaments going on here. The problem is it’s hard to get to them all.”
— Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said.