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July 11, 2012
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Adidas Invitational began at North Central High School Wednesday in front of a packed house that included several college coaches. Several recognizable names stood out as top performers at the super pool games.
PG Kasey Hill, 6-foot-1, Montverde (FL) Academy 2013: In the full-court game, there are very few players more entertaining than the five-star Florida commit, who is one of the most deceptive ball-handlers in his class. Hill was able to get loose off of the dribble and score around the basket at ease as his Florida Elite team posted a double digit win over Urban DFW Elite. What makes Hill even more dangerous was the fact that he had his long-range jumper going, knocking down a trio of 3-pointers off the high pick-and-roll. While his scoring was the memorable part of his game, he still displayed the setup ability that earned him his ranking, as he was able to find teammate and fellow five-star Chris Walker for dunks routinely in the lane. Playing in front of future coach Billy Donovan, Hill was the most impressive guard prospect of the day.
PF Chris Walker, 6-foot-9, Bonifay (FL) Holmes County 2013: The majority of college coaches flocked to Walker's game, who like Hill, plays for Florida Elite. Walker is the No. 6 ranked prospect in the Rivals150. Walker didn't disappoint, as he played an active role on both ends of the court, while also showing off an improved handle that makes him a much more versatile offensive threat. Beginning with his bread and butter, the blocked shot, Walker intimidated his opponent from start to finish with his overwhelming length and quick leaping ability around the basket. Offensively he handled the ball from the wing more than normal, and was efficient attacking the basket and drawing contact. Head coaches from Florida, Kansas, and Ohio State were among those who watched Walker in the win.
PG Solomon Poole, 6-foot-1, Jacksonville (Fla.) Terry Parker 2013: Much like Kasey Hill, Poole is a fast guard who can really create plays in the open court when changing ends. At a powerful 6-foot-1, he's able to finish through contact with excellent body control against bigger defenders, and also has the vision to dish it off when those defenders come over to attempt to block his shot. Poole is a solid lead guard who can run the show for his team, and he showed that in leading his Atlanta Celtics team to a lopsided win over a talented Massachusetts Rivals team. The four-star prospect is already committed to Georgia Tech, whose head coach, Brian Gregory, was in attendance.
SG Tim Quarterman, 6-foot-5, Savannah (Ga.) Johnson 2013: Quarterman might not be the biggest name on his Atlanta Celtics team, but on Wednesday night he was their best player. A smooth and shifty wing guard who can play point guard, shooting guard, or small forward, Quarterman is an excellent slasher. With good athleticism and a non-stop motor, he can make plays on the defensive end by generating deflections, and his speed with the ball after a steal allows for easy layups. While he isn't the greatest shooter at this point, Quarterman still shows versatility by being an excellent passer off of the dribble when he's attacking the rim. A Rivals150 guard, Quarterman is one of the top prospects at the Adidas Invitational that most fans haven't heard of.
PG/SG D'angelo Russell, 6-foot-3, Montverde (Fla.) Academy 2014: Russell was sensational in leading his Louisville Magic team to a 30-point win over the Compton Magic, and he did it by being productive on both ends of the floor. Defense is the calling card of the Magic, and Russell defines that by outworking his opponents and using his length and athleticism to create turnovers. Offensively, he is multi-talented as a scorer around the rim, a passer, and as a mid-range shooter off the dribble. Russell also created several second-chance buckets for his team, and led the Magic in scoring with more than 20 points in the win. Playing in front of staff from Ohio State, Xavier, Tennessee, Louisville, and West Virginia, he proved that he is worthy of his five-star ranking.
PG Quentin Snider, 6-foot-1 Louisville (Ky.) Ballard 2014: Snider loves to play the role of the quiet-but-deadly assassin for the Louisville Magic, and that's precisely what the four-star point guard did Wednesday. Snider, already committed to Rick Pitino and the Cardinals, racked up 20 points on an array of pullup jumpers, spot up 3-point shots, and fastbreak layups off steals as his Magic team ran away for an easy win. A tough competitor, Snider set the tone in the game early with back-to-back steals, which he pushed down court for assists to five-star teammate D'angelo Russell. On his deep and talented team, he's the hand that makes the pot stir, and looks to play that role in just a few years collegiately in his hometown.
PF Noah Vonleh, 6-foot-9, Haverhill (Mass.) New Hampton Prep 2014: Known as one of the elite talents nationally in the 2014 class, Vonleh showed promise in every area of the game -- without being excellent in any one aspect -- in his Massachusetts Rivals team's loss to the Atlanta Celtics. A gifted athlete who can really run and jump well for his size, Vonleh is always going to be at his best in stretches where he has his motor running high. When he's focused, like he was at times on Wednesday, he's a high-volume shotblocker, rebounder, scorer, and a game-changing athlete. Vonleh showed signs of transitioning slowly to being a wing player offensively as he handled the ball in the full-court. He also showed patience off the jab-step when attacking his man from the wing. Connecticut, UCLA, Pittsburgh, Kansas, and Ohio State were among the schools that watched Vonleh.
PG Kaleb Joseph, 6-foot-2, Ashburnham (Mass.) Cushing Academy 2014: The four-star combo guard showed nice scoring ability for the Massachusetts Rivals by consistently being able to get past his man and finish in the lane with floaters and quick pullup jumpers. Joseph plays a simple game for a young guard, which is a good thing, and does a nice job of efficiently running his team while rarely turning the ball over against the constant pressure of the Atlanta Celtics' athletic guards. His handle is tight and while he isn't the quickest point guard, he has the understanding of how to create space with changes of direction and pace to get in the lane and score the ball.