Look Back at Las Vegas
The Mass Rivals, New England Playaz, and MB Nation all went to Las Vegas last week to take part in the Adidas Super 64 tournament.
The Rivals opened the tournament by winning the event’s Super Pool A, finishing with a 2-1 record in a pool that also included Florida Elite, Milwaukee Rebels, and Dream Vision.
The Rivals opened with a 67-55 win over Florida Elite on Wednesday night as Jalen Adams returned from injury with a 23 point performance. From there on out all eyes were on Goodluck Okonoboh as he was matched up with Stephen Zimmerman and Kevin Looney in the Rivals’ next two super pool games.
The Dream Vision match-up drew a slew of head coaches including Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim, Louisville’s Rick Pitino, Cincinnati’s Mick Cronin, SMU’s Larry Brown, Ohio State’s Thad Matta, St. John’s Steve Lavin, Stanford’s Johnny Dawkins, and Memphis’ Josh Pastner.
Okonoboh didn’t disappoint, scoring 17 points while continuing to be a menace defensively, but Dream Vision would nonetheless pull off a 72-62 win.
“Okonoboh impressed with his ability to block shots, as usual. He’s as active of a big man as you’ll find. A terrific athlete, Okonoboh gets off the floor quickly, can block shots with both hands and seems to have endless energy,” Scout.com’s Evan Daniels said in his Day Two Notebook from Las Vegas. “He also runs the floor looking to score. Offensively he’s still developing but he did show confidence in his mid-range jump shot.”
Okonoboh’s next match-up came against Kevin Looney in a game watched by Kentucky head coach John Calipari, and captured by Ballas TV:
While Okonoboh and Looney were the big draws, Curtis Cobb ended up stealing the show with a 20 point performance that earned him scholarship offers from UConn and Providence while fellow 2015 standout Josh Sharma also earned a UConn offer.
“A relative unknown on the national scene, Cobb is a teammate of Okonoboh's at Wilbraham (Mass.) Wilbraham & Monson and a good looking 6-foot-4 shooting guard,” Rivals.com’s Eric Bossi said. “After a quiet first half, Cobb took over offensively scoring all 17 of his points after the intermission. He showed off a pure jumper with deep range, the ability to put the ball on the floor and get into the lane and did it all without forcing things.”
The New England Playaz also finished with a 2-1 record, good enough for second place in Super Pool E after defeating D1 Minnesota and MBA Hoops, but falling in a close contest to the Eric Gordon All-Stars despite strong showings from Jarred Reuter and Mustapha Heron, who drew comparisons to Lance Stephenson from Rivals.com’s Eric Bossi:
“2016 Mustapha Heron is a beast of a physical wing. Drives strong to the rim. Maybe see some young Lance Stephenson in body/game. #super64” he tweeted from @ebosshoops.
Heron also hammered home this huge dunk captured by 2eZ mixpates:
The New England Playaz opened bracket play with a 56-52 win over the Atlanta Celtics behind 19 points and 12 rebounds from Tyler Lydon, but came up short against Garner Road – Elite in the next round while the Rivals fell to Spiece Indy Heat.
In Pool L, MB Nation also finished with a 2-1 record, knocking off Virginia Elite Gadson and Dallas Mustangs Harris but falling to Arizona Magic Pump n’ Run before falling at the hands of Dream Vision Utah in the first round of the gold bracket.
In the u16 bracket, the Playaz again finished second in their super pool with a 2-1 record including wins over Michigan Mustangs and Garner Road. They won their opening game over Game Elite in the first round of the championship bracket but then ran into Compton Magic Select in the second round, who would ultimately go on to take the tournament championship.
Incoming Wilbraham & Monson center Joe Schneider was the big story here, earning a full scholarship offer from Notre Dame after head coach Mike Brey watched him live on Saturday.
In the u15 division, incoming freshman Tomas Murphy was the story for the Rivals, adding his latest early scholarship offer from Maryland and being recognized by both Borzello and ESPN’s Jeff Goodman for being potentially farther along at this stage than either of his older brothers, Erik (Florida) or Alex (Duke).