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2014 Adidas Gauntlet Orlando: What We Learned
by Eric Hampford, Future150 (11:17 AM CT, Thu May 29, 2014)
2016 Oregon PG Payton Pritchard had a big weekend in Orlando
2016 Oregon PG Payton Pritchard had a big weekend in Orlando
Eric Hampford
Eric Hampford:

Future150 GM / Senior National Analyst. Covering high and middle school basketball.

Nashville, TN (Future150) -- After surveying action at the 2014 Adidas Gauntlet Orlando, there was a lot to digest with all of the talent on display in the Adidas League. Several prospects improved their stock over the weekend, while others disappointed with their play. Overall, there were several who made themselves part of the storylines for the event, and along the way, positioned themselves nicely for a boost in the rankings over the next week.

Dennis Smith Jr. Closing The Gap On 2016 PG Crop:

We first got a look at Dennis Smith Jr. last July at AAU Nationals in Orlando, where he was playing with the Karolina Diamonds. What we saw then was a raw lead guard with explosive athleticism. The hype of his mixtapes was carrying him at that point, and to say the least, we weren't very impressed. 

Fast forward to this year, and boy have things changed. The improvement in his game is impressive. He not only has tightenend up his ball skills, but he now understands when to get his teammates involved and when to score himself. He has excellent burst when penetrating and uses his explosive athleticism to finish in the paint. As his jump shot continues to improve, he will only get better, which is a scary thought. As it stands right now, he is a top three point man in the 2016 class. Could he be the best? There's a good possibility. Stay tuned to see how July plays out.

De'Ron Davis Is A Bonafide Top 10 Prospect:

Overland (CO) 6-foot-9 power forward De'Ron Davis has been a name in prep basketball circles since his middle school days. For some reason, other services had been dropping him over the past several months in their rankings, and we aren't exactly sure why. Currently our #4 prospect in the class, Davis backed up his considerable hype in Orlando. He is a highly skilled face-up four man who not only can bang in the low block, but has a pretty jumper that stretches defenses out to 20 feet. In a class that is loaded at the top, he made his case as a premier prospect.

Enigmatic Jefferson Continues To Dominate:

After watching 2015 PG Damontrae Jefferson light up the AAU basketball world last spring and summer with the Milwaukee Runnin' Rebels, we rewarded him for his play with a top 50 ranking in the country. While many had questioned the move, it appears that the 5-foot-7 sparkplug is here to stay. He continued to dominate the Adidas circuit in Orlando. During the event, he averaged 26.4 points and 5.2 assists. Regardless of his size, he has proven again and again that he is a nearly unguardable scorer. His efficiency has improved as well as his decision making. While his defense is still a concern for many, there is no doubting his ability to perform against quality competition.

McDonald's Alert: North Carolina Wing Makes His Case:

Kinston (NC) swingman Brandon Ingram has been on the scene for several years now, but recently, his play has taken his reputation to another level in the recruiting world. While he has always had the tools to develop into a star prospect, his potential is now being realized this spring. With excellent size for the wing at 6-foot-8, as well as a dangerous perimeter jump shot which is consistent out to the three-point line, Ingram is making his case for the McDonald's All-American game for the 2015 class. Up to this point, we have had him undervalued at #42 in the country and #7 at his position. Those numbers will certainly change for the better next week, and don't be surprised if his ascent continues into July.

2016 West Coast Prospects Show Growth:

The play of two particular west coast prospects impressed our staff over the weekend, enough so that both will be making significant leaps in our updated rankings next week. 

Compton Magic small forward T.J. Leaf dazzled us in Orlando with his polished game and conisistency against top notch competition. The 6-foot-9 swingman does a bit of everything on the floor and gets his numbers in the flow of the offense. He is an excellent passer and makes good decisions with the ball in his hands. 

The most impressive shooting performance of the weekend came from Team FAST point man Payton PritchardAgainst a quality Indiana Elite team, there was one point in the game where he came down and nailed five consecutive three-point shots, each of which were contested. He had the gym buzzing with his ability to free himself for open looks and his overall savvy on the floor. Impressive performance for the West Linn (OR) guard.

Jeter's Improvement Impressive:

Perhaps the most impressive prospect we've seen so far this spring is the 6-foot-10 Bishop Gorman (NV) big man. Living in the shadow of teammate Stephen Zimmerman throughout his high school and AAU days, Chase Jeter has embraced his role this AAU season as the premier big man on Dream Vision's roster, and has flourished. He has gotten stronger and more skilled in the post, and was dishing out double-doubles each game he played in Orlando. He is easily a top 10 prospect nationally, and he proved that last weekend.

Washington Commit Continues His Dominance In 2014:

It's been a big year for Rainier Beach (WA) point guard David Crisp. The 6-footer burst onto the scene this prep basketball season while leading his high school team to a state championship in Washington. Along the way, he committed to the local Huskies and decided he would prep next year before enrolling in 2015. This spring, he has continued to make waves while playing with the NW Panthers. He is leading them in scoring and assists and showing off his polished offensive game.

2018 Prospect Makes A Splash:

Making a case for the #1 ranking in the 2018 class is Atlanta Celtics power forward E.J. Montgomery. The 6-foot-10 post more than held his own while playing 17U basketball in Orlando, and didn't back down against quality big men, including his Sunday battle with Thon Maker. He has an excellent body of skills for such a young player, and his ceiling is extremely high. It was just announced this week that he will be taking his talents to Montverde Academy (FL), where his game should blossom even more.

Alkins Makes His Case As The Next Premier NYC Star: 

While the overall level of talent in New York City has been down for several years now, there is always one prospect who is bound for stardom. The latest looks like New York Rens shooting guard Rawle Alkins.The 6-foot-4 wing has great size, speed & muscle and uses it to his advantage on the court. The Christ The King (NY) guard already holds offers from the likes of Villanova, South Florida, Minnesota & Cincinnati, and the sophomore will see much more interest as we head into July.

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