Alkins the MOP at adidas Nations
Norwalk, Calif. – While I usually provide complete game recaps and coverage for events I cover on HoopsByUgland.com, the good people at USA TODAY allowed my adidas Nations championship Monday story to appear on their website, which can be found here: 2015 adidas Nations recap. That aside, there’s still some things that need to be addressed, like who I believe to be the best players in the camp. MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYER: Rawle Alkins, Team Rose - The powerful 6-foot-4 shooting guard out of New York City was dominant throughout the entire four-day event. The rising-senior averaged 21.8 points and 5.4 assists per game on the weekend, including a 26-point performance in leading Team Rose to the championship on Monday at Cerritos College. Those 26 points came in just 20 minutes of action.
Team Rose with the adidas Nations championship trophy after a 113-93 win over Team Wall Monday night at Cerritos College. Photo Credit: Devin Ugland
REST OF THE FIRST TEAM Lonzo Ball, Team Rose - The 2016 point guard who is committed to UCLA came into adidas Nations with a lot to prove, for some reason, to the non-west coast media who weren't aware of his unbelievable skill set. Ball quickly put the doubts about his status as an elite player to rest, showcasing his stunning court vision, precision passing and ingrained unselfishness. Most west coast media types believe that the Chino Hills high school product is the best point guard in the country, and his performance at adidas Nations opened the eyes of many others. Gary Trent, Jr., Team Lillard - The Apple Valley (MN) native averaged a cool 20 points per game, and when I say cool, I mean cool. The 2017 shooting guard earned the nickname “The Walking Bucket” over the weekend because of his innate knack for putting the ball in the basket. Trent is one of the top pure scoring guards in his class and will choose from any college he pleases. Dennis Smith, Jr., Team Wall - The highly-ranked 2016 prospect had his weekend cut short due to a knee injury he suffered on Sunday night, but his stellar performance prior to that earns him a spot on the first-team. Smith averaged 16 points and led the camp in assists at 7.6 per game and his 26-point, 11-rebound, 5-assist effort in leading Team Wall to a comeback win over Team Africa on Saturday was enough to solidify him as one of the best players in the camp. Alpha Diallo, Team Africa - As far as recruiting stock goes, Diallo might have been the guy who boosted his stock the most. The 6-foot-6 small forward was consistent in his production throughout the entire event, averaging 20.5 points and 10.7 rebounds per game. Diallo posted 30 points and 13 rebounds in Monday’s third-place game win over Team Lillard. SECOND TEAM CG Kobi Simmons; Team Rose; 14.2 points, 6.6 assists per game SG Terrance Ferguson; Team Wall; 15.3 points, 46.3 percent from 3-point range SG/SF Hamidou Diallo; Team Africa; 19.5 points, 3.2 rebounds per game SF Wenyen Gabriel; Team Africa; 17.7 points, 14.7 rebounds per game PF Edrice Adebayo; Team Rose; 16.2 points, 8.0 rebounds per game THIRD TEAM PG Trevon Duval; Team Lillard; 12.7 points, 4.8 assists per game PG Payton Pritchard; Team Wall; 8.7 points, 4.0 assists per game CG Koby Jamal McEwen; Team Canada; 21.0 points, 5.0 rebounds per game CG Markelle Fultz; Team Wall; 14.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists per game PF Ira Lee; Team Lillard; 9.8 points, 8.3 rebounds per game MORE NOTABLE PLAYERS CG Frank Jackson; Team Rose & Wall; 8.8 points, 3.0 assists per game PG Jaylen Hands; Team Lillard; 8.7 points, 5.0 assists per game CG Wesley Alves da Silva; Team Latin America; 23.8 points, 7.3 rebounds per game F Sacha Killeya-Jones; Team Nations Select; 17.3 points, 4.8 rebounds per game