LAS VEGAS -- It was inevitable, after Wednesday night's top-shelf showcase games at the Fab 48, for today's action to lag a bit in comparison, but even with an adjustment for normalcy, the chunks of three games I caught this morning at the Adidas Super 64 were subpar. There simply wasn't very much to look at in terms of legitimate talent.
Thusly dissatisfied, I made the trek back to the southwest part of the city to Bishop Gorman to catch some afternoon action at the main Fab 48 courts. It was much better overall, with more individual talent on display and better team basketball at times, too.
Here are a few quick takeaways from today's sessions:
- The most interesting guy I saw today was the exquisitely named Nuwr'Iyl (best pronounced "new-RILL") Williams, a 6-foot-2 Class of 2015 off guard from Santa Monica High School and the Earl Watson Pangos Elite team out of El Segundo, Calif. "New," as it's easier to call him, showed explosive leaping ability for his size, throwing down several dramatic dunks, including a pulverization of a Detroit Stars player on an alley-oop. He also looked good from behind the arc from the corners. Arizona has recently moved into the picture, and New is getting a lot of Pac-12 interest as well as some of next year's top Mountain West programs. As an aside, it also appears that New is looking for some funding for SAT prep classes and the like.
- I would have liked to have seen New with the ball in his hands more, initiating offense, but the Pangos team was being run by Devin Watson, a 6-foot point-guard prospect for 2014 who also looked promising despite a couple of bad turnovers in the open floor. He's also generating a good amount of West Coast interest.
- The game before the Pangos one featured a Double Pump Elite team that had a lot of mid-major (plus) talent and which probably played the best "team basketball" I have seen in terms of ball movement, spacing and general flow to their attack.
There were a number of coaches there eyeballing 6-6 wing Max Hoetzel, who looked like he had a nice stroke from the perimeter. Also on the floor was 6-9 forward Jack Williams, a lanky high-effort guy with a solid face-up, mid-range jumper. He's getting a lot of looks from mid-level West Coast schools as well as my alma mater, Penn.
- I stuck around to get another look at Mo Williams Academy Elite with uber-prospects Emmanuel Mudiay and Malik Newman, but it seemed to be Newman's game to run the show, with Mudiay curiously utilized off the ball for the chunk of the game I watched. Newman's best attribute at this point is scoring, so it was pretty wasteful to have him dominate the ball rather than the more well-rounded and smooth Mudiay, but I guess this is a showcase for the individual players, too, so Newman could show off some at the 1.