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Posted On: 04/23/18 5:47 PM
Momentous Sports Center in Irvine played host to the Adidas Gauntlet’s west coast regional stop, drawing the top adidas-affiliated travel ball teams in the region for the three-day event.
There was a plethora of talent and plenty of top prospects on display from the 17U level on down to the 15U level, and the following players were the non-So-Cal kids who turned heads.
Rylan Jones, Exum Elite
While the pool of true point guards continues to dwindle, Jones remains one of few among that dying breed. The 6-foot-1, University of Utah-commit sees the floor one step ahead of everyone else and can pick apart the defense either in transition or the half-court setting. Jones advances the basketball on the break, rarely hangs on to the dribble too often, and knows his teammates strengths like the back of his hand. The junior averaged 13.3 points and five assists over the weekend.
Elijah Pepper, Team Lavine
There were few players on-hand who was more important to their team’s success than Pepper was to his. The 6-foot-1 point guard did a little bit of everything in his four game slate, putting up 16.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game. Pepper is gritty and grimy on both ends of the floor, hit from 3-point range at an impressive 45.8 percent clip and plays with an energy and toughness that can’t be taught.
Marjon Beauchamp, Team Bradley
The 6-foot-5 wing didn’t shoot it well from the field over his first two games, but turned things up late Saturday and on Sunday, finishing with averages of 16 points, 5.3 rebounds for a short-handed Team Bradley squad. Beauchamp is a fluid wing athlete with a smooth pull-up jump shot and can get to the basket off the bounce with the ability to change speeds and direction while keeping his body and balance in harmony.
Orlando Robinson, Las Vegas Knicks
Robinson didn’t put up gaudy numbers as far as stats go, but he produced at a consistent clip, averaging 8.8. points, 4.5 rebounds and an event-leading three blocks per game. Robinson is an active and high motor big at 6-feet-10 with good length, timing on defense and ability to stay vertical when contesting shots in the paint. The junior blocked 10 shots in the Knicks’ upset of Compton Magic Saturday and picked up offers from Fresno State and UC Irvine.
Isaac Johnson, Exum Elite
It seems like the squad from Utah always has a skilled big man at their disposal and Johnson is the latest edition of that for this crew. The 6-foot-11 junior finishes around the basket with either hand, can step out on the perimeter and knock down an open catch-and-shoot jumper with time and space, but the defining play of his weekend was an off-handed baseline jump hook from about 13 feet out.