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July 21, 2004Inaugural Adidas Super 64 starts Thursday
The inaugural Adidas Super 64 will begin on July 22 in Las Vegas (Nev.) and last through July 26, with two separate pools of 64 and 36 teams competing for championships, with each team guaranteed to play four games.
The Super 64 pools will be played at Shadow Ridge and Centennial High Schools, and will feature 64 of the top AAU summer circuit teams. The Elite 36 will take place at Centennial High School with additional games at Desert Pines. Eight pools will be present with the tournament tipping-off Thursday morning with the Elite championship game at 4:30 p.m. on Monday crowing the tournament winner.
Top AAU programs in attendance
Several of the top summer travel teams from Adidas will be on display, including the Tallahassee Wildcats, who recently won the adidas Showtime National Championships in Atlanta (Ga.). Joining the Wildcats will be EBO, who is loaded with 2006 talent, Atlanta Celtics, Playaz Basketball Club, Seattle Rotary Select, Pump-N-Run and the New Orleans Jazz to name just a few who will be in the hunt for the title.
2005 field strong with highly regarded recruits
The 2005 class will be well represented with Brandon Costner (Playaz), Andray Blatche (SRAP), Mario Chalmbers (Alaska Pump-N-Run), Ricky Sanchez (Pump-N-Run), Tyler Smith (Atlanta Celtics), Nyan Boateng (Juice All-stars), Tasmin Mitchell (New Orleans Jazz), Chad Millard (New England Playaz), Jordan Wilkes (Pump-N-Run), Greg Paulus (SRAP), Marcus Williams (Seattle Rotary) and Terrence Williams (Seattle Rotary) representing all corners of North American in addition to Puerto Rico and Alaska.
Considered the biggest enigma in his class, Andray Blatche is getting as much attention from NBA scouts as he is college coaches and with good reason. The 6-foot-11 combo forward is a good mix of NBA size and skills, including his passing, jump shot and post-play. When he is on there is no big man better.
Tasmin Mitchell entered the AAU season as the consensus top prospect and looks to establish himself atop the list of '05 recruits. Mitchell a 6-foot-7 combo forward can do a little bit of everything, including hitting the outside shot or posting up. He's a high-energy guy who is good at all aspects of the game.
A 6-foot-11 small forward is a rarity, but that is exactly what Ricky Sanchez is, and the Puerto Rico native has several of the nation's top programs in pursuit. His handle is solid; he has a good feel for the game and a deep outside jumper. His post game is still developing, when it does watch out.
Considered to be one of the top small forward prospects in the nation, Brandon Costner is coming off a stellar adidas Superstar camp that saw him consistently shoot the three in addition to using his strong frame and solid handle to get to the basket. His stock is currently sky-high.
Fresh off his adidas Superstar all-star game MVP performance, Tyler Smith will attend his first event with his new team, the Atlanta Celtics. The 6-foot-6 bouncy athlete is best in transition where he finishes with highlight reel dunks, but is also displaying a new and improved outside jumper.
Junior class one of the best
While the 2005 group is strong, the 2006 class might be even more impressive, especially at the top. Javaris Crittenton (Atlanta Celtics), An'Juan Wilderness (Atlanta Celtics), Brook and Robin Lopez (EBO), Derrick Jaspers (EBO), K'Len Morris (Michigan Mustangs), D.J. Augustin (New Orleans Jazz), Jawan Carter (Playaz), Wayne Ellington (Playaz), Gerald Henderson (Playaz) and Alex Stephenson (Pump-N-Run) are all legitimate top 150 prospects.
Louisiana point guard D.J. Augustin, ranked No. 12 by Rivals.com, is widely considered one of the top floor generals in his class. The 5-foot-10 lighting quick athlete has a knack for penetrating defenses where he finishes or find teammates for easy buckets.
Two of the fastest rising prospects in the 2006 class, Robin and Brook Lopez, are 6-foot-11 identical twin forwards. The Fresno natives have been hot during July and look to continue their impressive play that has almost every high major interested in their services.
6-foot-4 shooting guard Wayne Ellington is an explosive athlete who can score from anywhere across the half court. His outside jumper is sweet and with his solid frame, he likes to get to the rim and finish. He is currently ranked No. 27 in the nation by Rivals.com
Almost a carbon copy of Ellington, Pennsylvania native Gerald Henderson is a terrific athletic who can light up a scoreboard. At 6-foot-4, he likes to use his outside shot to keep defenders honest and will penetrate when given the opportunity. He is also a good defender and rebounds well for his position.
California post player Alex Stepheson has as much potential as almost anyone in the class. At 6-foot-9, he has the ability to post strong on the block and is versatile enough to knock down a 15-foot and in jump shot. As might be expected, he is a good defender who is flexible enough to guard small forwards. He is currently ranked the No. 3 prospect in the nation by Rivals.com.
D.C. Assault bringing two of the nation's top underclassmen
If you are looking for standout underclassmen, make sure you check out the D.C. Assault squad which will showcase the top prospect in the 2008 class and one of the fastest risers in '07.
Small forward Michael Beasley has to be considered the top prospect in the freshman class, and has a skill set that includes the mid and long range jumper, post moves and enough handle to make him a serious offensive threat despite his age.
His teammate, point guard Nolan Smith, is also a promising player who has already developed a point guard mentality to go with his outside scoring ability. Smith, 6-foot-3, wears size 18 shoes and is expected to grow in the upcoming years. He is a promising star in the 2007 class.
Thursday night game matches top point guards in head-to-head battle
If you are looking for a marquee match-up on Thursday night then head to Shadow Ridge High School (Main gym) at 6:20 p.m. to see two of the nation's top point guards square off in a head-to-head match-up. Duke commitment Greg Paulus, ranked No. 11, will lead his SRAP squad into battle against Alaska Pump-N-Run featuring Rivals.com No. 8 ranked player and Kansas pledge Mario Chalmers.
Stay tuned to Rivals.com for updates from the adidas Super 64 throughout the week.