USA vs. USA rematch set for finals
CHICAGO -- Pool play has concluded and the tournament is in full swing. In the morning session, Team USA 2012 beat Latin America 76-66. Jordan Adams (Lawrenceville, Ga./Central Gwinnett) led the deep and balanced 2012 team with 15 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists. Seven-footer Isaiah Austin (Burlson, Texas/Grace Prep) had 12 points and scored inside and out, displaying rare skill for a player of his size.
In the evening session, the USA 2011 team took out Latin America 103-84, led by the play of point guard Ryan Boatright (Aurora, Ill./Aurora East). He scored 13 points, grabbed 5 rebounds and handed out 8 assists to set up a USA rematch between the 2011 and 2012 teams for the adidas Nations Championship on Monday night. The 2012 squad won the first game on Saturday.
2012, SG, 6-5
Adams has continued to impress with his ability to score. He moves well without the ball and can catch and finish before the defense can recover. Adams also used his strength to get deep into the lane for the short jumper and knocked down a couple of open 3s. He also rebounded well and and pushed the ball on the break. Adams is a rhythm scorer, who is very productive when it comes to finding a way to put the ball in the basket. He has put together two excellent days of scoring the ball.
2012, PF/C, 7-0
Austin is a very skilled post who is a tough matchup. It is evident that he needs to add strength, but he affects the game positively in many ways. First of all, watching a 7-footer make plays off the dribble like a small forward is impressive to say the least, but Austin can also hit midrange jumpers and 3s when open. He also is tough to deal with on the defensive end thanks to his great length. He rebounds and blocks shots in and out of his area as well. The sky is the limit on how good this young man could become. Austin says he will make his college choice known at the adidas Nations Global Challenge.
2011, PG, 5-10
Boatright was in full attack mode on Day 3. The cat-quick lead guard got into a scoring groove. He got to the rim and finished over taller defenders, used his tight handle to create space for the pull-up, knocked down a couple open 3s, had a sweet two-hand flush on the break and repeatedly dropped dimes, while playing only about half the game. Boatright likes West Virginia, UTEP, Tennessee and Miami at this point.
Player to watch
Hanner Perea (Charlotte, N.C./United Faith Christian Academy)
2012, PF, 6-7
Perea is an extra long and explosive athlete. His arms are so long they look to almost touch his knees when fully stretched. He runs the floor with long strides and finishes above the rim with any clear path. He is still extremely raw skillwise, but can score at times over his left shoulder in the low post. He is also an excellent area rebounder and weakside shot-blocker. This young man has off-the-charts upside and is definitely one to watch as he continues to evolve. Perea says Indiana and Baylor are the two schools he had heard from the most thus far.
Highlights of the day
• Perea had a two-handed, behind-the-head, vertical power dunk after he received a drop-off pass. He put the ball all the way back to the back of his neck before throwing it down. Perea also had a two-handed reverse in traffic, along the baseline.
• Deuce Bello (High Point, N.C./Westchester Country Day School) simply glided over a defender along the baseline. He looked as if he had jumped off a trampoline.
• Xavier Johnson (Temecula, Calif./Mater Dei) is a 6-6 lefty wing in the 2012 class who can score the ball with his midrange jumper and baseline slashes. Johnson also showed that he can hit the transition 3 when he's in a groove.
• Alex Murphy (South Kingstown, R.I./St. Mark's) has been nursing a tender knee, but when he's on the floor his skill is a thing of beauty. The No. 1-ranked small forward in the 2012 class lets the game come to him, but he can handle the ball, pass and knows when to make his move to score.
• Kaleb Tarzcewski (Claremont, N.H./St. Mark's) is a 7-0 center with great upside. He ran the floor well and finished drop-off passes above the rim. Tarzcewski also made some great passes out of the post that led to easy baskets for open and cutting teammates.
Reggie Rankin was an assistant coach at seven schools for 13 seasons, most recently at Dayton. He played at Ohio University from 1986-90 and was an All-MAC first-teamer in his senior season.
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