Several of the nation’s top college basketball players took to the court in the AAU Under Armour Invitational in Arlington, Texas from May 24-26.
The action was great throughout the weekend but several individual players stepped their game up on Championship day, May 26, and help their teams to a championship title.
15U: I Will Championship: DC Assault over KC Run GMC
Ako Adams (2016) and Anthony Cowan (2016) starred for D.C. Assualt this weekend. Adams scored 20 points in the early game on May 26, to help DC reach the championship game while Cowan had 13 first half points in the second game and his aggressiveness on both ends of the court, sparked a big second half run for DC.
16U: Team Thad defeated the Utah Prospects in the championship game.
17U: Houston Defenders defeated Ray Allen Select in the championship game.
The rest of the top performers in the tournament were: Quentin Snider, Diamond Stone, Myles Turner, Leron Black, Chris Chiozza, Nick Babb, Seventh Woods, Keita Bates-Diop, Brady Ellingson and Romelo Trimble.
Leron Black (Memphis)
Leron Black (Memphis, Tenn./White Station): The 6-7 power forward plays for Team Thad in AAU ball and ranks as the 11th best prospect in the class of 2014 by ESPN.
Black is extremely long and athletic. He wears down opponents by running the floor consistently and finishes in traffic with ease. Black also is becoming a dangerous shooter from the outside. He has a great mid-range jumper and can knock down the open three-pointer if left open. Black’s strongest attribute is his ability to finish at the rim in transition. He also has a high motor and is a great rebounder on both ends of the floor.
Recruiting news: Black has turned his attention to eight schools according to Rivals. The eight schools are Illinois, Florida, Ohio State, Baylor, UConn, North Carolina State, Tennessee and UCLA. UCLA is the only school out of the group that has yet to offer Black a scholarship.
Black still needs to work on his ball-handling and learn how to play without the ball in his hands. He also needs to get better at catching and shooting off of screens as well as improving his lateral quickness.
Seventh Woods (Columbia, S.C./Hammond School). The 6-1 point guard runs with the AAU squad Carolina Wolves and is one of the top prospects in the 2016 class.
Woods is a dynamic playmaker and an exceptional athlete who has the ability to score in bunches. He is a freakish leaper,which helps him play above the rim, and has outstanding speed to go along with exceptional ball handling skills. Woods, who excels in transition, does not shy away from contact and has the ability to finish with either hand.
Offensively, Woods is not a one trick pony. He can hit deep shots and has the ability to create plays off the dribble. However, he is still in the process of developing a consistent jumper.
Defensively, Woods is athletic enough to stay in front of most point guards and is good rebounder.
Overall, Woods has very high upside but he’s primarily focused on working on a game that can be special one day if he crafts it right.
Quentin Snider (Louisville, Kentucky/Ballard): The 6-1 point guard verbally committed to Louisville in August 2011. Snider is ranked as the 31st best prospect in the class of 2014 by ESPN and plays for the Louisville Magic in AAU ball.
Prior to committing to the Cardinals, Snider had an offer from Louisiana Tech and was drawing interest from Indiana, Michigan and Michigan State.
Snider, one of the top point guards in the country, doesn’t make a ton of mistakes. He possesses excellent handles and is a good passer. Snider is also a good scorer as he has a solid midrange game and can knock down three-point jumpers off of the catch or after one or two dribbles.
However, defense is where Snider excels. He is an extremely aggressive on-ball defender and can stay in front of nearly every point guard due to his quickness. As a result of this ability, Snider gets a lot of deflections and steals.
Keita Bates-Diop (Bllomington,Ind.)
Keita Bates-Diop (Bloomington, Ind./University High School)
The 6-7 small runs with the IL Wolves in the AAU circuit and ranks as the 18th best prospect in the class of 2014 according to ESPN.
Bates-Diop didn’t put up sterling numbers in the Under Armour Invitational but did hit key shots whenever was needed in the Wolves first game on May 25. He had 10 points, grabbed five rebounds and a couple of assists in the Wolves victory.
Bates-Diop is very active around the rim and finishes around the rim well. He also runs the floor well, and is a dangerous shooter. In addition, Bates-Diop also has shown the ability to be a lockdown defender.
Bates-Diop verbally committed to Ohio State in November, 2012. He also had offers from DePaul, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas State, Michigan, Northwestern and Purdue, Wisconsin also showed interest in Bates-Diop but did not officially offer.
Myles Turner (Euless, Texas/ Trinity High School):
The 6-11 center plays for Texas Select in AAU ball and is rated as the 13th best prospect at his position in the class of 2014 by ESPN.
Turner had his game going from the get go in the Under Armour Invitational. In Texas Select’s opening game loss to Sports U, Turner was a big-time factor in the paint. He tallied 10 points, blocked 10 shots and grabbed seven boards as well as came up with three steals.
Turner continued his solid play during day two of the Invitational especially on the defensive end. He finished the two-game day with 15 rebounds and 30 points, 15 of which came from five three-pointers.
Turner, who has a high ceiling, possesses good athleticism and runs the floor well. He possesses a soft touch but is otherwise raw on the offensive end. He needs to specifically work on his toughness and post moves.
Turner has a number of scholarship offers and plans on visiting UCLA (May 31-June 2) and taking an unofficial visit to Arizona later this summer. He also plans to cut his college choices down to 10-to-15 by the end of the summer.
UCLA, Texas A&M and Marquette are reportedly making the hardest push for his services but according to ESPN.com on May 28, Baylor may have the edge.
Chris Chiozza (Memphis, Tenn./ White Station)
The 5-11 guard is a true point guard who runs with Team Thad in the AAU circuit. Chiozza,who committed to Florida on May 14, is the 48th best prospect in the class of 2014 at his position according to ESPN.
Chiozza’s exceptional ball-handling skills were on full display in Team Thad’s games on May 25. He also demonstrated how he uses his dribble penetration to set up teammates or get him in position for a short jumper. Chiozza scored 16 points and grabbed five boards in game one and then dished out five assists and grabbed three boards in game two.
Chiozza is primarily a facilitator but as he demonstrated in the Under Armour Invitional, he also has the ability to be a primary scoring option. He possesses excellent speed and has a quick first step which helps him get to the hoop where he absorbs contact extremely well.
Chiozza also is a solid on-ball defender.
Prior to committing to Florida, Chiozza held offers from Auburn, Massachusetts, Memphis, Ohio State, Richmond and Tennessee.
Nick Babb (Arlington, Texas/James Martin)
The 6-4 three-star guard (class of 2014) plays for Texas Select on the AAU circuit. Babb is the brother of former Iowa State shooting guard Chris Babb and is an intriguing prospect.
Babb showed several facets of his game during the Under Armour Invitational. He played point guard much of the weekend and did well running the offense as well as handle the ball.
Babb is a solidly built athletic combo guard who also has the ability to play the big guard or wing position. He is a confident shooter with good range. Babb also has the ability to shoot off the dribble as well as catch and shoot. However, his forte is attacking the rack in the half-court or in transition.
Babb is a very good defender who plays the passing lane /reads offenses well.
Babb has a scholarship offer from Texas Tech. He has also drawn interest from Creighton, SMU, TCU, Tulsa and Wichita State.
Diamond Stone (Milwaukee, Wisc./Dominican): The 6-11 five-star center, rated the number one prospect in the class of 2015 according to ESPN, has slimmed down and has taken his game to the next level.
Stone, playing for his AAU Team: Young Legends, had a great weekend at the Under Armour Invitational. He posted a pair of double-doubles. Stone opened the event with 16 points and 10 rebounds and then poured in 22 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and blocked eight shots on May 25.
Stone is down to 250 pounds and has been running more, eating better as well as playing more basketball. As a result, he gets up and down the floor quicker and has improved his flexibility.
Overall, Stone is very skilled. He can score with his back to the basket a variety of ways as well as face up and knock down jumpers out to 20 feet.
Stone has several scholarship offers from major programs such as UCLA, Florida and Arizona, etc.
Brady Ellingson (Sussex, Wisc./ Hamilton)
The 6-3 shooting guard plays for Ray Allen Select during the AAU season and is a two-star prospect from the class of 2014.
Ellingson played well during the entire Under Armour Invitational. He shot the ball with precise accuracy, scoring 21 points on the opening night of the tournament then pouring in 33 points during the morning session on the final day. Ellingson knocked down several three-pointers and also drove to the bucket frequently.
Ellingson averaged 21.3 points and 3.5 rebounds a game during the high school season. He also shot 51 percent from two-point range and 48 percent from beyond the arc.
Ellingson has three offers on the table and is garnering looks from several other schools. He has offers from Albany, South Dakota and South Dakota State while George Washington, Green Bay, Harvard, Wisconsin-Milwaukee and North Dakota State has shown interest.
Romelo Trimble (Arlington, Va./Bishop O’Connell)
The 6-2 point guard plays with the DC Assault in the AAU circuit and is the 14th best prospect in the class of 2014 at his position according to ESPN.
Trimble was sensational on Day three of the Under Armour Invitational. He attacked the rim aggressively and made good decisions all day. Trimble, who made five triples, finished with 27 points, dished out four assists and had three steals.
Trimble can initiate and run an offense and knows how to control the pace of the game. He also has the ability to play the two guard.
Trimble, who verbally committed to Maryland in December 2012, is a good shooter, possesses good handles and is a good passer. He stills has to get stronger and become a better rebounder.
Prior to his commitment to the Terps, Trimble held offers from George Mason, Massachusetts, Miami (Fla.), Rutgers, UNLV, Villanova, Virginia Tech, West Virginia and Xavier.