Day 2 of the Adidas Classic in Bloomington featured many of the top players throughout Indiana and the surrounding areas. I took in 7+ games throughout the day featuring many players currently being targeted by the Butler coaching staff. Here are some of the players who stood out:
Darius Austin – 6’5” SG – SW Jets
Darius Austin looked like a man among boys out there for a lot of the day. At 6’5” he was either much quicker or much stronger than anyone who was trying to guard him. He got into the lane any time he wanted and excelled at drawing contact and getting to the line. If the defense collapsed too much Austin was able to find the open man for an easy look. His athleticism was also on display on the defensive end. He blocked several shots and got into passing lanes frequently.
Darius Austin wasn’t flawless though. It felt like there were stretches when he just didn’t seem into the game and would lack aggressiveness on both ends of the floor. He was dominant during stretches where his energy level was high but those didn’t come as often as I think they could have. And then the major problem right now seems to be his shot. In the opening game he not only missed the few perimeter shots he took, but he struggled to even draw iron. After that he didn’t look to shoot much from the outside, which was a good choice as it felt like he could score at will in the lane. The free throw line was a struggle at times as well.
Overall I think everything is going to come down to the development of a jump shot for Austin. He has an elite ability to beat defenders off the dribble and finish or draw contact at the rim. A lot of good things happen once he puts the ball on the deck. He will need a shot at the next level to keep defenders honest. If it comes around he could very well end up a top 50 recruit.
Aaron Brennan – 6’6” PF – Fieldhouse Elite
It was a rough day for Fieldhouse Elite as they finished with only 5 players after a string of unfortunate injuries. Aaron Brennan was one who had to battle through injuries as well as some foul trouble, but he still managed to impress. His best individual game came in a loss to the St. Louis Gateway when he went for 23 points and 12 rebounds. In the final game of the day he was matched up against Mack Mercer and MBA Select and still managed 20 points despite missing significant time with a knee injury . Brennan was also forced to sit for much of the opening game due to foul trouble, but that didn’t keep him from being productive while he was in. Aaron hit the game winning basket with 10 seconds left to defeat Darius Austin and a good SW Jets team.
Overall Aaron Brennan is just extremely skilled down low. He has a variety of post moves that he can go to and is capable of stepping out and knocking down the mid-range or even the 3 point jump shot. Like the rest of his Fieldhouse Elite team he has a high basketball IQ and great knowledge of the game.
The possible problem for Brennan is that he currently just doesn’t quite have the length to really be a great next level power forward, and he lacks the athleticism to be a college small forward. He isn’t done growing though. I’ve read projections that he will reach 6’8” or 6’9” (I believe it after seeing his dad). If Aaron ends up at 6’9” to go along with his skillset he is going to be a top 100 type player. It will be interesting to see where he ends up. I’ll have more on Aaron Brennan next week.
Sam Logwood – 6’6” SF – Eric Gordon All-Stars
Sam Logwood first caught my eye at IndyBall earlier this summer with his extreme athleticism. He showed it off again in Bloomington when he finished this fast break with a thunderous dunk. This time around he flashed more than just his jumping ability though. Sam knocked down a few threes and even hit a fade away jumper over his right shoulder from about 18 feet. I’d need to see more from the perimeter before I could truly evaluate him, but I’ll admit he is a player that is beginning to excite me. I’m not sure how connected he is with Butler at this point, but we know the coaching staff is watching this Eric Gordon squad closely so Logwood isn’t going unnoticed.
KJ Walton – 6’2” SG – Spiece Indy Heat
KJ Walton continues to be a personal favorite of mine. He sat out nearly half the game due to early foul trouble but still came through with 17 points to lead all scorers against the Nashville Celtics. It wasn’t the 32 from the night before, but still impressive. Walton has the quickness to get into the lane with ease and has excellent strength to finish at the rim. When I saw him earlier this summer his shot was off, but that wasn’t the case tonight. He was knocking down perimeter shots both off the catch and off the dribble. It’s always tough to make projections this early but I feel confident that Walton will end up as one of the top players in the state of Indiana.
Jaylon Brown – 5’11” PG – Martin’s Wolverines
Jaylon Brown didn’t put up big numbers today but still found a way to make a big impact. His role was mainly to be a floor general and control the offense, and he did exactly that. He saw some extremely tough defense against a good Eric Gordon team but handled it nicely. Some of his teammates struggled a little bit with the defensive pressure, but Brown was able to stay composed and set players up in good positions to score. He also mixed in a few freakishly athletic plays around the rim as usual.
Maverick Morgan – 6’10” C – Martin’s Wolverines
Maverick Morgan was probably the biggest disappointment of the day for me. Shots simply weren’t going down for him. He still displayed nice footwork and post moves but just wasn’t seeing the results he normally does. I am still a little mystified on why he forces things over his right shoulder so much from the post. I’m still high on Morgan despite his rough day. He’s a legitimate center with good footwork around the rim and excellent touch out beyond 15 feet. It will be worth watching him tomorrow to see how he responds.
Cole Murray (2013) and Grant Evans (2014) have to be two of the better shooters in the state. Both have unlimited range. I liked the activity of Brennan Gillis today. I didn’t see his entire game but I was more impressed with him than when I saw him at IndyBall. Jalen Coleman really struggled today. He just never got anything going. Darreon Reddick of SW Jets is certainly worth keeping an eye on moving forward. He is very smooth and under control. Knocked down several jump shots and had some acrobatic finishes at the rim. He’s a quality defender as well. Mack Mercer reportedly had 24 points in a win against Fieldhouse Elite.