The Adidas Invitational in Indianapolis brings together all the Adidas sponsored AAU teams from around the country and in doing so collects one of the largest pools of talent of any tournament all summer. It was on full display throughout the day Thursday with high major talent playing in front of college coaches. A selection of players was able to separate themselves from the pack led by a pair of teammates from the Memphis area.
Top Performers of the Day:
Leron Black (Team Thad 2014) – Black is a 6-foot-7 power forward who has a motor that runs nonstop. His energy wore down the opposition to the point that he was beating his man down the floor every single time. Team Thad’s offensive system is similar to that of the old Loyola Marymount teams of the late 80s and early 90s that routinely scored over 100 points on the college level. They run and run and run until they can’t run anymore and over time this style wears down the opponents. Black never wore down himself but rather got stronger as the game went on dunking on four consecutive possessions at one point in the second half. His energy and smile on the court are infectious as the whole team seemed to rally around him after he got going in the 2nd half. Black even showed a developing face up game beating taller opponents off the bounce on his way towards more dunks at the rim. On top of the big finishes, he’s also a fantastic rebounder both in and out of his area, particularly on the offensive end. Every college program in the country that plays and up tempo style should be banging down Black’s door begging him to become part of their family.
Anton Beard (Team Thad 2014) – verbal to Missouri – The point guard that makes Team Thad go, Beard is a 6-foot lefty who is nearly impossible to stay in front of. He had 23 points in the first half alone and I can’t recall a basket outside of four feet among his makes. Defensively, he’s an absolute pest on the ball pressuring opposing point guards relentlessly and forcing countless turnovers. This fuels the breakneck pace that Team Thad wants to play at and allows them to get out in transition for easy conversions. Not just a scorer, Beard consistently set up teammates for dunks after blowing by his defender and getting into the paint. He also made a habit of drawing a defender in transition and then throwing it off the back board to a trailing teammate (most often Black) for a loud flush. Beard will need to continue working on his perimeter jumper so that defenders don’t always go under screens but he did show solid form on his attempts.
To read the rest of the article I wrote for NBE Basketball Report featuring Isaac Hamilton, Anthony January, Kasey Hill, Chris Walker, Jeremy Miller, Devin Williams, and more click here: Adidas Invitational – Thursday Recap