Pinson, Russell shine at Adidas Nations

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- We’re a long way from the postseason all-star games, but watching the championship game of the Adidas Nations on Monday night, I couldn’t help but think there’s a lesson here.

Of the 21 players who took the floor in the title game, 18 were ESPN 100 prospects (Emmanuel Mudiay would have made it 19 but missed the game due to injury). And with all that massive talent on the court, the integrity of the game stood up.

I listened into the huddles of Don MacLean, the former UCLA star who coached USA 2014 Blue to an 81-77 win over USA 2014 Red in the title game, and he had the focus of his players and command of his team. What could have easily disintegrated into an all-star game never did. On both ends of the floor, I saw many of the best players in the country compete -- and compete hard.