LAS VEGAS -- The adidas VIP Exclusive Run and Pangos Spring Spectacular were on tap last weekend in Sin City. The adidas event afforded us the chance to see the full arsenal of three stripes-sponsored teams in one event. The headliners proved to be elite guard Kasey Hill (Montverde, Fla./Montverde) and 2014 star Noah Vonleh (New Hampton, N.H./New Hampton). Along the way, we had the chance to see a plethora of West Coast talent and a buffet of promising underclassmen.
2013, PG, 6-0, 170 pounds
His performance at the NHSI was a prelude to his adidas explosion. He has a chance to challenge for supremacy as the top point guard in the 2013 class and should be an easy top-10 prospect at this point in the spring. Hill was in command of his game. He fluctuates easily between throwing lobs, blowing by defenders and making deep jumpers. He’s an automatic finisher whose point guard game has matured greatly since last year. This is an impact recruit and if Bradley Beal was the best shooting guard Billy Donovan ever recruited, then Hill would be the best point guard he’s ever inked in Gainesville.
Derrick Walton (Harper Woods, Mich./Chandler Park)
2013, PG, 6-0, 165 pounds
The Michigan Wolverines have a good thing going at the point. Darius Morris handed it to Trey Burke and eventually Burke will hand the position to Walton. He's a powerfully-built point guard who he sees the floor, has a fine hoops IQ and is a threat to get to the rim or pop it from deep. Impressive kid whom John Beilein can trust to lead his team.
Isaiah Hicks (Oxford, N.C./Webb)
2013, PF, 6-9, 210 pounds
College: North Carolina
His arc continued upward with an impressive showing in Vegas. Hicks is a specimen athletically and he’s becoming a player who impacts the game at both ends. Ideal for UNC’s attack because he’s a runner who finisher, Hicks is intent on mastering his midrange, face-up game. His athleticism and length set him apart from nearly every big in attendance. In basketball years, he’s a puppy and his upside showed itself on a national stage again.
Chris Walker (Bonifay, Fla./Holmes County)
2013, PF, 6-10, 195 pounds
Expectations for him will always be through the roof because he’s as good looking physically and athletically as there is in the class. If you fast forward and project what a weight program and natural strength will do for him, Walker’s exceptionally gifted. His natural ability to throw back shots and be a factor in the lane can’t be overlooked. To go from good to great, the next step is establishing a dominant go-to post move that he can punish guys with.
Karviar Shepherd (Arlington, Texas/Grace Prep)
2013, C, 6-9, 215 pounds
The spotlight was on him because he didn’t play high school ball this year due to transfer rules. Sporting size 19 shoes, Shepherd displayed why he’s in the ESPN 60. He’s comfortable with his position and his disposition will allow one college team to run offense through him. A gifted passer, Shepherd owns his rebounding area and has the makings of a go-to-move in the post. Not to be overlooked, he is a good communicator on the court and patient in the post. He listed Kansas, Texas A&M, Florida State, Louisville, Texas, TCU and Marquette. He won’t have any problem receiving offers from them all.
Jarrel Martin (Baton Rouge, La./Madison Prep)
2013, SF, 6-7, 210 pounds
There’s always been a hint of Chris Singleton in his game, especially from a body-type standpoint. Singleton is naturally more mobile and athletic but they share a passion for rebounding. Martin is rounding into a versatile 4-man and a presence in the paint who can step out. He’s only got one season of high school ball under his belt so there’s reason to think improvement is natural. He indicated Oklahoma State and Louisville are on him the hardest while Alabama, LSU, Kansas, Baylor, Texas A&M, Texas and Marquette mixing it up.
Solomon Poole (Jacksonville., Fla./Parker)
2013, PG, 6-0, 180 pounds
One of the top scoring threats in the class, there’s always been a race to label him. Poole is at his best when cast in the role of scorer. He can be a point in a pinch and he displayed the ability to create, but make no mistake about it, he’s thinking score. The next step is continuing to diversify his game and tweaking his shot selection to improve his percentages. He is interested in North Carolina and Georgetown but UCLA and Georgia Tech have been his most ardent pursuers.