REDONDO Beach, Calif. -- Here is a look at five things that jumped out to me on Day 1 of the Elite 11 finals:
• All 25 kids have rapidly adjusted to what has been thrown at them, which is a lot. In the meeting room, they have had to deal with X's and O's theories and then apply them in a two-hour workout session in some semblance of order. The biggest challenge in this regard is that when you're thinking, you're never performing. However, these kids have been impressive on the first day in that regard.
• From the deliveries to the releases, there are a lot of what I call "smooth strokes" out here. Guys are getting rid of the ball quickly and the ball pops out of their hand. I like to equate it to an aluminum bat hitting a softball and you hear that "ping." That's the type of delivery you're seeing out here -- very, very impressive.