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NIKE GLOBAL CHALLENGE: USA WEST EDGES USA SOUTH FOR TITLE

July 22, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz
WASHINGTON – The Nike Global Challenge came to a close on Saturday, with USA West winning 98-95 over USA South to take the crown.

NBE Sports was in the house to take in the action from three of the day’s four games. While there, we put together some observations of players in attendance, tracked what coaches were in the gym and talked to a few players for recruiting updates.

Due to his religious beliefs and practices, Abdul-Malik Abu is fasting from sunrise to sunset during the July Live Periods for Ramadan. Despite playing without eating or drinking, the 6-foot-8 power forward was productive and showed off a quality motor. A class of 2014 recruit from Kimball Union Academy (NH), Abu has a good build and is tough in the post. Abu, who was playing for Team Pan-Africa, also showed that he has some ability to step out and shoot the ball, even if that is not his forte.

Indiana-commit James Blackmon of Bishop Luers (IN) was easily one of the best shooters at the entire event. An elite marksman from beyond the arc, the 6-foot-2 shooting guard is lethal when left open. Blackmon, a class of 2014 prospect, can get hot in a hurry and is capable of putting on a show when he is in the groove, as he was on Saturday for Team USA Midwest.

Bonzie Colson of St. Andrew’s (RI) is an undersized power forward at 6-foot-5, but he can flat our produce. The class of 2014 recruit was pretty productive for Team USA East and displayed the ability to score down low. His thick build helps him make up for what he lacks in height and he can use his frame to his advantage.

Jabari Craig is a 6-foot-10 center from Tucker (GA) with a big overall body who can also run the floor pretty well. A class of 2014 recruit who was with Team Canada, Craig takes up space around the basket and can throw down powerful dunks. Craig also showed that he can hit a turnaround jumper in the paint.

Chris Egi is another big man from Team Canada who showed some nice things during the NGC. A 6-foot-9 center who went to St. Andrew’s College (CAN) last year, Egi certainly looks the part of a player and he runs the floor well. Egi is quite adept at getting out in transition, cutting through the paint, catching the ball, and slamming home a big-time dunk. The class of 2015 prospect finishes well and finds ways to produce.

Stanley Johnson of Mater Dei (CA) was a big reason why Team USA West won the championship. A 6-foot-6 small forward, Johnson is a strong wing who is quite productive on the court. Johnson is amongst the best players in the nation in the class of 2014 and he can really score the ball. He is adept at getting buckets at the rim, but showed he can connect from midrange too.

Tyus Jones of Apple Valley (MN) may not have been quite as dominant as usual, but the class of 2014 recruit was still good. A 6-foot-1 point guard, Jones has solid burst on his way to the cup, despite not being an explosive athlete. Jones, who was with Team USA Midwest, has quality court vision and knows how to find the open man. He is by no means simply a facilitator though, as he can also knock down shots from beyond the 3-point line.

Boubacar Moungoro is a 6-foot-6 small forward from IMG Academy (FL) who was playing for Team Pan-Africa. A class of 2014 prospect, Moungoro is a bit on the thin side, but he has nice length and is a pretty good athlete. Additionally, Moungoro showed that he can do a pretty good job of scoring the basketball.
Jamal Murray of Grand River Collegiate Institute (CAN) is a talented player in the class of 2016. A 6-foot-4 point guard who was playing with Team Canada, Murray is thin, but he is fairly long and he plays hard. The young backcourt prospect can score the ball and is a player who definitely looks like he may well keep improving down the line and is a name to keep in mind.

Kelly Oubre, a Texas native, is an athletic wing with a good build who can put the ball in the hoop. A class of 2014 prospect who will attend Findlay Prep (NV) next year, Oubre has a good build and can make plays. The 6-foot-6 small forward is a player on the rise who seems to be improving overall
Alex Owens of Oak Ridge (FL) may not be a major athlete, but he is a big guy around the basket who can really rebound the rock. Owens is a 6-foot-8 power forward with a thick build who is fairly nimble for his size. The class of 2015 recruit can grab boards at both ends of the floor and is capable of scoring in the paint.

Xavier-bound Edmond Sumner is a 6-foot-3 combo guard who showed off some superb passing ability. The class of 2014 prospect is a quality shooter, but in this game he was more about finding the open man. Sumner, who attends Detroit Country Day School (MI), displayed quality court vision and did a stellar job getting in the lane and dumping the ball off to a teammate. He was playing for Team USA Midwest.

Future Ohio State Buckeye Jae’Sean Tate of Pickerington Central (OH) is one tough player who simply finds ways to get the job done. A 6-foot-5 small forward in the class of 2015, Tate is a productive player who does a nice job of scoring at the rim. Playing for Team USA Midwest, Tate also displayed that he has some ability to step out behind the arc and knock down 3-pointers. If he can do that consistently, watch out.

Reid Travis of De La Salle (MN) is another player who is tough and flat out produces on the hardwood. A 6-foot-7 power forward, Travis has a great frame and plays quite hard. The class of 2014 prospect, who was with Team USA Midwest, makes things happen one way or another with the ball in his hands. Travis does a nice job of attacking the basket and scores the ball once there. Additionally, he can step out and shoot the ball some.
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Throughout the course of the day, we saw head coaches from George Mason, Georgetown, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Harvard, Kentucky, Michigan State, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Oregon, Temple, UConn, USC, VCU, Villanova, and Wake Forest in the gym.

Alabama, Arizona, Baylor, Cal, Clemson, Georgetown, Kansas, Louisville, Loyola Marymount, Miami, Minnesota, Missouri, Providence, The Citadel, UMass, and West Virginia were other colleges we saw represented.

Former Indiana star Victor Oladipo, the No. 2 overall pick in the NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic, was also at the NGC. Villanova freshman wing Josh Hart was there taking in the action too.
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Chris Egi and Montaque Gill-Caesar, both of Canada, were named co-MVPs from the NGC International teams. The International teams’ all-tournament squad included Abdul-Malik Abu (Pan Africa), Leonardo Demetrio (Brazil), Cheick Diallo (Pan Africa), Mathias Lessort (France), and Marial Shayok (Canada).

Stanley Johnson (USA West) and Ohio State-commit D’Angelo Russell (USA Midwest) were the co-MVPs from the four USA teams. The players on the USA teams’ all-tournament team were Justin Jackson (USA West), Tyus Jones (USA Midwest), Syracuse-commit Chris McCullough (USA East), Kelly Oubre (USA West), and North Carolina-commit Theo Pinson (USA South).
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RECRUITING UPDATES

Abdul-Malik Abu said he holds about 30-plus offers, but did not name specific schools. The class of 2014 recruit did say he has offers from programs in the ACC, SEC, Big XII, and Big Ten though. Abu also noted that he is realty considering 11 schools right now, but was not ready to make that public. Of when he plans to release the list, Abu said, “Not really sure yet, depending on how this Live Period continues to go, but maybe in August.”

Abu has tripped to Connecticut, Providence and Maryland, and has no other visits scheduled right now. However, he did say, “I’ll be taking official visits in the fall.” Abu noted he is planning to take all five of his allotted official visits, but it is to be determined where he will go. The New England prospect is not sure of his timetable for a commitment and said there is no school coming at him the hardest. Abu also talked about what fasting for Ramadan while playing in July has been like. “It’s pretty tough,” Abu said, “but it’s just something that I have to do.”
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Obi Enechionyia, a class of 2014 combo forward, said he has offers from Maryland, Miami, Temple, Indiana, Notre Dame, Seton Hall, Xavier, Illinois, and West Virginia. The rising senior mentioned Georgia Tech, Loyola Marymount and Texas as three other programs showing interest. Enechionyia, who stands 6-foot-9, said he has no favorites, but did say that Temple, Miami, West Virginia, and Maryland are coming at him the hardest. He has visited Maryland and Temple unofficially and has no other trips planned.

Enechionyia, who goes to St. James School (MD), listed Temple head coach Fran Dunphy and assistant coach Dwayne Killings as the two coaches he has the best relationships with. He added that he talks with Killings “every other day.” Enechionyia mentioned that he will likely be committing in October and does want to sign early. Location will not be a factor in his decision, he said.
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Ja’Quan Newton, a class of 2014 prospect, listed offers from Miami, Villanova, Temple, Cincinnati, SMU, Minnesota, USC, and Syracuse. The 6-foot-1 point guard said Indiana and UCLA are involved as well. Newton, who attends Neumann-Goretti (PA), has no favorites right now. However, he did note that Villanova, Miami, USC, Minnesota, and Cincinnati are probably the schools coming at him the hardest, though there is not one that is the heaviest of all. Newton said that location will not be a factor for him in his decision, but did not that local schools Villanova and Temple are the only ones he has visited. He plans to take visits to schools in the future, but is not sure where yet, as he will cut his list down to five schools “after the July period.”

Newton listed Villanova head coach Jay Wright as the coach with whom he has the best relationship. Of his timetable for a commitment, Newton said, “I’m going to do it before my high school season starts.” Newton also described the type of player that he is on the court. “Slasher, point guard,” Newton said, “get into the lane, get other people involved.”

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