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August 3, 2013
GARDEN GROVE, Calif. -- The summer is nearing an end, but there are a few major events left on the docket. One of the most important, though, is the finals of the Adidas Nations program. After earlier stops in Chicago, Miami and Las Vegas, the Nations program brings together many of the country's top players from 2014, 2015 and 2016, along with international players, for a round robin event. Friday night was opening night, and familiar faces such as Jahlil Okafor were putting in work while others such as Craig Victor neared their decisions.
Decision soon for Victor
Give Victor credit. The No. 21 player in the country could have played coy and acted like he wasn't sure when he might end things. Instead, the New Orleans native who will spend his senior year at Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep admitted that he is indeed getting close to a decision.
According to Victor, he doesn't need to see any other campuses and he feels like he is armed with the information he'll need to make a decision. The 6-foot-8 combo forward feels like he can adapt to the style of all the programs left in his recruitment.
Now, he just needs to go home and talk things over with those closest to him.
"I'll talk to my grandmother because she's been watching a long time," Victor said. "She knows all about these schools recruiting me. Once I talk to her and my mother and get that family approval, I'll be ready to get it done."
Dorsey feeling good about his play
Tyler Dorsey ranks No. 8 nationally in the class of 2015. However, after a strong summer, the 6-foot-4 combo guard from Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco is likely moving up the rankings in his class.
Dorsey has shown time and again that he's among the country's most versatile and skilled scorers on the perimeter and that he is more than willing to do the little things such as rebounding and making the extra pass. Despite all of that, he wasn't the most well-known top 10 prospect nationally.
That should have changed now, especially after last week's Fab 48 in Las Vegas.
"I kind of knew that the Fab 48 was going to be my coming out party," Dorsey said. "I had a great time out there, and now I'm trying to finish up strong at the Adidas Nations."
Dorsey was strong during his USA 2015 Blue squad's loss to Team Africa. He scored 12 points and handed out a pair of assists while grabbing five rebounds. Most important, Dorsey showed a true competitive fire late when his team was trying to come back and he was the victim of a couple of tough calls.
Speaking of calls, they've been coming in like crazy for Dorsey. He said Duke and Kansas came through with recent offers to join Arizona, UCLA and USC. Kentucky was in touch recently, as were Tennessee and most of the Pac-12. He's in no hurry to make a decision but is thinking about one fall visit.
"I'm not even thinking about my list," Dorsey said. "I do think I'm going to try and get down to Arizona for their red and blue scrimmage when the season starts."
More Friday night notes
You know who Jahlil Okafor looked like on Friday? The best player in the gym. 2014's No. 1 player was outstanding against a team of Australians. Because he's so big and skilled, his ability to shoot gets lost. Okafor can play back to the basket or pick and pop. Although he won't take a lot of them going down the road, he looked good draining deep jumpers. Okafor said the only visit that is set in stone so far is his end-of-August official visit to Baylor.
His game wasn't our main focus, but we checked on Josh Jackson. Las Vegas doesn't look to have been a fluke appearance, and it is becoming clear that the 6-foot-6 rising sophomore is a big-time prospect. Louisville, Kansas, Miami and Michigan State have offered, while Michigan (which doesn't offer prospects until after their sophomore seasons) is heavily involved.
2014 small forward Trevon Bluiett is a skilled wing player who can shoot and has game around the rim. This week, he made an initial cut to his list. Remaining in the hunt are Arizona, Butler, Indiana, Purdue, UCLA, Xavier and Michigan. He said the next step is to decide on official visits and perhaps to make another cut to five schools. The only campus that he hasn't seen is Arizona's, and he says it is a good bet to get an official visit.
Class of 2015 small forward Cameron Walker has been piling up scholarship offers. The four-star's father told Rivals.com that Walker has offers from California, Oregon State, Cal Poly (where his father played), Arizona State, Washington State, Loyola Marymount, Fresno State, San Jose State, USC, Florida, San Diego State and UC-Irvine. Irvine was the first to offer, and UCLA, Arizona and Stanford are keeping tabs on the 4.0 student.
Friday night was our first look at an Australian who has been making noise. A 6-foot-8 (maybe 6-foot-9) combo forward, Jonah Bolden is coming to the States to attend Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep for his senior year and he is going to have schools all over him. After feeling his way around against the U.S. players for a bit, Bolden showed off a nice-looking jump shot with deep range. With his size, mobility and athleticism, you can see him playing at the three or the four.
The Nations program also brings in college players as counselors for the weekend. The college guys play, too, and seeing them on the courts next to the high schoolers, the difference in size, speed and strength is quite noticeable. The high school players who think they can make an impact right away should be watching as much as they can to see how much more work is left.
It was a nice opening session for Milwaukee (Wis.) Hamilton power forward Kevon Looney. He has a nice inside-out game, and he has turned himself into a good rebounder. On Friday night, he had active hands and caused a lot of turnovers to go with a solid showing on the offensive side.