Pangos All-American Camp Saturday: Admon Gilder has an efficient day

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LONG BEACH, Ca. – Camp basketball can be sloppy and unorganized and the word “efficiency” isn’t thrown around very often.

But on Saturday at the second day of the annual Pangos All-American Camp, Dallas native Admon Gilder had a very efficient outing. The 6-foot-2 Gilder was noted for his defensive prowess this spring, but on Saturday, he had the jumper working from all three levels and didn’t waste many movements or dribbles.

Gilder is regarded as Rivals.com’s No. 49 player in the 2015 class and although he isn’t an elite athlete, he knows how to keep defenders honest by changing his offensive approach. Gilder attacked the rack, hit pull-up jumpers from the elbow and had some off-the-catch three-pointers. The combo guard also had a solid overall floor game and handled and passed a bit as well.

With high-level guards in limited supply in the 2015 class, Gilder will be a priority Big 12 recruit this July.

Stephen Zimmerman has a strong Saturday: As the highest rated player in the Pangos All-American Camp, all eyes are on Las Vegas native and 7-footer Stephen Zimmerman. As the No. 4 player in Rivals.com’s 2015 national rankings, the skilled lefty big man had a solid outing on Saturday in a big win for his “Arizona” team.

Zimmerman ran the floor hard, handled and passed in the open floor and also showed improvement as a weak side shot blocker. On the offensive side of things, Zimmerman is polished enough to use hooks and can also knock in the short corner or elbow jumper.

A no-brainer All-American, Zimmerman will hold onto his top-5 national ranking if he keeps playing like that in July.

Point guard Paris Austin continues his solid spring: It’s easy to overlook point guard Paris Austin on the grassroots circuit because he’s surrounded by high-major players playing on Dream Vision in the adidas Gauntlet.

As the floor general for Dream Vision, Austin sets up talented players like Tyler Dorsey, Chase Jeter and Ray Smith, but at the Pangos All-American Camp, Austin has made other players look better while also hunting his own offense. The 5-foot-11 native of Oakland has consistently played in attack mode and made a lot of impressive passes and drives to the bucket.

At times, Austin can still get a bit turnover prone, especially if he leaves his feet to pass, but he’s put together a solid spring heading into July and high-major programs will be tracking.

Austin told NBCSports.com that he has scholarship offers from Florida State, Tulsa, Utah State, San Jose State, Boise State, Loyola Marymount and Pacific, and Creighton, Wake Forest, Texas and Cal have recently been involved and showing interest.

POSTERIZED: Wyoming’s Josh Adams takes flight

Josh Adams
Associated Press
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Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.

After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.

Video credit: Wyoming Athletics

Defensive progress will determine No. 4 Iowa State’s ceiling

Monte Morris
Associated Press
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Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.

Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.

Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.

Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.

Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.

But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.