CHICAGO — Day 2 of the adidas Unrivaled Camp in Chicago was headlined on Friday by a battle of five-star big men as a who’s who of blueblood college basketball head coaches looked on.
Thursday was all about the matchup of Brandon Ingram and Jaylen Brown on the wing, but five-star big men Chase Jeter from Las Vegas and Carlton Bragg from Ohio took center stage in an afternoon game on Friday.
Chase Jeter plays up to his top-ten status: A 6-foot-10 big man from Bishop Gorman High School, Jeter has been consistent on both ends of the floor and playing with a high motor throughout the week.
Rivals recently elevated Jeter to the No. 8 spot in the Class of 2015 national rankings and that might even be a tad low. Jeter possesses a really good go-to move with his right hook, he utilized counter moves in the post and also has a good feel around the basket such as using the rim as protection against shot blockers.
In the matchup with Bragg, who checks in right behind Jeter at No. 9 in the Rivals 2015 rankings, Jeter went for an impressive 18 points and seven rebounds on 6-for-9 shooting. Bragg was also held to 2-for-10 shooting and only five points as Jeter often defended him as a primary or help defender near the basket.
Bragg’s only two baskets of the game came while Jeter’s teammate, four-star 2016 forward T.J. Leaf was defending him.
Duke has been in the picture for Jeter for a long time and Coach K was flanked by two assistant coaches to watch Jeter on Friday.
Carlton Bragg needs to be more consistent: Cleveland native Carlton Bragg is a top-ten talent in the 2015 class. But when it comes to consistent production and intensity, Bragg has been all over the map the times I have seen him play this spring and summer.
For a few minutes, Bragg will mix in a combination of size, athleticism and skill that is unstoppable, only to revert back to bad shot selection and lackadaisical play. It can be incredibly frustrating to witness.
As the No. 9 player in the 2015 class, Bragg has one of the biggest targets on his back this July and it would be nice to see him to come out and play focused and intelligent basketball each time out. Too many times he’ll take a difficult and contested look, miss it badly, and not play as hard as he can for a few possessions. Top ten players in the country can’t afford to do that.
I’m hoping Bragg has a strong last few days of camp and practices better shot selection.
Ray Smith is out with a torn ACL: After going down untouched and grabbing his left knee on Thursday night, it looked like Ray Smith had been seriously injured.
Those fears were realized on Friday as Smith told NBCSports.com that he has a torn ACL. The No. 10 prospect in the 2015 class was going to be one of the marquee players to watch in July, but the 6-foot-7 small forward will have to focus instead on rehabbing his knee and getting better.
Smith seemed to be in positive spirits on Friday, however. Even on crutches, Smith attended the camp all day, hung out with his camp team and did some form shooting on a side basket.
Hopefully this knee injury is only a small derailment in Smith’s career and he’s able to return healthy.