Jaylen Brown and Brandon Ingram remain two of eight uncommitted All-Americans (adidas)

adidas Unrivaled Camp Day 3 Recap: Jaylen Brown/Brandon Ingram II was special, Kobi Simmons, Deng Adel have strong days

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CHICAGO — The adidas Unrivaled Camp chugged along on Saturday as some of the nation’s best players continued to perform well in front of a lot of college coaches. Although Chase Jeter continued to play at a high level, other high-end prospects have also had strong performances throughout the week as the camp gets more into the thick of things.

But the matchup that dominated the headlines on Saturday night was a rematch of the camp’s opening game when five-star small forwards Jaylen Brown and Brandon Ingram battled in an incredible display of high-level scoring.

Jaylen Brown and Brandon Ingram II turns into an instant classic: As two of the best players in the adidas Unrivaled Camp, it made for headlines when No. 3 overall prospect Jaylen Brown battled No. 25 overall prospect Brandon Ingram in the opening game at the Unrivaled Camp on Thursday afternoon.

Even more surprising was the way Ingram came out and outplayed Brown, as the wiry 6-foot-8 Ingram went 8-for-9 from the field while Brown was only 2-for-10.

But the rematch of the Class of 2015 wings Saturday night was special.

In Thursday’s game, the two five-star wings rarely defended each other, but this time around, you could tell Brown had a chip on his shoulder and wanted to go directly at Ingram.

And with his brute strength on the wing and general overall intensity, you don’t want to mess with an angry Jaylen Brown.

But to Ingram’s credit, he never backed down from Brown in the second matchup either.

It made for a fun back-and-forth battle of different types of players: Brown’s strength and physicality against Ingram’s slithery skill-based game.

The rest of their respective teams seemingly took a backseat to what was a tremendous one-on-one battle on the wing, which was physical and featured a number of high-level moves. Brown and Ingram went at each other hard each and every possession.

Some other players at the camp might have rested the final game to nurse injuries or fatigue, but that wasn’t going to happen with these two elite players.

Both of them finished 10-for-16 from the field, as Ingram finished with 26 points and three blocks and Brown tallied 21 points and five rebounds. But Brown’s team got revenge by picking up the win. His intensity lifted the rest of his team and they avenged a borderline embarrassing loss on the first day to Ingram’s team.

It was a fun game to cap off a week full of camp games before Sunday’s all-star games. Brown showed why he’s a consensus top-5 player in the 2015 class while Ingram continued a very strong week.

Kobi Simmons takes control: Kobi Simmons is one of the most fun-to-watch prospects in all of high school basketball. A 6-foot-5 point guard from Georgia, Simmons is jet quick and athletic enough to do a tremendous amount of damage in the open floor. It’s why he’s the No. 15 player in Rivals‘ Class of 2016 rankings and among the top point guards in the country.

During the spring, Simmons was prone to some wild moments with the Atlanta Celtics, but at the Unrivaled Camp, he’s taken the reins as a steady lead guard. While Simmons can still take some wild shots in traffic, he also has a propensity to make them while drawing a lot of fouls. He’s just the classic case of a bad-shot taker being a bad-shot maker.

But as a point guard, Simmons has really shown well this week. Gone are the highlight-hunting alley-oop attempts and Simmons instead is moving the ball and making the easy pass. He’s good enough off-the-bounce where he can rack up assists and limit turnovers just by getting into the paint and making an easy pass to a big man for a layup or a wing shooter when the defense collapses. He’s had a solid week of play at adidas.

Deng Adel has a strong afternoon: In only his first year of American basketball, four-star Class of 2015 wing Deng Adel has quickly acclimated to the American style of play. A native of South Sudan, Adel moved to Australia in 2004 and coveted the chance to play college basketball in the United States and get an education, so he made the move to Florida to play at Victory Rock Prep under head coach Loren Jackson.

On the basketball court at adidas camp, Adel has shown some flashes of great play this week as his versatility really shows through in a major way. The No. 47 overall prospect in Rivals‘ 2015 rankings, Adel can knock in shots, put the ball on the floor and he’s also a skilled passer. As an athlete, Adel can impress with his leaping ability and his end-to-end speed is also very good. It’ll be interesting to watch Adel develop as he gets more adjusted to being in the United States and playing American competition.

Villanova’s Jenkins to return for senior season

Villanova forward Kris Jenkins (2) reacts to play against North Carolina during the second half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game Monday, April 4, 2016, in Houston. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
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After briefly taking part in the NBA Draft evaluation process, Villanova forward Kris Jenkins announced Monday night that he’s decided to withdraw and return to school for his senior year. Jenkins, whose three-pointer as time expired gave the Wildcats the win over North Carolina in the national title game, announced the news via Twitter.

2015-16 was a breakout season for Jenkins, who moved into the starting lineup and averaged 13.6 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. The 6-foot-6 forward shot 45.9 percent from the field and 38.6 percent from beyond the arc, and with starters Ryan Arcidiacono and Daniel Ochefu graduating he’ll have even more opportunities to produce next season.

Jenkins’ decision to return leaves wing Josh Hart as the lone Wildcats going through the early entry process at this time. Hart was a first team All-Big East selection as a junior, and his return would be the final piece to the puzzle for a team that many expect to be a national title contender in 2016-17.

Jenkins and Hart wouldn’t be the only returnees who had a part in the national title run, with guards Jalen Brunson and Phil Booth, wing Mikal Bridges and forward Darryl Reynolds back as well. To that group Villanova adds Fordham transfer Eric Paschall and a recruiting class anchored by Omari Spellman and Dylan Painter with Donte DiVincenzo and Tim Delaney available after being hampered by injuries last season.

Delaney missed all of last year after undergoing surgical procedures on his hips, and DiVincenzo played a total of 74 minutes over the first nine games before having to sit due to a broken foot.

Florida State guard Rathan-Mayes to return for junior season

Florida State guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes (22) drives past Notre Dame guard Rex Pflueger, left, for a score in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Tallahassee, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser)
AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser
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With their top three scorers from last season all deciding to declare for the NBA Draft, Florida State was facing the possibility of having to rebuild their backcourt ahead of the 2016-17 season. However two of those three have decided to return to Tallahassee, with rising junior Xavier Rathan-Mayes announcing on Monday that he will be back in school.

Rathan-Mayes joins rising sophomore Dwayne Bacon in returning to play another season for head coach Leonard Hamilton, with Malik Beasley hiring representation and remaining in the draft.

Rathan-Mayes had more scoring help last season and as a result was able to concentrate more on the distribution aspects of the point guard position, as he averaged 11.8 points and 4.4 assists per contest. With the return of Rathan-Mayes and Bacon, Florida State will have two of its top three scorers from last season back on campus.

The Seminoles did lose some veteran players, most notably guard Devon Bookert and center Boris Bojanovsky, but the returnees and a recruiting class led by McDonald’s All-American forward Jonathan Isaac means that they won’t lack for options next season.

Auburn lands third transfer within the last week

Auburn guard T.J. Dunans (4) and coach Bruce Pearl celebrate a 75-74 win over UAB in an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, at Auburn Arena in Auburn, Ala.  (Julie Bennett/AL.com via AP)
Julie Bennett/AL.com via AP
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After receiving commitments from former Purdue/Houston guard Ronnie Johnson and former Presbyterian forward DeSean Murray, Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl continued to load up on the transfer market Monday. Forward LaRon Smith, who was named MEAC Defensive Player of the Year at Bethune-Cookman last season, announced that he will use his final season of eligibility at the SEC program.

Like Smith, Johnson will also be eligible to compete immediately for the Tigers while Murray will have to sit out next season before having two years of eligibility remaining.

The 6-foot-8 Smith played two seasons at Georgia State before transferring to Bethune-Cookman, where he averaged 7.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per contest in 2015-16. Smith played just over 25 minutes per game for the Wildcats, shooting 58.5 percent from the field.

Smith reached double figures in scoring in four of the Wildcats’ final seven games, including a 20-point, 11-rebound, three-block outing in an overtime win over North Carolina A&T. He joins a front court in need of depth following the departures of the likes of Cinmeon Bowers and Tyler Harris, with Horace Spencer, Trayvon Reed and incoming freshman Anfernee McLemore also competing for minutes in 2016-17.

SMU lands former Arkansas guard Jimmy Whitt

Arkansas guard Jimmy Whitt (24) leaps for a layup past Tennessee guard Shembari Phillips (25) during an NCAA college basketball game in Knoxville, Tenn., Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016. Arkansas won 75-65. (Adam Lau/Knoxville News Sentinel via AP)
Adam Lau/Knoxville News Sentinel via AP
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With a five-member recruiting class set to arrive on campus this summer, SMU added a talented transfer Monday afternoon. Jimmy Whitt, who played his freshman season at Arkansas, committed to join Larry Brown’s program. Whitt, a 6-foot-4 guard from Columbia, Missouri, will have three seasons of eligibility remaining after sitting out the 2016-17 campaign.

As a freshman at Arkansas, Whitt averaged 6.1 points and 1.7 rebounds in just over 17 minutes of action per game. He reached double figures in scoring nine time, with the high being a 15-point outing in a blowout win over Missouri in mid-January. Whitt produced a stretch of four consecutive games in double figures during non-conference play, but he struggled to maintain that consistency against SEC competition.

At SMU he’ll join a perimeter rotation that will lose rising senior Sterling Brown following the 2016-17 season. Among those who will have eligibility remaining when Whitt becomes eligible are Ben Emelogu, Shake Milton, Jarrey Foster and incoming freshmen Tom Wilson and Dashawn McDowell.

 

Boise State assistant named head coach at Northern Colorado

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Courtesy UNCBears.com
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GREELEY, Colo. (AP) Jeff Linder is the new basketball coach at Northern Colorado. He spent the last six seasons at Boise State, where he was associate head coach for the Broncos since 2013-14.

Linder replaces B.J. Hill, who was fired last month amid an NCAA investigation into allegations of violations in the program.

University President Kay Norton and Athletic Director Darren Dunn announced Linder’s hiring Sunday.

Linder played high school ball in Lafayette, Colorado, and college ball at Mesa State and Western Colorado State. He began his coaching career under Colorado head coach Ricardo Patton.

In a statement, Linder said, “I look forward to returning home to the state of Colorado and continuing to build this program into something everyone can be proud of.”

Hill was 86-98 in six seasons at UNC.