Adidas

Five Takeaways from the adidas Gauntlet Dallas

Leave a comment

FORT WORTH, Tx. — The April Live Evaluation period had its first of two weekends as events took place all over the country. Many of the nation’s top college coaches were stationed at shoe-company events held by adidas, Nike and Under Armour.

I spent the weekend watching a lot of the top Class of 2018, 2019 and even some 2020 prospects at the adidas Gauntlet in Fort Worth.

Here are some takeaways from the event, including some thoughts on Zion Williamson, Romeo Langford and more.

1. Zion Williamson draws a huge crowd but still has some work on his game

Although he only played a game and a half due to a lingering knee injury that ended his weekend early, the national hype machine for YouTube sensation and Class of 2018 star Zion Williamson is very real. Not many players draw large crowds of outsiders during grassroots events but players from other events and local fans turned out en masse to try and see some of the highlights that Williamson has put together these past few months.

He wasn’t quite 100 percent because of the knee, but the South Carolina native still showed the type of rare burst off the floor that allows the 6-foot-6 Williamson to snare rebounds and score over bigger players. People who hadn’t seen Williamson live before were also stunned at how big and strong he actually appears in person compared to the average high school basketball prospect.

Even though Williamson still has to polish his overall skill level and jumper, there are just times that he looks like a man among boys out on the floor.

Williamson will likely be a destructive force at the college level because of his ability to operate around the rim and in transition but he’s also going to have to make sure he tries to develop some range to keep defenders honest. Still shooting a pretty hard ball on jumpers, Williamson has to work on 3-pointers and free throws during these next few months.

2. Romeo Langford is still working on consistency

Consensus top-five Class of 2018 prospect Romeo Langford is an elite shooting guard prospect thanks to his overall package of athleticism and skills and he’s mostly focused on making sure that he brings his best effort every game.

In the past, Langford was the type of player who could go for 40 in one game and then play sluggish in the next as he needed to make sure that he was dialed in during each contest. Although he led the adidas Gauntlet in scoring playing in three games this weekend, it came with more of the same results as we’ve seen in the past.

In two games, scoring came easy for Langford as he was able to do a lot of damage off of isolations while drawing a lot of fouls. Langford shot 24-for-27 over three games at the free-throw line so that type of scoring ability should translate well at all levels.

When Langford starts to get double-teamed and teams play against him in a physical manner, that is when things start to get difficult for him. Langford can get frustrated with contact at times and he’s also prone to some lapses in intensity.

It’s also fair to say that Langford is very talented and that he’ll also adjust as he adds more strength over time. In a class that doesn’t have many top-flight guards, Langford stands out from the rest because his ceiling is just higher.

3. Immanuel Quickley’s improved perimeter shooting puts him in top 2018 lead guard conversation

One of the biggest revelations from an individual player standpoint came from Baltimore native and lead guard Immanuel Quickley. Already considered a five-star prospect in the Class of 2018, the big knock on the 6-foot-4 Quickley was his lack of a perimeter jumper.

While Quickley’s great size and feel for the game enabled him to dominate at times when he could get in the paint and make plays, opposing defenses found they could sag on him and force him to shoot perimeter jumpers because he was inconsistent.

Quickley appears to have shored up his big weakness. Shooting 48 percent from three-point range (14-for-29) this weekend, Quickley really shoot the ball well as he had confidence off the catch and off the dribble. Since Quickley is already a pick-and-roll maestro who can thread tight passes to teammates, this ability to hit deep jumpers opens up so much more to his game.

Quickley isn’t an elite above-the-rim athlete but he has a ton of things to really like about his game and he’s going to be in the mix among the top lead guards in the Class of 2018. Quickley is down to a final seven of Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Miami, Providence and Virginia.

This was the type of weekend that should give Quickley a lot of confidence going forward. Quickley got the better of five-star guards Quentin Grimes and Romeo Langford in back-to-back matchups (going head-to-head with those players on some possessions) so he’s been ready to take on all challengers so far this spring.

It should also be noted that Quickley’s teammates, Class of 2018 guard Montez Mathis, also had an outstanding weekend scoring the ball as he has immediately vaulted himself into a larger high-major discussion.

4. College coaches are still starving for perimeter shooters

As the 3-point revolution continues to sweep across many levels of basketball, college coaches are looking for any kind of shooters out on the circuit this spring. The adidas Gauntlet didn’t yield as many perimeter options as some college coaches would have liked.

As Hoop Seen’s Justin Young pointed out, only a handful of players at adidas made 10 or more three-pointers this weekend and most players played in three or four games.

It’ll be interesting to see if any more shooters emerge the second weekend of the April period because there doesn’t seem to be a lot of floor spacing out there right now.

5. Keep an eye on late 2017 signees like McKinley Wright

One of the interesting things about the April period being back is that it gives unsigned Class of 2017 players a chance to compete in front of college coaches. College coaches started to call Minnesota native McKinley Wright when he decommitted from Dayton after Archie Miller took the Indiana job.

So Wright now gets to play high-level competition in front of a number of college coaches who need an available point guard to come in and potentially play next season.

Since opening things up from Dayton and decommitting, Baylor, Butler, Clemson, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas State, Minnesota, Santa Clara and Utah are the primary schools involved. Wright still has three official visits left as he’s o

“I’ve been talking to a couple of schools about maybe setting up a visit but I haven’t really scheduled one yet. But I’m planning on using at least two.”

Wright is hoping to find a situation where he can play right away. He looked good at adidas, but you also have to keep in mind that he’s one class older than most of his competition. Still, with a lot of colleges looking for anyone who can handle the ball and potentially knock down shots, Wright is an intriguing spring recruit that could be a rotation player next season.

adidas unveils new March threads

adidas
Leave a comment

While the NCAA tournament is a chance for players, programs and coaches to showcase themselves to the country, so to is it a chance for the apparel companies that are ubiquitous in the sport.

On Monday, adidas unveiled its schools’ new looks for this month.

Of the schools represented only three – Kansas, Louisville and Miami – figure to be in the NCAA tournament, but all three – especially the Jayhawks and Cardinals – have the potential to get adidas some prolonged exposure with deep runs in the Big Dance.

PHOTO: Nebraska’s Tim Miles shows off custom sneakers

Associated Press
Leave a comment

Last July Nebraska head coach Tim Miles was able to make a fashion statement of sorts thanks to adidas, which supplied him with his own pair of Stan Smith sneakers with his face on the tongue. Saturday the head coach showed off another custom pair of sneakers, with these being the adidas Superstar in Nebraska colors with some other images that let everyone know who the shoes are for.

While the outside of the left heel simply has a “Coach Miles” graphic, the outside of the right heel has the Nebraska “N” logo and a silhouette of Miles. While some head coaches whose programs are sponsored by adidas received Yeezys during the summer, what Miles has is a true limited edition sneaker.

Louisville’s new adidas deal could end up profitable for Rick Pitino

Leave a comment

Louisville signed a new apparel deal with adidas this week, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal, and that will likely end up being a good thing for head coach Rick Pitino.

Because in the contract, there is a clause that will give the coach significant bonuses based on performance:

He’d make $300,000 if U of L wins the national title, $150,000 if the Cards make the Final Four, $75,000 for an Elite 8 appearance and $50,000 for a Sweet 16 run. He’d get another $50,000 if Louisville wins the ACC tournament and $25,000 if Louisville wins the ACC regular-season title.

Pitino will also get $15,000 if he wins ACC or National Coach of the Year, and he’s far from the only one with bonuses like that. Football coach Bobby Petrino and women’s basketball coach Jeff Walz have similar bonuses written into their contract.

All so that the school and the coach wear only adidas gear.

Baylor releases pictures of their new uniforms (PHOTOS)

1 Comment

Earlier this week, Kansas released their new uniform design in a video of Andrew Wiggins at a GQ photo shoot.

Baylor wasn’t quite as extravagant in their announcement, as the official men’s basketball twitter feed posted two pictures on Wednesday night of this season’s uniforms:

source:
@BaylorMBB

And the shorts:

source:
@BaylorMBB

I like it.

It seems like Adidas is really going for the whole shoulder stripes look this year, and while some folks have pushed back against it, I like it.

At least the color of the jerseys don’t require sunglasses to look at them.

Kansas renews deal with adidas

Leave a comment

The University of Kansas announced last Thursday that they are renewing their partnership with adidas through 2019.

Adidas has sponsored Kansas athletics since 2005, and before that the Jayhawks were sponsored by Nike. Per the report from the Kansas athletic department, the six-year extension is worth in excess of $26 million.

Kansas athletic director Sheahon Zenger had this to say about their partnership with adidas:

We have been extremely pleased with our partnership with adidas. adidas promised quality and dedication to service – to all our teams – and they have delivered what they promised.  The fact that adidas eagerly sought to extend our partnership clearly demonstrates to us their continued understanding of the tremendous value of the entire Kansas Athletics program.

Said David Baster, Vice President of Sport Performance with adidas: “We are proud of our relationship with KU’s outstanding athletics program. We are excited to have KU athletes, coaches and fans wear adidas and look forward to continuing our successful partnership.”

Some may chalk this up as news of little importance, but don’t tell that to Bill Self and other coaches around the country. Recall two years ago when Archie Goodwin publicly stated one of the primary reasons he would not be playing basketball for Scott Drew and Baylor was due to their partnership with adidas. Yes, because Baylor wears adidas apparel, that was a deal-breaker for Archie Goodwin:

Coach Scott Drew is a great guy. I love Coach Drew. They were one of the first schools that were recruiting me. But I didn’t like that they were an adidas team, but that’s not to say I wouldn’t go to Kansas because Kansas is a great team. I can look over the adidas thing — I own some adidas stuff. I didn’t like their colors, either. I don’t like green and gold. That’s ugly …. When you got ugly colors like that, you gotta be Nike. …. Baylor has some ugly shoes, too.”

Goodwin ended up at Kentucky. Kentucky has the Nike swoosh on their jerseys.

Reverting back to Kansas, their new deal is one of the richest in adidas’ portfolio of over 70 collegiate clients.

Oh, and Andrew Wiggins wasn’t deterred by Kansas’ partnership with adidas, so the Jayhawks have that going for them, as well.

You can find Kevin on twitter @KLDoyle11