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June 20, 2014

Adebayo solidifying five-star status

RANKINGS: Class of 2014 - 2015 - 2016

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Friday is the last day of pool play games at the NBPA Top 100 with playoff action starting on Saturday. Traditionally, Friday is the day where campers start to drag and the energy level suffers. While it is easy to tell that many players are tired, the energy level was good during Friday's first session of games. Edrice Adebayo didn't put up huge numbers but has solidified his status in 2016 while others like Deng Adel and Chance Comanche made some noise as well.

Adebayo expanding his game

One of the most athletic and physically tough big men regardless of class, there have never been any questions about Edrice Adebayo's ability to dunk in traffic and rebound the basketball. At the NBPA Top 100 Camp, the five-star post man who guys by Bam Bam, or just Bam for short, is showing that he has expanded his game a bit.

A 6-foot-8 power forward at Washington (N.C.) Northside who currently ranks No. 9 overall in the rising junior class, Adebayo feels he has had a good run in Charlottesville.

"I think I've been playing well," Adebayo told Rivals.com. "I'm getting good exposure. The guards are giving me the ball in the post, sometimes at these camps it is all about the guards."

Rugged and tough, Adebayo has a long and wiry strong play and has a style similar to a Montrezl Harrell type. He is comfortable as an above the rim power player but is working hard to improve his ability to attack via one or two dribbles and make short jumpers.

"I've really been working on it since last summer," said Adebayo. "I'm trying to perfect getting by people with a shot fake and dribble and hitting the elbow jumper.

Adebayo didn't want to speak about a school list and said that he is wide open in the process. He did mention that he has heard from N.C. State, Iowa State, Duke, Memphis and Wake Forest since coaches could start making contact with rising juniors last week.

However, Adebayo also cautioned that he is just in the infancy stages of his recruitment and that there are several other schools in contact with his mentor Eric Peartree. It is clear that Adebayo thinks highly of his mentor and he will lean on him for guidance.

"He's very important to me," said Adebayo of Peartree. "If it wasn't for him I believe a lot of people would come at me in a hateful way and try to get me to do the wrong things. I'm thankful to have him in my life."

More news and notes from Friday's first session

Five-star big man Chance Comanche had a good run during Friday's first session. The 6-foot-10 Californian was running the floor, using his length to finish around the rim and he even stepped out and knocked home a very clean looking three-point jumper. Comanche still has to get stronger and is certainly more of a face-up player than a low post grinder but there shouldn't be any question about whether or not he has big upside and potential.

Class of 2015 four-star Jimmy Whitt is a natural combo guard who is best scoring off the dribble. At NBPA Camp he has been playing almost exclusively as a point guard. Running his team has cut down on his shots so he hasn't been a huge scorer, but he has been very effective utilizing the high ball screen and he has proven himself as one of the premier pull-up jump shooters in the country. During the morning session, Whitt had a string of four straight pull-ups. Whitt currently has a huge list that he's hoping to cut down at the end of the summer but he did say that Arkansas and SMU are very likely to get official visits while Missouri has really turned up the heat since hiring Kim Anderson. Whitt also mentioned Illinois as a place he would look to check out unofficially in August.

The play of 2015 power forward Luke Maye at NBPA Top 100 shows that he needs to remain in the Rivals150. Throw out the ideal physical characteristics for a power forward because Maye breaks them down. There are plenty of guys with more length or athleticism, but few have his jump shooting, tough rebounding, overall awareness and skill level. It will be very interesting to see who prioritizes him in July.

Currently and unranked three-star prospect, Deng Adel has locked up a spot in the next edition of the Rivals150 for the class of 2015. The only question is how high he will enter the rankings. A very skinny wing with 6-foot-7ish size, Adel is solid in all aspects. He runs the floor well, uses the dribble effectively and will get on the glass. What he does as well or better than just about anybody else, though, is use the glass on 12 to 15 foot jump shots.

There has never been any question about 2015 small forward Derrick Jones as an athlete, but there have been questions about his skill level. Those questions remain valid, but Jones has perhaps been a bit underrated skill wise. He has a great first step, has gotten a bit better with the dribble and seems to have a better feel for the game situation. At least he did early Friday while playing the best ball Rivals.com has seen from him in a while.

It wasn't the best spring for Bryant Crawford and he had some struggles when we watched earlier at NBPA, but he seemed to turn things around some on Friday morning. After spending too much time hunting jumpers from deep, Crawford decided to start attacking off the dribble and getting into the lane. The aggressive play seemed to favor him and he even lit up the gym with a one handed throw down on Ben Simmons -- who had another outstanding outing with 17 points -- at the rim.

Mustapha Heron is more well known for his strength and getting to the rim. The class of 2016 wing who has committed to Pittsburgh has also looked like he will be more of a mid range jump shooter than deep threat. However, Heron has shot the ball extremely well from deep at camp and if that development holds up it bodes very well for his future at Pitt.

Eric Bossi is the national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.



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