CHICAGO -- Prior to the second and third rounds of games, Day 2 of the adidas Nations Global Experience featured tons of shooting drills, as well as highly competitive rebounding, transition-controlled scrimmages and brief team practices.
USA's 2012 team came from behind to beat Europe 99-90 in the second round of pool play. Amile Jefferson (Philadelphia/Friends Central) and Shabazz Muhammad (Las Vegas/Bishop Gorman) consistently finished everything in transition and in the half court to will their team to victory.
The third round featured USA 2011 against USA 2012, with the Class of 2012 coming back from a five-point, halftime deficit to win going away, 102-91. USA 2011's LeBryan Nash (Dallas/Lincoln) and Quincy Miller (Chicago/Westchester Country Day School) combined for 44 points in a losing effort. USA 2012's Jordan Adams (Lawrenceville, Ga./Oak Hill) and Kevin" Yogi" Ferrell (Greenfield, Ind./Park Tudor) lead the way for USA 2012. Adams scored 20 points, including 18 in the second half (11 in the third quarter). Ferrell put up 17 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter.
2012, PF, 6-8
Jefferson was active on both ends of the floor by finishing around the basket and rebounding. He ran the floor extremely well for easy baskets, which led to a 10-point second quarter against Team Europe. Jefferson worked the baseline and went to his half-hook off the glass over his left shoulder for many important baskets. He played with heart and emotion and was the key player in USA 2012's comeback win. Jefferson finished with 20 points and eight rebounds versus USA 2011.
Recruiting wise, Jefferson likes Villanova, Pittsburgh, Georgetown, Syracuse, Miami, North Carolina and Duke.
2012, SF, 6-5
Muhammad started slowly, but as the USA 2012 team turned up the defensive pressure and got into transition, he was at his best. He is a big-time, above-the-rim, acrobatic finisher on the break. He also made plays in the half court with put-backs on offensive rebounds, as well as by posting up smaller defenders and hitting his open 3s with needed time and space. This long and very athletic lefty is a tough perimeter matchup on both ends of the floor.
Muhammad says he is being recruited by Kentucky, Memphis, North Carolina, Duke and UNLV.
Cezar Guerrero (Los Angeles/ St. John Bosco)
2011, PG, 6-2
This high-energy, very confident point guard on Team Latin America was much better since we last saw him in May. Guerrero is a scoring point who can also get his teammates shots with his ability to penetrate, drive, draw and kick. He's a score-first player although he possesses excellent passing skills with matching court vision. Guerrero can finish on the break by getting to the rim with a good burst of speed or stop and pop for the mid-range jumper. In the half court, he runs the offense and can make a scoring play at end-of-clock situations. Guerrero plays with swagger and competes on both ends to get the job done. He finished with 17 points, eight rebounds and four assists with very little playing time in the second half in a blowout win over Team Asia.
Player to watch
Jarnell Stokes (Memphis, Tenn./Central)
2012, PF, 6-6
This undersized post player has an NFL body. He powers through contact to score in the low post with quick and powerful baseline spin moves. He is also a terrific defensive rebounder and capable defender inside and out. It will be interesting to watch how Stokes develops and extends his game.
Highlight of the day
Miller again earned the highlight of the day with a one-handed, gliding dunk on the break in which he took off from the dotted half circle in the lane and hung the ball out away from his body until the last second. His head was at rim level on this one.
USA 2011 vs. USA 2012 game notes
• Ferrell pushed the ball on the break, made some nice plays off the dribble and continued to show his high-level, mid-range game and hit a big 3-pointer to clinch the game against USA 2011. Ferrell has also improved his point guard skills by displaying the ability to get others involved, although scoring is still at the top of his list.
• Adams is a strong wing who attacks the rim and hits the mid-range jumper or open 3-pointer. He is a scorer that can get in a groove and force the opponent to take a time out. The USA 2012 guard also welcomes contact with his runner in the lane and he has the ability to finish. Adams mentioned Georgia, Tennessee, Miami and UCLA as the schools he is currently interested in.
• DaJuan Coleman (DeWitt, N.Y./Jamesville-DeWitt)) is the anchor for the USA 2012 team. He can bang in the post, hit the 15-footer and drive from the high post or baseline. When focused and consistent, he is a dominant player.
Reggie Rankin was an assistant coach at seven schools for 13 seasons, most recently at Dayton. He played at Ohio University from 1986-90 and was an All-MAC first-teamer in his senior season.