by Kent Sterling
There are some very good players in Indianapolis this weekend for the Adidas Invitational, but of the seniors-to-be games I’ve seen, there has been only one standout team – Dream Vision.
Not surprising they would be the odds on favorite to win the tournament, although for many teams, winning bracket games only means a chance to impress the legion of coaches here to watch prospects.
Dream Vision, a team made up of kids from California and Nevada, is playing games like they want to take home a trophy.
They advanced this afternoon behind solid defense and balanced offense to overwhelm Billups Elite 65-54 to earn a berth in the round of 32 against the New York RENS. I saw Dream Vision play yesterday as well because people coming to the tournament all want to see the players so many coaches like have come to see, seven-footer Stephen Zimmerman.
He’s a top ten kid in the class of 2015 for good reason – runs the floor like a deer, a very adept protector of the rim, and a nice touch within 15-feet, and he’s a big reason to think Dream Vision will make it to the finals on Sunday afternoon.
Indiana is reportedly working hard to earn Zimmerman’s love, and for good reason. For those Hoosier fans who want to compare Zimmerman to recent first round pick Cody Zeller, feel free. The similarities are there, although Zimmerman is a more traditional big man than Zeller is.
They both run the floor extremely well. Zimmerman might be a better post defender as he is thicker and more difficult to move, but Zeller was a little more active moving to help. Zeller had slightly stronger hands, but whatever minor warts there are with Zimmerman, they are easily corrected – just as Zeller’s were.
Zimmerman can go to whatever school he likes.
Today I watched Dream Vision because I’m a fan of several players on the team, in addition to Zimmerman.
They have a point guard who is an incredibly adept passer. Noah Robotham is a floor general who does what’s necessary to put his teammates in a position to score the basketball, just like point guards are supposed to- or were supposed to before Allen Iverson came along and screwed everything up by being able to score so easily.
This is Robotham’s first tournament with Dream Vision, but looks like he’s been with them for months. He sees the floor, and finds the right guy at the right time. Websites say he’s 5’10”, but his dad says he’s a solid six-footer. Let’s give the dad the benefit of the doubt and call him 5’11 1/2″. No dad claims his son is six feet tall if he is exactly six feet tall.
I told people my son was 6’4″ for a couple of years, and he has never seen 6’4″ in shoes while wearing two pairs of socks.
Not sure whether Robotham is a good shooter, as he hasn’t put it up much in the games I’ve seen. He’s quick enough to beat his man to the rim and draw contact with the help, but the most impressive part of his game is in hitting guys where and when they like it. Defensively, he needs to position himself where he can see both his man and the ball, and block out with determination as he is often matched up against bigger players, but overall he is a smart and stout defender.
Robotham has interest from Virginia Tech, BYU, and Tulsa among others, and should. He’s going to make teammates at some school very happy.
Another interesting player is Jamal Aytes, who will be a freshman somewhere in six weeks. He runs well, and has great hands. He’s very adept at catching in traffic and finding a way to get the ball into the bucket. He’s strong, and is tough to beat defensively. Aytes has offers from San Diego, San Diego State and UC Irvine.
Zimmerman and Robotham both play for Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, along with Dream Vision teammate Chase Jeter, a 6’10” power forward who’s ranked 46th in the 2015 class, and has offers from Arizona, UNLV, USC, and Oregon State. If Gorman loses a game, coach Grant Rice should re-examine his methodology. His brother Dave is the head coach at UNLV.
The tournament continues through the weekend, and an interesting match-up for Dream Vision might come in the Sweet Sixteen, where they could meet the Eric Gordon All-Stars team that has white hot former Indiana State commit Bryant McIntosh from Greensburg. That game would be played tomorrow at 3:30p at the Northview Middle School Main Gym.
For all bracket information, click here.