The 2019 Adidas Summer Championships are now in the books and it is time for the final event for this year's Adidas Gauntlet to set in. The 2019 Adidas Gauntlet Finale is expected to tip off Thursday at the Ladera Sports Center in Ladera Ranch, California. The Adidas Summer Championships champions for all age levels are expected to attend and this tournament will be totally different. It is a win or go home situation for all teams, so who will bring their "A" game to Southern Cal?
Who will be the favorites?
Atlanta Celtics (GA)
The Atlanta Celtics out of Georgia are without question the top dogs and favorites to win it all after winning the Adidas Summer Championships last weekend in Hoover, Alabama. Going on an impressive eight game winning streak last weekend, the guard tandem of 2020 PG Deivon Smith, Xavier commit 2020 PG Dwon Odom, 2020 G Caleb Murphy, and 2020 SG Toneari Lane have been a handful for opponents this season. The Celtics come in with an overall 20-3 record and will have all the momentum coming into this one and will look to leave Southern California as champions.
D1 Minnesota (MN)
This group here lost their first and only two games of the year last weekend in Hoover and that was without top ranked 2020 F Dawson Garcia. They come in with an overall record of 18-2 and are one of the most locked in teams you will ever see. This group comes in with a whole different mindset and takes every game one game at a time. 2020 SG Kerwim Walton had himself a huge and stock rising weekend last weekend and will look to bring the same momentum. With other top prospects like 2020 F Ben Carlson and 2021 F Kendall Brown rounding out this big four, D1 Minnesota is another favorite to take this tournament home.
Garner Road (NC)
This year's Garner Road (NC) squad has been led by future North Carolina Tar Heel 2020 C Day'Ron Sharpe. Most people were surprised that this group reached the Adidas Summer Championships title game last weekend after knocking off D1 Minnesota in the semifinals. With that being said, it will not be a shock if these boys made it back to the championship game, especially being led by their head coach, former NBA player David West. Virginia commit 2020 SG Carson McCorkle, had himself a stellar weekend last weekend and was a huge contributor to the team's success.
Who will be the contenders?
Comtpon Magic (CA)
The Compton Magic went without their star player last weekend in Hoover, Alabama, the number one overall prospect in the 2020 class C Evan Mobley. It is a possiblity that he will be back and running this week but it has yet to be confirmed. Even without Mr. Mobley, I believe the Compton Magic have a chance to be crowned champions in their home state. 2020 PG Dalen Terry and 2020 SG Jaylen Clark have taken the wheel and have guided this Compton Magic team with Evan out. Though they were put out of last weekend's tournament in the elite 8, this team will not back down from competition and will compete all game long at the highest level. They will certainly be a main contender to look out for.
Dream Vision (CA)
I feel if Gonzaga commit 2020 SG Dominick Harris did not get injured during last weekend's tournament, we will probably be calling this group one of the favorites to win this week's Adidas Gauntlet Finale. Dream Vision will be coming in with a 13-3 overall record and just were embarrassed last weekend in the elite 8 round by D1 Minnesota. If everyone can stay healthy througout the tournament, best believe this group will be a serious contender. Top 2020 prospects SG Kyree Walker, West Virginia commit F Isaiah Cottrell, and C Makur Maker round out the team's big four including Dominick Harris. This is a really scary group.
Team Loaded (VA)
Team Loaded out of Virginia was just one game away from reaching the Adidas Summer Championships championship game last weekend, losing to the Atlanta Celtics (GA). 2020 F Henry Coleman is the leader of the pack and what a phenomenal weekend he had last weekend in Alabama. Best believe this squad will be back in the hunt for the championship. This is a hard-nose group that will play smart on both ends of the floor. They also have top ranked rising junior 2021 F JT Thor. Thor and others compliment Henry Coleman and makes this squad even more difficult to defeat.
Who are the "dark horses" ?
Indiana Elite (IN)
2020 SG Trey Galloway and 2021 PG Khristian Lander have been the leaders of this Indiana Elite squad this season and will be another contender that will be looking for that Adidas championship. This squad was very impressive last weekend and were eliminated by the eventual champions in the Atlanta Celtics in the elite 8 round. Revenge will certainly be on this group's mind coming into this one. With their solid backcourt of Lander and Galloway, I do not see why this group won't be able to win this year's Adidas Gauntlet Finale.
Mass Rivals (MA)
This year's Mass Rivals group out of Boston might not have any big named prospects on their roster but they sure do compete and it shows. They will be the main dark horse in this year's tournament and will be led by newly Penn State bound 2020 PG Dallion Johnson. Mass Rivals will come in with a 16-3 overall record and a team they made their appearance in the elite 8 round last weekend in Hoover, Alabama.
NY Jayhawks (NY)
Their record might not show it but this year's New York Jayhawk squad is very good. Led by their star point guard, 2020 PG Andre Curbelo, the Jayhawks are one of the best coached teams in the country. They play the right way, rarely make any mistakes, and just know how to put points up on the board. 2020 F Zed Key, who is coming off a stock rising performance last weekend in Hoover, will also be one of the leaders for this Jayhawks team this week if they look to finish at the top.
Who are the underdogs?
Game Elite (FL)
Though their record is under .500, this Game Elite (FL) is squad will not be a cake walk for their opponents. Their star playmaker, Tennessee commit 2020 F Corey Walker Jr., was out due to academic reasons last week and will not be with them in Southern California. That leaves the load to future McDonald's All American 2020 C Walker Kessler, who had a fantastic weekend last weekend. This group can certainly get it done, but it will take guys like 2020 PG Khalil Shaheed, 2020 C Ebenezer Dowuona, and others to step their game up.
Upward Stars (SC)
If we are talking about tough and scrappy teams that will defend and hustle on every play then the Upward Stars is that team. Besides 2020 F PJ Hall, this group does not hold any other big time names on their roster. Their backcourt of 2020 PG Myles Tate and 2020 SG Dillon Jones are not to be slept on throughout this tournament. Both Jones and Tate are pitbull defenders and will do whatever it takes for their team to get the win. Certainly an underdog coming in.
Compton Magic Premier (CA)
After going 7-1 last weekend in Hoover, Alabama and capturing the 17U silver bracket championship, this group will be one of the top underdogs this weekend in Southern California. Led by 2021 PG Isa Silva, this group will already be coming in with confidence and high momentum. Top ranked 2022 F Kijani Wright is also expected to suit with this group once again this week.