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July 15, 2012INDIANAPOLIS - The NCAA's first July evaluation period ended Sunday, with a couple Eric Gordon All-Stars teams playing in the final rounds of the adidas Invitational in Indianapolis.
At North Central High School, the Gordon 15-year-old team won its age division, beating a talented Colorado Hawks team 58-55; its 17s - for which Purdue 2013 commitment Basil Smotherman plays - fell in the semifinal to New Heights from New York City, 71-66.
Gordon's 15s team, Eric Gordon Central Stars, features Class of 2016 blue-chipper Eron Gordon, as well as regarded Class of 2015 prospects Ryan Welage, Brennan Gillis, Michael Benkert, Sean McGee, and others.
Benkert and Welage in particular enjoyed strong showings at adidas, with Welage playing very well in his two games Sunday.
Dwyane Gibson of Park Tudor led the team with 17 points in the final, while the 6-7 Welage added 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Gordon, who already has offers from Purdue, Indiana and Arizona State, struggled from the field, going 1-for-8, but finished with eight points.
"Anybody on this team can step up," EG coach Pat Mullin said. "Eron's obviously a very talented player, but we felt good about anybody we had out there."
In the first game of the day, Welage scored 20 and Gordon 16 in a 67-59 win over the Iowa Barnstormers.
For the 17s team, Smotherman finished with two points and three rebounds in the final, but was pleased with his play at adidas, as were his coaches.
The 6-7 forward shot the ball well at adidas and spent much of the tournament playing a variety of roles defensively, often matching up against opposing point guards.
Smotherman didn't have to play.
He injured his ankle at Purdue's team camp at the end of June and could have sat out.
"I'm happy I played," he said. "I always have a lot of fun playing with these guys and I'm proud of what we did."
Stay tuned for more this week on Gordon, Welage and a variety of other Purdue prospects from this past week's AAU action.
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