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July 5, 2011

What we'll be watching at the Breakout Challenge

Not too long ago, Reebok was sponsor of what was arguably the top summer event when the ABCD Camp attracted the nation's top talent to New Jersey every July. Then Reebok moved the camp to Philadelphia and changed to the Reebok All-American camp before shutting down after a few years.

Now, after a few years away, Reebok is back with the Breakout Challenge which will again be held on the campus of Philadelphia University.

The camp kicks off on Wednesday and Reebok is building the camp around the model that helped them discover their top pitch man, John Wall. Rivals.com will be on hand for the first couple of days and here's what we'll be watching.

Will the Breakout Challenge model work?

When John Wall first burst onto the scene prior to his junior year at Raleigh (N.C.) Word of God, his big moment came at Reebok camp. However, prior to the camp, Wall was a virtual unknown who had to play his way into the main camp by performing in a qualifying camp.

This year, Reebok has decided to use his experience as the camp model. A large portion of the camp's attendees were drawn from "Headliner" tryout camps held in cities like Washington D.C., Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago and so on. Also, rather than targeting the already well known players, Reebok has tried to focus on inviting some lesser known players who are on the verge of taking their recruitment to the high major level or breaking onto the national scene. It's an interesting and novel concept to be sure, now it's time to see how well it works.

Is Rysheed Jordan a breakout player for 2013?

Around Philadelphia, there's been lots of talk about class of 2013 point guard Rysheed Jordan from Vaux Roberts High School. A floor general with great size, above average athleticism and the ability to play physical, he's already a three-star prospect. However, his performance at the recent Under Armour Best of the Best camp and word from people who have seen him recently suggests that he's on the cusp on vaulting into four-star territory and the national rankings.

What kind of player has Maryland gotten in Seth Allen

When Mark Turgeon landed the job at Maryland, one of his first orders of business was locking up a commitment from little known Seth Allen. A 6-foot-2 combo guard from Fredricksburg (Va.) Christian, Allen had been a primary target of Turgeon and his staff while they were at Texas A&M and word from program insiders is that the Terrapin staff was happy to lock him up so quickly upon their arrival in College Park.

Allen won't be an unknown much longer thanks to his expected appearance at Reebok (where he's slated to play on the same team as the previously mentioned Rysheed Jordan) this week. We're curious to see exactly what type of player the Terrapins have landed and will be watching him as closely as anybody in attendance.

How good is USC commit Larry Lewis

Moving from one coast to another, the Breakout camp will also give us a chance to get our first extended look at Larry Lewis. A 6-foot-3 shooting guard from Phoenix (Ariz.) Arcadia, Lewis committed to USC back in March.

Since then, few talent evaluators have been able to watch the future Trojan in action. He's reportedly a big time athlete with range on his shot and the ability to create for himself off of the dribble. We'll find out soon enough exactly what type of player he is and how he projects down the road.

Can Tevin Glass continue his climb?

One of the biggest movers in the revamped 2012 Rivals150 was Georgia native Tevin Glass. The skinny combo forward skyrocketed all the way up from #114 to #65 nationally thanks to string of strong spring and early summer performances that he capped with a terrific outing at the Pangos All-American camp.

Now, it's time to see if the high flying Glass is for real and if he's capable of replicating his efforts under the watchful eyes of college coaches. A bit of a tweener with power forward height and a small forward's frame, Glass is a high level athlete and finisher in transition. Because the Breakout camp will lack some for big men, it's likely that he will have to play some on the interior so we should be able to gauge his overall versatility.

Will the Breakout Challenge be Horace Spencer's intro to the hoops world

At Rivals.com, we go out of our way to not get caught up in the excitement or madness of evaluating middle-schoolers. However, as the summer as started to get rolling, we've already run across a handful of freshman to be competing against much older players. One of those guys is Philly area product Horace Spencer.

Long and astoundingly athletic and coordinated given his young age, the 6-foot-7 Spencer is already well known around Philadelphia and to those that do follow players before they get to high school. Additionally, he's already shown that he can compete with older players after he held his own at June's Pangos All-American Camp. Now, in front of what should be a supportive home crowd, Spencer will get his intro to college coaches and most of the recruiting world. While we don't want to make too much of it, we are eager to see how the young prospect fairs in a situation against older players who are trying to earn scholarship offers.


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