NBE Basketball Report
Missouri Recruiting

ADIDAS INVITATIONAL — DAY TWO

July 12, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by ND Kendrick

Indianapolis, IN – Day two of the second July “live period” was in full swing on Thursday and NBE Sports joined coaching staffs from numerous college programs at the adidas Invitational in the Circle City.

Here is a rundown from Thursday’s long day of action…

Standouts:

Stephen Zimmerman (Dream Vision 17) – Zimmerman continues to demonstrate why he may have the brightest future amongst all the bigs in his class. He has a soft shooting touch out to the stripe and an unblockable left-handed jump hook. Defensively his timing is excellent as he blocked away a number of shots. He is still very left hand dominate.

Jeremie Tyler (Indiana Elite 17s) – Tyler is beginning to step his game up to another level. He pushes the ball in transition off the dribble or pass with great pace. Changes speed and directions using the speed and inside out dribble with either hand.

Goodluck Okonoboh (Mass Rivals 17s) – Okonoboh plays with a great deal of passion and effort in the paint. He does a good job of using his body to establish prime position in the paint. He runs well and has plenty of athleticism to catch and score around the basket. Louisville coach Rick Pitino and Indiana coach Tom Crean were very attentive.

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REEBOK BREAKOUT CLASSIC – DAY I

July 11, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

PHILADELPHIA – The first of three July Live Periods tipped off last night and NBE Sports was in the City of Brotherly Love for the Reebok Breakout Classic. Over 100 players made their way to Philadelphia University for the camp and the first night featured three sets of games.

NBE Sports focused on the games on court one on the opening night and got to see half the teams in action, allowing us to put together notes on quite a few players.

Eric Carter, a 6-foot-9 power forward from Jackson Memorial (NJ), is surprisingly good in transition for a post player. The class of 2014 recruit has a big frame and is adept at drawing fouls, but does have to do some work on finishing. However, he did have a game-high 16 points.

Noah Blackwell of Woodcreek (CA) may not be a big name on a national level, but the class of 2015 prospect is a nice talent. The 6-foot-1 point guard is a solid all-around player who can help his team in a number of ways and has shooting ability.

Class of 2014 combo guard Jeremiah Jefferson of Triple A Academy (TX) showed some major scoring ability. The 6-foot-2 combo guard had the highest point total on Court One on Wednesday, finishing with 18. He can shoot from beyond the arc and simply finds ways to produce.
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DR. MLK ‘STOP THE VIOLENCE’ BASKETBALL CLASSIC RECAP

January 22, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

MIAMI – The 18th annual Dr. MLK “Stop the Violence” Basketball Classic took place at Miami Central (FL) High School over the past couple days. NBE Sports was in the gym for five of the games on Saturday to see some of the top teams and players from South Florida.

TOP PERFORMER

Wadley Mompremier of Miami Senior was the leading scorer in the five games NBE Sports saw, but that is not the only reason he garnered Top Performer honors. A 6-foot-9 power forward who has signed with Ohio University, Mompremier has made some impressive strides in his game since the summer. The class of 2013 prospect is still a bit raw, but the strides in his game are quite evident. He scored off some nice alley-oop plays and consistently used his height to his advantage. Mompremier has superb length to go along with a body that can still add some muscle. The future Bobcat rebounds the ball pretty well and can even grab some boards at the offensive end. Mompremier also displayed the ability to step out and knock down a shot from 3-point range with a pretty nice looking stroke. It was clear on Saturday that Mompremier has a chance to be a superb player down the road in the MAC and Ohio fans should be excited about this pickup.

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RECRUITING NOTEBOOK (1/14/2013): ACTION HEATING UP ON RECRUITING TRAIL

January 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

After a long swoon during the holiday season, things have picked back up in a hurry on the recruiting trail. One of the nation’s best big men made his pledge and several, as did a top-notch junior guard and several other players.

Dakari Johnson of Montverde Academy (FL) became yet another part of the star-studded Kentucky recruiting class. The 6-foot-10 class of 2013 center picked the Wildcats over Georgetown and Syracuse.

Johnson had been ranked No. 3 in the NBE Sports Class of 2014 Post-July Top 75, but he has since reclassified up to 2013. UK already has four additional top-15 commits in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125, as John Calipari is putting together his, if not the­ best class yet.

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ELITE ’14 GUARD D’ANGELO RUSSELL LIGHTS UP ROSELLE CATHOLIC; TALKS RECRUITING

January 4, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

ROSELLE, N.J. – D’Angelo Russell stole the show at the Roselle Catholic (NJ) Hoops for Troops Basketball Classic last night.

The 6-foot-4, 185-pound shooting finished with 21 points, including 17 in the second quarter. It was during that period that he connected on five 3-pointers during about a five minute span.

The No. 12 ranked player in the NBE Sports Class of 2014 Post-July Top 75 helped lead Montverde Academy (FL) to a 77-51 victory over the host, Roselle Catholic.

“I feel like I try to step up and make big-time plays for my teammates and for myself and I just felt like it was the opportunity to go,” Russell said of his second quarter outburst.

Asked how often he gets in a zone like that, Russell replied, “I try to as quick as I can. The atmosphere was great, so adapting to the atmosphere was just what I try to do, and that’s what happened.”

The elite Class of 2014 guard talked in a bit more detail about what playing in front of a big-time crowd means.

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CLASS OF 2015 INTRO: MONTAQUE GILL-CAESAR

December 9, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Whitfield

Rob Fulford’s Huntington Prep basketball machine has the biggest name in the high school and prep ranks with Class of 2013 superstar Andrew Wiggins anchoring his team. However, Fulford now has another star waiting in the wings in Montaque Gill-Caesar.

Only a sophomore, the 6-foot-6 Gill-Caesar already has the body of a college freshman and the Canadian first caught the eye of NBE over the summer on the AAU trail with CIA Bounce at the Adidas Invitational. NBE’s Brian Bosworth was impressed with the relative unknown at the time as Gill-Caesar had a major breakout in a tough loss to the loaded Compton Magic 15U team. The small forward is a supreme athlete but doesn’t just rely on athleticism to dominate offensively and showed a wide variety of offensive weapons over the summer as he hit pull-up jumpers using 1-2 dribbles in both directions and looked both confident and comfortable doing so. We even saw him hit a 15-foot fadeaway from the low post and then he hammered in a tip-in dunk on the next possession. He looks like the next big star to come out of the well known Canadian AAU program and Huntington Prep looks to be the beneficiary in the states of his talent. He has decent reflexes and good wingspan for a player his size. Gill-Caesar describes himself as a slasher on the offensive end.
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D’ANGELO RUSSELL UPDATE: LIST LENGTHENS FOR ELITE ’14 SCORING GUARD

November 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

D’Angelo Russell has solidified his position as one of the lite prospects in the Class of 2014 at every stop on the summer and spring AAU trail and throughout a decorated high school and prep career. The current Montverde (FL) Academy standout completed the summer ranked #12 by NBE’s National Recruiting Analyst Brian Bosworth in the NBE Class of 2014 Post-July Top 75.

Russell has the complete skill package as a 6-foot-4+, 180-pound shooting guard. He can create off the bounce for himself and others. He is strong enough to get to the rim and finish through contact and he can hit the perimeter shot consistently out past the three-point arc. Russell is also not afraid to defend and will do so with effort consistently. While his goal is to win a national title with Montverde this season, he can’t help but look forward to his final year on the AAU circuit ahead where he will plans to either play with E1T1 out of Florida or All-Ohio Red closer to his home in Kentucky.
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RECRUITING NOTEBOOK (11/15/2012): ’15 KARL TOWNS UPSTAGES SIGNING PERIOD OPENING

November 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

It is rare that the biggest news to come out of signing week involves a player who cannot sign a Letter of Intent for another two years, but one could argue that is the case thus far. That is partially due to the lack of major commitments and partially due to the fact that the news from the sophomore class is pretty big.

Here is a look at some of the bigger stories of the week, some from yesterday, the first day of the early signing period, and some from the days leading up to it.

We start it with the aforementioned sophomore who has grabbed the headlines. In news that looks to have been first reported by Joseph Thompson of SEC Basketball Recruiting, Karl Towns, Jr. has decided to announce his college decision on December 4th. A 6-foot-10 power forward/center out of St. Joseph’s Metuchen (NJ), Towns is one of the best prospects in the nation regardless of class. He is ranked No. 3 in the NBE Sports Class of 2015 Post-July Top 25.

Towns has most of the nation’s elite programs coming after him and basically has his selection of schools. There has long been some chatter about Kentucky when it comes to Towns and the Wildcats could be the favorite here.

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RECRUITING NOTEBOOK (10/31/2012): WIGGINS’ NEWS OVERSHADOWS WILLIAMS’ COMMITMENT

October 31, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

The past few days have continued to be pretty quiet on the recruiting trail over the past several days. However, there were a couple of top-notch players who did make noise with a decision of one kind or another.

It is rare that a commitment from a top-25 player to one of the nation’s elite programs can be overshadowed by something other than a commitment from a more highly ranked player. Nonetheless, that is the case for this edition of the Recruiting Notebook. The biggest news of the past week was Andrew Wiggins reclassifying from 2014 to 2013.

The 6-foot-7 small forward from Huntington Prep (WV) is the near unanimous top prospect in high school hoops, regardless of class. Wiggins had been ranked No. 1 in the NBE Sports Class of 2014 Post-July Top 75, but he will now move to the top spot in the 2013 class.

Wiggins is a truly elite prospect and will be a tremendous pickup for whatever school he selects. Florida State and Kentucky are considered to be the favorites to land the athletic wing from Ontario, Canada.

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RECRUITING NOTEBOOK (10/26/2012): NEWS, NOTES & A DOCUMENTARY YOU SHOULD NOT MISS

October 26, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

Things have continued to remain mostly calm on the recruiting front over the past few days. There were not big-time commitments to report, but that does not mean we are bereft of news. In fact, a couple mid-major programs received some superb news from potential impact targets lately.

Before getting into the news that has happened since the weekend, I do want to touch on a pair of Sunday commitments that I accidently overlooked in Monday’s Recruiting Notebook.

First off, Missouri picked up its second 2013 frontcourt player in a week when Torren Jones of La Lumiere (IN) popped to the Tigers. The 6-foot-8 power forward is a rugged low post player with a strong frame. A native of Arizona, Jones is ranked No. 94 in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125. His pledge was first reported by Josh Paunil of National Recruiting Spotlight.

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RECRUITING NOTEBOOK (10/22/2012): COMMITMENTS BEGIN TO SLOW

October 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

 

by Alex Schwartz

Commitments seem to have slowed down a bit over the past several days, but that does not mean we have been without any whatsoever.

In fact, while the total number may be smaller, a few superb seniors did take their names off the board since our last Recruiting Notebook. One Big 12 school landed a top-40 player, while a former Big 12 school also landed itself a top-40 player.

Jonathan Williams III was the top player to commit recently, and he is a huge pickup for the Missouri Tigers. A talented 6-foot-8 power forward, Williams is ranked No. 26 in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125. The Southwind (TN) star joins the long list of highly ranked 2013 prospects headed to SEC programs.

Baylor also picked up a major pledge, garnering a verbal commitment from Ishmail Wainright. The 6-foot-5 small forward was at one point briefly committed to Missouri, but then reopened his recruitment.

Wainright is a native of the Show Me State, but he transferred to Montrose Christian (MD) for his junior year and remains that for his final year of high school. He is ranked No. 32 in the NBE Sports 2013 Top 125. The news of his commitment was first reported by Alex Kline of TheRecruitScoop.com.

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RECRUITING NOTEBOOK (10/18/2012): POST MADNESS COMMITMENT CRAZE

October 18, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

by Alex Schwartz

Last Friday was Midnight Madness, which is the first day that college basketball programs can hold official practices. Many schools, at all levels, use the weekend of Midnight Madness as a chance to host and impress either their top target(s) or a large number of prospects.

As always, there have been numerous high-major commitments rolling in since players began their Midnight Madness visits. Below is a rundown of many of the top players to pledge over the past week.

I was out of the country over the weekend, which is why there was no Recruiting Notebook on Monday. Additionally, due to my trip—it’s crazy how disconnected to the world I am without my phone or constant internet access—the news on these pledges can be attributed to the Scout.com Commitment Tracker.

The biggest news coming from the weekend involved—who else?—the University of Kentucky. For the third straight week, John Calipari has landed at least one top-15 prospect in the class of 2013. This time it was 6-foot-9 center Marcus Lee of Deer Valley (CA), who selected UK over Cal. He is ranked No. 13 in the NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125.

Also nabbing a pledge from a top-20 recruit this week was Kansas. The Jayhawks added to their backcourt haul by picking up Wayne Selden, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard out of the Tilton School (NH). He is ranked No. 18 in the  NBE Sports Class of 2013 Post-July Top 125.

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Mernagh: Mizzou Gets Wes Clark to Pop…With a Little Help From a New Addition

August 30, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Wes Clark became a top 100 guard the old fashioned way — through extremely hard work and an attention to detail when it came to honing his craft.

Defensively, Clark will sit down and get into his man like few other guards with his accolades.

The perimeter star comes from two highly successful programs out of the Detroit area — The Family is his Grassroots/AAU squad while Romulus High is the jersey he represented during his high school season (Terry Mills, Grant Long and John Long are three of many Romulus studs to light up scoreboards throughout the years).

Missouri had a pipeline back in the day with Michigan prep players, but a recent hire by head man Frank Haith may have reignited and brightened a path that’s been somewhat dim for a number of years. Wes Clark was on Missouri’s radar for sure, but when Haith hired Rick Carter as an assistant from Western Michigan on August 14th, the pursuit of Clark was taken to another level. Carter is a bulldog, a grinder in the classic basketball/gym rat/junkie sense.

Like so many assistants at the mid major level, all he ever needed or was looking for, was a chance at the highest level (no Rob Murphy, not the NBA, the SEC or any other high major league). But first he had to pay his dues and, as things always seem to go in the basketball world, also have a little luck with who he ran into along the way. The assistant got his start on the Michigan AAU scene with the Mustangs before moving on to Michigan State in a managerial role for Tom Izzo (I remember seeing him constantly around Izzo when I was writing a book back in the day). He parlayed that into an Operations job at Fairfield for a year before becoming an assistant in his second season in the MAAC under Ed Cooley. Carter left Fairfield after two years to study under veteran coach Steve Hawkins at Western Michigan. Hawkins is a guy who in recent years has had assistants hired away by the programs at Michigan, Iowa State, Alabama, NC State and now Missouri. And relationships definitely played a role in Carter’s break.

One of the friendships Carter developed while at Fairfield was with Tim Fuller. When Ryan Miller left Mizzou suddenly to take a huge promotion at Auburn about a month ago, I imagine Fuller was in Haith’s ear about Carter, and the prospects the 33-year-old assistant might be able to get the Tigers “in” with rather quickly. Carter is a hard worker in the scouting and coaching department as well, but he’s also known Romulus coach Nate Oats for 12 years, and that had to be a plus (not to mention the talent coming up in Michigan over the next few years).

I tweeted about Carter’s addition at Missouri on August 8th.

He was officially hired on August 14th.

Wes Clark committed to Missouri on August 29th.

Carter finally got his chance — in the SEC — and in his first turn at bat hit a monster rope off the center field wall.

Haith and company now have their heir apparent to Phil Pressey at point guard… thanks to a nice assist from their new addition.

2012 NY2LA UNDER ARMOUR SUMMER JAM RECAP – PART II

July 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By N.D. Kendrick

Mequon, WI – The second July “live period” kicked off on Wednesday night and NBE Sports joined coaching staffs from numerous college programs at Homestead High School near Milwaukee to scout the prospects at the NY2LA Under Armour Summer Jam. Here is a rundown from Thursday’s long day of action…

Top Performance

T.J. Haws, Nick Emery and Eric Mika (Utah Reign) – Just had to go with this trio because they play like they are one. T.J. Haws has a little flash and flare to his game and is great ball handler that can shoot from distance but focuses on driving to the hoop. Emery is lethal from anywhere in the gym. He is not limited to being a catch and shoot player, he can take you off the bounce. Mika may be on the verge of becoming a household name (More on Mika below). They all three will be making noise at BYU in a few years.
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2012 PEACH JAM REPORT – DAY II (PART A)

July 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

After a fun sample of 16U action on Wednesday night, the 2012 Peach Jam kicked into full gear with 17U action taking center stage on Thursday morning. While plenty of players had standout performances, a trio of wings from the Oakland Soldiers squad separated themselves from the pack.

Top Performers of the Morning:

Aaron Gordon (Oakland Soldiers 2013) – After missing a large time of time this AAU season with a foot injury, Gordon seemed determined to erase any question marks about his health moving forward. He was better than ever before making plays from the wing that weren’t in his arsenal 12 months ago. Gordon flashed off the dribble skills that firmly project him as a SF going forward and make him an even more devastating player than I previously thought. In addition to his improved handle, Gordon remains the most electric finisher in high school basketball around the rim. He drew more than a few Blake Griffin comparisons after a series of ridiculous dunks in transition.
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2012 PEACH JAM REPORT — DAY I

July 19, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

While the 17U action for the EYBL crown will have to wait until Thursday, the 16U play kicked off Wednesday night. NBE was focused on Pool D for the night and had the chance to watch all four teams in the pool. The early game featured Southern Stampede defeating Each 1 Teach 1 while the night cap was a Texas Elite victory over The Family. A bunch of players managed to shine in the double dip led by a 2015 big man from Texas.

Top Performer of the Night:

Elijah Thomas (Texas Elite 2015) – In a head to head matchup with highly touted big man Diamond Stone, Thomas got the best of his friend who runs with The Family. He made a point to mention after the game that he was looking forward to the contest with Stone because he felt Stone had outplayed him earlier in the season at the Nike Elite 100 camp in St Louis. Thomas wanted another opportunity to prove that he was every bit the player and prospect that Stone is and did just that on Wednesday night. He’s an ambidextrous player who I legitimately thought was left handed for the entire first half until I watched him shoot his free throws right handed. Thomas is big, strong, and finishes everything in the paint with his left (off) hand. He welcomes and often initiates contact in the lane showing an ability to draw a foul and then finish anyway. Thomas can continue developing his game by expanding his range and furthering his set of moves on the low block but is already a very effective big man on strength alone.
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2012 ADIDAS INVITATIONAL – SUNDAY RECAP

July 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

Sunday in Indianapolis concluded a great week featuring all the premier Adidas sponsored teams in America. Champions were crowned with Eric Gordon All Stars (15U), Louisville Magic (16U), and Florida Elite (17U) taking home the hardware. Players from those clubs and others managed to shine on the brightest stage.

Top Performance of the Day:

Kasey Hill (Florida Elite 2013) – verbal to Florida – The week belonged to Kasey Hill and he capped it with a signature performance in a semifinal victory over Dream Vision. With most of his team looking sluggish, Hill took matters into his own hands erupting for 46 points in the best individual performance I’ve seen this year. Dream Vision tried every perimeter defender they had on the roster and Hill burned them all exploding by guys off the dribble, pulling up for 3-pointers, and grinding his way to the free throw line. As he had been all week, Hill was devastating in pick and roll sets where his greatly improved jump shot combined with his elite quickness make him an impossible cover. When defenders went under the screen, he buried the long ball and when they followed him over it he turned the corner and finished at the rim. Billy Donovan had a noticeable grin sitting court side because he knows that he has one of America’s best players coming to Gator country to run the show.
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2012 ADIDAS INVITATIONAL – SATURDAY RECAP

July 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

Saturday in Indianapolis was all playoff action at the Adidas Invitational and with higher stakes came stronger performances. All three age groups (15U, 16U, 17U) were represented at the main gym and players from all ages and all places managed to stand out. Here’s a sampling of who impressed.

Top Performers of the Day:

Daniel Hamilton (Dream Vision 2014) – The younger of the pair of brothers on Dream Vision’s 17U squad, Daniel is two inches taller and significantly longer than his older brother. While Daniel’s set of tools on the offensive end is not quite as refined as Isaac, he does have the middle game down to a science. He’s best scoring on runners or floaters going in either direction often using the back board from unusual angles. Hamilton has range out to the 3-point line but is consistently more successful when he puts the ball on the floor and pressures the defense off the dribble. Added strength, improved ball handling skills, and better shot selection can spring board Hamilton’s game to the next level.

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2012 ADIDAS INVITATIONAL – THURSDAY RECAP

July 13, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Brian Bosworth, National Recruiting Analyst

The Adidas Invitational in Indianapolis brings together all the Adidas sponsored AAU teams from around the country and in doing so collects one of the largest pools of talent of any tournament all summer. It was on full display throughout the day Thursday with high major talent playing in front of college coaches. A selection of players was able to separate themselves from the pack led by a pair of teammates from the Memphis area.

Top Performers of the Day:

Leron Black (Team Thad 2014) – Black is a 6-foot-7 power forward who has a motor that runs nonstop. His energy wore down the opposition to the point that he was beating his man down the floor every single time. Team Thad’s offensive system is similar to that of the old Loyola Marymount teams of the late 80s and early 90s that routinely scored over 100 points on the college level. They run and run and run until they can’t run anymore and over time this style wears down the opponents. Black never wore down himself but rather got stronger as the game went on dunking on four consecutive possessions at one point in the second half. His energy and smile on the court are infectious as the whole team seemed to rally around him after he got going in the 2nd half. Black even showed a developing face up game beating taller opponents off the bounce on his way towards more dunks at the rim. On top of the big finishes, he’s also a fantastic rebounder both in and out of his area, particularly on the offensive end. Every college program in the country that plays and up tempo style should be banging down Black’s door begging him to become part of their family.
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2012 LEBRON JAMES SKILLS ACADEMY RECAP – MONDAY

July 10, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

A glimpse at the future stars

by Raphielle Johnson

The final day of the LeBron James Skills Academy provided the first match-up of two of the best players in high school basketball in Julius Randle and Andrew Wiggins. While one also has to account for the likes of Jabari Parker and Andrew Harrison when discussing the top player regardless of class, Monday’s battle gave those in attendance the fodder needed to debate such an issue.

In a game that Wiggins’ Duke squad won by double digits it looked as if he had the edge in this particular debate. The thing for Wiggins is that the things he does on the floor come across as being effortless, and while he had moments this weekend when he wasn’t at his best there looks to be clear separation between he and the other elite players.

Randle had his moments as well and he’s able to play on the perimeter in addition to flourishing in the paint. But he can spend too much time on the perimeter, which takes away from his effectiveness. Those two stood out on paper, but a match-up of 2015 big men took center stage in the second half.

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