Saturday, January 24, 2015

Hoophall Classic: Monday
THE RIVALS150: 2015 | 2016
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- The 2015 HoopHall Classic wrapped up with a terrific slate of games on Monday. The nation's top player Ben Simmons, performed as expected, as did the nation's No. 2 player Jaylen Brown. Dwayne Bacon continued his huge senior season while five-star juniors Jayson Tatum and V.J. King dueled. Simmons dominates The nation's No. 1 player, Ben Simmons, led Montverde (Fla.) Academy to the floor against Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman in a game that featured a ridiculous amount of size along each team's front line. A senior power forward, Simmons was dominant while leading Montverde to the 76-57 win over Gorman.
Ben Simmons backed up his No. 1 ranking on Monday.

More about that size, though. Accompanying the 6-foot-9 Simmons in the Montverde starting lineup was near seven-foot tall four-star Wake Forest signee Doral Moore and 6-foot-8 four-star Florida signee Noah Dickerson. Adding to the size off the bench were 7-foot-4 Florida State bound senior Jean Marc Koumadje and 6-foot-9 freshman E.J. Montgomery. Not to be outdone, Gorman countered with top ten seniors Stephen Zimmerman and Chase Jeter plus top 60 junior Zach Collins, all of whom stand at least 6-foot-10. In the end, though, it didn't matter because the LSU bound Simmons was clearly the best player on the floor. He didn't hit any of his jumpers, but he didn't really have to. Stronger and quicker off the floor, Simmons was a monster at the rim getting one dunk or close-in finish after another. Add in his ability to handle the ball, finish with either hand, and pass and it is pretty apparent why he ranks No. 1 in the class. While he scored 36 points and grabbed nine rebounds, the Gorman front line of Jeter, Zimmerman and Collins combined for just 16 points and 15 rebounds. Brown and Rabb go largeMany of Monday's games were televised nationally on ESPNU. The first of the televised game was a battle between Marietta (Ga.) Wheeler and Oakland (Calif.) Bishop O'Dowd. Headlining things for Wheeler was the nation's No. 2 player in the class of 2015, Jaylen Brown, while O'Dowd countered with the senior class's No. 7 player, Ivan Rabb. Neither disappointed in O'Dowd's 79-70 win.
Five-star Jaylen Brown was dynamic on Monday.

While his team took the loss, Brown was absolutely spectacular. A 6-foot-7 small forward, Brown showed off his athleticism, skill, power and grace, oftentimes in the same move. Whether he was elevating for slams, attacking off the dribble or hitting tough jumpers, the O'Dowd defense simply had to sit back and hope Brown missed as he racked up 31 points and 12 rebounds before fouling out. Brown's hard charging style does result in some turnovers (he had five) but the way he combines explosiveness and power is like a young Isaiah "J.R." Rider used to. If anybody is going to challenge Simmons for the No. 1 spot in the country, it is Brown. After a recent visit to North Carolina, Brown will next visit Michigan officially. The plan wa to head to Ann Arbor this weekend but the trip will be postponed and a new date will be set. Kentucky (John Calipari watched), UCLA (assistant on hand), Georgia, Kansas and Georgia Tech remain in the mix. On the other side, it looked for a while like Rabb's sluggish play in Springfield, Mo. at the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions might have followed him to Springfield, Mass. But as it turned out, that wasn't the case. The 6-foot-9 (maybe 6-foot-10) power forward put together a massive second half of 16 points, nine rebounds and three blocks to finish the game with 24, 12 and five. It was as fine a half as the No. 7 player in the class of 2015 has ever turned in. He hit elbow jumpers, spun for dunks, controlled the glass and was a menace on defense. Afterwards, Rabb reiterated what he told on Thursday night about taking official visits to Kansas, UCLA and California before making his decision. Tatum and King duel The final game of the night was a battle of Catholic schools as St. Louis (Mo.) Chaminade and 2016's No. 4 player Jayson Tatum took out Fairfax (Va.) Paul VI and 2016's No. 18 player V.J. King 88-78.
2016 five-star Jayson Tatum was at his best on Monday.

A 6-foot-8 small forward and five-star prospect, Tatum filled the stat sheet as expected with 25 points, 14 rebounds and three assists. However, it wasn't his gaudy numbers that were most impressive. It was the way he tapped into his teammates and got them to play at a higher level. Many other times when has seen Tatum, his teammates have had a tendency to stand around and watch him play. It was almost as if he was playing a one man NBA isolation game in a high school setting. On Monday, Tatum had his teammates moving and getting involved and communicating with each other, which took a significant load off Tatum's back and made him a better player at the same time. There will be times down the road where Tatum will have to take over on offense but it wasn't needed on Monday. Seeing him recognize that, and the manner in which his teammates fed off his leadership, was something else. He's scored more points, grabbed more rebounds and dished out more assists before, but for our money Tatum's performance Monday was as solid as has ever seen him. On the other side, King picked up exactly where he left off when we saw him on Thursday at the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions. Actually, King took his game to a new level going off for 38 points and five rebounds. The 6-foot-7 five-star wing looked great attacking the rim and pulling up for his patented mid-range jumper. He also stuck some threes and got to the free throw line. Here's a kid who admitted that he wasn't playing well earlier in the season. Rather than pout about it, he looked in the mirror and changed some things with his game. King still needs to add some strength, but this version of him where he's offensively aggressive without taking questionable shots is one that is an awful lot of fun to watch. It could have him moving back up in the rankings. Final Monday notes Dwayne Bacon continued his ridiculously good senior season on Monday. The Floridian, who is finishing up things at Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill, topped the 30-point mark for what seemed like the thousandth or so time this season as Oak HiIl erased a big deficit against Cleveland (Ohio) Villa Angela St. Joseph to emerge with a 76-72 win. Bacon didn't shoot particularly well from the field (10-28 FG) and his shot selection could use some fine tuning, but there's no questioning his toughness and scoring ability. He did make 5-11 from three and was a very solid 8-10 from the free throw line. He grabbed eight rebounds and dished out three assists to go with his 33 points. Florida State is getting an instant impact player and the five-star has certainly made a case to move up from his current spot at No. 22 nationally.
FSU commit Dwayne Bacon continued his strong senior season.

Ohio State post commit Daniel Giddens also had a nice afternoon for Oak Hill. After having what could best be described as a "quiet" senior season, Giddens put forth the best effort has seen from him this year by scoring 12 points, grabbing seven rebounds and blocking four shots. Oak Hill is a pretty jump shot happy team and he did a good job of scoring where he could and helping to erase defensive mistakes at the rim. Carlton Bragg showed plenty of dimensions to his game in Villa Angela-St. Joseph's (Cleveland) loss to Oak Hill. The five-star power forward scored 23 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out six assists. As he's prone to doing at times, Bragg settled for some jumpers, but he more than made up for it with his fabulous passing from out of the high post and by getting to the free throw line and converting 11-12 attempts. Boise State has likely landed as big a steal as anybody on the West Coast. Rivals150 point guard Paris Austin continues to impress. A sub six-footer, Austin plays with huge heart, has tremendous quickness and he's a natural leader for Bishop O'Dowd. He came up big in a big setting giving Rabb some needed offensive relief while setting up his teammates for easy scores, scoring 18 points and dishing out nine assists. Also, keep an eye out for Austin's freshman backcourt partner Elijah Hardy. A six-footer with speed to burn and confidence, Hardy figures to be the next big-name guy out of Bishop O'Dowd. Jaylen Brown was far from a one-man show for Wheeler. In fact, junior swingman Cam Jordan seized the opportunity to show that he can play, too. A 6-foot-5 athlete who loves to slash to the rim, Jordan is also a good enough spot up jump shooter that defenders can't back off of him and play him strictly for the drive. The three-star prospect will be one to watch closely as the year finishes and then through the spring and summer with Game Elite to see how he comes along. While the Bishop Gorman frontline players were struggling mightily, sophomore wing Charles O'Bannon did everything in his power to keep them in the game. A 6-foot-5 shooter, O'Bannon hit threes, hit medium range shots and showed plenty of promise. His time is surely coming down the road and he showed a good glimpse into his future by scoring 22 points. At some point, we'll be looking to see what Tyler Cook has in his offensive repertoire other than dunks, but he was terrific in that capacity on Monday. The 6-foot-7 power forward at Chaminade, who currently ranks No. 93 in the class of 2016, had one powerful jam after another while showing off surprisingly explosive leaping ability given his thick, offensive lineman type legs. Cook was also a force to be reckoned with on the glass. He grabbed double digit rebounds played with tremendous energy while UConn's Kevin Ollie and an Iowa assistant were among those on hand to check in on him. Also playing well for Chaminade was junior combo guard Mike Lewis. With Jayson Tatum missing shots early, Lewis sprang to life and netted several three-pointers when his team needed an offensive lift. He is quick, plays hard on both ends and with him scoring the ball -- and it doesn't have to be 23 points like he had at the HoopHall -- well his team will be a load in the Missouri state playoffs. Finally, while discussing Ben Simmons we made a quick reference to Doral Moore. The seven-footer has been steadily improving since his arrival at Montverde from Georgia. He's getting more aggressive, developing some post moves and has been more engaged on both ends of the floor. If Danny Manning can tap into anywhere near his full potential, Moore could easily outplay his current ranking of No. 49 in the class of 2015.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Hoophall: Star-studded Saturday Basketball Recruiting Analysis
THE RIVALS150: 2015 | 2016
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- There really can't be much debate, the Hoophall Classic is as good as it gets when it comes to showcasing high level high school teams. On Saturday, one big timer after another hit the floor. Unsigned five-star senior Brandon Ingram was big as were fast rising junior shooting guard Markelle Fultz and promising freshman big man Marvin Bagley.

Ingram will visit Kansas, Kentucky and UCLA before making a decision.
Ingram wants to take more visits

One of the nation's premier unsigned players, five-star small forward Brandon Ingram of Kinston (N.C) High showed why he is so highly regarded on Saturday.

The No. 18 player in the class of 2015, Ingram had the ball in his hands the entire game as he led Kinston to a 56-54 win over Trenton (N.J.) Catholic while scoring 22 points, grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out four assists.

Standing at least 6-foot-8, Ingram is a skinny and tall forward who is at his best playing out on the perimeter. He can bury three-pointers, has a dangerous turnaround jumper out of the mid-post and showed on Saturday that he is a far better passer and ball handler than previously given credit for.

"The team looks for me a lot," said Ingram after the win. "When I play good they play good. When I play good everybody is playing defense and hitting shots and it goes well offensively."

Though he used all five of his official visits before the early signing period, Ingram chose to wait until the spring and he said that he's pretty much in a holding pattern with his final six of Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, N.C. State and UCLA.

He has taken unofficial visits to each of the in state schools but Ingram said that he will definitely visit Kansas, Kentucky and UCLA unofficially before making a decision. That will happen after his high school season finishes and he will be paying close attention to who leaves and who stays at each of his finalists.

"After the season stops I want to take a few unofficials and narrow it down," said Ingram. "I want to talk with the coaches and see who is leaving after March Madness."

Fultz is no fluke

Back in December, junior shooting guard Markelle Fultz of Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha showed why his stock had been soaring through the fall and the early winter. On Saturday, he proved that his performance was no fluke and that he belongs as one of 2016's top shooting guards.

Currently an unranked three-star -- which will change when the 2016 Rivals150 gets a March refresh -- Fultz scored 25 points, grabbed three rebounds, tossed out a pair of assists and came up with three steals in DeMatha's 69-45 win over Roselle (N.J.) Catholic.

Fultz scored 25 points in his team's win on Saturday.
An explosive athlete with a great first step, Fultz game on the offensive end was once again set up by his ability to free himself for scoring opportunities via the dribble. He is extremely dangerous in the mid-range and his explosiveness makes him tough to account for in transition.

The latest school to offer him, Texas, joins the likes of Georgetown, Maryland, Memphis, Towson, DePaul, Xavier (head coach Chris Mack watched Saturday), Wake Forest ( Danny Manning was on hand) and many others who have offered. More recently, Kentucky, Connecticut, Duke and Louisville have started to show attention as well.

Originally, Fultz thought that he might get some early visits out of the way in hopes of knocking out a quick decision. Now, he's deep into his season and has so much new attention that things may take a little longer.

"I'm just trying to wait it out," said Fultz. "As soon as I get an opportunity to make some visits I'd like to try and visit all of them.

"I'm just blessed. I'm thankful because I worked real hard for all of this and it is starting to pay off.

Bagley is a potential big timer in 2018

It will be a while before decides on an initial No. 1 prospect in the class of 2018, but Phoenix (Ariz.) Corona Del Sol freshman power forward Marvin Bagley has already shown enough that it isn't out of line to say he will factor into that discussion.

The 6-foot-9 four man was certainly impressive on Saturday as he helped to lead his team to a dramatic 60-57 overtime win over Springfield (Mass.) Putnam.

Bagley played above the rim, ran the floor, showed good touch and generally looked like a big time prospect while scoring 17 points and grabbing nine rebounds. His size, athleticism and early skill all check out at about the highest levels they can for a freshman and he's going to be one to watch closely.

Bagley is one of the best prospects in the 2018 class.
Benefiting Bagley is that he plays on a team with talented players all around him which helps to alleviate the pressure. On Saturday night, New Mexico-bound senior small forward Dane Kuiper and sophomore guard Alex Barcello had their moments as well.

A sturdy 6-foot-6 athlete, Kuiper is a solid all-around player. He makes open jump shots and he makes contested ones at crucial times if needed. He passes the ball well, plays some defense and limits negative plays. Barcello, is a versatile player who plays on and off the ball. For stretches he played off the ball and served as a sniper against the Putnam zone. For others he ran his team and showed some poise handling the ball.

For Putnam, junior wing Tyonne Malone was outstanding. A lean and long limbed 6-foot-4 slasher, Malone did work on the glass, scored with athleticism and really took things to Bagley when he could. He looks like he should be fine as a jump shooter and his work during a 21 point and seven rebound effort had some of the college coaches in the building buzzing.

Final Saturday notes

In the day's first game, Brooklyn (N.Y.) Bishop Laughlin earned themselves a good win over Newton (Mass.) North. Loughlin is young and has a trio of sophomores to keep an eye out for. Shooting guard Keith Williams led the way with 20 points and at 6-foot-3 with a strong build he already has good size, loads of confidence and the ability to finish through some contact. 6-foot-2 point guard Marques Watson is long, lanky and has good quickness. He was good for eight points and four assists and looks like a high upside guy. A slightly undersized power forward, 6-foot-5 Jordan Thomas is bouncy in traffic and a workhorse on the glass. He had a team high nine rebounds to go along with 12 points.

His Trenton Catholic team took a tough loss to Kinston, but Syracuse-bound senior Malachi Richardson made plenty of noise. Finishing with 25 points and five rebounds, the No. 30 player in the class of 2015 validated his lofty status. A physically strong wing, Richardson could easily pass for a college junior and he is learning to use that strength to his advantage. His bread and butter remains deep jump shooting but seeing him use shot fakes and those strong shoulders to get the rim was a nice development.

When he finally gets to Pittsburgh as a member of the class of 2016, No. 24 Mustapha Heron is going to fit in quite nicely. A physically impressive 6-foot-4 shooting guard, the southpaw continues to build his all-around game. Slight adjustments to his jumper have resulted in a much cleaner shot and he is especially fond of mid range pull-ups from either baseline. He can pass and what you really have to love about Heron is that he wants to be challenged defensively.

The scouting report on four-star senior small forward Derrick Jones is pretty simple. Force the lefty to attack to the right, get him to settle for jumpers and whatever you do, put a body on him to keep him off of the offensive glass. On Saturday, Chicago (Ill.) Simeon had trouble with all of those things and as a result Jones scored 31 points and grabbed 15 rebounds (nine offensive) while leading Radnor (Pa.) Archbishop Carroll to a 77-68 win. Headed to UNLV, the No. 42 player in 2015's strength remains his explosive athleticism. Though skinny, he can rise above a crowd even after taking a bump and he has a great feel for where missed shots will end up bouncing. Though he did hit one three pointer on Saturday, Jones has to become a more reliable shooter and improve his game between eight and 17 feet as he makes his way to college.

Richardson finished with 25 points and five rebounds on Saturday.
2017's No. 17 player D.J. Harvey didn't have an ideal shooting game going 5-14 (1-6 3PT) from the field but the 6-foot-6 wing's talent is readily apparent. He always catches the ball shot ready, is a high end athlete and can play in a freewheeling or half court setting. He listed offers from Miami, Tennessee, Memphis, Texas, Houston, Arizona, Georgetown, Wake Forest and N.C. State to go along with recent interest from Duke, Kentucky, UConn, Louisville and Stanford among others.

The top two point guards in the class of 2015 each had their moments in losses. Kentucky-bound Isaiah Briscoe was tough off the dribble and made many circus finishes around the bucket but couldn't really get it going from deep as he scored 20 points on 8-20 FG (just 4-10 FT) in Roselle Catholic's loss to DeMatha.

Playing against a loaded Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep team, Villanova bound Jalen Brunson had a hard working 26 points. Guarded one on one by five-star 2016 point guard Derryck Thornton, Brunson had some issues getting into past Thornton and into the lane. When Thornton got into foul trouble and Findlay switched to zone, Brunson found his rhythm nailing three straight three-pointers at one point.

Speaking of Findlay Prep and Thornton, it was a very workmanlike effort as they dispatched Brunson and Lincolnshire (Ill.) Stevenson 84-58. Thornton was a defensive ace on Brunson until picking up his fourth foul on a charge in the third. Once he came back on the floor he got his offense rolling some. He delivered back to back lefty (off hand) drives that produced a slick dish for a bucket, a hoop plus a foul and then he hit a pull-up 15 footer and got a transition jam.

As usual, Arizona-bound five-star shooting guard Allonzo Trier led the way for Findlay with 27 points. He hit jumpers and used his strength to get to the rim and played strong on offense like he seems to do each and every outing. In the paint, Auburn committed four-star power forward Horace Spencer was the man. He rarely strayed more than five feet from the hoop, dished out physical punishment and tried to tear the rim down as he beasted his way to 20 points and 15 rebounds.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Talent on display at Timberwolves Shootout Basketball Recruiting Analysis

THE RIVALS150: 2015 | 2016
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Timberwolves Shootout hasn't always gotten the national media coverage of some other big winter events but, make no mistake, it is a quality event. At least 27 future NBA players have hit the floor of the Target Center during the event's history and there were more hopefuls on hand Saturday. Unsigned senior guard Sacar Anim showed that he has taken the next step while star power forward Henry Ellenson and touted four-star point guard Marcus LoVett each went for 39. Four-star shooting guard Gary Trent Jr. also impressed.

Anim scored 31 in a win against Morgan Park.
Anim and LoVett duel

In what was easily the best game of the day, Minneapolis (Minn.) DeLaSalle and Chicago (Ill.) Morgan Park locked up in a game that featured a couple of teams really going at it while a pair of unsigned seniors had big days. For victorious DeLaSalle, unsigned senior shooting guard Sacar Anim went for 31 points while Morgan Park's unsigned four-star point guard Marcus LoVet scored 39 entertaining points in a tough loss.

Since his team took home the win, we will begin with Anim. A 6-foot-4 shooting guard who has attracted mid major offers and growing high major interest, Anim was at his best when his team needed him the most.

Early on, Anim had to fight through foul trouble and managed 12 of his points despite playing relatively passively in the first half. In the second, Anim took over on both ends of the floor as he helped his team erase a double-digit deficit.

A good athlete with a college ready build, Anim does a little bit of everything. He rebounds, he plays good on the ball and team defense and he can help out handling the ball against pressure. He finished on strong drives to the basket, converted from the free throw line and knocked down jump shots when there were openings. Anim plays a similar style to a guy we've written about a lot this winter, Tyson Jolly from Oklahoma City (Okla.) Putnam City West.

"It's definitely been a big step for me as a player," Anim said. "I've put in the work for it and I know that everything that is happening for me with my game, I deserve it."

According to Anim, he has attracted offers from programs like South Dakota, South Dakota State, North Dakota, Furman, Rhode Island, Northern Iowa, Indiana State and Drake while Marquette, Miami and Northwestern have been sniffing around.

For his senior season, LoVett moved to Chicago from California where he played his first three seasons of high school ball. Currently ranked the No. 91 player in the class of 2015, LoVett is a flashy and high scoring point guard who is one of the top unsigned guards in the country.

No one has ever disputed LoVett's ability to score, and LoVett certainly did that. He came out on fire scoring 26 of his 39 in the first half and he did it with style. LoVett utilized ball screens to set up pull-up jumpers, he scored at the rim and he nearly brought the house down with back to back NBA range threes, the second of which was a pull-up from the right wing on a two-on-one fastbreak.

LoVett scored 26 of his 39 points in the first half.
The southpaw did a good job of getting on the glass and he also did a good job of finding teammates. As the game wore on, the impact of carrying the majority of the offensive load could be seen as he tired from wave after wave of physical DeLaSalle defenders being thrown at him.

The biggest thing that LoVett did was compete. He was vocal with teammates, he played hard on both ends of the floor and it was clear that he was going to do everything in his power to help his team win.

Back home in Chicago, there's been a lot of talk about how well LoVett is playing as a senior and he lived up to the advance billing.

"Regardless of whatever I do out there I am just trying to help my team," said LoVett. "If I get hot then I just try to keep it going. I know when my shot is on and off and I just try to go with the flow of the game."

LoVett said that he does not have any immediate plans to take any visits and said that he is wide open in the recruiting process. He mentioned Illinois, Kansas, DePaul, Iowa and St. John's as some of the programs that he has had good personal communication with.

Ellenson nets 39

Playing in front of his future head coach (Marquette's Steve Wojciechowski) the nation's No. 17 player in the class of 2015 didn't get off to a great start.

Henry Ellison, a 6-foot-9 power forward from Rice Lake (Wisc.) High, was getting roughed up pretty good by Champlin (Minn.) Park defenders without getting much help from the refs. The frustration boiled over into a shove that sent him to the bench with his third foul in the first half with just 10 points. Being heckled mercilessly by the Champlin Park student section, Ellenson came out in the second half and showed why he's so highly regarded and nearly led his team to an improbable comeback win.

Ellenson has wide shoulders and good strength to go along with his 6-foot-9 size and he is a very capable scorer in the low post. He certainly did damage down there as he scored around the rim, grabbed 18 rebounds and made 14 trips to the free throw line. What sets Ellenson apart, though, is his ability to play facing the hoop.

He is more and more comfortable handling the ball and attacking off the dribble. He can hit stepback threes, is good with the two dribble pull-up and has a generally impressive arsenal. It's hard to imagine him not making a pretty early and meaningful impact at Marquette.

Trent has a great frame and plenty of confidence.
Trent Jr. shines in a familiar place

In the early part of the 2000s, Gary Trent patrolled the paint of the Target Center for the Timberwolves as an athletic and powerful power forward. On Saturday, his son Gary Trent Jr. roamed the perimeter in the same building as a good looking sophomore shooting guard prospect.

A four-star prospect at Apple Valley (Minn.) High, Trent is a 6-foot-4 two guard who has a great frame to build on and plenty of confidence on the offensive end. Trent doesn't need a lot of space or time to unload from deep and he keeps defenders off balance by doing just enough attacking off the dribble to create uncertainty about what he'll do.

Trent only figures to get stronger and he's a good athlete who has added to his explosiveness around the rim. For the day, he went for 26 points and grabbed nine rebounds while dishing out a pair of assists in 26 minutes of action. He already holds offers Texas Tech, Minnesota and Providence and also listed interest from Ohio State and Michigan State.

More notes from the Timberwolves Shootout

Minneapolis (Minn.) DeLaSalle point guard Jarvis Johnson didn't have a great first half against Chicago (Ill.) Morgan Park. He picked up three fouls and his team fell behind by double digits. The second half, though, was a different story for the 6-foot-1 floor general headed to Minnesota. He scored 14 of his 18 points (many of them coming from the free throw line), played good defense and tossed out three of his four assists as DeLaSalle came storming back to win 74-66. Notably, Johnson looks much stronger than at the end of the summer.

St. Paul (Minn.) Cretin-Derham Hall senior guard Joe Rosga led his team to a win over Marion (Iowa) North Scott by dropping 20 points. He can shoot very well from deep, gets on the glass some for a guard and is a pretty good passer. He made both of his three-point attempts and added five rebounds and three assists. Currently unsigned, he could help in some places.

Sophomore big man Theo John of Champlin (Minn.) Park is definitely one to watch. A well built 6-foot-7 power forward, John didn't back down from battling against Ellenson in the post. He ended up fouling out but made an impression and looks like one that high majors will track because of his toughness and quickness off the floor around the rim.

Nebraska-Omaha is getting a steal in J.T. Gibson.
Trent Jr. was the high scorer for Apple Valley (Minn.) High, but junior center Brock Bertram and freshman point guard Tre Jones helped out as well. Bertram is a wide bodied 6-foot-9 big man who holds his position in the post and has good hands. The younger brother of Duke freshman Tyus Jones, Jones is a quick ball handler who gets the ball where it needs to be. They each hold an offer from Texas Tech.

After hearing "non shooter, non shooter" yelled each time he touched the ball Goanar Mar had enough. The 6-foot-7 sophomore forward at DeLaSalle hit a pair of big second half three pointers and looked more fluid than the last time saw him play. He defers a bit to his senior guards for now but his time is coming. Mar currently lists offers from Iowa State, Northern Iowa and Nebraska to go with interest from Xavier, Minnesota and Indiana.

Finally, Nebraska Omaha and North Dakota are getting steals in J.T. Gibson and Cortez Seales. Gibson is an athletic and attacking combo guard from Champlin Park who can get to the rim and is a dangerous shooter from deep. The three-star prospect went for 24 points, seven rebounds and three assists in a win over Rice Lake and looks like he will be ready to deliver early. A 6-foot-4 shooting guard, Seales North Scott team took a tough loss but it wasn't without a fight from him. A slender athlete who is adept at creating space, Seales has a balanced game and he rebounds his position extremely well. He finished with 25 points and 12 rebounds to go along with a pair of assists.