Here are the five most compelling players and their storylines headed into the Nike Hoop Summit on Friday at the Moda Center in Portland.
Trevon Duval, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.), PG
Why he’s compelling: This will be Duval’s first time playing since he and the Ascenders were stunned by Greensboro Day (Greensboro, N.C.) in the opening round of the DICK’s Nationals last weekend. Expect Duval to play with a chip on his shoulder, which should spell doom for the World Select Team.
Michael Porter Jr., Nathan Hale (Seattle), F
Why he’s compelling: Porter, the No. 1 overall player in the ESPN 100, will appear in his first game since claiming MVP of the McDonald’s All American Game on March 29. Just after that, Porter and his Nathan Hale (Seattle) squad, which is ranked No. 1 overall in the USA Today Super 25, sat at home and watched while La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.) claimed the DICK’s Nationals title. Nathan Hale decided as a team not to participate in the tournament, despite being free and clear to do so per their state association’s rules.
Lindell Wigginton, Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.), SF
College: Iowa State
Why he’s compelling: Wigginton and the Warriors were the defending DICK’s Nationals champs, but got bounced by Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) in the first round this year. Now, Wigginton, a four-star Canadian who is ranked No. 42 in the ESPN 100, will be suiting up with the World Select Team with a point to prove against a USA team full of five-star players he feels he’s just as good as.
R.J. Barrett, Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.), SF
Why he’s compelling: Barrett is the No. 1 player in the ESPN 60 and turned in a dominant season averaging 23 points, seven rebounds and three assists a game for the Eagles. Barrett obliterated the competition at DICK’s Nationals last weekend and managed 25 points in the title loss to La Lumiere. Now, he’ll matchup against Porter; No. 1 vs. No. 1, a golden opportunity to separate himself even further from his peers.
Jarred Vanderbilt, Victory Prep (Houston, Texas), F
Why he’s compelling: On Tuesday, Vanderbilt gave Kentucky fans a silver lining to not winning the coveted national title on Monday by guaranteeing a 2018 title.
Now he’ll give them a glimpse of why he’s so confident that he can help Kentucky claim its ninth national title.
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY