From rim-rockers to shot swatters to blow-by speedsters we’ve zeroed in on 10 of the players you can’t miss at the Spalding Hoophall Classic on Jan. 12-16 at Springfield College in Springfield, Mass.
DeAndre Ayton, Hillcrest Prep (Phoenix, Ariz.), C
Why you can’t miss him: Ayton combines skill and high energy in the paint with efficient shooting from around 18 feet to dominate the opposition. Ayton, the top ranked player in the ESPN 100, is a workhorse of a rebounder with a motor that remains running all game.
Michael Porter Jr., Nathan Hale (Seattle, Wash.), SF
Why you can’t miss him: Porter was the most dominant player in the toughest tournament of the summer (Nike Peach Jam). He pumped in 30 points and 11 rebounds a game to help Mokan Elite (Mo.) claim the Peach Jam crown. At 6-10, Porter, who is ranked No. 2 overall in the ESPN 100, has elite guard skills, athleticism and a vast array of blow-by moves that allow him to dominate the competition.
Wendell Carter Jr., Pace Academy (Atlanta), F
Why you can’t miss him: Good luck finding a more physically imposing/skilled big man than Carter, who is ranked No. 3 overall in the ESPN 100. He uses his brute strength to finish in the paint and his guard skills and 15 footer to keep the defense off balance.
Mohamed Bamba, Westtown School (West Chester, Penn.), F
Why you can’t miss him: When Bamba is patrolling the paint, no shot is safe. At 6-foot-11, Bamba, who is ranked No. 4 overall in the ESPN 100, has a 7-8 wingspan and a 9-5 standing reach. Add in a relentless motor and it’s easy to see why Bamba has such a devastating effect on the opposition
Trevon Duval, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.), PG
Why you can’t miss him: Duval is a physically imposing point guard that dominates the opposition with his innate ability to make the right plays often. Duval, the top point guard in the ESPN 100, gets into the lane at will, finishes through contact and, most importantly, makes his teammates better over the course of the game.
Marvin Bagley III, Sierra Canyon (Phoenix), F
Why you can’t miss him: Bagley, who is ranked No. 1 in the ESPN 60, is a 6-foot-11 combo forward with guard skills. That versatility helps him dominate traditional big men. This past summer, Bagley averaged 20.9 points and 11 rebounds a game on the Nike EYBL.
Brian Bowen, La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.), SF
Why you can’t miss him: Bowen attacks the rim with a level of intensity that’s unmatched in his class and has the size and skill create matchup problems for the opposition on both ends of the floor. Bowen, who is ranked No. 13 overall in the ESPN 100, dominated the prestigious Nike EYBL this past summer pumping in 18.9 points and 7.6 rebounds a game for Mean Streets (Ill.).
Cameron Reddish, Westtown School (West Chester, Penn.), F
Why you can’t miss him: Reddish is one of the most gifted scorers in the country due to his ability to make shots on all three levels. Reddish, who is ranked No. 4 overall in the ESPN 60, has the size (6-7) to create matchup problems for the opposition and lock-up defensively on multiple positions.
R.J. Barrett, Montverde (Montverde, Fla.), SF
Why you can’t miss him: Barrett, the top ranked player in the ESPN 25, is a matchup problem on the perimeter because of his blow-by ability and his length. At 6-7, Barrett finishes over smaller guards, maneuvers into the lane for easy scores and pulls-up for the mid-range jump shot exceptionally well.
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