This year’s Spalding Hoophall Classic, which runs from Jan. 11-15 at Springfield College in Springfield, Mass., has it all from high flyers to dominant bigs to electrifying guards, all duking it out on the big stage.
SCHEDULE: 2018 Spalding Hoophall Classic
Here are the top five matchups.
1. Roselle Catholic (N.J.) vs. No. 23 Oak Ridge (Orlando, Fla.), Jan. 13, 4:30 p.m. EST
Why you’ll want to watch: Two five-star forwards duel in this matchup: Roselle Catholic’s Naz Reed, an LSU signee who is ranked No. 18 overall in the ESPN 100, and Oak Ridge’s Emmitt Williams, who is ranked No. 20 overall. It’s Williams’ physically imposing style against Reed’s all-around game.
2. Spartanburg Day (S.C.) vs. Chino Hills (Calif.), Jan. 13, 8 p.m. EST (ESPN)
Why you’ll want to watch: Spartanburg Day’s Zion Williamson is must-see TV whenever he touches a ball. Chances are you know Williamson from his countless appearances in the Sportscenter Top 10 or you’re one of his 1 million-plus followers on Instagram. Williamson, a wing who is ranked No. 2 overall in the ESPN 100, will undoubtedly put on a show, but Chino Hills’ Onyeka Okongwu, a five-star junior forward who is ranked No. 16 overall in the ESPN 60, has the type of all-around game that will make this matchup fun to watch.
3. Hudson Catholic (Jersey City, N.J.) vs. John Carroll (Bel Air, Md.), Jan. 15, 11 a.m. EST (ESPNU)
Why you’ll want to watch: This game features a duel between two of the top point guards in the country, Hudson Catholic’s Jahvon Quinerly, who is ranked No. 23 overall in the ESPN 100, and John Carroll’s Immanuel Quickley, who is ranked No. 12 overall. Quinerly, a founder of the ever-popular Jelly Fam movement, will bring the flair and Quickley, a Kentucky signee, will bring the perimeter stroke. Both players will be extremely motivated in this matchup.
4. No. 1 Montverde Academy (Fla.) vs. No. 22 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.), Jan. 15, 1 p.m. EST (ESPNU)
Why you’ll want to watch: Montverde’s R.J. Barrett is must-see TV, not just because he’s the No. 1 overall player in the ESPN 100, Barrett, a guard, is a legitimate threat to drop 40-plus whenever he steps on the court against whoever you can think of. Barrett, a Duke signee, dominated all comers – leading the Nike EYBL in scoring, winning gold with the Canadian National Team, etc. – this past summer and has carried that over into the high school season. Mater Dei’s point guard Spencer Freedman, a Harvard signee, runs the show efficiently for the Monarchs, who will be hungry to knockoff the No. 1 team in the country.
5. No. 2 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) vs. No. 3 University School (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), Jan. 15, 3 p.m. EST (ESPNU)
Why you’ll want to watch: In this top five matchup, Oak Hill’s all-everything wing Keldon Johnson, a Kentucky signee who is ranked No. 7 overall in the ESPN 100, will battle against University School’s Vernon Carey Jr., a junior forward who is ranked No. 2 overall in the ESPN 60. With DICK’s Sporting Goods High School Nationals looming, this game is the perfect resume builder.
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY