From Oak Hill Academy’s (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) Harry Giles III, the projected No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, to Hillcrest’s (Phoenix) DeAndre Ayton, who’s receiving similar buzz for the 2018 NBA Draft, we’ve zeroed in on 10 of the top players in the 2016 Spalding Hoophall Classic Jan. 14-18 at Springfield College in Springfield, Mass.
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1. Harry Giles III, Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.), F, 2016
Why you can’t miss him: Giles, who is ranked No. 1 in the ESPN 100, doesn’t only have that coveted “next big thing” buzz he’s widely regarded as the probable No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. He dominated this summer on the AAU circuit averaging 18 points and 12 rebounds a game on the prestigious Nike Elite Youth Basketball League. Last season at Wesleyan Christian Academy, Giles averaged 23 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and two blocks a game. He was the only underclassmen named to the American Family Insurance ALL-USA first team.
When you can catch him: Jan. 18 vs. Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)
2. Jayson Tatum, Chaminade College Prep (St. Louis), F, 2016
Why you can’t miss him: Tatum, who is ranked No. 2 in the ESPN 100, dominated last season at Chaminade averaging 26 points a game and leading the Red Devils to a third place finish in the state playoffs. He led the St. Louis Eagles to the prestigious Nike Peach Jam title game this past summer where he averaged 24.1 points, 7.9 assists and 2.6 rebounds per game for the tournament. His peers named him Biggest Matchup Problem in the 2015 Players’ Choice AAU awards and superlatives. It was his second consecutive year winning the award.
When you can catch him: Jan. 18 vs. DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.)
3. Malik Monk, Bentonville (Bentonville, Ark.), SG, 2016
Why you can’t miss him: Monk, who is ranked No. 5 overall in the ESPN 100, has the type of athletic ability that keeps fans phones out recording for the entire game. Monk turned in a plethora of poster dunks this summer that each could’ve brought home Dunk of the Year honors. He’s also got marksman-like accuracy from the perimeter.
When you can catch him: Jan. 18 vs. St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.)
4. Markelle Fultz, DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.), SG, 2016
Why you can’t miss him: Fultz, who is ranked No. 12 in the ESPN 100, actually played on the JV squad two years ago; unheard of for a player who seems to be a lock for the McDonald’s All American game and has one-and-done buzz. Last season at DeMatha, Fultz, a Washington commit, averaged 16.6 points a game and took home Washington Catholic Athletic Conference Player of the Year hardware.
When you can catch him: Jan. 18 vs. Chaminade College Prep (St. Louis)
5. Edrice “Bam” Adebayo, High Point Christian (High Point, N.C.), F, 2016
Why you can’t miss him: Adebayo, who is ranked No. 6 in the ESPN 100, averaged 32 points and 21 rebounds a game last season at Northside; that’s reason enough that he’s must-see TV, but he’s also a legit threat to rip the rim off the hinges with every powerful dunk he throws down. Adebayo nearly brought the rim down at the Under Armour Elite 24 in August and has the ability to dominate games with his power and versatility.
When you can catch him: Jan. 18 vs. Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.)
6. Frank Jackson, Lone Peak (Highland, Utah), SG, 2016
Why you can’t miss him: Jackson, who is ranked No. 14 in the ESPN 100, has all the tools to be the next great Duke guard because he brings the “wow” factor every game with his athleticism and motor. Jackson committed to Duke in September and dominated the adidas Gauntlet averaging 24 points, four rebounds and 2.7 assists a game for the Utah Prospects. He pumped in 27 points a game last season at Lone Peak.
When you can catch him: Jan. 16 vs. St. Francis (Alpharetta, Ga.)
7. Marvin Bagley III, Hillcrest Academy (Hillcrest, Ariz.), F, 2018
Why you can’t miss him: Bagley, who is ranked No. 1 in the ESPN 25, is widely regarded as the “next big thing.” At 6-foot-11, Bagley is a combo forward with guard skills on the perimeter and superior athleticism in the post. Last season he led Corona del Sol (33-1) to its fourth state title, averaging 19.6 points, 10.3 rebounds, 2.4 blocks, 2.3 assists a game.
When you can catch him: Jan. 16 vs. Orangeville Prep (Can.)
8. DeAndre Ayton, Hillcrest Academy (Hillcrest, Ariz.), F, 2017
Why you can’t miss him: Ayton, a 7-foot center who is ranked No. 1 overall in the ESPN 60, turned heads nationally last August when he dominated the North Carolina Tar Heels, dropping 17 points and 18 rebounds, in an 84-83 exhibition win in the Bahamas. Last season he led Balboa City School averaging 21 points, 16 rebounds and 3.8 blocks per game. This summer he dropped 16.5 points, 13.5 rebounds and 2.2 blocks a game for Supreme Court AAU (Calif.) on the Under Armour circuit.
When you can catch him: Jan. 16 vs. Orangeville Prep (Can.)
9. Silvio De Sousa, Montverde (Montverde, Fla.), F, 2018
Why you can’t miss him: De Souza, who is ranked No. 2 in the ESPN 25, is one of the most versatile players in the country, regardless of class. At 6-foot-9, De Sousa’s got the ability to post up, knock down the perimeter jumper and take the ball coast-to-coast in transition. He averaged 14.1 points and 9.6 rebounds for the African U16 champions,
When you can catch him: Jan. 16 vs. Roman Catholic (Philadelphia) and Jan. 18 vs. Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.)
10. Thon Maker, Orangeville Prep (Can.), F, 2016
Why you can’t miss him: Maker isn’t ranked in the ESPN 100 only because ESPN doesn’t rank players who play outside of the U.S. Before he moved from The Carlisle School in Virginia to Orangeville Prep, Maker was considered the top ranked player in ESPN’s 2016 rankings. Maker took home MVP honors at the prestigious NBPA Top 100 Camp this summer.
When you can catch him: Jan. 16 vs. Hillcrest (Phoenix)
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY