The Under Armour Association finals are scheduled for July 13-16 in Emerson, Ga., with the top teams from the three stops on the spring UA hoops circuit competing at Lake Point Sports.
The field includes 16 teams with the title game scheduled for July 16 at 2:15 p.m. ET. The event’s full schedule can be found here.
Here are five things we’ll be watching:
Who’s No. 1
Defending champion Team Charlotte comes in with the best record in the regular season at 11-1 and is led by guards Ty-Shon Alexander and Devon Dotson. The 6-4 Alexander, a Creighton commit, plays for Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) and the 6-2 Dotston plays for Providence County Day (Charlotte, N.C.).
Alexander is ranked as the No. 29 shooting guard and Dotson is ranked as the No. 12 point guard in the Class of 2017 by the 247Sports Composite.
DC Premier and Houston Hoops seem to be the top two contenders hoping to prevent a Team Charlotte repeat.
Team Felton’s Felton
North Carolina commit Jalek Felton is ranked No. 24 in the ESPN 100 for the Class of 2017 and the top combo guard in the class by the 247Sports Composite.
The 6-3 shooting guard was sixth in scoring (19 points per game), fourth in assists (5 per game) and first in steals (2.5 per game) in the regular season playing for the program started by his uncle Raymond Felton, the former UNC star.
Team Felton was 7-5 in the regular season, but with one of the best players in the UA Association on its side, there is always a chance.
Felton recently announced that he was transferring from Mullins High in South Carolina to Gray Collegiate in West Columbia, S.C., about two hours from his hometown.
Trevon Duval at the point
WE R1 is led by Trevon Duval, the No. 1 point guard in the Class of 2017 who is ranked No. 5 overall in the ESPN 100.
Duval, from Advanced Prep (Dallas), has noticed the additional attention and has been clear that other point guards aren’t going to make their name off him. That’s among the reasons he is continuing to work.
Duval was named the MVP of the Pangos All-American Camp in Las Vegas and also recently attended Steph Curry’s SC30 Select camp in the Bay Area.
“I’m still not the No. 1 player overall and I want to be No. 1,” Duval told USA TODAY High School Sports in May. “Not just that, I think different than most players; when I play, I’m going after Kyrie Irving and Stephen Curry and guys like that. I look up to them and I want to be at their level. That’s motivation for me when I’m out there.”
Duval is among the Association leaders with 4.9 assists per game and 2.0 steals and is averaging 15.9 points per game.
WE R1 also features Eric Ayala, a 2018 guard who plays for Putnam Sciences Academy in Connecticut, and Bourama Sidibe, a 6-9 power forward who plays for St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, N.J. Sidibe is the UA leader in rebounds at 9.5 per game and among the top players in blocks and field goal percentage.
Javonte Smart from Scotlandville Magnet (Baton Rouge) is blossoming into the No. 1 point guard in the Class of 2018 and wants to stay that way. He will play for Beast Mode at the UA finals.
“There is no pressure,” Smart told USA TODAY High School Sports. “You just fuel my fire because a lot of guards try to come at me and they’re coming at my head. I’ve just got to stay focused and keep working and just keep playing good.
“A lot of people are trying to come at me because I’m top. If I wasn’t top, I’d do the same. Since I’m supposed to be one of the best point guards, I’m going to keep working like I’ve never been one of the best point guards.”
Smart is coming off winning a second consecutive gold medal with Team USA. He was a member of the champion U16 team last summer at the FIBA Americas event and then the U17 team that won the FIBA World Championships two weeks ago in Spain.
Big man waiting
Bol Bol is among the more fascinating prospects in the Class of 2018 and will play for KC Run GMC. The 6-11 son of Manute Bol from Bishop Miege in Kansas, Bol has transformed from a dominant inside presence with the ability to shoot in emergencies as a sophomore to a bona fide scorer and ball-handler … and he’s 6-foot-11.
Bol is ranked as the No. 6 power forward in the class by the 247Sports Composite rankings and the No. 11 player overall.
He is surrounded by double-figure scorers Darien Jackson, Mitchell Ballock and D’Shawn Schwartz, making KC Run GMC an interesting team to watch.