City of Palms: Top senior DeAndre Ayton gets better of top sophomore Charles Bassey

City of Palms: Top senior DeAndre Ayton gets better of top sophomore Charles Bassey

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City of Palms: Top senior DeAndre Ayton gets better of top sophomore Charles Bassey

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FORT MYERS, Fla. — Consensus top-ranked senior DeAndre Ayton, a 7-1 center signed with Arizona, helped Hillcrest Prep (Phoenix) win the third-place game of the four-team signature series in the Culligan City of Palms Classic, getting the better of St. Anthony (San Antonio) sophomore Charles Bassey after coming up short against another star big man on Sunday.

The 245-pound Ayton had 15 points (5-for-8 FGs), 10 rebounds and two steals in the easy win while helping hold the 6-11, 225-pound Bassey, the first- or second-ranked sophomore in the nation, to 10 point and six rebounds on only 5-for–15 shots.

Both Ayton and Bassey were selected to the American Family Insurance ALL-USA Preseason Team.

“His face-up game is pretty good. Needs a little more touch,” Ayton said of Bassey, in only his second year in the United States after emigrating from Nigeria. “I tried to tell him you’re posting up too high. He’s not afraid. I can tell. He attacked me a lot. I like him. He’s very vocal with his team. Very positive.”

Ayton was only 4-of-17 from the field for 13 points and 13 rebounds Sunday in a 53-42 loss to Pennsylvania’s Westtown School and 6-11, 215-pound senior center Mo Bamba, who is still choosing among powerhouses Duke, Kentucky and others. Bamba is generally ranked as the No. 2 big man in the senior class behind Ayton.

“When you’re getting triple teamed it was kind of hard,” said Ayton, confessing to trying to do too much in Sunday’s loss. “When I faced up down in the post, I couldn’t even be in the post. I see the whole five guarding me. It’s pretty hard. I tried to put up a lot of shots.”

After Tuesday’s encounter, witnessed by Indiana coach Tom Crean, Kansas assistant Norm Roberts and others, Bassey agreed with Ayton’s assessment.

“I need to get into the gym to work on my shot more,” Bassey said. “I need to get back to work.”

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