The Matchup: No. 19 St. Benedict’s Prep (Newark, N.J.) vs. Huntington Prep (Huntington, W. Va.) at 7:30 p.m. ET in the Primetime Shootout
St. Benedict’s player(s) to watch: 6-foot-9 power forward Arnaldo Toro powers St. Benedict’s, with the big man leading the line in scoring and often dictating the team’s rhythm when he can get the ball deep in the paint. The George Washington signee is a handful, and capable of taking over a game inside while making life difficult for any other big man in the country. After all, it’s hard to earn the nickname “The Horse” unless you’re capable of carrying a seriously heavy load. St. Benedict’s is coming off a 68-43 victory against Randolph in which it jumped out to a 48-14 halftime lead. James Scott and David Beatty are contributors for St. Benedict’s.
Huntington Prep player(s) to watch: Take a gander at your program and find the name Miles Bridges. Make sure you know what number he’s wearing, not that it will be hard to tell. The Flint native and Michigan State signee is one of the nation’s top-10 overall recruits. He’s a beast inside and plays even bigger than his 6-foot-7 frame, but he’s also one of the nation’s most skilled shooting guards. In short, he’s a unicorn of a talent that is likely to take the next level by storm in the hall. Indiana signee Curtis Jones is the man getting Davis the ball, and scoring on his own plenty, too. The point guard has exceptional court vision and a knack for knowing when he needs to push and when he has to take his foot off the gas, no small feat for an 18-year-old. Another senior forward, Micah Thomas, has been a major addition for the Irish, and the Memphis native has earned scholarship offers from the likes of Louisville, Baylor, Maryland, Iowa State and Memphis to choose between for the 2016 season.
What to expect: It feels odd and almost off-putting that Huntington Prep isn’t ranked, but the Irish haven’t strung together enough wins against competition like St. Benedict’s to merit a spot. They’ll get a chance Saturday, though the man-on-man matchups give St. Benedict’s ample opportunity to keep Huntington Prep’s stars off the ball and do some tough, rough and tumble scoring of their own in the paint. The game serves as one of the headliners at the Primetime Shootout at Roselle Catholic, so there will be plenty of fans in attendance to see which teams shows up under the big lights. For Bridges, it’s another opportunity to prove that Huntington Prep has gained even more from him than he has from the basketball-centic school.