Hoophall Classic: What We Learned

Photo: Jasen Vinlove, USA TODAY Sports

Hoophall Classic: What We Learned

Boys Basketball

Hoophall Classic: What We Learned


From stock risers to high risers, there were loads of takeaways at the Spalding Hoophall Classic.

Here are a few of the things we learned.

Sharife Cooper is even better than he was this summer

Hard to imagine elevating your game past being named Offensive MVP of the Nike EYBL and leading the Nike Peach Jam in scoring and assists as a rising junior, but Cooper has done just that. All season long, Cooper has dominated the competition; his 27-point, four-assist performance at the Hoophall Classic in a 66-55 win over No. 20 Rancho Christian High School (Temecula, Calif.) was no different.

Cooper is a playmaker extraordinaire with the ability to create for himself and his teammates and always ends up being the most impressive player on the court, no matter who he plays with or against.

As it stands, Cooper is ranked No. 3 overall in USA Today Sports’ Chosen 25 for 2020, but he’s making a strong push for the No. 1 spot in the rankings, which are based heavily on current production.

Cassius Stanley sets decision date

Stanley knows when he’ll decide now he’s just got to figure out the “where.”

Following No. 7 Sierra Canyon School’s (Chatsworth, Calif.) 77-58 loss to No. 5 Montverde (Fla.) Academy at the Hoophall Classic, Stanley, who is ranked No. 16 overall in the Chosen 25 for 2019, said that he would announce his commitment on April 17, the first day of the NCAA’s Late Signing Period.

Stanley, who finished with 26 points in the loss, lists a top three of UCLA, Oregon and Kansas.

Evan Mobley is a walking poster

Sure, we had a hunch, that Mobley had a propensity for dunking on opposing players, but his chest-to-chest throw down in No. 20 Rancho Christian High School’s (Temecula, Calif.) 66-55 loss to No. 2 McEachern High School (Powder Springs, Ga.) was next level.

Mobley, the No. 1 overall player in the Chosen 25 for 2020, took a pass from a teammate, rose up with both hands and threw down the dunk as the defender swiped at the block in vain.

Mobley finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds in the loss.

Montverde makes a statement

Sure, the Eagles (Fla.) had already beaten Sierra Canyon School (Chatsworth, Calif.) in the Iolani Classic in Hawaii back in December, but that was by a competitive eight-point margin; No. 5 Montverde’s 77-58 romping of the No. 7 Trailblazers at the Hoophall wasn’t just a blowout, it was a statement. The Eagles are the defending GEICO Nationals champs and with just seven games left in their regular season it’s clear that the Eagles are letting the rest of the country know that they don’t plan to relinquish their title without a fight.

Both of the Eagles’ losses have come to No. 1 La Lumiere School (La Porte, Ind.); the rematch could potentially come at GEICO Nationals in April.

Isaiah Stewart is zeroing in on his target

Most fans know that Stewart announced his commitment to Washington live at the Hoophall Classic, but most also missed the second big announcement he made just before he went off the air.

Stewart, a forward at La Lumiere School (La Porte, Ind.) who is ranked No. 3 overall in the Chosen 25 for 2019, said that he was going to start recruiting Federal Way (Wash.) High School forward Jaden McDaniels, who is ranked No. 6 overall.

Stewart, who scored 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the No. 1 Lakers’ 73-50 win over No. 3 DeMatha Catholic High School  (Hyattsville, Md.), wasted little time making good on that promise, taking to Twitter to lay the groundwork.

A Stewart-McDaniels combo would not only be scary, it would be effective. Both players have different styles; Stewart is a brute force in the paint, who outworks and overpowers his opponents while McDaniels is super-versatile with the ability to play and guard all five positions on the court.

Anthony Edwards visits Kentucky

Back in November when the Holy Spirit Prep (Atlanta) shooting guard reclassified from 2020 to 2019, he said that he knew that things would move quickly with his recruitment.

First, he cut his list to five: Kentucky, Kansas, Georgia, North Carolina and Florida State; on Monday he started an official visit to Kentucky.

Edwards, who is ranked No. 2 overall in the Chosen 25, will visit Kansas on Feb. 9 and has yet to schedule officials to North Carolina and Florida State. Edwards, who scored 24 points in a loss to No. 5 Montverde (Fla.) Academy at the Hoophall, took an official to Georgia in early December.

Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY


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