Posted On: 04/10/18 10:22 AM
Emmitt Williams, Oak Ridge
Powerful, explosive, high flying, and hyper efficient, Williams turned in as memorable a performance as you will witness during a game of this magnitude. Williams entered the game with a chip on his shoulder, eager to prove he was indeed royally snubbed from the McDonald’s game.
He wound up scoring 44 points on a scalding 22-for-23 clip that included numerous dunks and point-blank finishes.
In floating to the rim all night and eclipsing Lebron James’ previously held record for points in the event, Williams also added seven boards and three steals in 23 minutes. While Williams may be a bit undersized as a 6-foot-7 power forward, he’s got the monstrous vertical explosive ability to make up for it. Williams’ proficiency and physical style pumps promise into a star spangled recruiting class headed to Will Wade and LSU in 2018-19.
The bullish Williams may still need to incorporate some ball skills and open up a dependable 15-18 footer, albeit his athletic aptitude and ceiling is sky-scraping. The best offensive performance in the history of such a storied high school event was indicative of this.
Williams’ performance loudly stated that he should have been a McDonald’s All American and the event did a disservice to him by not including him. It is fair to say that 22-for-23 from the field is quite convincing.
Williams catalyzed the White team, which stamped a 146-136 victory over the Black team during the prestigious event at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn. Williams and another Florida native, Nassir Little, shared MVP honors.
Nassir Little, Orlando Christian Prep
The 6-foot-7 forward put his versatile toolset on full display. His one-on-one game and ability to create for himself and score off the dribble is what makes him such a unique threat at the ensuing level. The UNC-signee and senior strongman also showed how hard it is to stay in front of him on surges to the rack. Little, who has shot 55+ percent from the field these last two high school seasons (even with a wide ranging offensive game), poured in 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting. Little’s blend of handle, outside shooting, attacking, shot blocking, and deft above the rim finishing makes for a multi-layered product with convincing one-and-done potential.
Andrew Nembhard, Montverde Academy
Another McDonald’s All American game snub, Nembhard quelled the notion that he’s not as athletic at others at his position. The 6-foot-4 guard displayed a wowing motor and ability to trigger the souped-up, go-go brand of basketball which both teams employed.
He also had a highlight reel dunk in the second half. Nembhard, who led his Montverde team to a GEICO national championship just a week ago, has the pinpoint passing and traditional point guard play capable of making everyone around him better. This was a central component that sold Florida head coach Mike White on him.
The Canada-bred guard is equally effective at getting free and knocking down 3-pointers and getting into the teeth of the defense and scoring in crafty fashion. On a team headlined by 6-foot-7 Duke-signee R.J. Barrett along with left handed assailant Mike Devoe (Georgia Tech) and several other options, Nembhard had the best opportunity to maximize his value as the table setter.
He was the engine that propelled a hot-shooting team. At Florida, he’ll have the opportunity to earn meaningful minutes and really guide the team instantly. Nembhard finished with nine points, nine boards, six assists, and three steals.
Ayo Dosunmu, Morgan Park (IL)
You can’t let that 160-pound frame fool you. Dosunmu is an aggressive, in-your-grill defender who gets on the ball all game and creates all types of disruption. His high level defensive tactics and motor were both on display throughout the game. He plays with a flair and a savvy, with his hard-driving and intensified style. As soon as he got into the game, he upped the pace and the tempo and the energy. The Illinois-commit finishes well with contact and sees the floor exceptionally well in both the half court set and transition.
Darius Bazley, Princeton (Oh.)
Many now anoint the smooth left-handed forward as a trend-setter. His decision to forgo his freshman season at Syracuse under Jim Boheim and instead enter the NBA G-League draft is unprecedented, albeit it had everything to do with his development and desire to get into the pro ranks. While many would argue he needs college to transition to the rigors of the professional game, Bazley has gone with his instinct over popular thought. While he still needs to pack muscle onto a spindly frame, he’s got a finesse finishing acumen and a knack for getting to the rim.
At 6-foot-8 and just 193 pounds, Bazley is cognizant that he’s got a ways to go physically. He showed an instinctive style of play and promise with 12 points and nine rebounds.
Many of the concerns about Bazley’s game and need for increased physicality are the same ones which surrounded Shaun Livingston when he opted to go pro out of high school. Bazley finished with 12 points and nine boards. Bazley has already shown maturity beyond his years by tuning out all of the detractors and daily wistful reminders of what he’s “missing out on next year.”
While the upside heavy future pro is largely an unfinished product, his work ethic and heart are in it. The main adjustment he’ll have to make is transforming from a crafty and finesse finisher to a guy who can finish above the 7-footers who will surely be waiting for him at the rim next year.
Tyler Herro, Whitnall
Beyond being freakishly athletic and one of the best finishers in the country, Herro has an unrivaled motor at this level. The Kentucky-commit has an underrated and smooth stroke from beyond the arc. He shoulders an adeptness at scoring off the bounce. The pace at which he scores and the ease at which Herro gets his shot off are two notable components of his game. Herro scored 13 points and doled out five assists, threading through defenses in heady and confident fashion.
Cole Swider, St. Andrew’s (RI)
The perimeter oriented four cannot be pigeonholed as a knockdown man or a scorer. During the Jordan Brand game, the Villanova bound 6-foot-8 forward proved his was proficient in all categories of his game. He showed a craftiness off the dribble and an all three levels’ scoring acumen. The 2000+ point career scorer should make an instant impact under Jay Wright. With his multi-positional status as a long and versatile guy who can create mismatch headaches, his game is certainly in alignment with the style preached at Villanova.