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Posted On: 12/11/18 6:47 PM
SCOTTSDALE – The underclassmen – among the teams that played just one game at the event – during last weekend’s HoopHall West at Chaparral needs no drum roll or introduction, actually.
That’s because 6-foot-5 Jalen Green of Fresno’s San Joaquin Memorial High was already among the most well-unknown and heavily touted players in the Class of 2020 before his team hooked up with Phoenix Pinnacle Thursday.
He and his teammates proved no match for the nation’s best point guard, senior Nico Mannion, and the rest of the Pioneers who rolled, 90-69.
But Green certainly lived up to the considerable hype he always lugs into a gym with him.
Green scored 33 points (18 of those in the first quarter), while hitting four 3s among his 11 field goals in 22 attempts.
Yep. He his usual quota of high-flying slammerinos, too.
Here’s the other eight fellows who most impressed in alpha listing:
Dylan Anderson 6-10 Fr./Gilbert (AZ) Perry
His team got smacked around by Modesto (CA) Christian but he turned in a strong second half, scoring 13 of his 14 points, while blocking four shots to go with four rebounds and a couple of assists.
Benny Gealer 6-0 Fr./San Pedro (CA) Rolling Hills Prep
The slick shooter hit all six of his free throws down the stretch of his team’s 63-58 win against Millennium while hitting three 3s over the first three quarters.
Jaden Hardy 6-5 So./Henderson (NV) Coronado
Hardy has nearly Jalen Green-like explosiveness as he displayed while scoring 27 points to go with six rebounds and three assists in the 82-51 hammering of Rancho Soloano Prep.
DaRon Holmes 6-9 So./Goodyear (AZ) Millennium
His team couldn’t pull out a win and he didn’t rebound much (three missed shots did fall into his hands) but he did hit a couple of deep 3s for 60 percent of his 10 points.
Richard Isaacs Jr. 6-1 Fr./Henderson (NV) Coronado
Isaacs struggled with his jump shot (he was just three of 13 from the field) but there wasn’t a better “true point guard” in the event other than seniors Nico Mannion and Melo Ball (Geneva Institute).
Isaiah Jackson 6-9 Jr./Geneva (OH) Spire Institute
The former Detroit prep star may have taken a backseat, attention-wise, to Melo Ball Friday night. But Jackson was the most vertically explosive of the “bigs” at the event all weekend. He blocked three shots with eight rebounds and 16 points – most of them via big slams – against Bella Vista Prep.
Julian Strawther 6-6 Jr./Henderson (NV) Liberty
He scored 30 points in the opening night-loss to host Chaparral although it did take 27 shot attempts (he hit 11 of them, including five 3s) to do so.
Kyree Walker 6-5 Jr./Phoenix Hillcrest Prep
Despite playing with a mask in the first half because of a broken nose apparently suffered in practice (he ditched it at halftime), Walker scored 24 of his game-high 33 points after intermission of its team’s 80-74 loss to Denton (TX) Guyer.