Thanksgiving Hoopfest: Five-star Jalen Green, more show out
DUNCANVILLE, Texas -- It took a little time for him to get going, but 2020's No. 3 ranked player Jalen Green delivered in front of a sellout crowd on Friday at the Thanksgiving Hoopfest. He wasn't alone.
Here's more on Green in a look at who backed up the hype and whose reps were on the rise during the opening day of action at the loaded event.
BACKING UP THE HYPE
During the 2018 Thanksgiving Hoopfest, five-star Jalen Green had the crowd on the edge of their seats from the moment he stepped on the floor. This year, he had the packed house at Duncanville (Texas) High on the edge of their seats again and while it took him a little bit of time to get going, he delivered.
One of the truly elite athletes in high school basketball, the 6-foot-5 shooting guard took over late scoring the bulk of his game high 19 points down the stretch as Napa (Calif.) Prolific Prep broke open game against a scrappy and tough Lancaster (Texas) High squad.
It started when Green got in the open floor with a huge dunk and he soon followed with another on an explosive drive along the baseline. Then he hit a high degree of difficulty pull-up jumper going left after losing a pair of defenders with a nasty crossover. The name of Green's game is explosion and he's got a level of burst that few on any level of hoops have.
After, Green said that he didn't have a set top five but conceded that the programs that he's seen on visits -- Auburn, Fresno State, Memphis, Oregon and USC -- were in his main pack. Also, you can't discuss Green without bringing up all of the whispers that he could look to go overseas. He has spoken with others who have skipped college, like former five-star R.J. Hampton, but for now he says that college is in his best interest. Originally scheduled to commit on Christmas, Green said that there is currently no timetable for making a decision.
Barnes has always impressed with his instincts, feel for the game, willingness to play on both ends and motor. Early into his senior year, though, he's now added strength and is playing with an array of talent and weapons that allows him to fully showcase his passing and versatility.
In just 20 minutes of play during a big win over host Duncanville, Barnes was just two rebounds shy of a triple double during an efficient 12 point, 10 assist and eight rebound outing.
This guy is big, he's mean, he's physical, he has skill and he's also in possession of a pair of hands that belong in the realm of guys like Kevin Love and Jared Sullinger who have had the strongest hands we've seen in the prep ranks. If he gets so much as a fingertip or two on the ball, it's going to be his.
More importantly, Sharpe continued a trend of improving each time he hits the floor since he first hit the national scene during the spring of his sophomore year. He should be a stone cold lock for all of the major post season All-Star games and looks like a legitimate instant impact/one and done type big man.
Top 20 junior Kendall Brown and Bel Aire (Kans.) Sunrise Christian were never really tested during a blowout win over Houston (Texas) Yates.
Over the years, Yates has been a Texas powerhouse because of their pressing, high octane style. On Friday, Brown and Sunrise turned that defense into a layup and wide open jump shot drill.
Brown is a big time athlete, causes problems with his 6-foot-7 size and long arms and is just as good defensively as he is as a slasher and transition finisher. Bottom line he's making positive strides after moving from Minnesota and showed why programs like Arkansas, Baylor, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas, Marquette, Maryland, Nebraska, Texas A&M and Wake Forest among others.
Chalk up a really solid outing for one of 2021's strongest players, K.J. Adams.
A natural four man who is in the process of expanding his game, Adams is built like a dude that you might assume to be a big time football prospect from looking at him. That strength served him well on Friday as he shook off defenders, bounced off of contact and caused problems from 17 feet and in.
He also showed improved touch and the type of motor and ability to play in multiple styles that coaches love.
REPS ON THE RISE
Just a few weeks ago, a first look at 2022 guard Arterio Morris of Dallas (Texas) Kimball revealed him to be a legitimate high major prospect.
Getting a closer look at him at a big time event only reinforced that thought. He's big and strong, plays in attack mode, isn't looking to make friends on the floor and gives off an energy that his teammates thrive on.
He's an instinctual player who looks to get downhill and force the action as often as possible and as he gets more consistent with his jumper and decisions he's going to really take off. Guys who apply pressure like he does on both ends of the floor aren't easy to come by.
Earlier this week, we listed shooting guard Detrick Reeves as a guy who could see his stock take off during his senior season and he backed up that notion.
A tough guy with athleticism who plays fast and is always attacking, Reeves is a good old fashioned bucket getter. His jumper is a little streaky right now, but his effort, ability to separate from defenders and his winning attitude are undeniable.
He visited Arkansas State and Missouri State during the fall and would be a huge pickup at that level. However, he wants to play out his senior year to see what additional options he may have.
Yes, Tre White is already ranked in the top 50 nationally and has committed to Kansas. He's not sneaking up on anybody.
But, the strong wing at San Antonio (Texas) Cornerstone Christian is turning up his game to match his lofty ranking and commitment.
He has been known as an above the rim finisher in transition but his added pull-up jumper and the way he's creating space off the bounce without having to dance with the ball bodes well for his development.
Ok, Leonard Manuel won't be enrolling to play basketball anywhere. After all, he's one of the top football players in the senior class and has committed to play wide receiver at Florida. But, if he wanted to go the hoops route he'd be going to school for free at the Division One level.
Tough, athletic and relentless, he plays basketball exactly like you would expect a big time football player to do. But, his skill and feel as a passer aren't what you would expect and that makes him one of the most fun players to watch in the event.
We first saw Bel Aire (Kans.) Christian sophomore point guard Willie Lightfoot during a fall workout and thought he could be in for a breakout winter and he looks to be on track.
A native of Niagara Falls, N.Y., Lightfoot isn't the tallest floor general around but he is tough, fast and plays with enthusiasm. When he sees a weakness he attacks and his effort level and speed are fun to watch.
Oregon offered during the fall joining Niagara and Buffalo and more should be on the way for the four-star prospect as schools grow familiar with him.