Standouts from the NIBC LaPorte Invitational
One of the best early year events took place in LaPorte, Indiana. The NIBC LaPorte Invitational showcased some of the best teams in the nation, such as Montverde (FL), AZ Compass (AZ), Sunrise Christian (KS), Long Island Lutheran (NY), IMG (FL), Simeon (IL), La Lumiere (IN), and more.
The event was fantastic, with five games ending in a 5-pt or fewer differential. Here are some of the top performers from the event...
Derik Queen (Montverde) - 29 PPG (64.9% FG), 11.5 RPG, 1 BPG, 2.5 SPG
Queen had the best showing of any player at the event and likely had the best showing of any player at a NIBC event this whole season. He now leads the NIBC in points scored in a single game this season, thanks to his 34-point performance in a huge win over Sunrise Christian where he faced off against another 5-star center in John Bol and dominated. The powerhouse #2-ranked Montverde Academy Eagles have had many contributors this season, but Queen makes a very strong case to be their main for the rest of the season because of his efficiency inside and high-impact.
Collin Murray-Boyles (Wasatch) - 12 PPG, 11.5 RPG, 2.5 BPG, 1.5 SPG
Collin Murray-Boyles has been very consistent for Wasatch all year. In seven NIBC games, he leads the conference in rebounding averaging 9.7 RPG and is 8th in scoring averaging 13.1 PPG. He also has the best FG% of any player in the conference at 62.9%. The 3-star has an impressive post-game and has been knocking down shots, he is a very hard worker. I’m running out of things to say about the South Carolina commit as it feels like he has been a standout at just about every NIBC event I’ve attended.
Jayden Ross (Long Island Lutheran) - 19 PPG (65.2% FG and 57% from 3), 5.5 RPG
Jayden Ross has continued to impress as the season has gone on. His shooting in Indiana was great, shooting 57% from deep on the weekend. He uses his size to shoot over defenders and highlight some sneaky explosiveness in his game. He is a very high-impact player and is one of the many contributors on LuHi that have boosted their stock this season. Ross is committed to UConn in a stacked 2023 class.
#9 Long Island Lutheran went 2-0 this weekend at the @NIBCOfficial LaPorte Invitational.— Griffin Greenberg (@griffgreenberg) January 8, 2023
UConn commit Jayden Ross averaged 19 PPG (57% from 3) & 5.5 RPG. Jayden Reid had 24 pts, 7 ast, & 4 stl tonight. VJ Edgecombe was effective & leads the NIBC in scoring. @LuHiBasketball pic.twitter.com/KOdurACSoe
Jordan Ross (AZ Compass) - 14.5 PPG (71.4% FG), 3.5 RPG, 3.5 APG, 1 BPG, 1 SPG
The skilled PG played in control but also brought urgency when his squad needed it. He was able to secure a late comeback win for AZ Compass over a hungry Oak Hill, who was looking for their first NIBC win of the season, as he attacked and finished at the hoop. Ross knows how to win and has shown that in multiple contests this season, where he takes over in late-game situations and uses his craftiness to get to the hoop and draw contact, as well as knock down shots and play high-intensity defense. The Saint Mary’s commit also displayed his elite playmaking and high IQ.
Wesley Rubin (Simeon) - 20 pts (7-11 FG), 8 reb, 6 stl
The Northern Iowa commit uses his length to his advantage, scoring in multiple ways and gathering rebounds. He has great court vision and can read opposing offenses well, which he did in Simeon’s matchup against Cathedral to collect six steals. His playmaking has been impressive on the offensive end of the season overall. One of the top teams from Illinois in Simeon took down one of the top teams from Indiana in Cathedral in their lone game at the LaPorte Invitational, and then Simeon took down Imhotep Charter the following night. Wes Rubin is a big addition for Northern Iowa.
Drayton Jones (Oak Hill) - 11 PPG, 5 RPG, 3.5 BPG
Jones plays hard and with a high motor, willing to make the extra play to help his team, and that’s what he did in Indiana. Jones had plenty of blocks and hit some threes as well. He’s an explosive player on each end of the court and has had a very nice senior season for Oak Hill, displaying dominance on the glass and in his consistent play.
Blue Cain (IMG) - 15.5 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 3 APG, 3.5 SPG
The 4-star is a high-energy player and is able to shoot the ball and get to the hoop and finish with contact. Cain displayed his elite scoring abilities, quickness to get to his spots, and court vision which allowed him to find teammates and secure steals. Cain’s best performance was highlighted by six steals as he and IMG took down Oak Hill.
Gus Yalden (La Lumiere) -17 PPG (57% FG), 5 RPG
The Wisconsin commit always brings a ton of energy which helps ignite his team. Yalden was putting in work with his post-up game and showed off his impressive footwork in the process. His three-point shooting was excellent for LaLu at the event and he scored 21 points in just 19 minutes in the game against LuHi. Yalden and La Lumiere pose as a scary matchup for any team at any time as they click very well together.
Matas Buzelis (Sunrise Christian) - 21 PPG (60% FG and 60% from 3), 8.5 RPG, 3 BPG, 1.5 SPG
The 5-star has gotten better and better for Sunrise Christian as the season progresses. He’s in the top-five in scoring and in blocks in the NIBC averaging 15.4 PPG and 2.0 BPG. Despite the loss, Buzelis had a great game against Montverde with 23 points, 12 rebounds, and 2 blocks. His two-way play has been very impressive recently and he is using his size to his advantage on each end to deliver some elite play against other top talent. Buzelis and Sunrise Christian will get a rematch with Montverde at the upcoming Spalding Hoophall Classic.
Coen Carr (Legacy) - 11.5 PPG (53.3% FG), 8 RPG
Carr is an exceptional athlete and probably the best at that in the 2023 class. His high-energy can ignite the rest of his team, and he does so in the form of acrobatic dunks and ridiculous blocks. The Michigan State commit and Legacy picked up their second win against Bishop Walsh on the season, winning in dominant fashion with Carr delivering a double-double.