Chick-fil-A Classic: Live Standouts
LEXINGTON, SC—HoopSeen is in the building for one of the more renowned events on the high school hoops calendar, the Chick-fil-A Classic.
Drawing in some of the best of the best from the Carolinas and nationally, this event has built up plenty of prestige. With the talent in the field, it’s not hard to see why this is a must-attend event.
Keep it locked right here for live standouts as my two days in South Carolina unfold.
Who else but Isaiah Collier, right? The guy is just different. Collier always produces in some form or another. The guy processes the game so well. He’s like a machine. He had another strong outing with 18 points to lead Wheeler to the championship game of the American bracket. He had the usual assortment of Collier attributes working for him. His passing was great, he was a disruptive defender, and he was able to power his way to the rim at will.
The 6-foot-8 junior had an efficient game to lead IMG to a dominant win. His numbers won’t blow anyone away at the end of the day, but it was how they came that was impressive. Ali was 5-7 from the field and 3-5 from the 3-point line. Ali finished with 15 on the day.
Ali’s hot Chick-fil-A start continued on Thursday against The Rock when he opened the game going 4-6 from 3-point range. At the half, he led all scorers with 16, and he only played 18 minutes. His efficiency has been outstanding over the last two days.
2025 guard Evan Sterck has been one of the favorites at the Chick-fil-A Classic. The guy has been ballin’ for The Rock and looks like he’s going to be a guy who’ll be attracting plenty of attention from coaches over the next few years. He plays with great pace, he’s shifty on drives, and he plays with plenty of savvy on both ends of the floor. He finished with 21 points and 4 steals on Thursday.
Jordan McCullum has been attracting high major attention, and it’s easy to see why. On Thursday, he led Huntington Prep to a win with 21 points and 9 rebounds. He’s tough and athletic and that shows when he’s operating around the basket. McCullum showed signs of versatility too.
Early on against Cavalry Christian, Curry set the tone with 17 first-quarter points. The 2023 guard caught fire from the field with his jumper. In a game in which offense wasn’t at a premium for the Eagles, Curry’s efforts were much needed. He finished with a complete stat line of 32 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds.
Almond drew the short straw and had to match up with Cam Boozer. While being paired with him usually has players on the wrong end of highlights. Almond, however, took the battle on and thrived. Boozer is going to get his, but Almond did the best job of slowing him down out of anyone that I’ve seen. Only a freshman, Almond defends well and embraces physicality in the paint. Almond finished with 14 points and 6 rebounds, but the number that sticks out to me the most is the 12 points that Cam Boozer scored. Almond was a major reason why Boozer didn’t boast the typical eye-popping stats that we’ve become accustomed to.
For much of the game, Hillcrest Prep’s best offense was to get Tyshawn Bridges the ball and let him rock. At the half, Bridges led all scorers with an efficient 17 points. His production slowed in the second half partially because Aiden Sherrell took over for the Bruins. Bridges recognized that and never forced the issue. Doing a point guard’s duty, he kept the ball moving before anything else and picked his opportunities to be assertive as a scorer. He finished with a game-high 24 points.
For the second day in a row, Bridges was the guy for Hillcrest Prep. On Wednesday, he led with 24, and he took over for the Bruins in the second half on Thursday. He did almost all of his damage with tough, creative finishes at the rim. He’s like a running back with his burst and physicality. Bridges had 19 points and 8 rebounds in the win.
An already limited Hillcrest group became more shorthanded when Jason Assemota was relegated to street clothes due to an injury. Luckily for them, 2023 wing Justin Johnson stepped up and had a big game to help the Bruins secure the win against Providence Day. He used his size and athleticism to block and alter shots at the rim, and he was hitting jumpers from all over. He had 19 points on 8-11 shooting. Johnson is a springy athlete who’s still available.
So Cal Academy was able to right the ship after a lopsided loss on Wednesday. Providence signee Garwey Dual was a major factor in the win. He’s always going to be a factor defensively, and that showed up in his 5 steals. Dual had an efficient game on offense too. Dual led So Cal Academy with 14 points on 6-7 shooting.
Magwood used Thursday morning to establish himself as an underclassman to make note of. He had a solid overall performance for Oak Hill in a loss to So Cal Academy. He was one of their leading scorers with 13 points. He showed off his range with three 3-pointers. Magwood also pulled 8 rebounds.
In front of his future Virginia Tech coaches, Jaydon Young was a difference maker for Greensboro Day. Early on, he wasn’t at his best in terms of scoring, and the Bengals fell into a near-double-digit deficit as a result, but when Young got going, the momentum of the game shifted. While his jumper wasn’t falling, he found plenty of success at the rim and as a rebounder. Young finished with a 19 and 12 double-double.
Young followed his success on Wednesday with 15 points on 7-16 shooting in a win on Thursday. He led in scoring, but he was also effective as a playmaker. Young was able to get in the lane and kick the ball out to shooters or to get the ball swinging around the perimeter.
The senior guard was one of the difference-makers for Greensboro Day in their win over Lexington (SC) on Thursday morning. It was his shot-making that was the primary source of his success. He scored all of his 12 points from the perimeter on 50% shooting.
Lexington had an off night on Wednesday when they faced Columbus (FL). It wasn’t their night in any regard, but they came back to open Thursday with a much better effort. Junior wing Cam Scott was particularly effective. First and foremost, his jumper was falling. While I’d love to see Scott be more aggressive in his pursuit of the rim, it’s hard to be mad at the guy for sticking with what was working for him. He finished with 19 points and 7 rebounds. Scott was 3-4 from 3-point land.
I know, I know, shocker that Cam Boozer is being written about again. The guy always delivers though. I have seen the Boozers a lot over the last few months, and I haven’t been anything less than amazed by him after each viewing. He had another monster game with 23 and 16 to lead Columbus to a blowout win. In this one, he was just a bully. He dominated physically and via his motor. Boozer played harder than anyone on the floor regardless of how lopsided the score was.
Providence Day had a hard time with IMG, but a lot of teams are going to struggle against them. Western Kentucky commit Riley Allenspach shined for the Chargers though. The 6-foot-10 forward had 22 points on 75% shooting from the field. In apples-to-apples matchups against IMG’s size, Allenspach proved that he can play with anyone. The WKU staff should be thrilled with his 3-5 shooting from 3-point range too.
The junior guard led Huntington Prep over Oak Hill in their tournament opener with a strong shooting performance. Jones dropped 20 on 7-16 shooting. Jones was able to mix his smooth jumper with patient, crafty drives to the basket in order to get most of his production.
The future Memphis Tiger was the catalyst behind Calvary Christian’s win. He was a bright spot in a murky game. Cherenfant led all scorers in points and rebounds with 17 and 12. One of his strengths in the game was his ability to get to the free-throw line and convert. He was 8/8 from the line. In a low-scoring game in which both teams struggled to score, those points were worth more than gold.
The Georgia native had himself a hell of a second half and finished with 17 points and 8 rebounds. Sherrell had his jumper working for him for stretches of time. He was used at all three levels throughout the game and thrived in each spot. His multi-positional versatility is what college coaches love, and he didn’t disappoint in that regard.
A walking double-double, RJ Jones did what he always does which is produce. His rebounding is where he was at his best throughout the afternoon. He was The Rock’s only significant size to combat Hillcrest, and he was up to the task. Jones finished with 14 boards. He scored his 19 points in a variety of ways. Jones is a more than capable shooter and dropped in a pair of 3-pointers, but he also used his physicality to his advantage in the paint.
One of the new names of the day for me was The Rock’s Clarence Massamba. The 2025 guard showed flashes of brilliance throughout the afternoon. A bigger guard with plenty of athleticism, Massamba caught attention early with an eye-opening dunk in transition. He also showed promise as a shooter. An area of his game that particularly impressed me was his passing. His assist numbers don’t jump off the page, but he made several nice reads. Positionally, Massamba was also impactful on the glass with 7. He’s someone to look out for moving forward.
The 2024 guard used his Chick-fil-A Classic opener to make a statement. In front of programs like Virginia Tech and NC State, Thompson finished with a game-high 31 points. He was feeling it from the 3-point line and connected for five from distance. Events like this are great platforms for player to establish themselves in the eyes of coaches and evaluators, and Thompson certainly took advantage of that opportunity.