What a weekend it was at the 2018 ARS Rescue Rooter Washington DC HoopsFest. There was a lot to see and a lot to be impressed by. Meet our event top dogs.
BEST PRO PROSPECT: Jalen Johnson, Nicolet
The class of 2020 prospect was every bit the star player on Saturday for his Wisconsin team. His skill set as a 6-foot-9 player is next level. And he has the special “it factor” that guys like Jayson Tatum have. His performance on Saturday against St. John’s (DC) was a typical view into what kind of impact he will have at the next level. Johnson impacted the game at every level. Yes, he can score. The great ones never really have a problem with that. It was his passing that stood out. The last elite guy I’ve seen toss the rock around like Johnson was a big primary ball-ball-handler named Ben Simmons.
BEST PERFORMER: Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, IMG
When we look at the class of 2019, few guys are more consistent than JRE. He’s always good. He’s always producing. He’s always delivering in the clutch. In one of the best games of the young high school season, the future Villanova Wildcat took over in the clutch and spearheaded his team to a big road victory against DeMatha on their home court. Robison-Earl is one of the cornerstones of Villanova’s terrific recruiting haul in 2019.
BEST AVAILABLE SENIOR: Harlond Beverly, Montverde (FL)
The Michigan native was a perfect 9-9 from the floor and was the catalyst for his team’s victory over Paul VI on Saturday evening. Beverly is a nice mix of speed, athleticism, craftiness and guts. He can long minutes at both guard positions and played more confident in the fourth quarter than anyone else on the floor. His recruitment should continue to grow as we go deeper into the high school season.
BEST SOPHOMORE: Kobe Johnson, Nicolet (WI)
Paired against a talented Paul VI team, a local squad anchored by great guard play, Johnson was a go-to force on offense for his team from Wisconsin. The 6-foot-3 guard went for 21 points and showed some toughness against defenders that were ready to dig in. He’s trending in the right direction and it will be fun to see where he takes his game over the next three years.
BEST FRESHMAN/BALL-HANDLER/PASSER: Dug McDaniel, Paul VI
The class of 2021 point guard jumped into the spotlight with his amazing ball-handling and speed in the open floor and half court. It is fun to see a young guy own a big stage all the while still growing his overall game. McDaniel has fun with it and lets his excitement fuel his game. His passing touch is outstanding and moved the ball round to his shooters at an effective clip. McDaniel put his team in the best position to win in two hard fought games.
BEST SHOOTER: Josiah Freeman, Paul VI
The 6-foot-4 junior was a straight up sniper from the wing for his storied Virginia powerhouse program. Freeman was 12 of 18 from three and always found a way to get open and ready to fire a clean shot from the wing. No one shot it better than Freeman did all weekend.
BEST REBOUNDER/DEFENDER: Jalen Duren, Roman Catholic
Just a freshman, the 6-foot-9 Philly product played his first two high school games in what should be a promising career ahed. He didn’t back down to the immovable force known as DeMatha’s 7-foot-2 center Hunter Dickinson. Duren is naturally strong and quick to jump to the ball. He’s terrific in pursuit to the leather. Defensively, he’s not afraid to protect the rim and he works well in the half court with the help side. You’d never know that he has never played in a high school game prior to this weekend.