Stars shine at Hilton Invitational
For every player that came to the Hilton Invitational with some kind of reputation, the standards were met and the performances were delivered each game out. The stars played like stars and we all won because of it. Austin Wiley, Jamal Johnson, Josh Langford, DJ Harvey, Alani Moore, Derek Ogbeide, Markelle Fultz and others were all terrific.
- Jamal Johnson of Spain Park (AL) is a 5-star prospect. The class of 2017 guard is a carbon-copy (minus elite athleticism) of Malik Beasley of St. Francis (GA).
- Good luck getting the ball out of the hands of Austin Wiley once he corrals the rebound. The 6-foot-10 center is so strong as a rebounder. He's one of the best I've seen this entire season on the glass. As a paint defender, the 5-star big man changed the way Jonesboro attacked the basket. And understand this - Jonesboro is a rim-attacking team. "We didn't adjust to him. Never once did we attack the rim. Everything was a floater," Jonesboro head coach Daniel Maehlman said.
- Alani Moore of DeMatha may be small but the Montrose Christian (MD) floor general was firing away with big time buckets in the second half against a big Covenant Christian team. The class of 2016 guard had a monster second half. He was as fearless of any player there was at the event.
- I don't know how teams prepare for Alabama stud Josh Langford. He's a five-tool hooper with a non-stop motor. Easily one of the best players I've seen this high school season.
- DeMatha class of 2017 stud prospect DJ Harvey was back in his native South and put on a second-half show that justified his 5-star ranking. The 6-foot-4 guard can pour it in from any spot on the floor.
- His teammate - Markelle Fultz - is one of the hottest prospects in the country. He's a national recruit, evident by Oklahoma State head coach Travis Ford and assistant Chris Ferguson making a two-hour flight right after their game against Kansas State to see the D.C. super scorer. We'll have more on Fultz on HoopSeen.com this coming week.
- Watching the evolution of future Georgia center Derek Ogbeide (pictured above) has been fun to witness. Anchored by a non-stop motor, he's developed into one of the best rebounding and shot-blocking bigs in the South. He's really turned on his game over the last 18 months. Senior season risers project very well in college. The Bulldogs stole one with the native Canadian.