DAYTON, OH – After three full days at the Flyin’ to the Hoop, we look back at our notes from the event and drill down the top overall performers from this year’s talent-filled event. Here are the Super Seven from Justin Young’s notepad.
Nick Ward, 6-9 C, Gahanna Lincoln (OH), 2016: Simply put, Ward was the best performing big man in the entire event. The future Michigan State five man did everything you’d expect to see from an elite post player. For a 250-pound paint filler, he’s nimble on his feet and quick to move to the right spot. The Michigan State 2016 recruiting haul is one of the best in the nation and Ward has just as much value as the McDonald’s All-Americans Miles Bridges and Josh Langford bring to the roster.
Seth Towns, Northland (OH), 6-6 F, 2016: The future Harvard forward put on a show on Saturday afternoon. He did whatever he wanted whenever he wanted. Towns finished with a cool 40 points and did it in a variety of ways. His offensive versatility was on full display. We’ve talked about Harvard’s great class at length and like where the Ivy League school is headed with this 2016 haul. Towns should be a major piece moving forward. He showed why at the Flyin’ to the Hoop.
Trevon Duval, Advanced Prep International, 6-1 PG, 2017: On Monday night, the 5-star guard did everything for his all-star team. His first step is outstanding. His pace can change at the snap of a finger and blow by defenders with ease. Duval picked up the effort for his entire team in a game against Pickerington Central, a good team out of Ohio. From a takeover-the-game perspective, no one did it better in the clutch than he did.
Alterique Gilbert, Miller Grove (GA), 6-0 PG, 2016: The day after he was named to the 2016 McDonald’s All-American game, the future UConn Husky went to his happy place on the hardwood and did the things that made him the all-star he is. Gilbert attacked the rim with his trademark blow-by dribble, drilled a couple of pull-up threes that he’s accustomed to doing and shined as a shot-blocking 6-foot guard and on the ball hawk on defense. So, you know, a typical day at the office.
Miles Bridges, Huntington Prep (WV), 6-6 WF, 2017: When it comes to entertainment value, few chart higher in the class of 2016 than Bridges. The future Michigan State Spartan has quick twitch reactions when he’s attacking from the wing to the rim. Because of his explosiveness, Bridges is one of the very best at blocking shots from his position. Bridges was very good in his pairing against his personal rival Josh Jackson.
Ibi Watson, Pickerington Central (OH), 6-5 SG, 2016: The MVP of our Best of the South tournament was good in defeat on Monday night. He was one of the reasons the uber-talented API team was up on the ropes and taking kidney shots. Watson was good on the wing, hitting three triples. He was also the beneficiary of his team’s defense, scoring in transition several times.
Curtis Jones, 6-4 SG, Huntington Prep (WV), 2016: In a game with McDonald’s All-American match-ups, it was Jones who shined the brightest on Saturday night in front of a packed house. He did what he does well – score points on the wing with a feathery jumper. Don’t be surprised to see Jones serve as the top scorer in a season for the Hoosiers during his career. He’s wired to score and when he finds his early zone, he’s one of the best coming into the Big Ten.
We will have much more from our time spent in Dayton this week on HoopSeen.com.