Raleigh, NC- If you weren't in your seat by 4 pm. every afternoon, there was a huge chance that you wouldn't step foot in the beautiful Broughton gymnasium. The John Wall invitational has been known as a destination event for both in state and national powers, and the line outside of the door proved it. Known as one of the best post Christmas events in the country, this year was no different as many of the players ended 2019 with a bang.
The John Wall invitational could've been named the NC State invitational due to the number of committed prospects that came through the gym this weekend. While all had their moments under the spotlight, it was Shakeel Moore's dynamic ability that caught my attention. With a lighting first step and quick twitch athleticism, Moore would naturally create highlights along the way. Despite carrying a heavy play making load, little seemed forced as he properly dictated the structure and the flow of the offense. Moore's poise and confidence stood out in ways that could not be tallied on the box score.
So much has changed since the last time I evaluated Patrick school forward Jonathan Kuminga. With a more decisive offensive mindset, Kuminga rarely settled for shots that the defense could live with. Instead, Kuminga willed himself to spots on the floor where he could then use his full arsenal of weapons. An improved jump shot and some underrated passing has taken the countries best talent to another level. Improvements aside, his bread and butter will continue to be his elite level athleticism. That high level ability shined through on a number of occasions as he created several high light reel moments.
I love offense as much as the next person, but when someone as talented as Scottie Barnes locks in, the other end can become just as entertaining. Barnes forced a 10 second call to go along with a bevy of deflections, steals, and blocks. Simply put, Barnes did everything defensively, against every position. Energy and effort is contagious on any level and that's one area he never lacks. Barnes is far from concerned with winning pretty. That type of game changing defensive presence will serve Florida State well as he gives them a modern day, swiss army knife defender that can transform a defense.
There may not of been a better back to back showing than Apex forward Nick Farrar. As if signing to NC State wasn't enough, consecutive games over 30 points put him in a small class of prospects that made an impact over the weekend. Farrar left little to be desired as he showed the tools that must have initially sparked Kevin Keatts interest. From the perimeter, he shot the ball as well as anyone in attendance, while mixing in a few lefty hook shots. Scoring aside, Farrars passing from the perimeter and high post is something that his future teammates can feast off of. For what Farrar May lack in measurable, he makes up for in toughness, skill, and IQ. Overall, there wasn't a player in the gym that definitively had a more productive weekend.
The third, and final NC State signee on the list, Josh Hall was his typical scoring self through the weekend. The past year and a half has been fruitful for Hall as he's improved both his skill level and national standing. His scoring acumen comes naturally given his fluidity at athleticism at a long and lean 6 foot 8 inches. Taking contact seems to have been a point of emphasis in the off season as Hall seems more willing and eager to make his presence felt at the rim. With his future head coach in attendance, Hall made sure to display a nice variety of his scoring moves.
Our HoopSeen stage is designed to provide the best exposure opportunities for top independent programs. Tons of coaches, social media exposure, and elite competition are some of what you'll find at our events. For more information on our 2020 events, visit our events page, or call our hotline at 470-266-8862.