The high school basketball season is officially here. While many public schools throughout the country have yet to tip off their ’15-16 campaigns, private schools don’t have the same bylaws to deal with and are already in full swing. Rick Lewis and Jamie Shaw collected a number of the south’s top private schools for the 2015 Phenom Hoop Report National Showcase.
Held on the luxurious campus of Forsyth Country Day, the event had it’s fair share of excitement. Marquee players posted big games, elite recruits battled against each other, and serious upsets went down. The one that shocked everyone was a crazy athletic 22 Foot Academy squad beating Oak Hill Academy, who was ranked 3rd in the national high school rankings. All in all, it was just about as good of an event as you could ask for to get the high school season popping off right.
Here are a few of the players who stood out:
Eli Wright, 6-5, SG, 22 Foot Academy (SC), 2016
Ranked outside of the top 100 by virtually every major recruiting service, Eli Wright showed that not only should that he belonged, but that people have definitely been sleeping on him. The explosive lefty got to the tin at will, finished high above the rim, and put the clamps on people defensively. Eli will have to continue to improve upon his handle, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s firmly placed himself amongst the top 50 seniors in the country with his performance on the national stage.
Sacha Killeya-Jones, 6-10, PF, Virginia Episcopal (VA), 2016
The most highly touted player playing in the event (Harry Giles is out with a torn ACL), Sacha Killeya-Jones lived up to the hype by doing a number of things that you just don’t see out of your average guy standing 6-foot-10. He drilled three pointers, made plays from the high post, and used his length to hold down the paint as a shot-blocker. Though he tends to settle for his J a bit, Killeya-Jones is a guy who has consistently improved throughout his career and should not stop in Lexington.
Mario Kegler, 6-7, SF/PF, Oak Hill Academy (VA), 2016
The MVP in Oak Hill’s win over a gritty Providence Day squad, Mario Kegler showed why he was the recruiting priority of a number of BCS programs. Ultimately deciding to stay home and play for Mississippi State, Kegler brings a sharpshooting forward who can play inside and out. While he will likely be forced to play power forward in the SEC, Mario’s ability to create mismatches and get buckets as a shooter should allow him to make an impact right away.
Godwin Boahen, 5-10, PG, Hill Academy (CAN), 2016
Canada’s prep basketball is taking off and Hill Academy made it a point to show that Athlete’s Institute isn’t the only elite program north of the border. Led by their blazing point guard Godwin Boahen, Hill Academy was able to knock off a stacked Mountain Mission squad that owned a handful of high major players. Boahen was a straight blur in transition, hit deep jumpers, and locked up on D. Still wide open from in the recruiting process, Niagara, Nicholls State, and Eastern Kentucky are just a few of the growing list of programs vying for his services.
Devon Dotson, 6-1, PG, Providence Day (NC), 2018
Arguably the best sophomore in the state of North Carolina, Devon Dotson definitely lived up to the hype against Oak Hill. He showed that he could create his own shot whenever he wanted against the national power, showed off excellent court vision, and played the game with poise well beyond his years. Running with Team Charlotte on the AAU circuit, Dotson has already gotten the attention regionally and is getting ready to blow up on the national stage.
Harold Baruti, 6-5, SF, Mountain Mission (VA), 2016
A straight up physical specimen, Harold Baruti was one of the more impressive athletes we saw in Winston. He displayed an explosive first step, punished the rim on dunks, and defended multiple positions on the hardwood. A guy who is wide open as far as recruiting is concerned, he’ll be a nice grab for someone in the late signing period.
Szymon Walczak, 6-4, PG/SG, Mountain Mission (VA), 2016
Possessing one of the better basketball IQ’s that we saw throughout the weekend, Szymon Walczak showed that he can hold it down from either guard spot. The Polish lefty dropped a few sick dimes, made nice pick and roll reads, and was a threat to score just about any time that he had the rock in his hands. After his performance over the weekend, Walczak will have no shortage of D1 attention.