As far as tradition is concerned, there aren’t many schools in North Carolina with more tradition than Broughton High School. A few steps away from downtown Raleigh, it was where the legend of Pete Maravich went to a whole new level. While Pistol Pete’s Pops was coaching at NC State, the younger Maravich was setting records at Broughton. Press ultimately made the move to LSU and took his incredibly highly touted son with him, but the legend was born. It is only fitting that the top high school basketball event takes place in the same gym where he made so many memories: The HighSchoolOT Holiday Invitational.
Bringing many of the nation’s elite recruits in to go to war with NC’s finest, the HighSchoolOT Holiday Invitational was expected to have an even more stacked field. The transfer (and then ultimate season ending injury) of Harry Giles to Oak Hill Academy and decision of Dennis Smith Jr. to head to NC State a semester early took away two of the bigger names, but there was still some serious talent in both the John Wall and David West brackets of the event.
Here are a few of the top seniors who caught our eye at the 2015 HighSchoolOT Holiday Invitational:
Edrice Adebayo, 6-8, PF, High Point Christian (NC):
A guy who simply keeps getter better and better, Edrice Adebayo made his case for top power forward in the country with his MVP performance in the John Wall bracket. Once a guy who didn’t do much more than rip the rim off on the offensive end, “Bam” showed a pretty reliable J from mid-range and even helped handle the ball against pressure. He still had his same tenacity on the glass, was a beast running the floor, and straight up crushed the rim throughout the week. Playing in front of Coach Calipari, the future Wildcat showed why the Big Blue Nation is so excited for him to arrive in Lexington.
Jay Huff, 6-11, PF, Voyager Academy (NC):
One of the more interesting players in the event, Jay Huff is not known by many outside of the Tar Heel State. Opting not to attend national events and having played very little AAU, you likely weren’t going to see this 6-foot-11 sharpshooter unless it was in a Voyager jersey. At HSOT, he showed off his gorgeous stroke from deep, made great passes, and showed off remarkable time as a shot-blocker. While he certainly needs to get stronger and improve on his post game, the Virginia recruit showed everyone in attendance his big time potential in the way of a triple0-double on Day 3 of the event.
De’Aaron Fox, 6-4, PG, Cypress Lakes (TX):
Perhaps the most highly touted player in the event, De’Aaron Fox came to North Carolina and did not disappoint. The Houston product hit countless NBA threes, got to the rim at will, and easily posted smaller guards. With Coach Cal sitting courtside, he made his case for top lead guard in the country by dropping an easy 35 in a loss to future Kentucky teammate Edrice Adebayo.
Ty Graves, 6-1, PG, High Point Christian (NC):
Making the move back to North Carolina after running with Montverde Academy last year, Ty Graves is another one of those players who seemingly keeps getting better. He shot the ball well from deep, made some Kyrie Irving-eque finishes at the tin, and was super efficient creating scoring opportunities for others. Heading to Boston College, Graves has type of chip on his shoulder that will make him a perfect fit for coach Jim Christian.
Ian Boyd, 6-3, SG, Apex HS (NC):
Having led his squad to a state title as a freshman, Ian Boyd made his mark in North Carolina very early. Now a senior, he’s putting the final stamp on what has been an amazing high school career. The power guard used his strength to finish through defenders, locked down on countless positions, and used his athleticism to rebound the ball at a high rate. Heading to George Mason, Boyd had the chance to develop into the type of mid-major prospect to help them get deep in the tourney again.
Jordan McKenzie, 6-2, PG/SG, JM Robinson (NC):
Arguably the best unsigned senior in the event, Jordan McKenzie showed that he could hold his own with some of the nation’s finest. He had no problem getting to the rack, showed off a filthy crossover, and used his IQ to seemingly always make the right play. With interest from low D-1 schools, he’s going to be a nice get in the late signing period.