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HoopHall Classic Preview: Fifteen Players to Watch
by Brian Flinn, Future150 (2:41 PM CT, Thu January 16, 2014)
2014 SG Isaiah Whitehead is making a push for top 10 status.
2014 SG Isaiah Whitehead is making a push for top 10 status.
Brian Flinn
Brian Flinn:

Future150 National Recruiting Analyst. Covering high school basketball nationally.

Springfield, MA (Future150) -- The HoopHall Classic at Springfield College is one of the premier events in high school basketball in the country every year, and this weekend will be no different. Teams from all over the country will flock to the birthplace of basketball to compete in arguably the best showcase of the season. Some of the top players in each class will be on display throughout the extended weekend. Here are some of the players who should be ones to watch. Some are big names and others are still flying under the radar.

Isaiah Whitehead, 2014 CG, Lincoln: The dynamic combo guard is playing arguably the best ball of his prep career and making a serious push to be considered the #1 shooting guard and a top ten spot overall in his class. A strong performance against Yates (TX) will be another step towards achieving that goal.

Lamonte Turner, 2016 PG, Arlington Country Day: Turner re-classed and transferred to ACD before the season began and has been playing strong ever since. Surrounded by a lot of talent, Turner has seemingly flourished with his move and is proving he is one of the better point guards in his class. Look for him to lead ACD in a tough battle against St. Benedicts (NJ) and VCU commit Jonathan Williams.

Cliff Alexander, 2014 PF, Curie: The Kansas commit will have his hands full against Montverde’s stable of forwards, but has shown the ability to bully his opponents. It will be interesting to see if Alexander can do that versus Ben Simmons and company or if Montverde’s depth in the frontcourt is eventually able to slow big Cliff down in the 2nd half.

Kaleb Joseph, 2014 PG, Cushing Academy: One of the better point guards in the senior class, Joseph doesn’t get his due on a national level. At 6-foot-3, he has great size for his position and has only gotten better as a true point guard in the past year. With Tyler Ennis setting the world on fire lately, Joseph may need to step in and replace him right away should he make the jump to the draft. This weekend will be an opportunity for Kaleb to show the nation that he can do just that.

JoJo Anderson, 2015 PG, La Lumiere: Anderson transferred from Yates (TX) this year and the move appears to be paying off.  He is a big point guard who is an uncanny play maker.The Future150 Alum has drawn interest from schools in the Midwest following his move and could find schools in the east recruiting him if he has a good showing this weekend.

Marcus Derrickson, 2015 PF, Paul VI: The Georgetown commit has been a leader for this team all year and his role has increased even further with the departure of 2014 big man Quadree Smith. A versatile forward that should fit well in Georgetown’s offense, Derrickson will look to lead his team against a solid and well coached St. Anthony team.

Dejounte Murray, 2015 SG, Rainier Beach: Murray is one of the more interesting players on this list. Rainier Beach is a talented group and Murray is one of the better scorers of the bunch. He will use this opportunity to show people on the east coast what he is capable of.

Miles Bridges, 2016 PF, Huntington Prep: Bridges has burst on the scene in the past few months and seemingly gets better every time we see him. He has stepped into a bigger role since the departure of Angel Delgado and has shown the ability to play either forward position. Watching him go against 2017 standout P.J. Washington and Prime Prep should be fantastic.

Timmel “Melo” Eggleston, 2017 SF, St. Frances Academy: Eggleston is a physically imposing wing that looks as though he may turn into a player similar to his teammate, Dwayne Morgan, down the road. He is a freak athlete and has great length. This weekend could be the one he vaults himself into the elite freshman category

Rex Pflueger, 2015 SG, Mater Dei: Flueger is a big time shooter and the ideal complement to Stanley Johnson. He has great size and can handle the ball as well. It will be interesting to see how he handles the talented group of guards of Neumann-Goretti defensively. While the Saints don’t have guards of his size, their speed will be a test for Mater Dei and Flueger.

Horace Spencer, 2015 PF, Findlay Prep:  Spencer has really improved his game since arriving at Findlay this year. He has a reputation as a rim defender and a big that can finish shots around the rim. Going up against a Wesleyan Christian (NC) team that doesn’t have a great amount of size, Spencer could be due for a big performance.

Melo Trimble, 2014 PG, Bishop O’Connell: Trimble is looking more and more like he will be the crown jewel of Maryland’s recruiting class. He is a fantastic shooter but can run the offense as well. He had a monster summer and has had a great start to the high school season. He will take on a talented Rainier Beach squad on Saturday.

D.J. Harvey, 2017 SF, DeMatha: This is Harvey’s first year at DeMatha and the 6-foot-6 wing looks poised to be one of their top players sooner rather than later. He is another freakishly athletic kid who can handle the ball and finish at the rim. He will make a serious push to be known as one of the top freshmen in the country.

Donovan Mitchell, 2015 SG, Brewster: Like a number of players on this list, Mitchell has seen his stock take off a bit after transferring to a bigger program. The talented New York native has given Brewster an energy guy off the bench. He is a good defender and is very bouncy. A good game from him this weekend could make his stock absolutely soar.

Abdul-Malik Abu, 2014 PF, Kimball Union Academy: The hard working big man is bound for N.C. State next year and it won’t be soon enough for the Wolfpack. This weekend he will go up against a talented Northfield Mount Hermon squad and big men Josh Sharma and Aaron Falzon. Look for him to dominate the glass against the skinnier Sharma and continue to boost is stock nationally.
 

Comments:

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David / Guest

I won’t be able to attend the event this year due to my recent cancer diagnosis, so I wanted to take the time to say thank you for putting this preview together. It is a very well written article that does a great job at highlighting certain players who you feel will make an impact during the event. That is what I was looking for and I found it. Once again, thank you very much. DT

Posted: on 10:44 PM CST, Fri January 17, 2014
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GotGame2 / Guest

This is not a comprehensive list!  No mention of Jahlil Okafor #1 player in 2014 nor Paul White #64 in 2014 from Whitney Young.  Come on!

Posted: on 8:23 AM CST, Sun January 19, 2014
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Doug / Guest

No one ever said it would be a comprehensive list

Posted: on 8:26 AM CST, Sun January 19, 2014
user is not a member
Alan Garner / Guest

^ What he just said. This doesn’t seem to be a list of all the players who are big names in the showcase. That would be a monstrously long read. Plus those two were featured in other articles. Sorry you want to read the same article 5 times…..People these days.

Posted: on 8:29 AM CST, Sun January 19, 2014

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