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Top Performers: Guards
by Andrew Force, Future150 (4:52 PM CT, Tue January 27, 2015)
WInston-Salem Prep's guard tandem
WInston-Salem Prep's guard tandem
Andrew Force
Andrew Force:

Future150 National Analyst. Covering High and Middle School basketball.

NORCROSS, GA (Future150) -- The Norcross Hilton Invitational featured incredible guards: Joshua Langford (Future150 #21), D.J. Harvey (#16), Alani Moore (#79), and M.J. Walker (#13).  Of course these young men were spectacular, but they were not the only standout performers.

In order of impact:

Joshua Langford (AL) – Class of 2016 SG Langford would be elite if you only judged athleticism.  Elite is such an incomplete assessment though.  He is the full package.  Langford can shoot from anywhere, though he will improve from deep.  He slashes as well as any junior outside Malik Monk.  He defends.  He rebounds.  He blocks shots he has no business approaching.  Simply put Langford is a high school superstar, two years removed from being a college superstar.

MJ Walker Jr. (GA) – Class of 2017 SG Walker Jr. accelerates like a pro.  His shooting touch needs to improve, but the slashing ability hints at greatness.  Walker Jr. is perfecting the shot off the dribble.  Quickness and explosiveness are the foundation of Walker’s vibrant game.  His leaping ability and body control midflight is scary.

D.J. Harvey (MD) – Class of 2017 SG Harvey possesses uncanny quickness.  Only NBA wings change directions at 6’6” like Harvey can.  Sure there are improvements to be made, but the athleticism and quickness of Harvey as a high school sophomore are ridiculous.

Alani Moore (MD) – Class of 2016 PG Moore is a known quantity in the DMV-region.  His AAU success earned him high major offers in 2014.  He limits turnovers and calmly runs zone offense. Moore will have to prove to recruiters that he can defend 6’3” floor leaders.  The program lists him as 5’10.”  Ball-handling continues to be unmatched. Moore sees more of the floor than everyone else.  He reads subtle movement from every defender simultaneously.  This processing speed sets him apart from the average guard.

Ricky Madison (GA) – Class of 2015 SG Madison runs the floor at an elite level.  When Norcross bursts out of their zone Madison seemingly outruns eight guys.  High Point signed Madison and he will be a revelation for them.

Jamal Johnson (GA) – Class of 2017 G Jamal Johnson has the strength and authority to be a great slasher.  He very well respected and liked throughout the region.  Elite Alabama-based players know him and they like him. 

Ty Hudson (GA) – Class of 2015 G Ty Hudson is a domineering guard prospect signed to Clemson.  Strength is Hudson’s primary skill.  He dribbles well and shoots well enough. 

Massamba Dioum (GA) – Class of 2016 SG Dioum moves very well for a 6’7” young man.  Covenant Christian HC Frederick Anderson entrusts him with primary ball-handling duties, but most colleges will recruit him as a secondary dribbler.  An average shooter, Dioum works harder than everyone else.  He is a consummate teammate and pupil.  His college-ready frame suggests he deserves the next level.

Brian Coffey (GA) – Class of 2017 PG Coffey has a great push off.  He could probably be a wonderful skateboarder.  Every step is aggressive and explosive.  Future150 Regional Analyst Corbin Osby astutely identified his need to rely on the shoulder more.  Once he beats the defender off the dribble Coffey has to ride them on his shoulder.  Right now he just bursts by.  The shoulder will help keep faster defenders from recovering.

His quickness is more apparent now that he has settled into his new high school. 

Eric Johnson (GA) – Class of 2015 Johnson PG has an arsenal of defensive tricks.  He makes steals all over the floor, many of them completely earned by body position and quickness.  Savannah Jenkins High School gets so much intensity and leadership from him.

Daivien Williamson (NC) – Class of 2018 SG Williamson starts for Winston-Salem Prep, as a freshman.  The fluid shot release allows him to be a volume scorer against much more experienced players.  His free throws are smooth and bankable.

Tim Cameron (GA) – Class of 2015 SG Cameron is a warrior.  He works hard and slashes with a purpose.   A young senior.  Expect recruiting to pick up.

Evan Wiley (AL) – Class of 2016 SG Wiley has some refined skills and several undeveloped skills.  He is a decent outside shooter at 6’5”, which gives him value.  He can score inside against guards.  Problems arise when Wiley defends the perimeter.  Often the deciding factor in a player’s position is…’Who can he defend?’  Wiley has the potential to play beyond high school.  It appears he is still early in his basketball development.

Jared Harper (GA) – Class of 2016 SG Harper makes the bigger guards look downright silly.  He slips around the court with limited interruption.  The outside shooting touch makes him a likely high major prospect.  Harper shares the Pebblebrook backcourt with Ty Hudson.  They work very well together and either can play either position.

Justin Rhode (NC) – Class of 2017 PG Rhode plays respectable defense.  His strength is impressive for a sophomore and his commitment to the team shows.  Unlike most young guards he does not crave shots.

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