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2014 WACG Madness: National Names Take Over
by Eric Hampford, Future150 (3:49 PM CT, Tue March 18, 2014)
Tyger Campbell, Javonte Smart, and Bailey Rice.
Tyger Campbell, Javonte Smart, and Bailey Rice.
Eric Hampford
Eric Hampford:

Future150 GM / Senior National Analyst. Covering high and middle school basketball.

Nashville, TN (Future150) -- Several of the top travel teams in the 8th and 7th grade divisions nationally participated in the 2014 WACG Madness Tournament in Nashville this weekend, giving Future150 analysts a glimpse at some of the best talent that will be taking center stage over the next few years.

#1 Prospect Marvin Bagley Still Evolving:

There is still no doubt that the Arizona native is the #1 prospect in the country at this stage. He has grown two inches since we saw him last, now standing at 6-foot-9. He has also improved his explosiveness and is on a completely different level than anyone else we saw this weekend. While he undoubtedly has the skill and feel to be a combination forward, we need to see him in more of a half-court setting to be 100% sold on his standing.

Plenty of 2018 Guard Depth:

It's looking like the class as a whole will have a good level of depth at the guard spot, and we got a good taste of that on Saturday. The most impressive prospect we saw on the day was Louisiana point guard Javonte Smart. Now standing at 6-foot-2, Smart's uncanny court vision and feel for the game set him apart from his classmates, and he's looking more and more like a top 10 prospect nationally.

The Kentucky Spiece Gators have an impressive backcourt of their own in Willie "Tre" Hill and Ahmad Price. Hill is a 6-foot-2 combo guard who has great feel to his game and loves to get his teammates involved. Sometimes he's too unselfish, but his ability as a set-up man in the future looks very promising.

Price, a 6-foot-1 shooting guard, is more of a scoring wing who uses his muscular frame to cause problems for defenders. He is at his best when taking his man off-the-dribble, but can get hot from the perimeter sometimes as well.

We All Can Go has themselves a promising 2018 guard as well in point guard Darius Garland. Short in stature, the speedy floor general has excellent ball skills and doesn't need much room to wiggle free to scoring opportunities. If he hits a growth spurt over the next year or so, watch out!

Big Man Battle Saturday Evening:

Texas Select and the Kentucky Spiece Gators had an epic battle on Saturday evening, and their talented post players were at the center of it.

Darrell Simpson, a 6-foot-7, 260-pounder, had a solid showing for Texas Select. Nimble for such a big kid, he scored around the rim with ease and maneuvers very well for a prospect so enormous. He holds his ground well on the defensive end and doesn't buy into blocking shots. He stands his ground and makes life difficult by simply "being big". 

On the losing side, 6-foot-7, 225-pound center Bailey Rice made himself a known post in the class. Having excellent touch around the rim and very good footwork and low post moves, Rice can rack up high scoring totals very quickly. He also has a high motor and runs the floor well, making him a dangerous big man.

2019 PG's Duel:

One of the most fun battles to watch this weekend was between standout point guards Joe Cooper (Memphis War Eagles) and Tyger Campbell (WACG).

If you're looking for a point man with unparalled vision, Cooper is your guy. He sees the floor better than any other guard in the class, and has poise beyond his years. Campbell is a scoring guard who values the ball. He knows when to attack and when to run the offense. There may not be a more fun guard to watch in the 2019 class.

New Posts Emerge in 2018:

We discovered two new names on the scene this weekend. The first was Georgia United post Mohammed Abdulsalem. The 6-foot-7 power forward is an excellent low post defender and he was swatting shots at a furious rate on Saturday. He plays extremely hard on both ends of the floor and is also a high level rebounder. Once his offense comes around, he will be a dangerous player.

SW Illinois Jets forward Carteare Gordon had himself a nice day as well. The 6-foot-6 combination forward is more of a power player at his point, but showed glimpses of an ability to play the small forward spot as well. Right now, he is at his best when finishing around the basket and carving out space for himself on the interior.

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