The McDonald’s High School All American Powerade Jam Fest was last night, and a plethora of talent was on display.
Personally, I am not a huge fan of dunk contests because we have seen it all before, but the entire night of events, and especially the game which is on ESPN tonight at 9:30 PM, is one of the best ways to see all of the players who will be rented in college for a year before heading to the NBA.
My favorite to win last night’s contest was Andrew Wiggins, the 6’7″ small forward from West Virginia via Canada. If you just watched his highlights you know why. (Wiggins should have been on my list for best things out of Canada I posted earlier in the week.)
Unfortunately, Wiggins couldn’t pull off the win, but he had a few behind the back dunks and between the legs dunks that he made look easy. For my money he is the best player in his class, but I am a bit unsure about his mid-range shooting ability. Wiggins has yet to commit to any school, but it is rumored that he likes North Carolina, Kansas and Kentucky. (Excuse my while I go throw up.)
The winner ended up being Chris Walker, a 6’10” PF from Florida, who signed with the Gators. None of his dunks were jump out of your seat crazy, but he was consistent and that is what earned him the win. Check out the dunk that earned him a perfect score, and you will understand what I mean.
My favorite prospects other than Wiggins are Jabari Parker (6’8″) and Julius Randle (6’9”). ESPN has them ranked 2nd and 3rd respectively, but I have seen other scouting sites that list Randle as high as 1. Parker, a Shy town native, will be playing for Coach K at Duke next year. (Excuse me while I go vomit some more.) Randle is headed to Kentucky. (Still puking.)
Parker reminds me of Carmelo Anthony, and I mean that in the best way. He is pretty thick for his height (240 lbs as a senior!), he has lift but isn’t super explosive (more so than Melo though), and has a pretty pull-up jumper. Parker’s only concern as a been a bit of injury history. He injured his toe and then foot while in high school.
Randle reminds me a bit of Terrence Ross, the former Kentucky player. He is a lefty, power forward who dominants the interior and is very athletic, but other than a short corner jump shot I haven’t been overly impressed with his shooting ability, or at least I didn’t see it on display that often in anything I’ve found on the internet.
Speaking of Kentucky, that is where the Harrison twins will be attending in the fall. Andrew (6’5″) is the top point guard in the country. He is silky smooth, finds his way into the lane easily, has great vision and can finish strong at the rack.
Aaron plays shooting guard and is also ranked numero uno for that position. He is the better long range shooter in the family (so far) and his passing ability is on par with his brother.
Another player to watch is Arizona commit Aaron Gordon (6’8″). The kid can absolutely soar, has good handle for his size, might be the best shot blocker of the class, and has been compared to Blake Griffin. The kid is a motor guy and I expect him to do the dirty work in tonight’s All American game.
For all my friends who are UNC fans, here is video of Kennedy Meeks AKA Sean May with a J.
He could be better than May if he loses they baby weight.
Finally, possibly the most entertaining player of this year’s class wasn’t even invited. That distinction belongs to Aquille Carr. He is flashy, can shoot and finish over bigger defenders. The issue is all of the defenders are bigger than him. The kid is only 5’7″. He also dropped in scouting rankings because of what some call selfish play compounded with off-court issues and the fact that he is skipping college.
Here is the full roster for the game.