Cancer Research Classic: Day One

Elijah Thomas

WHEELING, WV - Prime Prep got the best of Huntington Prep in a highly touted battle while a Syracuse signee showed big improvement.

B.J. Johnson, SF, Lower Merion – The future Syracuse player continues to get better at a fast rate. He looks right near 6-foot-7 now, and is still long and athletic. What stood out was how smooth and efficient Johnson was in a blowout win. He had the three point stroke working and then also finished above the rim. Once he gets stronger and fills out he could be a late bloomer who has a big time college career.

Andrew Wiggins, SG/SF, Huntington Prep – Wiggins didn't have one of his finer games. The Express struggled to get him the ball much in the first half, and then in the second half he didn't have his normal offensive game. Wiggins still flashed the elite athleticism and superior skills that make him the No. 1 overall prospect, but he did struggle at times. Wiggins still led Huntington in scoring and was solid on the glass, but the length of Prime Prep proved to be a little much.

Xavier Rathan-Mayes, SG, Huntington Prep – He is being forced to play out of position at the point, and that greatly limits his effectiveness. Rathan-Mayes barely was able to get a clean look at the rim, and for one of the best pure scorers in the nation it was a struggle. He can pass, but he is forced to initiate the offense and Rathan-Mayes struggles in that role. Still a very good talent, it is clear his future will be coming off of screens on the wing.

Jordan Mickey, PF, Prime Prep – All of the tools are in the toolbox for Mickey who does a little bit of everything. Despite being only 6-foot-7 he is actually a very good shot blocker and showed his natural timing and long arms against Huntington. Mickey also offensively can score around the rim, though right now he settles for too many jumpers. Mickey's best basketball is definitely ahead of him, and in this one he showed flashes of how good he could be.

Karviar Shepherd, C, Prime Prep – Shepherd set the tone early for Prime Prep with a pair of jump hooks against Huntington big man Moses Kingsley. Shepherd isn't an assertive kid by nature, but he has a decent touch and knows he is a true center. He will need to get stronger and continue to be aggressive on both ends of the floor, but not too many centers can score with their back to the basket and Shepherd is someone who can.

Emmanuel Mudiay, PG, Prime Prep – It is almost scary what Mudiay is capable of doing on the floor. With good size he completely controls the game and never can be sped up. Mudiay scores well going to the rim and is also a capable shooter, but what he did best in Prime Prep's big win was control the pace and dish off to open teammates down low. When Mudiay is playing like this it is tough to beat Prime Prep, and there is no doubt he is one of the premier players in the entire country.

Elijah Thomas, C, Prime Prep – Thomas absolutely dominated with 18 points in only 12 minutes of game action. Not an elite athlete by any means, Thomas has some of the best footwork you will see in a young big. Add in that he really has nice touch and is smart and active on defense and Thomas continues to take his game to a new level. Thomas even showed an excellent ability to pass the ball out of the post and create for others that way.

Montaque Gill-Caesar, SG, Huntington Prep – Best known as "Tecky", he made his first triple and looked good doing it with a quick release and a nice stroke, but from then on it was a bit of a struggle for him. Gill-Caesar couldn't get another shot to fall, and just looked a little out of sorts. Still he is a good athlete and someone who is capable of scoring going to the rim.

Louis Santos, C/PF, St. Raymond's – A big body, Santos can clear space down low and has a pretty good touch on the interior. He is limited because his guard play isn't great and he can struggle to get the ball, but Santos has good hands and knows how to play. It will take some time and he needs to get his body in shape, but Santos has some upside.

Kentucky had an assistant as well as head coach John Calipari in attendance to see Emmanuel Mudiay and Andrew Wiggins.

SMU also dispatched an assistant for Prime Prep with Mudiay and freshman Terrance Ferguson.

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