2015 Marcus Derrickson of Paul VI is young, talented, and developing

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READING, Pa.–For a player in the Top 10 of his class, it takes some time to crack the shy outer shell of 2015 forward Marcus Derrickson of Paul VI (Va.).

Though intense, aggressive, and powerful on the court, the 6-7, 230-pound rising sophomore is reserved when talking to the media, taking a few minutes of conversation before the more colorful side of his personality emerges.

“It looked like you turned it on a little more in the second half there,” I said to him at Hoop Group Elite Camp in Reading, Pa. “You started pushing guys around a little bit.”

“Yeah, I guess I did,” he said with a smile. “I started to get more comfortable.”

Derrickson comes from two powerhouse programs in the Washington D.C. area, attending Paul VI High School in Virginia and playing for Team Takeover DC on the AAU circuit.

A number of major college programs have taken an interest in Derrickson, including Indiana. Hoosier assistant (and former Paul VI and Team Takeover coach) Kenny Johnson came to watch him this past week.

Derrickson is also drawing interest and offers from schools that include Maryland, Georgetown, NC State, Miami, Villanova, Rutgers, and others.

“Interest has coming from everywhere so far,” he told NBCSports.com this past week. “A lot of college coaches are coming out to see me play, but I’m just trying to work hard and no overdo it or anything.

“I’m just looking for a place where I can fit in,” he continued. “Where [geographically] it is doesn’t really matter, just a place where I can learn and work hard.”

He was hampered by a mild knee injury at Elite Camp this past week, but showed his versatility, including good rebounding skills and the ability to step out away from the basket on the offensive end.

With three years of high school still left for him, he will continue to develop his frame, adding muscle and maturing.

“I have a big motor when I play and I’ll do whatever,” he said. “I can take charges, set myself up on defense, and I can score the basketball.”

But with all of that time, Derrickson wants to stay grounded and not get caught up in the national buzz surrounding his name.

“I don’t really pay attention to the rankings,” he said. “I just try to be the best I can be and ignore those.”

Photo Credit: Washington Post

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

VIDEO: Zion Williamson vs. LaMelo Ball highlights

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It was the most anticipated matchup of the summer.

Zion Williamson vs. LaMelo Ball.

People were turned away at the door – and LeBron James reportedly came and went – as the gym reached capacity for SC Supreme’s 104-92 victory over the Big Ballers. That’s Williamson over Ball (LaMelo and LaVar).

The game was mostly spectacle, and you can see it’s top moments right here.

 

VIDEO: Zion Williamson’s coach is holding a sleeping baby

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LaMelo Ball vs. Zion Williamson was insane, but it wasn’t quite crazy enough to wake up the sleeping toddler that Williamson’s coach is holding in his arms:

This is peak AAU basketball.

It will never be more AAU than that.

PHOTOS: Zion Williamson, LaMelo Ball showdown was, of course, insane

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In a showcase game in the adidas Uprising event in Las Vegas on Wednesday night, LaMelo Ball — the youngest member of the Big Baller Brand — faced off with Zion Williamson, who is a force on youtube and a highlight machine.

The crowd was insane for the game:

According to a report from ESPN, there were even concerns about whether or not the game would actually be allowed to be played; the police and fire marshall considered shutting the event down.

Williamson, of course, put on a show in warmups:

At the time of this posting, there were more than 60,000 people watching a livestream of the game on BallIsLife’s facebook page:

(UPDATE: It’s now over 70,000)

Puerto Rico Tip Off bracket revealed

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The bracket of the 2017 Puerto Rico Tip off was revealed Wednesday, setting up a showdown between a 2016 Final Four participant and the 2016 Big 12 tournament champion.

South Carolina and Iowa State headline the event, which will be played Nov. 16-19, in Fajardo, Puerto Rico.

The Gamecocks are on the top half of the bracket, opening against Illinois State while the Cyclones are on the bottom half, squaring off against Appalachian State.

Boise State vs. UTEP is the other top-half quarterfinal while Tulsa vs. Western Michigan is the other.

The championship game of the Puerto Rico Tip Off on Sunday, Nov. 19.

VIDEO: Michigan State’s Miles Bridges is dunking again

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Just what you wanted to see, a video of former Michigan State star Denzel Valentine throwing an alley-oop off the glass to current Michigan State star Miles Bridges in a Pro-Am in Michigan: