LAS VEGAS — CBT spent a good portion of Friday at the Las Vegas Classic at Rancho High School as a pair of Class of 2016 lead guards put together signature performances on Friday night.
De’Aaron Fox states his case as top guard in the class: For the first two days in Las Vegas, CBT has been spending time watching matchups between five-star Class of 2016 point guards at the adidas Uprising Summer Championships. While Dennis Smith, Frank Jackson, Kobi Simmons and Lonzo Ball all faced each other at the adidas event, Houston native and 6-foot-3 guard De’Aaron Fox was over at the Las Vegas Classic playing with Houston Hoops. Fox has always been in the same conversation as the other four guards, but he made his case for No. 1 loud and clear with a 35-point performance on Friday night in a win over AZ Power Black.
Besides the scoring outburst — during which he had numerous deep 3-pointers and tough finishes around the basket — Fox also showed his trademark intensity on the defensive end of the floor. Fox separates himself from the aforementioned group of elite point guards with his relentless approach to defense. That trait — along with Fox’s supreme athleticism — was made abundantly clear when he pinned an opponent’s shot against the glass with both hands around the middle of the square on the backboard.
Known as more of a shot hunter last summer, Fox has refined his approach to the offensive end of the floor during this grassroots season and he’s shown good vision in the open floor. Fox has focused so much on getting others involved at times with Houston Hoops the last few months that he probably hasn’t shot the ball enough. In the monster outing on Friday night, Fox found a perfect mixture of how to be an effective scorer and distributor and he turned in one of the marquee performances of July. (SP)
2017 guard Nick Weatherspoon open despite brother’s cajoling: While there are cases of fathers getting to coach their sons at the college level, there have also been situations in which a younger brother has gone on to play with a sibling in college. That’s a possibility for 2017 guard Nick Weatherspoon, who’s played well for MBA Hoops at the adidas Uprising Summer Championships.
His older brother is Quinndary Weatherspoon, who along with Malik Newman is expected to be an impact newcomer for first-year head coach Ben Howland at Mississippi State. And according to the younger Weatherspoon, the older brother has remained in his ear about the possibility of the two playing on the same team in college.
“He’s been trying to talk to me about it, but it won’t have an effect on my decision,” Nick told NBC Sports. “We talk about it a lot. He wants me to come because we play well together and have good chemistry.”
When asked which other schools are in the running at present time, Nick mentioned LSU, UConn, Florida State, Miami and Ole Miss. With his ability to play either on of off the basketball, not to mention the fact that he’ll only be a junior this coming year, Nick Weatherspoon should be on the receiving end of even more recruiting interest. (RJ)
Charlie in charge: Another lead guard delivering a signature performance on Friday night was Class of 2016 Chicago native Charlie Moore.
In a matchup against Team CP3 in The Eight, Moore delivered a 31-point performance in an upset win as he soundly outplayed UConn commit Alterique Gilbert for the last half of the game.
Knocking down NBA-range 3-pointers to set up his drive game, Moore played the most complete offensive game he’s had all summer, as he also set up teammates like forward Miles Bridges and shooting guard Zach Norvell for big outings of their own.
Over the past few years, Moore has been reckless at times making questionable decisions and rushing some shots, but he put together a tremendous all-around effort on Friday night.
Moore is currently being courted hard by Cal, Illinois, Iowa, Memphis, Ole Miss, Pittsburgh and VCU while Georgetown, Penn State and Saint Louis are showing interest.
Illinois is likely to receive an official visit during the next few months and Iowa has also been present at every one of Moore’s games during July. Hailing from Chicago Public League powerhouse Morgan Park, Moore already earned a state championship as a starting point guard as a sophomore and made it back downstate to the final four this past season as a junior.
With a winning pedigree and an ability to spray shots from all over the floor, Moore is currently coveted by a number of high-major programs.
Two-sport athlete hoping to focus on one in college: While five-star big man Harry Giles and UConn commit Alterique Gilbert are the headliners on the CP3 All-Stars, another of their starters is a shooting guard capable of playing either football or basketball at the college level. That would be Ian Boyd, whose recruitment on the court has picked up during the month of July.
“Things have picked up a lot [recruiting-wise] this month compared to the last couple of years, because colleges are seeing what I can do on the basketball court,” Boyd told NBC Sports.
Already holding offers from the likes of East Carolina and Virginia Tech as a wide receiver, the North Carolina native stated that programs such as George Mason, Radford, Western Carolina and Campbell have reached out and offered him a basketball scholarship in recent weeks. And in regards to when he could possibly decide which sport he’ll play, Boyd doesn’t foresee a decision coming any time soon.
“I have no idea,” Boyd said when asked if he had a timeline in mind, but he reiterated his desire to focus on one sport at the next level. With that being the case, the upcoming football and basketball seasons will be important for the rising senior and the programs looking to land him. (RJ)