Jordan Brand Classic

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First 16 players selected for 2016 Jordan Brand Classic


Friday afternoon the Jordan Brand Classic announced the first 16 players for its annual Boys All-American Game, with the list including many of the top players in the Class of 2016. These are just some of the players who will play in the game, scheduled for April 15 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Of the 16 players on the initial list 13 have committed to colleges, with three headed to Kentucky and two headed to Duke. The remainder of the selections for this game will be made at the end of the high school basketball season. The Jordan Brand Classic has a total of four games, with their also being International, New York Regional and Girls All-American games.

Below are the 16 players selected for the Boys All-American Game, with their college commitment status in parentheses.

F Bam Adebayo (Kentucky)
C Udoka Azuibuike (uncommitted; will commit this weekend at the Hoophall Classic in Springfield)
C Marques Bolden (uncommitted)
C Tony Bradley (North Carolina)
F Miles Bridges (Michigan State)
G De’Aaron Fox (Kentucky)
G Markelle Fultz (Washington)
G Alterique Gilbert (Connecticut)
F Harry Giles (Duke)
F Jonathan Isaac (Florida State)
F Josh Jackson (uncommitted)
G Andrew Jones (Texas)
F V.J. King (Louisville)
G Malik Monk (Kentucky)
F Omari Spellman (Villanova)
F Jayson Tatum (Duke)

Diallo claims another MVP at Jordan Brand Classic but Briscoe wins the crowd

2015 Jordan Brand Classic
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NEW YORK – The 14th annual Jordan Brand Classic marked the end of a hectic few weeks for the top talent across high school basketball, as the West team topped the East, 118-116.

In a night that combined an unwavering pace with an abundance of jaw-dropping athleticism, here were the top stories:

Cheick Diallo adds another MVP to his trophy case

The Jordan Brand Classic was the cherry on top of a monster month for Diallo. The 6-foot-9 power forward from Centereach, N.Y., was named MVP of the East squad, pouring in 26 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. Diallo was able to once again put his full offensive arsenal on display, showing a great touch around the bucket, as well as the ability to get out in transition.

The latest piece of hardware will have a spot next to the McDonald’s MVP Diallo won earlier in the month, also accompanied by a win at the Nike Hoop Summit. Diallo was one of three remaining undeclared players in the Jordan game and is scheduled for an in-home visit with Chris Mullin and St. John’s on Saturday, who is competing with Kentucky, Kansas, Iowa State and Pittsburgh for the coveted big man’s signature.

Welcome to the Isaiah Briscoe Show

With about five minutes remaining in the game, Briscoe, a New York product who went to high school in New Jersey, banged a three that was like a shot of adrenaline to the Brooklyn crowd. From then on, each time the ball found its way into Briscoe’s hands – which it did basically every possession – the walls of the Barclays Center were hit with an ear-splitting roar.

“That’s New York basketball,” Briscoe said when asked about the atmosphere. “Everywhere you go, every gym you play in, that’s New York basketball. They want to see people go at it. They want to see people compete.”

Briscoe, who is headed to Kentucky next season, repeatedly put himself in isolation situations, as he and LSU commit Antonio Blakeney traded one-on-one punches on several consecutive possessions. After shaking Blakeney with a particularly silky spin move and touching it off the glass, fans were fully invested in the Briscoe pageantry. Ultimately the one-man wrecking crew fell short, but Briscoe finished with 22 points after a sub-par first half and won over the crowd with a gladiator-like effort.

“I’m no stranger to a big crowd,” Briscoe said. “I feed off all of that, as you can see.”

The exodus of Wildcats out of the Bluegrass and toward the bright lights of the NBA has left Kentucky rather thin on the perimeter. Briscoe will be counted on to provide an immediate impact and it will be interesting to see how he meshes alongside point guard Tyler Ulis. Either way, it should be a nice problem to have for John Calipari.

Allonzo Trier gets buckets, basically whenever he wants

Trier collected MVP honors for the West squad, dropping in 28 points on 8-10 shooting. The 6-foot-4 guard from Henderson, Nev., shoved himself behind the wheel for Kevin Boyle’s team in the second half, willing his way into the paint and either converting at the rim or earning a trip to the charity stripe. With his quickness and athleticism, Trier is a migraine-inducing offensive weapon that is near impossible to guard one-on-one.

Setting up camp in Tucson, Ariz., next season, Trier will need to help patch up the offensive holes left behind by a slew of departed Wildcats. With Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Brandon Ashley gone, and Stanley Johnson potentially joining them, Trier could easily become the focal point of Sean Miller’s offense in his inaugural campaign.

Brewster Academy sweeps Regional MVPs

Quickly finding the mold of a traditional all-star game, the Jordan Brand Classic Regional game turned into a 40-minute track meet that was played almost exclusively above the rim. Brewster Academy teammates Donovan Mitchell and Jalen Adams took center stage, reeling in MVPs for their respective teams.

“A lot of people don’t know Brewster Academy, so we were just talking about going out and putting Brewster on the map in a bigger way,” Mitchell said. “We just said to ourselves that we were going to go out and impact the game in different ways.”

The Louisville-bound Mitchell put together enough footage for his own Jordan Brand dunk highlight reel plus bonus features. The 6-foot-2 guard led all scorers with 30 points and nearly brought the house down in the first half after capping off a spin move with a thundering dunk.

Adams, an electric point guard who is committed to Kevin Ollie and UConn, put on a show of his own, scoring 27 points for the winning squad.

Top plays from the Jordan Brand Classic practice

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The Jordan Brand Classic is Friday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Earlier this week, some of the top high school players in the nation took part in a practice session. Kentucky commits Isaiah Briscoe and Skal Labissiere had their share of highlights, as did uncommitted prospects Jaylen Brown, Malik Newman and Cheick Diallo.

Video courtesy of Home Town Hoops

Duke commit Luke Kennard responds to Tyus Jones’ departure

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NEW YORK – On Wednesday morning, Tyus Jones, the Final Four Most Outstanding Player, followed in the footsteps of teammates Jahlil Okafor and Justise Winslow, becoming the third Duke freshman to enter his name into this year’s NBA draft.

In light of the news of Jones’ decision, lone Jordan Brand Classic Duke commit Luke Kennard, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Franklin, Ohio, was repeatedly asked to address the state of the post-champion Blue Devils, whose key components have been stripped down and shipped to the NBA.

Kennard, who made waves earlier this season by passing LeBron James on Ohio’s all-time scoring list, acknowledged that, prior to the season, he assumed Okafor would likely be NBA-bound regardless of the season’s result. He also stated Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski explained, when it came to Jones and Winslow’s respective futures, the determining factor would be their late-season performances.

Even with the idea of all three breakout freshman jumping to the NBA implanted in the back of his mind, Kennard made it clear it was still a pill he had to choke down.

“It kind of stinks that they’re leaving, they’re great players,” Kennard said. “I played with Justise and Tyus on the USA Team, U-18, this past summer. It’s going to be tough but we’re ready to come in and just play good and prove [ourselves].”

The departure of Jones leaves the Blue Devils without a point guard to their name, just a season after playing with two — Jones and senior Quinn Cook — in their starting lineup. With the tarp officially being torn off the gaping hole, Krzyzewski is trying to convince either, or both, of 2016 targets Derryck Thornton and Jamal Murray, to reclassify and join Duke a year early.

However, if those plans end up fizzling, Kennard may be the Blue Devils’ fall-back to run the offense next season. Kennard, who played some point in AAU, as well as high school, told that assistant coach Jon Scheyer reached out to him and told him to, “keep working on that ball-handling,” because they may need it sooner rather than later.

If anyone knows about converted point guards, it’s Scheyer. After playing off the ball his first three years at Duke, Scheyer moved to the point in the midst of his senior season and led the Blue Devils to their fourth national title.

Kennard also admitted that, even though his sales pitch may not be as polished as Kryzyewski’s, he’s been doing some recruiting of his own. And while his efforts to lure Caleb Swanigan to Durham proved futile, Kennard said him and fellow Duke commit — as well as future roommate — Chase Jeter have been “going hard” at Brandon Ingram about joining them next season.

Ingram, ranked by Rivals as the No. 19 overall player in the 2015 class, would be a tremendous signing for Duke, but, as a small forward, he would not be the answer to their point guard woes.

While the final recruiting picture remains blurry, one thing is for sure: whether it’s from the two, off the bench, or as the starting point guard, Duke will need some major contributions from Kennard, along with the rest of their incoming class.

Jordan Brand Classic highlights (VIDEO)

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Earlier this month the country’s top recruits in the Class of 2014 showcased their skills in Chicago for the McDonald’s All American Game. The incoming freshmen class was on the national stage once again this past Friday night at the Jordan Brand Classic inside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

MORE: Emmanuel Mudiay flushes a ridiculous alley-oop at Jordan Brand Classic

The East topped the West, 158-147, in a typical All-Star game shootout. Earning the MVP honors for the winning team was Duke commit Jahlil Okafor, the top recruit in the class per Rivals. The 6-foot-10 center scored 29 points off 13-for-17 from the field while grabbing nine boards. Okafor was also the MVP at the McDonald’s All American Game.

His Chicago counterpart, Cliff Alexander, the future Kansas Jayhawk, scored 23 points, pulled down eight rebounds and blocked five shots.

Friday night’s game was the highest-scoring contest in the history of the Jordan Brand Classic.

POSTERIZED: SMU commit Emmanuel Mudiay flushes a ridiculous alley-oop during Jordan Brand Classic (VIDEO)

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SMU signee Emmanuel Mudiay threw down a ridiculous alley-oop at the Jordan Brand Classic last night as the 6-foot-5 future Mustang caught a lob from Ohio State commit D’Angelo Russell and spun to finish in a powerful fashion.

Mudiay finished with 19 points in the game for the West, who fell to the East, 158-147, in the highest scoring Jordan Brand Classic in the game’s history.

(H/T: Ball is Life)