Following a pair of injuries to two top recruits, Prestonwood Christian Academy (Tex.) will not attend the Hoophall Classic this January in Springfield, Mass.
Prestonwood Christian featured one of the nation’s top seniors, Julius Randle, as well as one of the top sophomores in the country, Mickey Mitchell. In late November, the 6-foot-8 Randle went down a foot injury, which required the surgery the following week. Earlier in the fall, Mitchell, who was Prestonwood’s 6-foot-6 starting quarterback, torn his ACL during the first possession of a Nov. 2 football game.
Randle remains one of the top unsigned players in the nation. Prestonwood was suppose to be part of a nationally televised game against another top power forward, Aaron Gordon and Archbishop Mitty (Calif.).
Replacing Prestonwood Christian will be replaced by Tift County High (Ga.). The Blue Devils are led by top-50 player, Brannen Greene. The 6-foot-6 shooting guard has already committed to Kansas.
The loss of Prestonwood Christian alters the schedule. Lone Peak High (Ut.) was originally slated to face St. Anthony High (N.J.). Lone Peak will take Prestonwood’s spot against Archbishop Mitty on Monday afternoon. St. Anthony will take on Tift County earlier in the morning on Monday.
The absence of Prestonwood this winter will be disappointing, as Randle was one of the few top prospects unsigned heading into the five-day event. Andrew Wiggins (Huntington Prep), Dakari Johnson (Montverde Academy), Jahlil Okafor (Whitney Young) – along with Gordon – are still undecided, while Jabari Parker (Simeon) makes his decision next Thursday.
Prestonwood Christian appeared in the 2011 Hoophall Classic. Although Prestonwood lost to Oak Hill Academy (W.Va.) 85-55, Randle went for 23 points and nine rebounds.
Randle holds offers from Kentucky, Florida, North Carolina State, Oklahoma, and Texas. He has already visited Kentucky and Florida and is scheduled to visit N.C. State and Kansas in January and February.
Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne