Cancer Research Classic: Day One

WHEELING, WV - The Cancer Research Classic is one of the top events in the country. Jayson Tatum, Jalen Brunson, and Ben Simmons all stood out on night one.

Class of 2015

Ben Simmons, SF/PF, Montverde Academy – It was a very tough call between Simmons and Jaylen Brown for the top spot when the rankings were updated the last go around, and there is no doubt that Simmons continues to make it very difficult. He didn’t miss a shot in the first half of a blowout win going 9-9 from the floor, and dominated every way possible. He is developing into a true full time wing, and continues to show signs of dominance every time down the floor. There is just no denying how big time of a prospect this LSU commitment is.

Jalen Brunson, PG, Stevenson – Any time you break a tournament record and go for 48 points it is impressive, and Brunson did just that. He was extremely efficient from the floor and made all the right decisions. Brunson’s feel for the game is tremendous, and he just knows how to create space for himself to get his shot off. Brunson might not be the most physically gifted player, but he is going to make a huge immediate impact at Villanova.

Doral Moore, C, Montverde Academy – Moore has been a bit up and down with his effort and production throughout his high school career, but Friday was definitely a high note for him. The future Wake Forest player showed his high level athleticism and also played with a solid motor. He has to continue to do this on a game in and game out basis, but it was good to see Moore show up on a big stage given his immense physical ability.

Jalen Coleman-Lands, SG, La Lumiere – It was a disappointing loss for the Lakers, but Coleman-Lands did what he could to keep his team in it. He struggled at the beginning to get his shot going, and wasn’t especially efficient, but the future Illinois guard is a flat out shot maker. His ability to hit step back jumpers is second to none at the high school level, and when he gets going it is impressive to see. He still is a work in progress with the dribble, but look for him to make an impact and he is as tough a competitor as they come.

Derrick Jones, SF/PF, Archbishop Carroll – There aren’t many better athletes in the country than Jones and he showed that. Jones is someone who can rebound very well and is tremendous around the rim as a finisher. Headed to UNLV next year, Jones was the best player on the floor in leading his team to a big win. He still struggles some when being forced to create and with feel for the game, but the physical ability is simply off the charts.

Carlton Bragg, PF, Villa Angela-St. Joe’s – One of the major unsigned targets in the country, Bragg had a solid showing. He disappeared at times during the game, but when he got things going he made things happen. Bragg had a few dominant plays with athleticism and skill, and then also blocked shots and rebounded the ball. He has to continue to dominate every play, but he showed those impressive physical skills that have him as one of the best long term prospects in the class.

Class of 2016

Jayson Tatum, SF, Chaminade – It was one heck of an impressive showing for Tatum who finished with over 30 points. Tatum was dominant in the mid-range, rebounded well with 14 boards, and then also hit from deep. One thing about Tatum is how cerebral he is, and he knows how to use his height as a major mismatch. There aren’t many answers in the country for Tatum, and that proved to be a problem as his team got a big win.

Tyler Cook, PF, Chaminade – Cook continues to completely transform his body and is now more explosive than ever. He is more explosive than ever and is aggressive simply trying to dunk everything he can. Also Cook is a solid rebounder with good hands and a nice touch out to the mid-range. He continues to improve, and though slightly undersized is definitely someone with a bright future.

Mario Kegler, SF, Arlington Country Day – There is no denying the talent level that Kegler possesses. At times he just goes out there and hoops, but when he is locked in he is a bull and tough to stop. Now Kegler is a better shooter than ever to go with his good athleticism and impressive strength. His size and athleticism was nearly impossible to deal with, even though his team didn’t come away with the win.

Nolan Narain, PF, La Lumiere – Coleman-Lands was the best player for La Lumiere, but he was far from the only impressive prospect. Narain showed his ability to shoot out to three and then also finished with impressive athleticism down low. He at times battled fouls, and needs to get more physical, but at his size with his explosion, he is definitely one to watch.

Faces in the Crowd

Kentucky boss John Calipari was courtside to watch Jayson Tatum as well as Carlton Bragg. Also in the building were assistants from Illinois and Virginia Tech.

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