City of Palms: Lonzo Ball & Mohamed Bamba among standouts

FORT MYERS -- On Sunday there were a pair of prep schools, while Monday provided Scout with a full slate of action. Who were the top standouts? UCLA signee Lonzo Ball was among them, as was 2017 elite center Mohamed Bamba.

North Carolina signee Tony Bradley had another productive at the City of Palms. Bradley pumped in 27 points on 10-for-20 shooting and also added 21 rebounds, including eight on the offensive end. At 6-foot-9, Bradley has a wide base and carves out tremendous position in the paint, which helps him from a rebounding standpoint and on offense when he posts up. He plays with good effort and doesn’t mind physical play, either. Offensively, Bradley has developed a go-to jump hook over his left shoulder. He also has very good touch from short range.

Perhaps the surprise player of the event was Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who is an early pledge to Mike White and Florida. Gilgeous-Alexander is a 6-foot-4 lead guard that showed a nice combination of facilitating and score. But what stood out the most about his game was his feel, passing ability and decision making. Gilgeous-Alexander tossed out eight assists and didn’t turn the ball over and played the entire game, including overtime. A confident shooter with good form, Gilgeous also knocked down two of his four three-point attempts and also connected from mid-range. He finished with 14 points on 6-for-15 shooting.

Mohamed Bamba, one of the top prospects in the 2017 class, continued his tear at the City of Palms Up against a good defender in Mississippi State signee Abdul Ado, Bamba was active inside, ran the floor and finished off plays around the basket. Because of Bamba’s length, timing and use of both hands, he’s developed into an elite shot blocker and that stood out, especially early in the game. Westtown struggled to score against Hamilton Heights and arguably their best offense was letting Bamba go after missed field goals and dunking them back in. Bamba finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds in the loss.

Freshmen sensation R.J. Barrett put on quite a show in Montverde’s loss to Chino Hills. Barrett, a 6-foot-6 lengthy wing from Canada, scored a team high 31 points. A versatile scorer, Barrett made both of his three-point attempts, including one late in the game to keep the Eagles alive. He also connected on mid-range pull-ups and multiple crafty finishes at the rim on his way to a 13-for-17 shooting from the field. It’s obviously still early with the 2019 class, but Barrett is among, if not, the best I’ve seen.

UCLA signee Lonzo Ball and his two brothers – LiAngelo and Lamelo – had the City of Palms crowd cheering for an upset of Montverde and that’s exactly what they got. Ball, a 6-foot-6 lead guard, facilitated and created shot opportunities for others, but also sliced his way to the basket for buckets. Montverde had trouble keeping him in front, as he consistently made his way into the paint, where he’d either look to score it at the rim or toss it outside to one of his brothers for a three-point opportunity. Ball finished 11-for-25 from the field, scoring 29 points and tossing eight assists. He’ll need to tone down the turnovers (eight assists) and sure up his shot selection in college, but he’s a gifted and unique talent with tremendous vision and is likely the best passer in high school basketball.

Another game and another productive showing for five-star Duke signee Jayson Tatum. Tatum, a 6-foot-8 wing, went for 33 points on 11-for-18 shooting. He also added nine rebounds and connected on nine of his 10 free throw attempts. Two days ago, Tatum got hot from three, against Wheeler he did majority of his work off pull-ups from mid-range or right at the basket. He also spent part of the game playing on the ball and acting as a facilitator.

Early Auburn commit Austin Wiley had a strong second game at the City of Palms on Monday, scoring 23 points on just six field goal attempts. Wiley was active and aggressive around the basket, which led to 16 free throw attempts. He connected on 13 of them. Wiley also grabbed eight rebounds. The 6-foot-10 big man posted hard, carved out good position inside and was able to finish shots from close range. He also patrolled the lane looking to protect the rim.


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