Although his team took a close loss, Landers Nolley broke out on a big stage, pumping in 37 points and six three-pointers on Friday night. Standing 6-foot-5, Nolley has good size and length for a wing prospect. Nolley proved to be an efficient and versatile scorer with a high IQ. He made smart plays, took good, high percentage shots and once he started burying deep jumpers, looked to get to the rim. Nolley’s father played college basketball at LSU.
In what was my first viewing of this 6-foot-3 sophomore, Donovan Gregory emerged as a future high major prospect, going for 36 points for Carmel Christian on the opening day of the event. Gregory hit a pair of three-pointers off the catch, but it was his aggression, slashing to the rim and athleticism that stood out in the victory over Holy Innocents. It’s still early, but Gregory is one that high majors will have on their radar soon enough.
Recruiting: Wofford, Davidson, Charlotte
Arguably the most impressive performance of the weekend came from an unlikely candidate. Javon Greene, a 6-foot-2 combination guard at McDonough (Ga.) Henry County, hit seven three-pointers and scored an event high of 57 points. Greene was virtually unstoppable in a match up with Langston Hughes. Greene was aggressive off the dribble, finished at the rim and also dropped in a handful of runners and floaters. George Mason reeled in a steal in Greene.
Recruiting: Committed to George Mason
Oldsmar Christian picked up a pair of wins at the Holiday Hoopsgiving and their best player, Elijah Weaver, certainly rose to the occasion. College coaches were buzzing about his potential, but he’s already productive. In his first game of the weekend, Weaver went for 37 points. At 6-foot-5, Weaver is quick, changes speeds well and plays at such a good pace. He kept defenders off balance and consistently made good decisions with the ball, especially when he was put in pick and roll situations.
Another find at the Hoopsgiving event was Will Richardson, a 6-foot-2 combination guard. He spent majority of his game against Newton on the ball and showed a nice balance of distributing and scoring. A southpaw, Richardson has a fairly quick first step, good vision and showed an array of ways to score. He’s confident in runners in the lane, pull-ups off the dribble and also hit a trio of three-pointers. He finished with 33 points in a loss.
Auburn pledge E.J. Montgomery put together a strong showing with his future head coach, Bruce Pearl, looking on. Montgomery played harder than I’ve seen in the past. He raced end to end, competed in the paint, looked to rebound and also finished off plays around the rim. Montgomery, a 6-foot-9 lengthy forward prospect, also flashed to the high post and buried a 15-footer. It was an inspiring effort from Scout’s No. 11 overall prospect in 2018.
Recruiting: Committed to Auburn
Top 40 prospect Ashton Hagans went for 32 points and tossed out five assists in a blowout win over Liberty County on Friday. Hagans, a 6-foot-3 combination guard, was aggressive off the dribble and stayed in attack mode throughout the victory. Not only did Hagans drive the ball hard to the rim and finish once there, but he also made a handful of three-pointers and looked more confident and comfortable shooting the ball from distance than his past spring and summer. It was enlightening to see a sophomore put his team on his back and play with the type of aggression and effort that he did.
In a match up with Collin Sexton, Trevon Duval played his style of game and showed off his tremendous vision and passing ability. In fact, we’ve known Duval was a talented passer for quite some time, but it was more eye opening in this setting. Duval was calm, found ways to get into the paint and consistently created shot opportunities for his teammates. To go with his passing ability, Duval also showed off a ridiculously quick first step, tremendous ball handling ability and finished in a variety of ways at the rim. There’s a reason he’s regarded as the No. 1 point guard prospect in the 2017 class and he showed that on Friday.
While Trevon Duval showed off his passing ability, Collin Sexton was in score mode and he showed why he’s one of the best scorers in the country, regardless of class. A tough, hardnosed and competitive kid, Sexton was aggressive when he had the ball in his hands, but he was also quite efficient, shooting 11-for-18 from the field. Defenders have trouble keeping Sexton out of the paint and he’s a very good finisher once he gets to the rim. He’s also an improving three-point threat that connected on five of his nine attempts from long range.
Recruiting: Signed with Alabama
The Hoopsgiving event was full of players establishing themselves and raising their stock. Sophomore Mario McKinney was certainly among the players that did just that. A quick and athletic combo guard, McKinney rose to the occasion in a competitive contest with Wheeler. With the game on the line, McKinney made plays off the dribble, finished at the rim and competed on the defensive end. He’s a sophomore we didn’t know much about, but after this weekend he’s firmly on our radar.
Xavier signee Kentrevious Jones showed up at the Hoopsgiving event in the best shape I’ve seen him in. Jones said he’s down 35-pounds and that was clear. Offensively, Jones was more confident and clearly moved better on the block. He overpowered defenders to the rim and finished with his right hand a number of times. But to go with the moves on the block, Jones also stepped away from the rim and hit a pair of mid-range jump shots. Jones pumped in 27 points and also made his presence on the backboard.
Recruiting: Signed with Xavier