Alhambra Classic: Eight Hot Takes
FROSTBURG, Md. – The Alhambra Classic has become one of the sneakier end of the season high school events each year. Taking a look back from all that we saw, we outline our eight hot takes from our time spent there.
Terrance Williams has takeover abilities. The Rivals150 junior has been a talked about name throughout the years out of the nation’s capital and while I was beginning to sour on his potential, Williams showed some major developments. He put his team on his back Thursday evening, finishing with 23 points off of 13 shots from the floor, displaying a vast array of scoring abilities and toughness.
Casey Morsell will be an All-American before his college career is complete. The Virginia signee has been tremendous each stop of the way as he will keep improving. Morsell is a 3-and-D two-guard that is the ideal perimeter asset for Tony Bennett’s schemes in Charlottesville. Similar to Ty Jerome and Kyle Guy ahead of him, Morsell will progress enough to the point that he will earn recognition on one of the three All-American teams before his college career is put to bed.
The Justin Moore-Phil Booth comparisons will be a constant next season. While Jay Wright wasn’t the most lenient with his playing time geared towards Villanova’s freshmen this year outside of Saddiq Bey, Justin Moore will force his coach’s hand next year thanks to his tremendous shot-making prowess. Out goes Booth and in comes the DeMatha product to fill his place which will force the talking heads to throwing out non-stop comparisons between the two, reflecting Moore’s value and abilities in the backcourt.
James Bishop will lead all SEC freshman in 3-pointers made next year. Just as Florida went into Baltimore and nabbed what now is their freshman single-season record holder for made 3-point jumpers in Noah Locke last year, could another SEC program have a similar standout headed its way in Bishop? A three-level scorer at its finest, Bishop was born to put the ball through the basket as he came up a few points shy of the event’s all-time scoring record.
Olivier Robinson-Nkamhoua is this winter’s breakout. The Finnish forward was sidelined last year thanks to a broken leg, but each time he hits the court, he gets better and better. While he is far from a complete product, his fluidity, solid set of early ball skills and ball-hawking abilities on defense have placed his name on the tongues of a number of high-major coaching staffs nationally.
Tennessee’s Rick Barnes is expected in on Monday for him just as Maryland’s Mark Turgeon was in to see him last Friday. Look for the Bishop Walsh product to schedule his allotted official visits in the coming weeks as Illinois, Kansas State, Minnesota, Pitt, Seton Hall, St. Joe’s, Wake Forest, and Wofford sit among the others that have a chance to host Robinson-Nkamhoua.
Jahmir Young will be the reason that Charlotte is back on the basketball map. He hasn’t gotten a ton of love thanks to his play alongside Nike Hoop Summit invite Justin Moore and a bevy of other talented teammates, yet Young has a chance to be the go-to guy for Ron Sanchez’s reclamation at Charlotte from the onset of his college career. The lefty can play both guard positions, make shots and has won his fair share of games throughout the years. He is a day one producer in college and a multiple year C-USA honoree.
Hunter Dickinson is the most polished low-post high school prospect since Jahlil Okafor. He might be a dinosaur in today’s playing style, but what Dickinson can do in the post is utterly absurd. He might not be a high-flying athlete or a sexy big man that handle the ball in the open floor, but he is a meat-and-potatoes type that dominates his area. He kicked off the event with an efficient 24-point and 14-rebound affair in front of a Purdue assistant. The Boilermakers and Notre Dame have already hosted him for an official visit in recent months, and it is looking as if Louisville and Michigan could be the next to do as such this spring.
Trevor Keels will be one of the most decorated high school and college prospects in the past 20 years. The 6-foot-4 scoring wing isn’t an elite level athlete but he is an elite level student of the game that can play in any type of lineup. He is the lead man for Paul VI Catholic High this winter and kept his team competitive throughout its gauntlet of a national schedule despite missing star guards Jeremy Roach and Anthony Harris due to torn ACLs. Keels is a multi-faceted wing with a tremendous IQ for the game that has garnered some of the best offers a sophomore can dream of already.