basketball Edit

Cassidy's Takeaways: Day 2 at the Iverson Classic

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The 2021 Iverson All-Star Classic was played in Memphis on Saturday night. Team Honor defeated Team Loyalty 143-131, but the news, notes and individual performances were more notable than the score. Below, has a look at who stood out and who made news before and during Saturday’s all-star event.


More: Nolan Hickman won't be uncommitted for long

2021 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2022 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2023 Rankings: Top 30




No. 1 overall prospect Chet Holmgren had a quiet offensive showing during the scrimmages leading into Saturday’s game, but showed up when the lights came on. Gonzaga’s top-ranked signee of all time capped off his high school career with a 19-point, 11-rebound performance in an all-star setting and lived up to his top billing in the process. Holmgren showed off his 3-point stroke and ball-handling ability while being an absolute menace of a rim protector on the other end. He took smaller slower defenders off the dribble with relative ease and shot over smaller players when he found a favorable matchup. Nobody was better or more well-rounded on Saturday, as Holmgren backed up his No. 1 ranking for the final time.



Uncommitted guard Nolan Hickman was one of the most consistently effective players on either side all week in practice, and he rode that wave of momentum right into Saturday's game. The four-star floor general finished the night with 11 points, a pair of rebounds and one of the most impressive no-look assists of the night. Saturday saw him show his full range of skill, as one first quarter sequence saw him come up with a steal on the defensive end before driving and finishing over 6-foot-9 Paolo Banchero. Hickman, who is thought to be a Gonzaga lean, plans to announce his college decision sometime in the coming week.



Before Trey Alexander took the floor for Saturday's Iverson All-Star Classic he took a moment to address his status as one of the few uncommitted prospects in the event, saying his time as a metaphorical free agent will be coming to an end in the very near future. So while the four-star guard says he is yet to settle on a school, what is set in stone is a timetable for a decision.

“I am probably going to end up committing in the next two weeks,” Alexander said on Saturday. I know it’s time to make the choice because I have to be on campus soon, so I’ll be committed in the next week or two for sure.”

Where Alexander, a former Auburn commit, will land, however, seems less certain. According to the 6-foot-4 Oklahoma native, Arkansas, Iowa State, Oregon, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Western Kentucky and Arizona are all involved to differing extents. Worth noting is the fact that the Razorbacks and Cyclones were the first programs he mentioned when asked about his recruitment, but it seems as though Alexander has a bond in place with both coaching staffs.

“Arkansas wants me to come in and play a big role as a freshman,” Alexander said. “They want me to be able to come in, be in the lineup and play with some of the big transfers they got out of the portal. With Iowa State, they have a lot of playing time for me. Being able to come right in and play big minutes in the Big 12 is a big deal.”

It’s unclear where Alexander sits on the recruiting board of either in-state programs, but it’s unlikely that either will be a serious option come decision day. The Razorbacks, Cyclones and Hilltoppers seem like teams to watch for the time being but things still seem extremely up in the air.



Brandon Huntley-Hatfield
Brandon Huntley-Hatfield (

After showcasing his broad shoulders and raw strength under the glass in the practices leading into Saturday’s game, Tennessee commit Brandon Huntley-Hatfield reminded everyone he’s more than brawn and brute strength by opening the contest with a pair of smooth 3-pointers. The Vol-to-be finished the contest with 14 points and three rebounds. The newly reclassified forward didn't look out of place at all playing against his new peers in the class of 2021, making the case to float around the 30 to 35 range when he’s placed in the 2021 Rivals150 next week.

Huntley-Hatfield isn’t a polished player by any stretch and has strides to make on the defensive end and when it comes to low-post moves, but the physical tools, touch and upside are there in spades.




One of the most pleasant surprises of the weekend, Iowa State signee Tyrese Hunter was a consistent scorer in practices and finished Saturday's game with 18 points to go along with a pair of rebounds and an assist. Hunter scored at all three levels all weekend long and made a habit of finishing through contact at the rim.

Retired NBA veteran Bonzi Wells, who coached one of the all-star squads, spent the week referring to Hunter as “Gameface” due to the fact that he was all-business on the floor and rarely smiled.

Hunter needs to become more consistent through refining his shot selection, but it's clear that the top-50 recruit is capable of scoring from anywhere and possesses an elite motor. He’s a willing defender that will likely come into his own as an upperclassman in Ames once he’s reigned in a bit by college coaching.