basketball Edit

Graf's Takeaways: Five winners from the Jordan Brand Classic

Cason Wa
Cason Wa (https://rivals.com)

Rivals was in attendance for the Jordan Brand Classic in Chicago on Friday evening. The event was hosted at the esteemed Hope Academy and brought together some of the most talented players in all of America.

Team Air defeated Team Flight by a score of 118-109 in a game decided by an Elam Ending in the fourth quarter.

Before we get into the five winners of the game, here’s a look at the rosters.

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2022 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2023 Rankings: Rivals150

2024 Rankings: Top 40

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FIVE WINNERS OF THE JORDAN BRAND CLASSIC

Smith, who was awarded co-MVP for the event, finished with a game-high 27 points after shooting 7-of-13 from the field and 5-of-7 from three. He also fished out four assists and came down with three rebounds. Smith’s ability to put the ball in the basket was on full display and he also showed off some flashy playmaking ability with the ball in his hands. His 27 points were very efficient and his fluidity and wiggle with the ball in his hands were very impressive.

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Mitchell was also named co-MVP, and for good reason. He tallied 18 points for Team Air and was a consistent scorer in the half court and in transition. Mitchell made some athletic plays that left you picking your jaw up off of the floor. While he was great offensively, his ability and willingness to defend also stood out as well. Mitchell attacks the rim with reckless abandon and is primed for a big season next year for the Longhorns.

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Wallace was probably the best two-way player in the event. He was efficient both on and off the ball for Team Flight, but when he was running point, he was at his best. Wallace was tremendous as a pick and roll ball handler and was efficient when getting down hill. He had two of the top plays of the night, a double pump dunk to avoid a block attempt in transition, and a violent two-handed block in transition (which was called a foul). Wallace finished with 15 points, four rebounds, two assists and two blocks.

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Livingston scored 21 points on 8-of-16 shooting, including 2-of-5 from behind the arc. He also grabbed eight rebounds and came up with three steals. Livingston’s hustle at both ends of the floor made him one of the standouts in this game. He was always up for the challenge no matter who his matchup was. The Kentucky signee was at his best in transition.

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Iwuchukwu was a standout in practices and in the game on Friday night. He ran the floor well and finished around the basket, but also flashed the ability to step outside and hit a three with a smooth, confident stroke. Defensively, Iwuchukwu did a great job of anchoring the paint and made the talented big men of Team Flight work hard for every point they scored inside the paint.

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