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Grind Session: The Bossi Awards

RANKINGS: 2019 Rivals150 | 2019 Team rankings | 2019 Position rankings

2020 Rivals150 | 2020 Position rankings

Top 75 of 2021

LaMelo Ball
LaMelo Ball

BENTON, Ky. -- The Grind Session World High School Championship featured a plethora of talent from programs around the country. After two days of action, national basketball analyst Eric Bossi hands out some awards.


The top attraction for the event’s most talented team, LaMelo Ball has a shoe brand, a brother in the NBA and a loaded team around him at Spire Institute. He also has pressure to put up big numbers, win and entertain crowds looking for him to do big things surrounding him everywhere he goes. Separate all of that and give the kid credit, he produced in all areas of the game to get wins and send those who came out to see him home happy.


When it comes to bigs, everybody is looking for that guy who can switch all over the floor defensively, protect the rim and run the floor for finishes. A five-star prospect in 2020, Jackson does all of that at a high level. Yes, he needs to add strength but everything else is there to be an impact player at the next level. His motor runs high, he makes plays and the stroke on his shot doesn’t look too bad either. Jackson is already very productive on both ends but his ceiling for improvement is as high as anybody else who hit the floor. Arizona, Arkansas, Louisville, Michigan, Michigan State, Missouri and many others are already involved but before it’s done he will be able to name the college program he plays for.


The most natural scorer that I saw over two days in Kentucky was NImari Burnett. The No. 26 ranked player in the class of 2020, Burnett is still a long time away from arriving on a college campus but he sure looks like somebody ready to produce on day one. He’s got a tremendous feel for getting open away from action, catches the ball ready to score, shoots with range puts the ball on the floor and makes scoring the ball look really easy. Not surprisingly he’s got double digit offers and whether it be Arizona, Arizona State, Illinois, Indiana, Louisville, Marquette, Michigan, Oregon, Stanford, USC or any of the many other programs who lands him they will be getting a confident bucket getter with complete game on the offensive end.

I'll tell you what, though, Michigan State bound Rocket Watts is a pretty natural scorer himself. Talk about always aggressive and if defenders pressure him when he dribbles into jump shots, he doesn't miss often.


Right here is a long armed dude who can eat people up with his defense. Future Memphis Tiger Damion Baugh fits the mold of a potential defensive stopper. He moves his feet, he gets deflections even if he can’t get the steal and he takes pride on the defensive end. Baugh moves the ball in transition, keeps getting better each time I see him and figures to be a big part of the movement to return Memphis basketball to national prominence under Penny Hardaway.



Ranked No. 7 overall in the class of 2021, forward Moussa Diabate is one of the most highly thought of players in the sophomore class. He has the size, skills and athleticism of a modern day four man. He’s also far from a finished product and coaches have to be salivating over recruiting him, landing him and turning him into a player. Like a piece of molding clay, it’s up to the imagination of those working with him to make finished product. Auburn (who watched him), Creighton, Illinois, Miami, Virginia Tech, Memphis, UNLV and Georgia Tech are already on board and more will join them.


When it comes to pleasing the crowd in the open floor, few can hang with Arizona bound wing Terry Armstrong. The 6-foot-6 senior loves to get out in transition and when he decides to elevate the results can be spectacular. What’s most impressive is that he’s learned not to rely on his finishing ability in transition and that he’s become really dangerous with the one and two dribble pull-up jumper from between 15 and 20 feet.


The best underclassmen to hit the floor over the last two days was Nganga and it wasn’t really close. A 6-foot-9 forward with loads of inside and out game, he can do an awful lot for a kid just finishing his freshman year. He runs the floor, finishes in traffic, makes jumpers and has so much room to get even better. He’s tracking as a legitimate big time prospect with early offers from Arizona State and Oklahoma. Count on reading a lot about him over the next few years.


A good sized wing from Canada who is hooping at Phoenix (Ariz.) Hillcrest, Patterson is a slasher with bounce who can finish at the rim. He can put it on the floor and on a loaded team he’s learning to understand when it’s time for him to go and get his and when it’s time to blend in with the others and find the hot hand. What’s going to put the heat on him, though, is that the junior is in position to enroll as a 2019 prospect if he wants. He said that Illinois, Maryland and Oregon are the most active right now but after he hits the floor this spring with Team Why Not? things could really turn up for him as high level programs with an opening will look to talk him into enrolling sooner than later.


Seton Hall has landed plenty of well known perimeter talent over the past few years. They’ve also done a great job of identifying hungry, versatile and tough talent that finds way to produce. Davis fits right in with all of that. This guy backs down from nobody, makes plays when his team needs it the most and was among the most spirited competitors that I saw. He should shine for the Pirates.