basketball Edit

Jordan's Takeaways: Under Armour Elite 24 in Atlanta

ATLANTA – Come Saturday when 24 of the most talented hoops prospects in the country converge on Atlantic Station in Atlanta to compete in the Under Armour Elite 24, it will be anyone’s guess on who will take home the coveted MVP trophy.

From No. 3 Ace Bailey to No. 4 Flory Bidunga there have been multiple players showing their capabilities over the last two days.

Still, with this level of talent in one game that’s just one of the many storylines circulating after two days of intense practices.

Here are a few others.


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Flory Bidunga is on the clock

The top big man in the Rivals150 and No. 4 overall prospect will officially announce where he’s headed for college next season during halftime of Saturday’s game.

The 6-foot-10 center will choose among Duke, Kansas, Auburn and Michigan; just don’t expect any hints about where he’s leaning even 24 hours out.

“Wherever I go I’ll be fine with it, but it’s gonna be a tough call,” Bidunga said. “It just comes down to a feeling; I want to be at the place that will prepare me the most for the next level. But everyone has to wait until tomorrow.”

Yes, that means everyone, even the coaches.

“I haven’t told any schools anything yet,” Bidunga said. “I want all the smoke.”


Khani Rooths sets visits

For all the traveling he’s done while running with New World this spring and summer, Rooths has no plans on slowing things down now that the ball has stopped bouncing on the circuit season.

Par for the course for one of the most sought after prospects in the rising senior class; mid-August typically serves as a time for elite players to rack up the frequent flyer miles on official visits and Rooths is no exception.

The 6-foot-8 wing will be on the road “every weekend in September” heading to Virginia Tech, Michigan, Miami and Maryland. He’ll head to Georgia and Florida State in October.

“It’s a lot of traveling, but I’m excited,” Rooths said. “Just the opportunity to be able to see the places that I could possibly be playing at should be fun. I think I want to make a decision around November; probably before the season starts.”


Ace Bailey is the best in show

Bailey thrived in his role as point-forward, igniting the offense and facilitating throughout the entire scrimmage on Friday. At 6-foot-9, his length in that role was a headache for the opposition all morning and he picked his spots well, scoring in a variety of different ways all over the floor.

Bailey, a Rutgers commit who is ranked No. 3 overall in the Rivals150, played extremely assertively and seemed set on staking his claim at the top spot, even with the welcoming of Cooper Flagg to the 2024 class.

Bailey certainly looked like the top NBA prospect in attendance at the Elite 24.


Top tier battle of the bigs

Derik Queen has staked his claim as the best big in the class with a dominant showing this summer, which has propelled him all the way to No. 20 overall in the Rivals150 and No. 2 among centers in the class. He duked it out at Friday’s scrimmage with the top dog Flory Bidunga and the two giants traded jabs on both ends of the floor.

Both players were active early and often; Bidunga used his length to bother Queen’s shots and Queen used his footwork to maneuver into position on the low block. Both players finished plays efficiently, snagged 10-plus rebounds and displayed great patience as passers, making the top spot as the man in the middle even more of a head-scratcher.


Sir Mohammed set to announce

Mohammed is set to come off the board Saturday during the Elite 24, deciding among Marquette, Notre Dame, Stanford, Villanova and Virginia Tech. The 6-foot-6 shooting guard showed signs of what he’ll bring to whichever college he chooses, locking up on the perimeter, running the offense and knocking down shots consistently throughout Friday’s scrimmage.

Still, as strong as he’s looked on the wing, the talk among college coaches is that Mohammed‘s feel and IQ as a playmaker coupled with his size will make him a prime candidate to have the ball in his hands at the next level, a role he seemed to naturally gravitate toward running with Team Curry this summer.

Whoever ends up with Mohammed will get a multi-year utility guard, capable of playing and guarding multiple positions.