basketball Edit

National Hoops Fest Saturday: Five-star Hamidou Diallo shows out

Hamdidou Diallo
Hamdidou Diallo

HYATTSVILLE, Md. -- Saturday at the National Hoops Festival on the campus of DeMatha High featured a slew of big time prospects, but none shone brighter than five-star shooting guard Hamidou Diallo. Diallo impressed in front of NBA scouts and was one of many standouts.


Hamidou Diallo
Hamidou Diallo (Nike/Jon Lopez @NikeEYB)

Ranked No. 10 overall in the class of 2017 Hamidou Diallo is down to a final six of Arizona, Connecticut, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky and Syracuse. As a post graduate player, he's also eligible for the NBA Draft and had multiple teams in the stands to see him go off in a 29 point, nine rebound effort where he played as well as has ever seen. Diallo was comfortable with the jumper, attacked the rim and was strong on the glass. There's never been a question about his athleticism, but the jumper is looking good. We'll have more on him this week.

Bradenton (Fla.) IMG is loaded with talent and a month or so into the season it's become clear that power forward Emmitt Williams is probably ranked a little too low at No. 59 nationally. The 6-foot-7 Williams has the type of motor, toughness and athleticism that can change the game. Oklahoma, Florida, LSU, South Carolina, TCU and many others have already offered.

For a half, Alabama bound five-star combo guard Collin Sexton looked like he was on his way to an epic performance. With a flurry that included deep threes, shifty drives and an incredible two handed reverse alley oop finish off the baseline he ended the first half with 21 points. A fiery competitor, Sexton was engaged in trash talk with the crowd, his opponents and seemingly himself at times. In the second half, he ran out of steam a little and had some turnover issues but still finished with 29 points.

Host school DeMatha scored a big win over a loaded Marietta (Ga.) Wheeler team in the nightcap and much of it was thanks to the play of four-star senior D.J. Harvey. The Notre Dame bound small forward who ranks No. 51 in the class of 2017 finished with 24 points and four rebounds and used a sharp mixture of jump shooting and drives to the rim to knock off a loaded foe.

We featured him here, but the nation's top ranked point guard Trevon Duval easily backed up his No. 3 overall ranking with 19 points and nine assists. He's strong, explosive and his jump shot is something he's gaining more trust with. He'll visit Arizona, Baylor, Duke, Kansas and Seton Hall officially in 2017.


Three-star big man Malik Ondigo left his Arizona home for a prep year at Putnam (Conn.) Science Academy. Saturday it looked like a move that is paying off. A slender athlete who has always had plus athleticism, Ondigo showed much improved patient and touch around the basket and seems to have found a weapon his jump hook. Ondigo says that after he finishes school in March he will focus on his visits and listed offers from Washington State, Purdue, Colorado, TCU, Texas Tech and Memphis and interest from Missouri and Marquette.

He didn't have a huge stat line and Collin Sexton ended up with 29 points, but anybody in attendance knows the kind of inspired job Pittsburgh bound point guard Aaron Thompson did defensively. He's stronger, more aggressive in getting into the lane and did a great job of leading a young Alexandria (Va.) Paul VI team to a win.

When it's all said and done we will have to strongly consider big man Isaiah Stokes for the 2017 Rivals150. The wide bodied forward moves much better now than in the past and his skill, touch and toughness make for an interesting combination. He was a nice nab by Florida during the early signing period.

Another big man pushing for the Rivals150 is UConn commit Josh Carlton of DeMatha. He fought off foul trouble in the first half to finish with 12 points and 13 rebounds. He's not a high flyer but has a sturdy build, soft hands and he's become comfortable as a low block scorer with several consistent scoring moves.

In the class of 2018, three-star point guard Tre Wood looks a little better each time out. He's a good shooter, has sneaky quickness and on Saturday he was very smart with his decision making. He listed offers from Iowa, St. Joseph's, Old Dominion, Penn State, Manhattan, Towson, Rice and James Madison. Providence, Virginia and Florida have shown recent interest.


Brandon Slater
Brandon Slater

Ranked No. 44 in the class of 2018, 6-foot-5 wing Brandon Slater has always shown glimpses of big time things. Saturday it was consistent big time effort as he used his athleticism and slashing game to rack up 17 points and 10 rebounds. Maryland, Pittsburgh, Villanova, Virginia, West Virginia, Virginia Tech and Miami are among those pushing.

A teammate of Slater's at Alexandria (Va.) Paul VI, Jeremy Roach is a freshman to keep a close eye on. The 6-foot-1 point guard is a big time athlete and he is just as big time a competitor. He wasn't at all phased in the big moment and has the luxury of learning from a solid senior like Aaron Thompson.

Their Gray Collegiate team didn't have enough firepower to compete with IMG but sophomore guards Juwan Gary and Khalil Robinson had good showings. Gary shook off an awful first half from the floor to finish strong and though he's been known for his athleticism, he's showing off a more refined shooting stroke. Robinson is a quick point guard who can really keep defenders honest from deep.

The move to IMG has been beneficial for Rivals150 junior wing Keyontae Johnson. Around all that talent his ability to make plays off the dribble, slash and score in transition is on full display. He's a strong wing who will push for four-star status during his junior season. Hampton, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Providence and Old Dominion are among his offers.

Finally, there is no question that Florida State bound big man Ikey Obiagu can protect the rim. We had the seven-footer for 12 blocks during a Saturday win. As good as he is protecting the rim, though, his offense is still quite raw and he's not yet rebounding in a fashion that matches his shot blocking. He finished with three points and four rebounds.