Peach Jam: The Bossi Awards
NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- It's time to hand out awards from our time at the Peach Jam where 2021's top-ranked player Jonathan Kuminga asserted his dominance. National analyst Eric Bossi hands out a 12-pack of honors based on the games and players he saw in the latest edition of the Bossi Awards.
MORE PEACH JAM COVERAGE: Who the coaches were watching Friday
BEST RISING SENIOR
Why him?: It's not why him but who else could you pick. The super skilled and confident 6-foot-7 guard continued his incredible grassroots run by averaging 24.9 points (on over 60% shooting), 6.8 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game through pool play to lead the Texas Titans to the No. 1 seed in bracket play. It's getting harder and harder to not give him the nod as the top player in the country and the heat he's putting on Evan Mobley is intense.
Recruitment: Cunningham has a final 10 of Duke, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Memphis, North Carolina, Oklahoma State, Texas, Virginia and Washington. But, with his older brother Cannen Cunningham on staff at OSU, it's pretty hard to see him going elsewhere at this point.
BEST RISING JUNIOR
Why him?: Heading into the Peach Jam, I wasn't 100 percent sure we had made the right decision at No. 1 in 2021. It wasn't that I thought Kuminga was unworthy of the top spot, it was more about how good I think No. 2 Terrence Clarke and No. 3 Patrick Baldwin Jr. are. Turns out they were all in the same pool in North Augusta and I felt Kuminga made it pretty clear that he was the top dog. He's big, he's athletic, he's versatile and he's a stud on both ends of the floor.
Recruitment: Nebraska is his newest offer with Kentucky in there along with Alabama, Auburn, Baylor, Georgia, LSU, Memphis, TCU and many others with offers. It's definitely notable that his brother recently transferred from UNLV to Texas Tech and the Red Raiders are also deep in the mix.
BEST RISING SOPHOMORE
Why him?: If you've been reading Rivals.com at all, you know that we see Bates as potentially one of the best prospects in the history of our website. Is he a new age KD, is he more Tracy McGrady or is he somebody else? Does it matter? He scores, he handles, he competes and he's continuing to live up to the continued hype about his game.
Recruitment: Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State and others have dropped in on him, but in today's sped up world of high school recruiting playing professionally (particularly in the NBA if Draft rules change as expected) directly out of high school looms large.
BEST COMMITTED PLAYER
Why him?: It wasn't a surprise when Duke got a commitment from Jalen Johnson. It won't be a surprise when the versatile forward does very well for the Blue Devils. Yes, there are some elements to Ben Simmons in his game but the more I see him, the more I like him as a playmaking mismatch four man in the college game who will be tough to match up with.
Recruitment: Committed to Duke.
THE EYE OPENER
Why him?: MoKan Elite has made what is becoming an annual trip to the quarterfinals at the Peach Jam and the jet quick passer and floor general had an awful lot to do with it. He's as good a passer as there is in the country and he proved to be a legit high major option with his ability to lead, control pace, defend at the point of attack and ultimately lead his team to a win. This guy doesn't care about stats, he just cares about winning.
Why him?: Corey Evans and myself joked over text that Banchero might as well be called Steady Eddie. You can count on him showing up, playing hard, scoring at least 20 points, grabbing double digit rebounds and doing everything he can to keep his team in games. He just keeps getting better and he keeps remaining as reliable a player as there is in America.
Recruitment: Banchero has heavy ties to hometown Washington and the Huskies are trying, but he is adamant that he's open and others are finally jumping in. Duke, Baylor Kentucky, Iowa State, Memphis,Tennessee and Washington State are just a few to decide to at least take a crack at him.
Why him?: Exactly what position Williams fits on the next level, there really isn't a defined role. Just expect that he's going to find a way on the floor and he's going to find ways to be productive. He scores inside when he needs to, starts making jumpers when his inside game gets figured out and he always seems to end up having put together a much better statistical line than you would expect. Just focus on what he does and that's produce.
Recruitment: This edition of the awards needs a prediction, right? So I'll predict that Williams ends up staying real close to home and commits to Patrick Ewing and Georgetown.
Why him?: A seven-footer from Virginia, Williams has been highly ranked for some time. But he's also seemed to be almost too "nice" of a kid for his own good when he'll earn his keep scrapping in the paint. The potential and physical tools he has are all the sudden being matched by his production as a scorer and rebounder. Considering he plays on a team with some shot happy guards, it's really impressive how he's finding more ways to produce. Williams really looks to be waking up to how good of a player he can be.
Why him?: When Pack committed, it didn't cause huge ripples but he sure looks to be a nice find for Bruce Weber and his staff. Listing him at six-feet tall might be a bit generous but there's nothing generous about the numbers he's credited with on a stat sheet because Pack earns those. He scores surprisingly well in traffic, keeps defenders honest with his jumper, rebounds extremely well for a point guard and is smart passer.
Recruitment: Committed to Kansas State.
Why him?: There are players in 2020 who will make more of an impact in the 2020-21 season, but as more time passes by it is looking like Dante's instant impact will come in the upcoming 2019-20 season. He's big, athletic and strong but is now scoring and rebounding at a level on par with his physical gifts.
Recruitment: Kentucky, LSU and Oregon look to be the biggest players for his potential reclassification.
Why him?: Don't spend time figuring out which position he best fits. Just know that if you put him on the floor that Moore is going to play with fire, he's going to play physical and that he's going to find ways to help his team win. He's a selfless guy and a leader who continues to show more skill.
Why him?: It sure seems like it has been a while since we've gotten a good look at Scooby. A bruising combo forward who is really comfortable handling the ball and making plays off the dribble for himself and others, it is pretty hard not to see some Draymond Green in his game. The Family's run at the Peach Jam didn't go as hoped, but Johnson played really well.
Recruitment: Butler, Michigan, Michigan State, Missouri and Providence are a few of those involved.
BEYOND THE BOXSCORE
Why him?: When you see a player that you believe has the tools to be a pretty high level prospect, it's always reassuring to look at the final boxs core and see big numbers. But, potential value down the road isn't always found on a stat sheet and Kalkbrenner is one of those guys whose future production is on track to exceed the numbers the seven-footer is putting up as a 17-year-old. He has great hands, soft touch, can shoot the ball and he's as good a rim protector as there is in the rising senior class. If you are considering long term plays, he's the type of guy to bet on.
Recruitment: Cincinnati, Creighton, Kansas State, Illinois, Missouri, Northwestern, Pitt, Purdue, Saint Louis, Stanford and Virginia Tech are in a group that would gladly have him and don't be surprised if some new programs try to jump in but as of today, Illinois may be in good shape.