basketball Edit

Shaw's Takeaways: Battle at the Rock

ROCK HILL, S.C. -- The fourth annual Battle at the Rock took place in Rock Hill, South Carolina, this week, and Rivals.com’s Jamie Shaw brought you to standouts and storylines from the three-day event.

*****

More: Checking in on top five college freshmen

2022 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2023 Rankings: Rivals150

2024 Rankings: Top 40

*****

Jackson continues to be one of the elite prospects in the 2023 class. He finished this game with an event-high 36-points, and he did so from all over the floor. Standing 6-foot-9, Jackson has smooth 3-point range; he has the handle to get to his spots and the pop to finish above the rim.

Jackson's recruitment has taken many twists and turns over the past two months. Strong rumors were circulating he would be committing to North Carolina at any moment. Since those rumors started, Jackson has continued to take visits to the likes of Georgetown, South Carolina, Virginia and Duke, while canceling his visit to the Tar Heels for the Michigan game. He says he is looking to set upcoming visits with Virginia and Duke with no commitment timetable set.

*****  

Traore just oozes upside. The No. 4 ranked player in the 2022 Rivals150 is also the highest-ranked unsigned player in the class. Standing in the 6-foot-9 range, the French native showcased a full arsenal on both ends of the floor. Super athletic, Traore is a switchable defender with active feet and the ability to protect the rim from the weak side and move his feet on the perimeter. He finished Thursday's game with 24 points, eight rebounds, and four steals.

Traore has taken official visits to Kansas, Texas Tech, Michigan and Memphis. He says he is going to commit, "real soon."

*****  

Watching Fall, you see ‘it.’ The lengthy, 6-foot-10 frame with the ability to run and move. He plays with a high motor and has no fear of doing any dirty work for his team. While his offensive game is still raw, he is also making conscious improvements, “I have been working on my shooting and learning to play at a slower pace.” Fall finished with 16 points and ten rebounds on night one of the event, with three blocked shots in the Denver (Co.) Prep win.

While Fall has not taken any visits yet, he says he is in the process of setting upcoming visits to Auburn, Arkansas, Kentucky (no offer), and USC.

*****  

While others in the event may have been higher ranked, Kell was the one who gave us the most impressive performance. The 6-foot-7 Western Carolina commitment has always been known as a shooter; however, against Denver (Co.) Prep Academy Kell was attacking the basket and dunking on people. Kell finished with 34 points, going 12-12 from the free-throw line and 3-5 from three. He also added five blocked shots and 12 rebounds. Kudos to Justin Gray for going out and getting the Rock Hill (S.C.) Legion Academy senior done early.

*****

While many showed up to watch 2023 Mikey Williams, they left talking about his teammate, Trey Parker. Parker's name is new to the national scene, but people are familiar with his brother, Kwe Parker, former Tennessee signee who finished his career at North Carolina A&T. Trey has that same pop in his game, with added basketball IQ. Parker has deep range, has an electric handle, and excellent floor vision. While only carrying an offer from North Carolina A&T, there is no doubting the Charlotte (N.C.) Vertical Academy point guard is one of the most exciting guards in the country for his class. He will be in the conversation when we update the 2023 rankings.