The Warmup: Bossi's most likely to happen list
SPRINGDALE, Ark. -- Saturday at The Warmup provided an opportunity to see lots of high level talent and the best player in the building, R.J. Hampton didn't disappoint.
Here's my look at whose "most likely to" during the spring and summer.
RETAIN HIS STATUS AS THE TOP POINT GUARD IN HIS CLASS
I've written it before and I suspect I will write it again, but if I had to pick the best point guard in high school basketball, regardless of class, my vote would be for 2020's R.J. Hampton.
Ranked No. 5 overall in a top heavy rising senior class, Hampton was electric with the ball leading Drive Nation to an entertaining win over Brad Beal Elite. Deep jumpers off of skilled dribble combinations? Check. Crafty drives through traffic? Check. Floater game? Check. Ability to get up and finish well above the rim in transition? Check.
This kid plays with flair and produces in a very crowd friendly way without getting away from the task at hand. Maybe some would debate that he's not the top PG regardless of class, but at a minimum he is tops at the position in his class. Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and Memphis remain in his recruitment and we'll be on reclass watch for him all summer.
BE THE CENTER OF AN IN STATE RECRUITING BATTLE
I like the overall upside of 6-foot-6 wing Keondre Montgtomery from the class of 2020. He has good size, is athletic and has a wiry frame that should be easy to build on in a college weight room. He can attack in transition and has good scoring instincts.
He told me that Auburn, Clemson, Murray State and Tulsa have offered as out of state programs and he said that he's open to heading anywhere that is the right fit. That being said, he sure looks like a kid who will be at the center of a in state recruiting battle between SEC rivals Ole Miss and Mississippi State. They've both offered and have been trying to get him on campus. Look for them to be steady presences at his games this spring and summer.
SEE THEIR STOCK SOAR AS A DUO
A native of Moscow, Russia who has been in the states for two years now, Ruzhentsev has everything you would want in a high major wing. He's got size, he is athletic and he has a great looking jump shot from deep. He didn't go bonkers during the game I watched Saturday, but the talent is obvious to see. He listed offers from Tennessee, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Kansas State, Ole Miss and Auburn to go with an offer from the previous staff at Vanderbilt. That's already a group of pretty high level programs involved and the list will only grow by the end of the month.
Coming off of a state championship season, Chandler is a speedy floor general who plays like a pure point guard. He gets others involved first, keeps defenders on their heels and has tremendous burst to the rim to go with the ability to step up and knock down an open jumper. He's got offers from Ole Miss, UT-Martin, Tulane, Arizona State, Georgia Tech, Florida and SMU. Like Ruzhentsev, Chandler had an offer from Bryce Drew's staff at Vanderbilt.
PUT THE CLAMPS ON AN OPPOSING GUARD
I'm going to make a prediction that Drive Nation point guard Jamal Shead makes life miserable for opposing point guards. They may be able to beat him off the dribble, but they are going to have their work cut out for them in order to do it.
Shead is an absolute pit bull of an on the ball defender who dogs defenders up and down the court and gets all up in their personal space. That kind of energy is infectious and spreads to his teammates. He's pretty good offensively too as a drive and dish floor general.
THINK LONG TERM WITH HIS COLLEGE DECISION
I spent some time speaking with four-star center Jonathan Aku of Texas Impact and he's one of the more thoughtful kids that I've spoken with in the junior class. So when he tells me that academics matter in his decision I think he's serious about it. Not saying they don't matter to most kids, but the school part of school is often a secondary part of a decision.
Aku is clearly thinking long term and he's clearly thinking relationships. TCU, Georgetown, Texas A&M, Tulsa, Miami and LSU are all among his current offers. He's big and strong, plays tough in the lane and should be able to develop into a quality high major big man.
GET TIRED OF ANSWERING QUESTIONS ABOUT HIS BROTHERS
But, that's what comes with the territory when you have well known siblings and it's something I bet Porter will be fine dealing with because he's not going to have too much trouble making his own name.
The freshman is a blend of both of his older brothers. He's thin and mobile like Michael, blocks shots and rebounds like Jontay and has big upside. Let's be clear, Jevon is still raw and has lots of growing to do but his instincts, shot blocking and rebounding should translate and he looks to have a pretty bright future ahead of him.
BE APPRECIATED FOR DOING THE LITTLE THINGS
Shooting guard Jayce Catchings isn't a nationally known prospect and isn't a star player for Brad Beal Elite. But, he's an awful lot of fun to watch play because he is always making the right play and does all the little things to help his team win.
He plays tough defense, knocks down open shots, makes the extra pass, communicates and is a great teammate. Anybody who appreciates glue guys that do all of the things that don't get a lot of publicity is going to really enjoy watching him play.
STAND OUT BECAUSE OF VERSATILE POST GAME
One last guy to watch for down the road from the class of 2020 is big man Jaylin Williams of Woodz Elite and Fort Smith (Ark.) Northside.
Williams has a strong lower half, soft hands, back to the basket game and the ability to face up and soften defenses with jump shooting from 15 to 20 feet. Arkansas' Eric Musselman already extended an offer after getting the job and Oklahoma State, TCU, Lamar and Tulsa have offered as well.
When more coaches see his versatile post game, more offers will come and Williams is going to receive some serious consideration for the next set of national rankings.