The 10 day’s of Dick’s Nationals begins with 10 Players to Watch for in this year’s Dick’s Nationals event. The Dick’s Nationals will begin on Thursday, April 2nd at Christ the King High School in New York. This year’s event may have the strongest field in event history and certainly the most up for grabs tournament, with up to five teams capable of making a run in the post-season tournament and win the prestigious High School National Championship Tournament at Dick’s Nationals.
Thursday April 2nd
10 Players to Watch
1. 2015 6′ 9″ SF Ben Simmons: (committed to LSU) Montverde Academy (FL)
The top player to watch in this year’s event in the top player in high school basketball, senior Ben Simmons of Montverde Academy (FL), who is looking to lead his team to it’s third consecutive title in the event. Montverde Academy will open the tournament as a number two seed and play 10th nationally ranked Greensboro Day (NC). The thing that makes Ben Simmons special is his unique ability to dominate the game at the point forward position and his incredible ball handling for his size. Ben Simmons is a polished passer and an efficient scorer, with great athletic ability that makes him a problem on the glass.
2. 2015 6′ 7″ SF Jaylen Brown: (uncommitted) Wheeler HS (GA)
Jaylen Brown is an explosive athlete with a wide frame that makes him almost impossible to stop when he attacks the rim. Brown is the reason Wheeler (GA) is a dangerous team in this years field as he was the one who lead this team to City of Palms and Georgia State Titles. The City of Palms run included wins over Wesleyan Christian (NC) and Montverde Academy’s (FL) which is their only loss on the year. Jaylen Brown is on the top of many teams recruiting boards and will be an impact one and done player at the college level wherever he ends up. Although a Jaylen Brown vs Ben Simmons matchup is always highly anticipated in an event in which both players teams are participating, Wheeler certainly has tough road to set up a rematch with Montverde Academy (FL) as each team would have to reach the Title Game on Saturday.
3. 2015 6′ 4″ SG Allonzo Trier: (Arizona) Findlay Prep (NV)
Allonzo Trier may be the top scorer in the nation as he has led Findlay Prep (NV) with over 25 points per game in his senior campaign. Trier also led the EYBL with 29.4 points per game; he could put up 30+ points in any game for the Pilots and is a vital player for any potential run for the 6 seeded Findlay Prep. Allonzo Trier is an elite scorer because he consistently puts up high scoring totals and can score in a variety of ways. Trier is a consistent outside shooter and can also create his own shot off the bounce. The combination of his ability to get to the rim and good free throw shooting abilities also help him rack up big numbers in the scoring department.
4. 2016 6′ 2″ PG Derryck Thorton: (Uncommitted) Findlay Prep (NV)
Derryck Thorton is the best true point guard in this year’s Dick’s Nationals as he comes into the event averaging just over 6 assists per game. Thorton’s quickness and unselfishness set him apart, as he creates havoc on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. One thing often overlooked about Thorton’s game is his defense, he is one of the top defenders at the guard position in high school basketball. Thorton’s play will certainly be a major factor in influencing how far Findlay Prep (NV) will advance in this year’s event. Derryck Thorton is certainly one of the top players to watch for in this year’s event.
5. 2016 6′ 7″ Miles Bridges: (Uncommitted) Huntington Prep (WV)
Miles Bridges is an elite junior who impacts the game in a variety of ways, making him tough to game plan for. Bridges doesn’t always score the most points on his team, however he often has the fullest box score, putting up stats across the board. Bridges wide frame and athletic ability makes him an elite player with endless potential at the next level. Bridges may not always stand out in a game, however he always makes winning plays that put his team in a position to win at the end of the game. Bridges will have a huge roll in Huntington Prep’s chances in this year’s event.
6. 2015 6′ 11″ C Daniel Giddens: (Ohio State) Oak Hill Academy (VA)
Daniel Giddens will have a big roll for Oak Hill Academy from the onset as he will be matched up with 6′ 11″ Georgetown commit Jessie Govan. Giddens makes his biggest impact on the game on the defensive end as he alters shots in the lane and has developed into one of the elite shot blockers in the 2015 class. Giddens is also a good rebounder but has room to improve as an offensive threat. Giddens will have a big responsibility on the glass for Oak Hill in an event filled with size. One thing that has plagued Giddens all year has been foul trouble, if he can stay out of foul trouble Oak Hill Academy will be a tough out in this year’s Dick’s Nationals.
7. 2015 6′ 6″ SG Dwayne Bacon: (Florida State) Oak Hill Academy (VA)
Dwayne Bacon is the offensive punch for Oak Hill Academy and will have a major impact on their championship hopes in Dick’s Nationals. Bacon is averaging just over 24 points per game on the year leading Oak Hill Academy in scoring and is an instrumental piece to their 45-0 season. Bacon is a dynamic scorer as he can create his own shot, shoot the three, or kill you with his mid-range scoring. Bacon has the ability to score on all levels and is another one of the top scorers in the senior class. Dwayne Bacon and Allonzo Trier are both elite scorers across high school basketball and both players will be lacing them up for this year’s Dick’s Nationals Event.
8. 2015 6′ 11″ PF Thomas Bryant: (Uncommitted) Huntington Prep (WV)
Thomas Bryant is one of the top big men in the senior class and may be the best big man in this year’s event. Bryant has an endless motor and never gives up on a play making him a great rebounder as he averages 11.6 rebounds per game on the year. Thomas Bryant also deters shots around the rim averaging 4.5 blocks per game on the year. His ability to impact the game on both ends of the court combined with his elite ability to run the court make Thomas Bryant a fun player to watch and will give him an advantage at the next level.
9. 2015 6′ 8″ PF Horace Spencer: (Auburn) Findlay Prep (NV)
Horace Spencer plays the game hard and makes an impact on the glass averaging just under 10 rebounds per game on the year. At 6′ 8″ Spencer will have a tough task ahead of him in this event, outside of Findlay Prep’s first opponent Blanche Ely (FL) 7 footers will follow in the preceding rounds. Spencer is committed to Auburn and make an instant impact in the SEC under Bruce Pearl who is trying to change the direction of Auburn basketball. Horace Spencer is truly a fun player to watch as his explosive hops and shot blocking ability make him a big play magnet.
10. 2018 6′ 10″ SF EJ Montgomery: (Uncommitted) Montverde Academy (FL)
EJ Montgomery may be the only non-starter in the top 10 but Montgomery also may have one of the highest upsides out of any player in the top 10. Montgomery is a 6′ 10″ freshman who plays the small forward position. Certainly a unique talent, Montgomery sees good time for Montverde as a freshman and will have a huge impact on their bid for a third straight Dick’s Nationals Title. EJ Montgomery is a wing that can handle the ball and is a good passer for his size and age as well. Montgomery will develop at Montverde Academy under Boyle’s tutelage and become a monster when his senior year rolls around. Montgomery is one of the top 3 freshman in the country and may have the most potential out of any of three.
For more statistics on teams from the field visit http://www.maxpreps.com/national/basketball.htm