Thursday April 2nd
6 Stars that will Shine:
2015 6′ 9″ SF Ben Simmons: Montverde Academy (LSU)
The number one senior in high school basketball Ben Simmons will roll into this year’s Dick’s Nationals with a chip on his shoulder as he will look to lead his Montverde Academy squad to it’s third consecutive Dick’s Nationals Title. Simmons is truly a special prospect because of his development of his ball handling, shooting, and passing skills over his three years at Montverde Academy. Ben Simmons is an efficient scorer with a developing shot, he has elite rebounding abilities and is an exceptional ball handler at 6′ 9″. Simmons is the best prospect in the high school game currently and has a lot of the tools that remind me of a young Lebron James. He may not be as naturally gifted as the King, however Simmons certainly has the abilities to be a monster at the next level.
2015 6′ 7″ SF Jaylen Brown: Wheeler (GA) (Undecided)
Jaylen Brown is the second best senior in the countries in many nationally recognized services eyes, however Jaylen Brown is number three in HS Hoops Elite’s rankings just behind Cheick Diallo. Brown is a special athlete whose game has taken off since last high school season. Brown is an explosive athlete with a wide frame. The combination of his explosive athleticism and his wide frame make him almost impossible to stop when he gets around the rim. Brown has led his Wheeler squad to a City of Palms title where they took down Ben Simmons and Montverde (FL), a Georgia State Title, and now Brown and company will turn focus their sites on a Dick’s Nationals Title to cap off Brown’s incredible senior campaign. However, the question surrounding Jaylen Brown entering the event, is where he will play at the next level.
2015 6′ 4″ SG Allonzo Trier: Findlay Prep (NV) (Arizona)
Allonzo Trier is a scoring machine at every sense of the word and lights up the scoreboard for 30+ points on a consistent basis. Trier will fit right in at the next level at Arizona as he will fill the void that will be left by Stanley Johnson’s departure to the NBA Draft. Trier has been an elite prospect his entire life and has proven his talent every step of the way. Trier is truly a great scorer because he is a good shooter, can create his own shot off the bounce, and is almost automatic from the free-throw line. Trier has been dominating the competition over the last year as he averaged 29.4 points per game in the EYBL circuit over the summer and is averaging over 25 points per game this year for Findlay Prep. If the Pilots hope to make a run in this year’s event they will depend on Trier to provide points in bunches.
2015 6′ 6″ SG Dwyane Bacon: Oak Hill Academy (VA) (Florida State)
Dwayne Bacon has been a steady riser in his senior year as he has consistently dominated the competition this season. Bacon is another prolific scorer that can do it from anywhere on the court. Combine his scoring ability with his athletic ability and you create a player that is very hard to slow down on the offensive end. Bacon has come through in big moments for Oak Hill Academy all year and will need to continue doing so in the Dick’s Nationals tournament. If Bacon has an off night against this very talented field, Oak Hill could see themselves leaving the tournament earlier than expected. If Bacon performs to his potential in this tournament, watch out because Oak Hill Academy will be a force to take down as they enter the event with a perfect record of 45-0 on the year.
2015 6′ 10″ PF Thomas Bryant: Huntington Prep (WV) (Undecided)
Thomas Bryant will need to be the difference for Huntington Prep to make a run deep into this years tournament as he will need to enforce his will down low and put up big numbers. Thomas Bryant is a big man with a motor that never stops, he is one of the best big men in the country at running the court and never gives up on the glass. Bryant is a true workhorse on the floor, making him unique from most elite prospects and setting him apart. Bryant will need to put up big numbers against Wheeler as Huntington Prep will have the decided advantage in the front court. Thomas Bryant leads Huntington Prep in points, rebounds, and blocks per game on the year and will need to continue his dominance for the Fighting Irish to make a run in their second appearance to the event in as many years.
2016 6′ 2″ PG Derryck Thorton: Findlay Prep (NV) (Undecided)
Derryck Thorton is one of the top juniors in the nation and certainly in the conversation for the top point guard in the junior class as well. Thorton is a quick, true point guard who racks up assists with his vision and elite passing abilities. Thorton will need to control the tempo and limit his turnovers for the Pilots to make a run in this year’s Dick’s Nationals. Thorton is capable of making a difference on the defensive end as well as on the offensive end, and is an elite defensive guard in the country. Thorton is matched against the best guard on the other team and can play lockdown defense, which will make a huge difference at the next level. Thorton has a developing floater that could become deadly if mastered, and has all the tools to be an elite player at the collegiate level, look for him to make an impact for perennial power Findlay Prep.