I always heard how good the Marshall County Hoopfest was, and knew that it was a major high school event for top recruits. I finally got a chance to go this weekend and the 17th annual hoopfest did not dissapoint. First of all the gym is amazing, Evan Daniels from Fox Sports said “It is my favorite high school gym in the country” and now I can see why. The whole weekend we were treated really good, and they gave us whatever we needed to be comfortable. A big thank you to the AD of Marshall County Jeff Stokes for making this trip a great event for everyone involved.
The Marshall County Hoopfest was loaded this year, Huntington Prep who has Andrew Wiggins(the #1 player in the 2013 class) was the best team in the event coming in and they didn’t dissapoint either game. On Friday night, Huntington took on Memphis East, who has Nick King(Top 20 player in the class of 2013; A Memphis commit). King took over at the beginning of the game draining 4 three pointers from NBA range, and started talking a little bit to Wiggins. After the 1st quarter Wiggins took over and shut Nick King down. With the great Joe B Hall in attendence Wiggins absolutely was a beast, he finished the game with 29 points and 17 boards. Huntington Prep won the game easily as well with a score of 76-59. Nick King finished the game with 18 points.
The following game was powerhouse Oak Hill Academy vs Curie(IL) who has Cliff Alexander(A top 10 player in the 2014 class), Cliff has an offer from Kentucky. Oak Hill as always had major D-1 talent, led by Troy Williams; who committed to Indiana University in the fall signing period. This was a blow out from the beginning as Oak Hill was just to much for Curie. Oak Hill defeated Curie with a score of 72-39; however Cliff Alexander may have had one of the most impressive performances all weekend. Alexander finished the game with 26 points and 13 rebounds. He also shot 12-14 from the floor. He is a MAJOR talent, and from the scouts and recruting guru’s that were sitting with me Kentucky is in great shape, and some even believe he is a lock for Kentucky. Tom Crean was on hand to watch commit Troy Williams, who played very well and finished the game with 16 points nad 5 rebounds. Crean got introduced to the crowd and BOOOOOO’s filled the gym.
The last game of the night was what every UK/UL fan wanted to see as the Harrison Twins took on Louisville commit Quentin Snider. This was the big game of the night as Louisville Ballard took the twins and Travis High School(TX) down to the wire. Andrew and Aaron Harrison led the way for Travis with a combined 45 points and 15 rebounds. Quentin Snider was great in the game as he finished with a team high 28 points. Travis won the game 78-76.
Saturday was loaded with great games again, and once again the gym was full of UK fans wanting to see commits Aaron and Andrew Harrison, and hopefully future commits Andrew Wiggins and Montaque Gill-Caeser(Top 25 player in 2015 and has already visited UK). Travis(TX) took on in state Madison Central. Andrew had a good game with 25 points and 12 rebounds; however Aaron struggled after getting in foul trouble in the 1st half. He finished the game with only 3 points, but was still very much in control and if he wanted to score he could. Madison Central had a very good player as well in Dominique Hawkins who had 29 points to lead Madison Central. Travis won the game with a score of 64-57.
The last game of the event was Huntington Prep taking on Briarcrest(TN) which is led by Austin Nichols, who recently committed to Memphis. Huntington Prep dominated the game with a score of 74-40. Andrew Wiggins was amazing again and ended the game with 25 points. Montaque Gill-Caeser was maybe the best player on the floor during the game. Montaque ended the game with 13 points, but was dominate in all aspect of the game. Andrew Wiggins took home MVP honors in both of HP’s games.
Derek Anderson on the Harrison Twins ” Harrison Twins are both solid players and will only get better. They have the body and skills of Ron Mercer. They dont jump like him but they do have moves like he did. They can be great players before they leave Kentucky”
Derek Anderson on Andrew Wiggins ” Wiggins skills remind me of MKG with a better jump shot. He has no apparent weakness and has the frame of a pro already. If he comes to UK and some of the guys this year come back, they could be as good as the 96 team”
My thoughts on the UK recruits/commits from the Marshall County Hoopfest…………..
Andrew Wiggins- He was amazing in both games like I said earlier. Kentucky fans who traveled got their moneys worth because he showed how good he really is. Andrew is a very quiet kid, but looks to like some of the attention that fans give him. Huntington Prep head coach Rod Fulford told me that “he doesn’t show that he likes the attention, but I think he does” Wiggins said after the game that “He could see himself playing withthe Harrison twins, they are great” Andrew finshed the tournament with 54 points and 31 rebounds. He is the best player in high school since Lebron James. Joe B. Hall said earlier today “Andrew Wiggins is Dwight Howard in a smaller frame, he is the best high school player ive seen, and I have seen a lot.” John Calipari was expected to be at the hoopfest to watch Wiggins, but didn’t show up after the loss to Baylor.
Aaron And Andrew Harrison- Kentucky has the best backcourt in the nation next year already with these two. Andrew is a scoring machine and can’t be stopped from going to the basket. Aaron is a TRUE point guard, and shoots the ball really well. Aaron doesn’t score as often as Andrew but he can drop 30 anytime he wants. They both are physical guards, and one scout said they have a “Michael Jordan type attitude”
Cliff Alexander- He is a 2014 Top 10 player, and he showed us why at the hoopfest. He is a physical and poweful low post player. He dunks anytime he wants to and it doesn’t matter who is in the way. A very big recruiting guy told me “He is a UK lock” We will see, but UK is in great shape to land the big guy.
Montaque Gill-Caeser- He is my favorite player in high school, I love his all around game. Montaque has already been on Kentucky’s campus and told me that “Baylor, Ohio State, and NC state” are already interested in him. Kentucky coach John Calipari hasn’t been in contact YET he told me after the game on saturday. Watch for him to be the best player on Huntington Prep for the next two years.
Derek Willis didn’t get to play at the Hoopfest, because he was ejected earlier in the week, and had to miss two games accroding to KHSAA rules.