The stars are coming out for the ESPN RISE National High School Invitational (NHSI) with nine top-50 prospects, including #1 overall Austin Rivers, between the class of 2011 and class of 2012 and eight of the top teams in the country participating in the event.
Montrose Christian (#1) vs. John Carroll (#8) 2:00 p.m.
In the first game of the tournament, you will see two of the best teams Maryland has to offer in Montrose Christian (#3 nationally, #1 in MD) and John Carroll (#1 in Baltimore) who will fight to advance to play the winner of Winter Park (FL) vs. Girls & Boys (NY) in the semifinal round. Montrose Christian has the clear advantage with top-5o prospect Justin Anderson (Maryland) out on the wing and someone who just missed the top-50 in Tyrone Johnson (Villanova) and will look to run the floor against a less athletic John Carroll team. Look for Montrose Christian to get by John Carroll fairly easily but don’t be surprised if John Carroll keeps it close since they are 29-1 with their only loss against Dematha (#4 in MD).
Findlay Prep (#3) vs. Dwyer (#6) 4:00 p.m.
This opening round match-up has by far the most star-power with three top-5o prospects including class of 2011 prospects McDonald’s All-American Myck Kabongo (#9) and Nick Johnson (#27) and class of 2012 prospects Winston Shepard (#43) and Joell James, who just missed the top-50. Findlay Prep, ranked #7 nationally, will simply have too much talent for Dwyer (#15 nationally) to handle with division one talent starting at every position. Look for Myck Kabongo (Texas) to take over the game early and often and to dominate whether it’s using his outstanding ball-handling skills and quick first step to get by his defender or to use his floor vision and excellent passing skills to hit the open man for the easy bucket.
Winter Park (#4) vs. Boys & Girls (#5) 6:00 p.m.
This game will be the most interesting to watch not only because of their high national rankings, Winter Park at #14 and Boys & Girls at #22, but because the best player in the country is playing in McDonald’s All-American Austin Rivers. Even though Rivers has the ability to put up a lot of points, I look for Boys & Girls to pull of the upset since Winter Park’s defense isn’t stellar and Boys & Girls will surely take advantage of that. A couple of players to watch out for on Boys & Girls is Michael Taylor and Milak Nichols and to see how well they are able to guard Austin Rivers. Rivers will need help from his supporting class to win this game and for them to his their open threes but it should be a high-scoring game.
Oak Hill (#2) vs. United Faith (#7) 8:00 p.m.
Like the other three match-ups, there will be a lot of talent playing in this game with 2011 prospect McDonald’s All-American Quinn Cook (#23) and 2012 prospects A.J. Hammons (#47) and Jordan Adams (#49) for Oak Hill and recent Florida-commit Braxon Ogbueze (#42) and Indiana-commit Peter Jurkin. Oak Hill simply has too much talent across the floor for United Faith with a great floor general in Cook, wing-player in Adams, and big-man in Hammons and will win this game by double-digits.
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