Charles Bassey the best at adidas Gauntlet, Weekend 1

FORT WORTH – The first three-day session of the adidas Uprising Gauntlet – 17s Gold Division – wrapped up Sunday afternoon in the six-court “Game On” facility.

Eight of the 51 regionally-based squad spread across six divisions went 4-0: Compton Magic (Southern California), Dream Vision (Southern California), Exum Elite (Utah), Louisville Magic, Massachusetts Rivals, New England Playaz, Team Loaded (Virginia) and YIIS Future (San Antonio).

The majority of the teams on showcase in front of hundreds of coaches from the NCAA’s 32 Division I-designated conferences over the weekend had at least a couple of Division I prospects on their rosters.

But what separated the aforementioned eight squads that went unbeaten during the first “NCAA spring evaluation weekend” was their depth, with most of them having D-I prospects backing up D-I prospects at every position.

It made selecting my “best of the weekend” quite difficult  in that some of the teams that I saw multiple times had several players who took turns looking “best” in the games I watched.

So I tried to keep “best of the weekend” selections to a manageable number (in terms of my sorting them out Sunday night) and settled on 16 and limited teams to just one apiece.

Some of the very best players in the Class of 2018 were removed from consideration, for example, as Zion Williamson (Spartanburg, SC, Day/South Carolina Supreme) left for home early Sunday morning – before I had a chance to watch him – with a sore knee.

And E.J. Montgomery (Marietta, GA, Wheeler/Atlanta Celtics) played limited and ineffective minutes in the two games I watched his team – although he racked up big numbers in the two games I didn’t see.

There were also several players from the Class of 2017 who were outstanding, including Matt Mitchell (Eastvale, CA, Roosevelt) and Will Weems (Las Vegas Coronado) of Dream Vision; Cameron Reece (Oakland, CA, Tech) of Team Lillard; and Kyle Lofton (Scotch Plains, NY, Union Catholic Regional).

But I’m only including cats who have high school eligibility for 2017-18.

These aren’t the 15 best “college prospects” I watched over the weekend.

If that was the case, some of the travel squads here would be represented by multiple players.

These are the 15 guys that I was most impressed with relative to their individual efforts and how those performances either win or nearly win against a quality opponent.


Most Outstanding Player

Charles Bassey 6-10 (2019/San Antonio St. Anthony) YIIS Texas Future

His numbers (23 points, seven rebounds and three assists) don’t do justice in explaining the dominance he exhibited at both ends of the floor in his squad’s win over Twenty-Two Vision and Romeo Langford Sunday afternoon. IMHO he’s the best player in the Class of 2019 and perhaps the best prospect – period – in high school basketball not named Michael Porter Jr.


The Next 15

Emmanuel Akot 6-7 (2018/Mt. Pleasant, UT, Wasatch Academy) Exum Elite

Marvin Bagley III (who plays on the Nike/EYBL circuit) is the best player from the Class of 2018 in the West. Time could prove that Akot is just behind him. He looked the part over the weekend. There wasn’t a guy at his size who passed as well as he did.

Jules Bernard 6-5 (2018/Los Angeles Windward) Compton Magic

The left hander just might be one of the two or three best “innate scorers” in the West’s Class of 2018. Fellow senior-to-be Tim Allen and bookend 2019 forwards Onyeka Okongwu and Isaiah Mobley were outstanding as well.

J’raan Brooks 6-8 (2018/Seattle Garfield) Dream Vision

He shot, rebounded, passed and defended throughout for a squad loaded with size and skill.

Greg Brown III 6-9 (2020/Austin, TX, Vandegrift) Basketball University

Unlike most of the best from his class, nationally, this kid is playing – quite productively – against two and three years older, not on a “16s” or “15s” level of competition.

Luguentz Dort 6-4 (2018/Orlando, FL, Conrad Academy) Brookwood Elite

The Canadian import looks – and plays – so much like Arizona’s Rawlee Alkins, who was the Most Outstanding Player at the 2015 adidas Nations event in Southern California.

Sherif Kenney 6-4 (2019/Upper Marlboro, MD, Rock Creek Christian) DC New World

Like Dort, he looks a lot like a college linebacker player point guard.

Romeo Langford 6-4 (2018/New Albany, IN) Twenty-Two Vision

He seemed to play almost “too casually” – and “ineffectively” – when he and his team were beaten by Immanuel Quickley (who was the best player on the floor in the game) and Team BBC Saturday afternoon.

Sunday, though, he scored absurdly easy (35 points) – “casually” or aggressively – in the loss to Charles Bassey & Co. Watching that level of performance makes one think “yeah, I’ll buy that he’s the best shooting guard prospect in his class”.

Nassir Little 6-6 (2018/Orlando, FL, Christian Prep) 1 Family

His hookup with Emmanuel Akot was as impressive – and entertaining – an individual confrontation as I watched over the weekend. He can score quite easily in a bunch of ways.

David McCormack 6-10 (2018/Mouth of Wilson, VA, Oak Hill) Team Loaded/VA

He’s lost a lot of weight over the past year but no one is going to suggest he’s “lean”, especially all of the post defenders he bullied and beat up over the weekend.

Josh Nickelberry 6-3 (2019/Mouth of Wilson, VA, Oak Hill) Game Elite 2019

Nickelberry just announced he’s transferring from Fayetteville, NC, Trinity Christian to Oak Hill Academy. Steve Smith is quite pleased, I’m sure. He’s a high-caliber jump shooter, indeed.

Reggie Perry 6-9 (2018/Thomasville, GA) Arkansas Hawks

I watched him at 8 o’clock Sunday morning and no “big” impressed me as much over the weekend – until I watched Charles Bassey, that is.

Immanuel Quickley 6-3 (2018/Bel Air, MD, Carroll) Team BBC

He was the best “point guard” I watched over the weekend – and by quite a significant margin, too.

Andre Reeves Jr. 6-4 (2018/Chestnut Hill, MA, Brimmer & May) Mass Rivals

It’s understandable why there a whole bunch of head coaches – including Jay Wright of Villanova – courtside for his game Sunday morning. Scorer, baby – and then some!

Grant Sherfield 6-1 (2019/Fort Worth Crowley) Marcus Smart YGC36

Compton Magic eventually wore his team down in a battle of 3-0 squads in one last games completed on Sunday afternoon. But it wasn’t because he ever stopped driving at – or shooting over – a legion of defenders while finishing with 28 points (including four 3s).

5 Responses to Charles Bassey the best at adidas Gauntlet, Weekend 1
  1. Marcus moore
    April 24, 2017 | 9:21 am

    What about Ashton hagans…I feel like he might be the best point guard on the Circuit but only time will tail and he needs to keep the turnovers down. But he’s class of 2019 an he’s going to be leading oak hill this years alone side nickleberry….

  2. Jordan
    April 25, 2017 | 6:29 am

    How could you not see MONTEZ MATHIS this is a joke!!

  3. Jordan
    April 25, 2017 | 6:31 am

    The best SG in the class of 2018 is MONTEZ MATHIS. he has a motor like Michael kid gilchrist a jump shot and and aggressive scorer and rebounder. Americas best kept secret!

  4. Frank Burlison
    May 2, 2017 | 5:19 pm

    I did see Mathis . . . he is very good but NOT the best SG in 2018; you say that and you’re related to him or coach him . . and I’ve seen him play since fall before his freshman season, FYI, at Dinos Trigonis Frosh-Soph camp in New Jersey. And why wouldn’t have seen Mathis if I wrote about watching Langford vs. BBC/Quickley? I’d suggest you actually READ some of my stuff before making comments, OK?

  5. Frank Burlison
    May 2, 2017 | 5:20 pm

    Once more …best kept secret? Not to me . . . seen him/wrote about him/put him in my reports since October before his freshman season.

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