basketball Edit

Hoophall Classic Sunday: Bossi and Evans' Rival Views

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- IMG and their loaded roster outlasted mighty Oak Hill on Sunday night to put an exclamation point on the day's action at the Hoophall Classic. After digesting the day's action, analysts Eric Bossi and Corey Evans have Rival Views about which player they would take, the most interesting recruitment and more.

IF YOU GET TO PICK ONE IMG PLAYER, WHICH ARE YOU TAKING?

Bossi's view: That's a loaded question, considering they have five players ranked among the top 20 of the 2019-21 classes. But, I have to take Jeremiah Robinson-Earl because he's the most complete player they have and because he's a finisher. Robinson-Earl was bad offensively early against Oak Hill, missing on some easy conversions. But, he never hung his head and he rebounded, made good decisions and when it got tough late, he scored at the rim and knocked down a 17-footer from the baseline to effectively end the game while finishing with 18 points and 15 rebounds. He's mentally tough and looks ready to do damage at Villanova.

Evans' view:Josh Green, who is headed to Arizona. The Aussie standout just does too much. He had been knocked in the past for his shot-making abilities, or lack thereof, but even that has improved to where he is shooting close to 40 percent from behind the arc this season. I want someone that can play more than just one position and Green is the figurehead of positionless basketball. He has the feel to create for others, the strength to guard some small ball fours, and the athleticism to throw down impressive dunks on the break. Toss in the intangibles factor and Green gets my vote..

WHICH PLAYER SURPRISED YOU THE MOST?

Bossi's view: I will go with Pavel Zakharov. Part of it is that Sunday was my first time seeing him in person, but the majority of it was because as good as I thought he was based on film study, he was even better up close. The Gonzaga commitment looks to be every bit of 6-foot-10 and he's got a sturdy build, skill and a bit of a nasty streak. I'm really interested to see how Mark Few is going to use he and Drew Timme together. Zakharov is going to enter into at least the upper third of the 2019 Rivals150 when it gets updated next week.

Evans' view: I was lucky to see Quincy Allen last month and was immediately drawn to his shooting abilities. I thought I had uncovered a potential top-75 prospect. I was dead wrong. Yes, Allen is definitely a top-75 recruit but think better, like potential five-star stuff with the sophomore.

While it might be a giant leap to rate him as such, it is not difficult to project his long-term potential. Having grown a few inches since last year, Allen is now a good sized, 6-foot-6 wing that can really stroke it. He is confident with putting the ball on the deck in creating for himself and his teammates. Howard is the lone school to have offered but it won’t be much longer before practically the entire ACC jumps in with offers of their own. He finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds on Sunday, displaying tremendous value as a two-way threat.

WHICH PLAYER THAT YOU SAW SUNDAY'S RECRUITMENT IS MOST INTERESTING?

Bossi's view: It has to be Tre Mitchell. The senior at Woodstock (Conn.) Academy declined to speak about any schools involved, saying he didn't want to forget anybody. I have no doubt that he has some he likes, but in addition to him not talking about any specific programs, from asking around none of the schools trying to recruit him have any feel for what he's got going on. Is it Pittsburgh, Providence, Virginia Tech, UConn, Rhode Island or one of the many others involved that is out in front? It seems nobody knows.

Evans' view: Who is going to land Christian Brown? At one point, the perceived favorite was Clemson and it really wasn’t close. However, he took his visit to the ACC program months ago and came back an uncommitted man. Ever since, Brown has seen a number of schools enter the mix and the momentum of late has favored NC State.

While some have come to the conclusion that Kevin Keatts’ bunch is just weeks away from a commitment, at most, I tend to disagree. I'm not saying that he won’t end up in Raleigh but rather that there is still a little more time to go before his chooses where his college stop might be. Pittsburgh is the major dark horse here, where he could visit next month. Illinois has also picked things up, as Clemson, Georgetown, Georgia, and South Carolina are in the mix still, too. This one is difficult to get a grasp on.

WHICH JUNIOR MOST IMPRESSED YOU ON SUNDAY?

Bossi's view: I really loved what I saw out of Rivals150 point guard Andre Curbelo on Sunday. His energy was infectious.

But, based on what I had read and seen on video from four-star shooting guard Cameron Thomas, I had pretty high expectations. He exceeded them. The Oak HIll star looked much stronger than in the summer, created off the dribble, hit jumpers and generated offense at a high level. He's as natural a scorer as there is in the junior class and it's easy to see why Oregon, Oklahoma, Miami, NC State, UConn, VCU, Florida, Virginia Tech and others are chasing.

Evans' view: It would be difficult to leave the gym on Sunday evening and not be impressed by Jaden Springer. Already slotted as a five-star prospect, Springer looked the part and played like it where he scored with toughness at the basket, converting one of the more impressive finishes against gigantic Illinois commit Kofi Cockburn,

He shows versatility as a handler and scorer and he's in terrific shape. One of the youngest members of the 2020 class, Springer is being courted by Auburn, Clemson, NC State, Tennessee and Vanderbilt, among others,. Don’t be surprised if he were to continue to make a name for himself and cement his standing as an elite guard prospect nationally.