#OTRHoopsReport: Top Performers from Marshall County Hoop Fest – December 9, 2014
BENTON, Ky., – The Marshall County Hoop Fest provided an exciting atmosphere for teams to compete against elite competition. With over 2,000 local Kentucky fans on hand to watch the games, Hoop Fest blends a traditional basketball fan base with dozens of ELITE ranked players. Here is a close look back on which players elevated themselves above the others on this December weekend.
Hoop Fest Top Performers
Carlton Bragg (Cleveland, Ohio), – Villa Angela St. Joesph – 2015
The 6-foot-9 forward delivered in every way possible on Saturday evening. Locked in a close game with Archbishop Carroll, Bragg scored 2 key buckets under a minute to go to seal the victory against Derrick Jones and company. He walked away with 25 points and 13 rebounds on the night all while head coach Bill Self of Kansas and John Groce of Illinois watched. Bragg, currently ranked No. 13 in the BrandonClayScouting.com ELITE 100, played like a top ten player on this night. He is a forward that embraces the dirty work of a front line player. However, he is skilled enough to play facing the basket. His vision and ability to pass were impressive for a player at his position. He even showed range on his jumper from beyond the arc.
Derrick Jones (Radnor, Penn.), – Archbishop Carroll – 2015
The left-handed wing player played with consistency in the two games at the Hoop Fest. After earning MVP honors with a victory over Malik Newman and Callaway High School on Friday night, he followed that up with a 18 points and 9 rebounds versus Villa St. Joseph on Saturday. Jones is a slashing wing who can throw down the exciting dunk in traffic. However, he showed a nice stroke from the arc here this weekend that gives him an added dimension to his game. Currently ranked No. 16 in the BrandonClayScouting.com ELITE 100, he projects to be an impact player for the Running Rebels of UNLV next season.
Jamal Murray (Kitchener, CAN), Orangeville Prep – 2016
The marque match-up of the weekend was supposed to be between Malik Newman and Thon Maker in the 9:00pm game on Saturday night. While both of the aforementioned players put in superb games in their own right, Murray proved to be the difference for the Canadian prep school. The 6-5 combo guard scored 31 points and provided fresh legs on defense against Malik Newman in the final minutes of the game. While currently ranked No. 22 in the ELITE 60, Murray has talked about reclassifying to 2015 and signing in the late period. Regardless of which class Murray ends up being in, he is proving to be one of the better combo guards in the country with his ability to score and handle the ball for his team.
Nolan Narain (LaPorte, Ind.), La Lumiere – 2016
If there was a title of ‘stock-riser’ of the event, the 6-9 forward would be odds on favorite to win the award. The Indiana native notched a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds in a run away win over Christ Presbyterian on Friday evening. He has an impressive skill set for the position as he showed the ability to score in the paint with his back to the basket. What set him apart in this game was his aggressiveness on the glass. He did not back down to class of 2016 forward Braxton Blackwell and showed confidence on both ends of the floor. Look for his name when we expand our BrandonClayScouting.com rankings in the 2016.
Malik Newman (Jackson, Miss.), Callaway – 2015
Newman delivered on the expectations of the best scorer at the Hoop Fest as he delivered 35 and 42 points on back to back nights. It never gets old watching the 6-3 guard create his own shot and score the ball trip after trip. His ability to score with his hand in his face makes him an impossible cover in a one on one situation. Newman was even able to score over 7-1 Thon Maker on the wing. He has an incredible feel for timing and body control that allows him score any where on the floor. What makes Newman even more interesting for basketball fans is the fact that he is giving no clues as to what school he will chose. Although Kentucky and Mississippi State were the two schools that were mentioned most often on press row this weekend.
Florida State signee Dwayne Bacon showed once again he is an elite scorer in this class. With size and athleticism standing at 6-6, he is impossible to keep out of the lane when he has space to create.
Coach Drew Maddox has a jewel of a point guard Tyger Campbell. The luxury of playing at a private school allows the 8th grader to play with the big boys on these nights. Campbell showed that he belonged as he scored 18 points against La Lumiere
One of the better wing athletes in the class of 2016 is Mario Kegler of Arlington Country Day. A 6-6 small forward who thrives in the transition game, even showed showed range on his jumper on this day. He scored 30 points against Huntington Prep in the Saturday midnight game.
Owensboro forward Aric Holman showed why Louisville is recruiting him so hard. The 6-9 front line athlete can block shots on the defensive end and is developing nice touch on the offensive side. Holman is looking at reclassifying to 2016 next year.
Huntington Prep has a talented guard in Curtis Jones a class of 2016 graduate. The lead guard showed his ability to handle, shoot and create with the ball here this weekend. He earned MVP honors on Saturday evening.
Purdue commit CJ Walker delivered solid back to back performances at Hoop Fest. The left handed guard is steady while also bringing the ability to create off of the bounce. Although he was not named MVP in either of the two games he played in, he set the table for his teammates to excel which is the best compliment a point guard can get.