ESPN to showcase top prep talent this weekend

The GEICO ESPN High School Basketball Showcase plans to air 8 high-level games on Sunday and Monday.

According to a press release from ESPN, the GEICO ESPN High School Basketball Showcase continues its coverage of elite high school basketball on Sunday, Jan. 17 and Monday, Jan.18. The schedule will start with three games on ESPN3, followed by a headline contest on ESPN, and the rest of the action on ESPNU.

The slate of contests is as follows (all times are EST) - all team rankings listed come from the updated Fab 50 National Team Rankings:

  • Sunday, 1:30 PM, Bishop Walsh (MD) vs No. 12 Legacy Early College (SC), ESPN3 - Rutgers signee Jalen Miller of Bishop Walsh will face off against a loaded team that features Nebraska-bound Bryce McGowens and Jacobi Wright (South Carolina).

  • Sunday, 3:30 PM, No. 6 Oak Hill Academy (VA) vs No. 13 La Lumiere (IN), ESPN3 - Two perennial powerhouses clash, and Oak Hill has highly-touted junior wing M.J. Rice, sophomore Caleb Foster , and senior forward Jalen Ricks ready to take on two ranked juniors in center Vincent Iwuchukwu and point guard J.J. Starling, along with Minnesota signed center Treyton Thompson of La Lumiere.

  • Sunday, 5:30 PM, No. 3 Sunrise Christian (KS) vs AZ Compass Prep (AZ), ESPN3 - Four high-major signees headline Sunrise Christian in Kennedy Chandler (Tennessee), Kendall Brown (Baylor), Zach Clemence (Kansas) and Jaden Akins (Michigan State) and AZ Compass Prep counters with TyTy Washington (Creighton) and DaRon Holmes (Dayton), along with top-25 junior Sadraque Nganga.

  • Sunday, 7:30 PM, No. 2 IMG Academy (FL) vs No. 1 Montverde Academy (FL), ESPN - Featured for good reason, these two programs are loaded! Montverde Academy rolls with senior signees Langston Love (Baylor) and Caleb Houstan (Michigan) along with top 10 junior talents Jalen Duren and Dariq Whitehead, among many others. IMG Academy also has two top 10 juniors in point guard Jaden Bradley and post Jarace Walker, along with senior headliners Moussa Diabate (Michigan) and Tamar Bates (Texas).

  • Monday, 11:00 AM, No. 12 Legacy Early College (SC) vs No. 13 La Lumiere (IN), ESPNU

  • Monday, 1:00 PM, Lewisville iSchool (TX) vs No. 6 Oak Hill Academy (VA), ESPNU - Top 10 junior guard Keyonte George and company will have their hands full with the famed Oak Hill program.

  • Monday, 3:00 PM, No. 2 IMG Academy (FL) vs No. 3 Sunrise Christian (KS), ESPNU

  • Monday, 5:00 PM, No. 1 Montverde Academy (VA) vs No. 7 Wasatch Academy (UT), ESPNU - Wasatch Academy comes for the crown with Kentucky-bound Nolan Hickman, and touted juniors Rickie Isaacs and Roddy Gayle Jr.

All games will be played at The St. James Sports, Wellness and Entertainment Complex in Springfield, Va.

Transfers Tshiebwe and Mills land at new locales

In last week’s newsletter, we highlighted the idea that out-going transfers Oscar Tshiebwe (departed West Virginia) and Caleb Mills (formerly of Houston) were likely the equivalent of five star recruits and bound to flex their talent wherever they were to land. As it turns out, we didn’t have to wait long to see. Tshiebwe committed to Kentucky, while Mills is set for Florida State.

Both Kentucky and Florida State already had top-5 recruiting classes in the 2021 recruiting cycle heading into the new year, so needless to say adding elite transfers ready to step in and go will only help.

Tshiebwe put up 11 points and 9 rebounds per game as a freshman, and was averaging 8.5 points and 7.8 rebounds in 10 games of action prior to transferring. He provides a grown man presence in the paint from day one at Kentucky, which the Wildcats needed.

Mills was selected the pre-season player of the year in the AAC prior to this season, but only played in 4 games due to an injury this year. In his first year at Houston, Mills put up 13.2 points and 2.6 rebounds per game. Florida State’s recruiting class previously held a pledge from top 25 talent guard Bryce McGowens before he flipped to Nebraska, so adding Mills should finally take the sting completely out of losing McGowens.

Other notable commits

  • Kansas State nabbed their second recruit for the 2021 recruiting cycle, in 6-5 small forward Maximus Edwards of Our Savior Lutheran (NY), a native of Connecticut. Edwards reportedly had an offer from Seton Hall along with several mid-majors. Previously at Bunnell (CT), Edwards put up 27 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 assists per game last season. He is joined by big man Logan Landers, a center from Wisconsin, in the class to date for the Wildcats.

  • Wisconsin added a third forward to their four member 2021 class, as Marcus Ilver, a 6-8 forward from Western Reserve Academy (OH), made his pledge. Nebraska point guard Chucky Hepburn and the aforementioned post duo, Matthew Mors and Chris Hodges were the previous commits. Ilver has taken an interesting route to the Badgers, as he hails from Estonia and played at a prep school in Virginia as a junior. Wisconsin beat out Big Ten foe Nebraska, along with Utah, Xavier, along with several other offers.

  • Top 150 junior Corey Floyd Jr. is off the board to UConn. The 6-4 shooting guard provides the Huskies with a scorer capable of adding to the intriguing mix of backcourt talents UConn is accumulating. They previously added two guard standouts in the 2021 recruiting cycle in point guard Rahsool Diggins and shooting guard Jordan Hawkins, so Floyd Jr.’s ability to contribute at both guard slots will come in handy as the program builds towards being a Big East beast again.

  • Rice now has two early pledges in the 2022 class, and both are plying their trades in Phoenix-area basketball school programs. Mekhi Mason, a 6-5 shooting guard, joins previously committed Andrew King. With good size, Mason averaged 11.5 points per game as a sophomore at Chandler (AZ) prior to transferring to AZ Compass Prep (AZ).