Under Armour Association: Walker highlights Sunday action
NEW YORK -- Prospects from all over the country had one last chance during the first of two open weekends during April to impress college coaches on Sunday, and several did at the Under Armour Association in New York.
Walker wakes up
After a slow first two days, five-star shooting guard M.J. Walker bounced back with a strong performance against Team Beast Mode on Sunday morning. He rattled off 23 points in the blowout win on just 12 shot attempts and connected on three of his six shots from three-point range.
Walker has been a known commodity since he showed up at Jonesboro High School in the fall of 2013, but has continued to elevate his game since. The No. 22 prospect in the 2017 Rivals150 is an imposing presence with his strong frame at 6-foot-5 and uses it to his advantage attacking the basket. When Walker gets his jump shot rolling, he’s a tough matchup.
Despite being ranked so highly, Walker’s managed to keep a pretty low profile in the recruiting game. He’s collected offers from schools all over the country, but says he’s only really been in contact with three schools of late.
“Right now, Ohio State, Maryland and Florida State have been talking to me,” Walker said.
Each school had assistant coaches at his games throughout the weekend, and Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon caught one of his games on Saturday.
Big morning for Moore
The Atlanta Xpress 16-under team wasted no time putting away Young Legends in a Sunday morning game. Led by five-star small forward Khavon Moore, the Xpress cruised to 70-50 victory to cap off an undefeated weekend.
What stands out most about Moore is his uniqueness. It’s rare in the high school ranks to see a 6-foot-8 player that can legitimately handle the ball against tough pressure and facilitate offense. That’s exactly what Moore does. If his team is playing well, it’s usually because of Moore making plays. For him to become a more complete player, he’ll need to fine tune his jump shot, but his natural ability is off the charts.
Moore has plenty of talent around him, too. Nelson Phillips is a 6-foot-5 athletic wing with a nice perimeter stroke. Shamarie McLeod, also a 6-foot-5 wing, is a slasher that chipped in 12 points in a variety of ways. Isaiah Kelly is an undersized power forward at 6-foot-6, but he’s highly productive with his energy. He’s best in the paint, but showed the ability to step out and hit jumpers.
A number of schools watched the Xpress 16s throughout the weekend to see Moore and his teammates. West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins was in attendance on Sunday morning along with assistants from Auburn, LSU, Ole Miss and UAB. Georgia head coach Mark Fox was courtside on Saturday.
Michael Durr had previously been ranked in the 2017 Rivals150, and he showed glimpses why on Sunday morning. The 6-foot-9 center came off the bench for the Atlanta Xpress and dominated the paint on both ends. He showed soft touch around the rim on put-backs as well. Texas Tech and Pittsburgh had offered under their last coaching staffs as well as several mid-majors.
It doesn’t take long to see why Chris Smith of Team Beast Mode is already ranked among the top 25 prospects in the 2018 class. The 6-foot-8 combo forward has the look of a high level “stretch four” with his shooting ability from three point range.
Seton Hall commit Myles Cale was terrific in the second half of the South Jersey Jazz’s matchup with Louisiana Elite as he helped them storm back from a 25-point deficit to make it a tight game late. The four-star prospect will be able to play either guard spot for Kevin Willard, and will do it at a high level.
Bryan Antoine will be one to track in the 2019 class out of New Jersey. Playing for Team Rio under former Rutgers head coach Mike Rice, the 6-foot-5 guard has terrific ball skills and a pure stroke. He looks like a potential five-star prospect down the road.
Scottie Lewis is another bouncy 6-foot-5 wing that will be highly recruited in the 2019 class. When he decides to attack the rim, there isn’t much anybody will do to stop him. He’s a quick leaper. His stroke is inconsistent right now, but there is plenty of time to iron that out.
Donovan Toatley is the consummate floor general for the DC Premier 16-under team. On the small side at 5-foot-8, he’s in complete control of the game and gets wherever he wants on the court. He’s a great decision-maker with the ball in his hands and a very capable scorer.
Makhi Mitchell will be one for high-majors to track off DC Premier’s 16’s as well. The 6-foot-10 prospect in the 2019 class has a physically developed body, great hands, and is strong on the glass.
Villanova head coach Jay Wright and new Rutgers head coach Steve Pikiell watched the matchup between DC Premier and Team Rio in the 16-under division.