Here are the top five storylines for this week.
1. Williams-Goss vs. Hill may decide Findlay-Montverde. The last time No. 2 Montverde (Montverde, Fla.) and No. 1 Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) squared off, the point guard battle between Findlay’s Nigel Williams-Goss and Montverde’s Kasey Hill was must-see TV. Eventually, Williams-Goss led the Pilots to the, 86-83, win in overtime, dropping 17 points and dishing out 14 assists. Hill went for 23 points and six assists.
This season, both players have served as the engines that make their teams go.
That means there’s a solid chance that whoever wins the matchup will win the game. Hill, a senior who is signed to Florida, has done a masterful job of being whatever his team has needed from lockdown defender to unstoppable scorer. Same for Williams-Goss, a senior who is signed to Washington.
Still, we’re giving the slight edge to Hill in this matchup of elite point guards.
2. Nkemdiche impacted by last minute visit to Florida? Robert Nkemdiche, the consensus No. 1 high school football player in the country, made a last-minute visit to Florida this past weekend after recently saying that he was down to Ole Miss and LSU. Nkemdiche, a senior defensive end at Grayson (Loganville, Ga.), made the trip due in large part to the relationship he built with Wharton (Tampa) cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III during the Under Armour All-American game.
But c’mon, Signing Day is roughly two weeks away, you can’t really think the Gators go from out of contention to landing the country’s most potent player?
Move along, nothing to see here.
3. N.C. State’s rolling out the red velvet? The college coaches that have the most success landing the country’s best high school basketball players, the Caliparis, the Donovans and the Krzyzewskis of the world, pay attention to the little things. So it’s no wonder that when Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas) forward Julius Randle, ranked No. 2 in the Rivals150, shows up for his official visits that the coaches have a red velvet cake waiting for Randle’s mother Carolyn Kyles.
“All of the coaches know that red velvet cake is my favorite,” Kyles said. “They talk about it more than me. I would have to say that Kentucky has had the best cake so far, but I’m looking forward to trying the red velvet cake at N.C. State this weekend. They say theirs is great!”
If it’s true that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, then maybe the way to land an elite prospect is through a mouthwatering slice of red velvet cake?
4. Parker due for a breakout. Naturally, Simeon (Chicago) forward Jabari Parker looked out of shape in his second game back after returning from a fractured foot injury that sidelined him for months. It was his first nationally televised game of the season on Dec. 13, which resulted in a loss to DeSoto (DeSoto, Texas). He was reportedly 80 percent in a blowout loss to Montverde on Jan. 5, which was also televised nationally. Now, in his third nationally televised game, expect Parker, a senior who is ranked No. 2 in the ESPN 100, to be stellar. We’re talking pre-injury Parker.
He was not happy with how he performed (17 points and 13 rebounds) against Montverde and won’t let that happen again.
Want a stat line?
Let’s go 31 points and 15 rebounds.
The No. 11 Wolverines square off with No. 10 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) today at 2 p.m. on ESPNU in the Spalding Hoophall Classic.
5. Knights ready to prove they’re elite. Lone Peak’s (Highland, Utah) last high-profile game was an embarrassing blowout loss to No. 2 Montverde in the City of Palms Classic championship in December. In that game, senior point guard Nick Emery, a BYU signee, was held in check by the quick and athletic Eagles’ guards. Today, when the Knights face Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.) at noon on ESPNU in the Spalding Hoophall Classic, they’ll be looking to make a statement.
Archbishop Mitty has Aaron Gordon, a senior forward who is ranked No. 7 in the ESPN 100, but the Knights have too many weapons with Emery (18 ppg.), senior center Eric Mika (15 ppg., 10 rpg.) and junior shooting guard T.J. Haws (16 ppg.).
Expect that Lone Peak statement to be heard loud and clear.
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter @JayJayUSATODAY.