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5 Things We Learned at the Spalding Hoophall Classic on Sunday



Andrew Wiggins had 19 points and 10 rebounds to lead No. 4 Huntington (W.Va.) Prep to a win over New Hampton (N.H.) School at the Spalding Hoophall Classic. / Rob Snyder

Here are five things we learned Sunday at the Spalding Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass..

1. Andrew Wiggins steps up in big games. Huntington (W.Va.) Prep forward Andrew Wiggins, considered the consensus No. 1 recruit in the 2013 class, scored 19 points and had 10 rebounds to lead the No. 4 Express to a 55-47 defeat of New Hampton (N.H.) School, a squad that has fifth-year seniors. Wiggins was looking forward to a matchup with New Hampton's Noah Vonleh, a 6-8 forward, as the two played together the past few summers as part of the Canadian AAU team, CIA Bounce. Vonleh got in foul trouble and wasn't as much a factor, scoring nine points with five rebounds.

"It's unfortunate that Vonleh got in foul trouble," Huntington Prep coach Rob Fulford said. "We obviously wanted the best guys on the court."

MORE: Wiggins and Vonleh earn preseason honors

Fulford said that though the 6-9 Wiggins wanted to guard Vonleh, Fulford didn't want to risk getting Wiggins in foul trouble.

"I'm smart," Fulford said. "We wanted to see how the refs were going to call the game. We went with Patrick Strake, who doesn't start ever, but he's physical. We didn't want it to be a situation where they got Andrew down in the post early and he would pick up a couple of cheap fouls. … Andrew was looking forward to the matchup because he likes to play elite guys. He's the one guy on our team that nobody can guard. You can put him in space and he gets into areas and space that defenses don't normally see."

2. It's still No. 1 vs. No. 2, sort of. The premier game of the Hoophall Classic is scheduled for Monday night (ESPNU, 4 p.m., ET) with No. 1 Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) scheduled to play No. 2 Montverde (Fla.) Academy. Until recently, both were unbeaten but Montverde fell 69-67 in overtime to Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.) on Saturday in the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions in Springfield, Mo. Since the rankings don’t come out until Tuesday, it will still be a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup, but a Montverde win could also propel No. 3 Whitney Young (Chicago), which played well in a 85-52 defeat of No. 9 Long Beach Poly Saturday at the Hoophall Classic, into the top spot.

MORE: Super 25 Rankings

3. Mark Williams improved his stock. With Wiggins, Dakari Johnson, Jabari Parker and many other elite players in the Hoophall Classic, Division I coaches filled their own three-deep section for Sunday’s games at Springfield College’s Blake Arena. But that may be more to be seen than for scouting purposes. However, at least one less-known player really helped himself. Center Mark Williams was named Montrose’s Player of the Game after he led the Mustangs with 19 points and 10 rebounds in a 63-51 loss to No. 12 St. Benedict's Prep (Newark). Most of the schools that have shown much interest in the 6-8, 230-pound Williams have been mid-majors, but that’s likely to change.

“Mark is an old-school type,” Montrose Christian coach Stu Vetter said. “He rebounds well. He relies on his strength instead of his quickness. He’s one of those guys who has proved himself at a high level. He shoots the ball pretty well. We have to play him more inside, but he would be a power forward in college.”

4. Travis Jorgenson also helped himself. With Vonleh in early foul trouble, Jorgenson led New Hampton with 13 points, hitting three three-pointers and he dished out a game-high four assists. He's considered the No. 31 point guard by Rivals.com.

"I just tried to take what they were giving me, which were open jump shots," Jorgenson said. "I would give the ball to guys like Cole (McConnell) and Lincoln (Davis), two guys who came off the bench and really played well. We didn't know much about their offense or defense. We knew they were a talented team and had the No. 1 player in the country."

5. The Hoop Summit team is loaded. Of the 10 players who were announced Sunday for the Nike Hoop Summit April 20 in Portland, Ore., half of them were also playing in the Hoophall Classic: Montverde guard Kasey Hill; Chester, Pa., forward Rondae Jefferson; Simeon (Chicago) forward Jabari Parker; Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.) forward Aaron Gordon; and New Hampton (N.H.) school forward Noah Vonleh. The others named to the team: Travis (Richmond, Texas) guards Andrew and Aaron Harrison; Marian (Mishawaka, Ind.) guard Demetrius Jackson; Hall (Little Rock, Ark.) forward Bobby Portis; and Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas) forward Julius Randle.

Follow Jim Halley on Twitter @jimhalley.

 

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