Kentucky had six incoming freshman who participated Saturday night at the 2013 Jordan Brand Classic high school all-star game. The West won the contest by a 102-98 final score, but the real winners were the individuals who affirmed their schools’ decisions with their excellent play.
A poor performance in this game doesn’t mean too much in the long run. The rosters and approaches of each player’s team will be very different when these players arrive in a real and competitive college basketball environment.
Still, it was an exciting night that showcased some of the best young prospects in the sport. Let’s take a look at some of the best and worst performers of the night.
Julius Randle—one of six University of Kentucky commits who participated in the game—earned co-MVP honors for his performance at the Barclays Center on Saturday night.
His East squad dropped the contest in final moments, but the big man impressed by scoring 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting and snagging seven rebounds.
Kennedy Meeks—a 6’9”, 275-pound big man on his way to North Carolina—looked overwhelmed by the speed and athleticism of his peers.
Roy Williams will need to do some work with Meeks on his conditioning prior to next season if the freshman hopes to crack into the rotation. Williams likes to run and Meeks doesn’t look like he could hang at his current physique.
Jabari Parker—The Duke-bound No. 2 recruit in the ESPN100 Class of 2013—took home the other half of the co-MVP award while helping the West squad earn the victory.
Parker scored 16 points on 8-of-13 shooting, pulled down eight boards and also added two steals and two assists in a solid performance.
Aaron Harrison—another Kentucky-bound recruit and sharpshooting guard—was ineffective at best on Saturday night. Regarded as a solid three-point shooting prospect, Harrison missed on all four of his attempts in Brooklyn
He finished with just six points, two rebounds and two assists after playing 23 minutes off of the East squad’s bench.
Nigel Williams-Goss—ranked as the fifth-best PG in the 2013 class by 247Sports.com—lived up to the hype on the large Brooklyn stage on Saturday night.
The Washington-commit PG led all scorers on the West team with 17 points on 6-of-7 shooting. Williams-Goss also executed a key three-point play to put his squad ahead in the waning moments of the action. He showed a good ability to get to the basket and finish while drawing the foul on that clutch play.