- Paul Biancardi, Basketball Recruiting
Here is a look at what to expect from all the participants during the Under Armour Elite 24, which is one of the summer's premiere high school basketball events.
The dunk contest will be airing live on Friday from Venice Beach, Calif., while the game will be on Saturday. Both events will be on ESPNU and WatchESPN at 7 p.m. ET.
Jabari Bird, SG (Richmond, Calif./Salesian)
Class: 2013 | Rank: 20
He scores easily and often against his competition. Bird is one of the more prolific scorers in the nation thanks to his jumper, which goes out well beyond the arc. Defensively, he has great length and a quick pair of hands. Look for him to make some noise on the defensive end in the game with deflections and steals.
Nate Britt, PG (Washington, D.C./Gonzaga College)
Class: 2013 | Rank: 49
College: North Carolina
If you like traditional point guards who are an extension of the coach on the floor, then this is your guy. He might not have the flash of some at his position, but he understands how to run a team and is a winner. In a game with many lay ups and dunks, look for Britt to get double figure assists. UNC coach Roy Williams wasted no time in securing his commitment.
Tyler Ennis, PG (Brampton, Ontario/St. Benedict's)
Class: 2013 | Rank: 41
The recent Syracuse commit plays smooth and under control. He can be very effective in an up-tempo game because he can score naturally or execute a pick and roll with ease. Watch him shoot behind the screen from 3. He also has a knack of rebounding down from the perimeter and going coast to coast.
Conner Frankamp, PG (Wichita, Kan./North)
Class: 2013 | Rank: 36
One of the nation's best shooters, he can knock it down from anywhere on the floor. A specialist from long range, Frankamp went 14-of-31 from distance for USA Basketball U-17 team that won a gold medal in Lithuania. He performs with a quiet confidence and doesn’t get rattled.
Keith Frazier, SG (Dallas/Kimball)
Class: 2013 | Rank: 19
Another star from the Lone Star State, Frazier will shoot it quickly from deep with confidence. He is bouncy and he is a threat to score with his jumper any time the ball is in his hands. Note to defenders: if you think you're close enough to him, you’re not.
Aaron Gordon, PF (San Jose, Calif./Archbishop Mitty)
Class: 2013 | Rank: 6
The best player on the West Coast, is a combination of explosiveness, athleticism and skills. He scores and rebounds effortlessly and easily could be a double-double player at the next level. His game is a highlight waiting to happen.
Brannen Greene, SG (Monroe, Ga./Tift County)
Class: 2013 | Rank: 40
Few players in the nation possess his size and outstanding stroke. He has NBA shooting guard size with an ultra-athletic frame and even though the game is outdoors on Venice Beach, I expect this guy to make shots. He will bust a zone defense quickly with his sharp shooting.
Isaac Hamilton, SG (Los Angeles/Saint John Bosco)
Class: 2013 | Rank: 22
The only local player in this year's game, Hamilton is considered one of the more dynamic scorers in the country. He could go for big numbers in this setting.
Aaron Harrison, SG (Richmond, Texas/Travis)
Class: 2013 | Rank: 4
Although his twin brother Andrew is the No. 2 ranked player in the country, Aaron, who is ranked No. 4, is the better scorer of the two and should shine in this atmosphere as he scored well in last year's outing as a junior. He physically dominates his opponent by attacking the rim and can make him pay behind the arc as well.
Andrew Harrison, PG (Richmond, Texas/Travis)
Class: 2013 | Rank: 2
No one had a better summer than him and because of his size and strength at his position he may be the most dominant player in the country. In last year's Elite 24 game, he went 7-of-7 from the field and handed out six assists. He can run a team or take over the scoring load, when needed. Few players at his age combine the physical and mental attributes of a seasoned veteran like he does.
Kuran Iverson, SF (Windsor, Conn./Fishburne Military)
Class: 2013 | Rank: 26
Iverson is a top-15 talent who always seems to leave the scouts and evaluators wanting to see more (and by more, I mean more consistency). When focused, the skilled and athletic forward is as talented as anyone in the 2013 class. If he unleashes it and competes during the Elite 24 game, fans will be repeating his name in the future.
Rondae Jefferson, SF (Chester, Pa./Chester)
Class: 2013 | Rank: 14
Although Jefferson’s biggest area of improvement will come from his consistency from the perimeter, in a game played outdoors -- where wind may affect jump shots --Jefferson’s ability to get to the rim and finish will be invaluable. He may be a lethal scorer, but teammates will also love playing with the left-handed spark plug because of his energy, unselfishness and passing ability.
Stanley Johnson, SF (Fullerton, Calif./Mater Dei)
Class: 2014 | Rank: 24
He's a physical specimen with terrific skill set for someone so young. He has the frame to finish in traffic with contact and can use either hand, while finishing and possesses a tremendous knack to score. He had a terrific spring and summer as he led Mater Dei to a state championship and the Oakland Soldiers to the Peach Jam championship.
Tyus Jones, PG (Apple Valley, Minn./Apple Valley)
Class: 2014 | Rank: 2
It’s not very often you have the two best point guards in all of high basketball on the same court, but we will in this game. Some will argue that Jones is better than Andrew Harrison. Jones is a consummate floor general as he makes shots from distance or in the lane and hands out assists like candy at Halloween. He competes and plays with excellent pace by changing speeds and direction with the ball. He finished his sophomore campaign as the Gatorade State Player of the Year.
Jermaine Lawrence, PF (Springfield Gardens, N.Y./Pope John XXII)
Class: 2013 | Rank: 16
In this up-tempo type of setting fans may not get to see Lawrence’s half-court abilities, but they are sure to be awed by his jaw-dropping play at the rim in transition. When he sets his mind to it, he can be one of the top offensive rebounders in the country (watch for an electrifying put back).
Marcus Lee, PF (Antioch, Calif./Deer Valley)
Class: 2013 | Rank: 27
The consensus on Lee is that he can be as good as he decides to be because few players in the country can match his length and athletic ability. Fans (and college coaches alike) will love the late bloomer’s shot-blocking ability along with his ability to finish at the rim. Look for Lee to score inside, rebound and protect the rim in this contest.
Emmanuel Mudiay, PG (Arlington, Texas/Grace Prep)
Class: 2014 | Rank: 6
After this weekend, Mudiay could be a household name. He breaks down a defense with his dribble penetration and locates his teammates with vision and accuracy as a distributor. He has a feel for the game as he can score or facilitate and is happy doing either one. He has a tremendous upside as a future point guard.
Austin Nichols, PF (Eads, Tenn./Briarcrest)
Class: 2013 | Rank: 10
In a game that both teams will have a lot of possessions, look for the hard-running big man to score a lot in transition. Named Mr. Tennessee as a junior he is dangerous in the high post, facing the basket because of his skill with the ball and his advanced post moves. He will also use his mobility and length to rebound. Overall, he's a consistent performer who is fundamentally sound and works hard at his craft.
Julius Randle, PF (Dallas/Prestonwood Christian)
Class: 2013 | Rank: 3
If you haven’t had the opportunity to catch Randle’s act yet, you are in for a real treat as no one in the 2013 class matches his size, strength and skill set. The explosive power forward is known to rip it off the rim and take it coast to coast, finishing with an exclamation point through defenders. He scored 10 points in last year's outing and don't be surprised if he is the best player on the boardwalk this year.
Wayne Selden, SF (Boston/Tilton School)
Class: 2013 | Rank: 13
Usually a man amongst boys, Selden finishes strong at the rim. Watch this kid in the open floor and you will see why he is considered one of the top transition players in the country. The Boston native has worked hard to improve his skills, which are catching up to his advanced body and that's a recipe for success.
Sindarius Thornwell, SG (Lancaster, S.C./Oak Hill)
Class: 2013 | Rank: 43
One of the nation’s top scores, Thornwell thrives in the transition game and has become effective when the game goes into the half-court set. His frame is hard to deal with for defenders because he possesses strength and size. Thornwell also finds the basket and finishes plays with ease, so keep an eye on him when it comes to changing the scoreboard.
Rashad Vaughn, SG (Minneapolis, Minn./Robbinsdale Cooper)
Class: 2014 | Rank: 12
A last-minute invite to the party, the rising junior has a chance to blossom this season. He brings a terrific frame with broad shoulders and long arms, which help him handle the ball well in the open court. He finds his way to the rim, finishes in transition and has the ability to stick the 3-point shot.
Nigel Williams-Goss, PG (Happy Valley, Ore./Findlay Prep)
Class: 2013 | Rank: 47
Not as flashy or fancy as some others in this game, but he is every bit effective. Williams-Goss will look to make the right play and involve his teammates, especially his post players, like a good point guard should. He has been taught to lead his team to victory, while not caring about getting the credit. This is what makes him special.
Justise Winslow, SF (Houston/Saint John's)
Class: 2014 | Rank: 11
You will find Winslow operating along the baseline in this star-studded event, finishing everything around the rim with ease. The lefty has a quick and low first step and this game is a chance for him to let loose. As a rising junior, he is one of the elite athletes you will witness, but what really sets him apart from his peers is his passing and basketball IQ.