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Flyin’ to the Hoop: Sunday’s top performers

KETTERING, Ohio — College coaches from Iowa State, Virginia Tech, St. Joseph’s, Illinois, Virginia, West Virginia, Purdue and Xavier all stopped by to take in the action at the Flyin’ to the Hoop event on Sunday as six more games provided plenty of highlight-reel plays. In another day filled with three-, four- and five-star prospects, a few players stood out.

Sunday marked back-to-back spectacular performances by Wiggins, Rivals.com’s top-ranked sophomore. The 6-foot-7 wing forward was a terror in transition as he handled the ball on the break and scored through contact around the rim at will. Wiggins threw down several thunderous dunks and dished off some no-look assists as he sparked a 22-0 run in a blowout win over Middletown (Ohio). Showing an all-around game in the second half, Wiggins secured consecutive second-chance buckets and knocked in two long-range jumpers. He finished with 23 points.


The 6-3 junior combo guard shoots the ball with great consistency from beyond the arc. At one point in the second quarter, as Huntington Prep went on a 22-0 run, Rathan-Mayes scored 12 straight points. A quick guard with change-of-pace moves and the ability to pull up off the dribble, the three-star guard finished with 20 points.


A 6-6, 245-pound post player with a man’s body, the player known as “The Diesel” scored 30 points on 11-for-14 shooting and by making 8-of-11 from the foul line. He added nine rebounds in a huge win over Akron (Ohio) St. Vincent-St. Mary. Washington tallied 16 points in the first quarter as his power and effort led to bucket after bucket inside. When Washington gets in the post, there appears to be no one who can contain the Ohio State football commit (Rivals100 defensive end) with his combination of strength and terrific footwork.

The High Point signee put on a show with his long-range shooting as he poured in 29 points, including five three-pointers. Cugini shot an efficient 10-of-17 from the field while also showing a smooth handle for a 6-7 player. A prospect with a high basketball IQ, Cugini’s ability to shot fake and drive the ball into contact to draw a foul adds another dimension to the game of this versatile scoring forward.


After being the talk of the event the previous day, the four-star sophomore put on an equally impressive show on Sunday by displaying a full offensive game. The 6-7 wing stroked the ball with a high and consistent release, pushed the ball in transition to set up teammates and made above-the-rim plays to excite the crowd. Jackson finished with 21 points, on 10-of-15 shooting, six rebounds and four assists.


The undersized point guard makes up for his lack of height with his blazing speed and incredible intensity. Berry, who totaled three steals, is a fiercely competitive defender who was able to help pressure the opposing guards into 21 turnovers. Offensively, Berry attacked the rim, where he knows how to adjust his release point around the arms of taller defenders. The 5-7 Berry, who finished with 20 points and four assists, is hearing from several Division II schools, while the coaching staff has several Division I schools planning on stopping by Taft to evaluate him.


In the highlight matchup of the day, Blanks, a little known talent even in the state of Ohio, had a career game. He scored 21 points, on 9-of-14 shooting, with three rebounds, three assists and three blocks. A fluid athlete with an improving handle, Blanks used his top-notch speed to push the break and score with acrobatic finishes around the rim. Also showing a nice shooting touch from midrange, he was able to blow by his first defender and consistently knock down jumpers from 15 feet.


Morgan, a three-star post prospect, is a throwback player with some refined offensive moves off of the low block. He does a great job of keeping the ball high on the catch and turning for his patented hook shot, which he now is able to shoot with either hand. A legitimate 6-10 with solid mobility and above average strength, Morgan was able to overpower the equally tall but thinner HYCA defenders. He finished with 14 points and nine rebounds, while going 4-for-4 from the free-throw line.


A Houston signee, Knowles makes his second straight appearance on the top performer’s list. The four-star forward showed no signs of fatigue as his team played its second game in as many days. Knowles, 6-10, was all over the court and showed versatility on the offensive end of the floor as he stepped out and used his dribble to attack Springboro’s Morgan. Knowles was most efficient on the defensive end as, despite his lack of girth, he was able to use his length and bounce to alter the shots of Morgan and the rest of the Springboro players. He finished with 10 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three blocks.


A pure point guard prospect with a smooth jumper, Rhodes is a dual threat offensively. Playing with two four-star forwards on his front line, Rhodes, the son of former Major League Baseball player Tuffy Rhodes, does a nice job of picking his spots to attack or choosing to slow the ball down and set up the offense. Rhodes thrives in the two-man game, as he entered the ball into the post and spotted up to shoot three-pointers off the double-team. He scored 11 points, including a trio of long jumpers.


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