In what was a perfect day to play basketball outdoors–with the Manhattan skyline serving as the perfect backdrop–the Elite 24 event Saturday did not disappoint the massive crowd or those watching at home.
In the first Elite 24 game to go to overtime, Team Drive outlasted Team Clutch, 140-134. We already warned you that little defense would be played — that certainly held true Saturday night.
However, as expected, the personal performances this game is noted for came to fruition. Many stud recruits put their god-given abilities on full display.
Class of 2017 five-star point guard Trevon Duval, who 247Sports ranks as the best point guard in the 2017 class and the No. 5 recruit in the country, was involved in a heated duel with class of 2017 four-star point guard Isaiah Washington, who was cheered for as a native of the city.
While Duval’s team edged out Washington’s squad, Washington put on a show. He erupted for 36 points, the second most in Elite 24 history. (Lance Stephenson is the only player who scored more: 38.)
Washington, who 247Sports ranks as the No. 95 overall recruit in the 2017 class and the 18th-best point guard in the country, made a statement in this game. His speed, quickness and agility dropped a lot of jaws, especially against a player of Duval’s stature.
Just check out this breathtaking move, which summed up the night perfectly:
— Andrew Slater (@ASlater247) August 21, 2016
With his stellar performance, Washington likely upped his stock. There was a palpable buzz in the bleachers every time Washington touched the ball.
What was more amazing is that Washington scored only five points before halftime. He took over in the second half, as the crowd fed off his every whimsical move and Washington fed off the crowd’s emotions.
The unsigned recruit may get more looks from other colleges, but some think Syracuse may be hard to beat out in the end. In any event, and regardless of this being an offensive exhibition, Washington raised a lot of eyebrows
Meanwhile, Duval was the real deal, too: He went off for 25 points and seven assists. The headstrong guard is extremely crafty with the ball and gets in the lane with seamless aplomb.
Regardless of where he ends up, Duval will be a star at the next level. He possesses an extra sense on — and of — the court.
— Paul Biancardi (@PaulBiancardi) August 22, 2016
Other players who stood out:
* Auburn commit Austin Wiley showed off his tenacious side. The brutish power forward recorded a double-double (22 points and 12 rebounds). The five-star recruit figures to be a monumental recruit for Bruce Pearl and the Tigers.
* Jalek Felton, the nephew of Raymond Felton, also sparkled. He is a versatile combo guard who makes great decisions in traffic. Felton will follow in his uncle’s footsteps and play for Roy Williams and North Carolina as well. He scored 16 points.
* Hamidou Diallo of Team Drive also had a superb showing. The No. 8 overall recruit in the 2017 class (according to 247Sports) went for 21 points–many from rim-rattling dunks. The one negative moment from his performance: He was responsible for sending the game into overtime with an untimely goaltending call.
Prior to Saturday’s game, Under Armour held its slam-dunk and three-point contests on Friday.
Zion Williamson wowed the crowd with soaring jams to win the dunk contest. The No. 6 overall recruit (according to 247Sports) in the 2018 class had a weekend he’ll never forget. He also had a fantastic showing in the Elite 24 game, exploding for 23 points on a perfect 10-of-10 from the filed. Williamson is force in the paint when he has a full a head of steam.
Meanwhile, Felton won the three-point contest. He, like Williamson, made the most of his time in Brooklyn by having a great Elite 24 game.
In the end, six players walked away with hardware: Duval, Diallo and Williamson of Team Drive got MVP trophies, while Washington, Felton and Wiley received MVP trophies for Team Clutch.
In all, the Elite 24 showcase was what we expected it to be. It was a vibrant, riveting event that gave the people what they came there to see: a show-stopping exhibition that gave us glimpses of potential greatness.