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Kentucky targets shine at the GEICO High School Showcase

(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

On Saturday, Montverde Academy defeated Sunrise Christian 62-52 to win the 2021 GEICO High School Showcase national title, an event that included a multitude of future stars in the college basketball landscape.

Not only was four-star Kentucky commit Nolan Hickman part of the event, but so were many other Kentucky targets for the two 2021 and 2022 classes. The one that shined the most? TyTy Washington from Arizona Compass Prep–the team that lost in the semifinals 51-49 to the eventual champions Montverde Academy.

Washington and Compass Prep beat Hickman and Wasatch Academy on Thursday night. Despite an underwhelming four points from Hickman, he was able to dish out nine assists in the season-ending loss to Compass Prep. However, Washington dropped 22 points along with 10 rebounds and five assists en route to bouncing Hickman out of the tournament.

In the following game against Montverde, Washington almost willed his team to a massive upset. In the semifinals, the four-star prospect had five assists and no turnovers against one of the fiercest defensive teams in high school basketball.

Washington de-committed from Creighton a little under a month ago and has been in contact with Kentucky, but head coach John Calipari has yet to extend an offer. It will ultimately come down to Cal believing he needs another point guard or not, but if he does, Washington has all the tools available to play for the Wildcats.

Tamar Bates

Keeping up with newly de-committed guards in the 2021 class, Tamar Bates is another name on the board as well. The four-star shooting guard de-committed from Texas after Shaka Smart’s departure and is now a name to keep an eye on. In his final high school game for IMG Academy, Bates pitched in 11 points on 5 of 9 shooting. 247 Sports’ David Sisk describes Bates as more of an athletics slasher than the shooter the BBN has been clamoring for over the last year. However, his length makes him a solid perimeter defender, something that Kentucky severely missed last season in the absence of Tyrese Maxey and Immanuel Quickley.

2022 Prospects

Jalen Duren

Looking ahead to the 2022 prospects, there was no bigger name than the top center in the county, Jalen Duren. In both the quarterfinals and semifinals Duren finished with 14 points and nine boards. In the championship game, he had an Anthony Davis-esque effect, only scoring nine points in the win but still making a difference on the court. His presence kept Sunrise Christian’s Kennedy Chandler, a Tennessee commit, at bay the entire game and he was able to corral nine boards en route to the championship.

Jaden Bradley

Jaden Bradley squared off against Kennedy Chandler earlier this week in what was the matchup of the best guards in 2021 and 2022.

Bradley struggled against Chandler early on, but turned it on in the second half, putting in 18 points of work. Unfortunately, Bradley wasn’t able to lead IMG Academy to a victory as they blew their chances down the stretch, but his efficient 18 points along with six assists made it known that Bradley is a legit prospect in 2022.

Dariq Whitehead

Finishing up with five-star small forward Dariq Whitehead, he scored 13 points in Montverde’s narrow victory against Compass Press.

Whitehead is a physical wing, something Cal has proven to be a fan of in years past. He doesn’t have much to his offensive game yet, but there is still time to develop. His biggest strength is his defensive ability on the perimeter and being able to guard any position.

Seems like the Coach Cal prototype.

Article written by Brent Wainscott

Twitter: @BrentWainscott_

1 Comment for Kentucky targets shine at the GEICO High School Showcase

  1. blueballs80
    11:51 pm April 4, 2021 Permalink

    You can’t coach effort. That kid TyTy has it. Bring him on Cal.