Providence , RI – The second day of the National Prep School Invitational continued as planned despite a six inch snowfall. The day was highlighted by the improved play of the Helsinki Basketball Academy as they rebounded from an opening day loss to defeat Wilbraham & Monson 97-66. 7-foot Arizona signee Lauri Markannen continued his strong play in leading the Finland squad with 24 points. He hit one three-pointer, had a nice block on Kentucky signee Wenyer Gabriel (17 points) and showed a very versatile game. Markannen will be an interesting complement with Dusan Ristic in next year’s Wildcat lineup.
Helsinki as one of the tallest teams seen at the event recently with seven players 6’8 or taller. 6’9 Samuli Nieminen (6 points) committed to play at Stephen F. Austin while 6’8 senior Joonas Tahvanainen is injured and will not play at the event. 6’10 senior Remu Raitanen is thin and may need some time to contribute at a mid-major level but showed nice point forward skills in scoring 16 points. Fiifi Aidoo (9 points), a 6’3 combo-guard has high major talent with a 6’10 wingspan. Of the underclassmen 6’2 soph PG Edon Maxhuni has scored in double figures in both games (22 and 10) and looks to be a solid prospect. Fellow sophomores 6’7 Elias Valtonen (11 points) and 6’11 Hannes Polla (10 points) both look to have a potential to be high major players. 6’11 Tuukka Jaakkola is only a freshman, shows some skill already and is still growing.
6’5 Tulsa recruit Tyler Atson showed a nice all around game in leading Notre Dame Prep to an exciting 60-58 win over IMG with 21 points. DiMitrik Trice led IMG with 17 points while Florida State signed Jonathan Isaac added 16. Coastal Academy’s Dachon Burke continued to show well with 17 points in a 65-52 win over Lee Academy. Burke had 21 in yesterday’s game against Notre Dame and shows mid-major skills despite drawing no offers yet. 5’11 Fard Muhammed (26 points), 6’2 MaCio Teague (24) and 6’7 Australian Kouat Noi (16) led a strong Montverde Prep to a 91-43 romp over Canada’s Orangeville Prep. All seniors, Muhammed and Teague both have low major offers and can do somewhat better than that while Noi can excel at a MM+ level with LSU, Wichita State and VCU expressing interest.
5’10 PG Marcus Floyd helped Sunrise Christian to a 84-77 win over Cushing Academy with 22 points. Idaho and Maine have expressed the most interest in Floyd. ESPN Top 100 recruits Miles Powell (#79-Seton Hall, 20 points) and Matthew Moyer (#57-Syracuse, 16 points) led South Kent over New Hampton 63-59. 5’11 G Tremont Waters (#34, 2017 recruit) added 17 points for the winners and was named the player of the game. UConn coach Kevin Ollie and three assistants were on hand to watch recruits 7’2 Zach Brown and 6’8 Mamadou Diarra of Putnam Science. Brown scored 12 points and Diarra 11 in Putnam’s 79-75 win over Hill Academy (Canada). 6’5 Hamadou Diallo (#14 ESPN 2017) led the winners with 22 points.
The event continues with nine games today.
Carl Berman is Managing Partner of NetScouts Basketball.