NEW YORK - In opening action of the Big Strick Classic, several players from Team New York City and Team USA put on monster performers that would have made John “Big Strick” Strickland tip his cap. Let’s take a look at who finished their breakfast in the Bronx on Friday.
Kelly Oubre (SG, Team USA White / Findlay Prep / 2014):
In Friday’s opening scrimmage vs. Team USA Blue, Oubre, ranked 20th in the nation according to ESPN, put on a show en route to a 101-87 victory. Scoring a game-high 34 points, the 6’7 shooting guard was able to score everywhere on the floor, while doing the most damage on the drive. The Findlay Prep transfer was efficient finishing with either hand, slicing and dicing the opposing defense for 40 minutes on Friday. Oubre did more than just attack the basket, however, as the Kentucky target knocked down a pair of deep threes. The senior has trimmed his list down to eight schools, listing Connecticut, Florida, Georgetown, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Oregon, and UNLV.
Isaiah Whitehead (SG, Team NYC White / Brooklyn Lincoln / 2014):
Breaking news: Isaiah Whitehead has ridiculous range. Scoring 35 points in an 120-106 loss to Team NYC Orange, the Brooklyn native hit several shots from Yonkers on Friday. Whitehead’s three-point shot was on point in the day’s opening scrimmage, as 27 of his 35 points came from behind-the-arc. Whitehead battled head-to-head with Isaiah Briscoe, limiting Briscoe to just 10 points. Heading into a Saturday matchup with JaQuan Lyle, Whitehead looks to continue an impressive summer with another eye-opening showing. Hailing from the same high school as Sebastian Telfair and Stephon Marbury, Whitehead certainly possesses the Brooklyn bravado that gives him an advantage in most match ups.
Cheick Diallo (PF, Team NYC Orange / Our Savior New American / 2015):
After winning MVP honors at the NBPA Top 100 Camp in June, Diallo carried his reign of dominance over to the Gauchos Gym in the Bronx with a 26-point, 12-rebound, four-assist performance in Team NYC Orange’s victory. The African native was deadly in transition, often times corralling rebounds on one end of the floor, and finishing with powerful jams on the other. Diallo battled with Syracuse commit Chris McCullough for a large part of Friday’s scrimmage, which proved to be one of the day’s most interesting match ups. Ranked as the third-best power forward in the class of 2015, Diallo boasts offers from Connecticut, Kansas, Louisville, Syracuse, Texas, and Villanova, among others.
Chris McCullough (PF, Team NYC White / Brewster Academy / 2014):
Notching a double-double, McCullough put together one of Friday’s best performances, finishing with 30 points and 10 rebounds, highlighted by an array of electrifying dunks. Running the NYC White offense with Whitehead, McCullough, a Syracuse commit, put on a show for the capacity crowd in the Bronx. Showcasing an expanded range, the 6’10 power forward scored six of his 30 points from behind-the-arc, forcing his defenders to guard him on the perimeter. Listed as the 7th-best prospect in the class of 2014, McCullough looks to bring bragging rights back to the Big Apple in the third installment of the Big Strick Classic.
Prince Ali (SG, Team NYC Orange / Sagemont School, FL / 2015):
Along with Diallo, Ali had a monster performance to lead NYC Orange to victory, scoring a team-high 27 points, including 15 in the second half. The 6’3 shooting guard was devastating on the break, finishing with powerful slams multiple times in transition. In an up-tempo game highlighted by each team’s efficiency in the fastbreak, Ali did just that for Orange, which proved to be a major part in Friday’s win. Sharing the backcourt with Whitehead on Saturday, Ali looks to build off a successful scrimmage in the Bronx. The junior guard claims offers from Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Rhode Island, Vanderbilt, and Washington.
JaQuan Lyle (PG, Team USA Blue / Evansville Bosse / 2014):
Even after Quentin Snider decommitted from Louisville just a few days ago, Cardinals fans should have no reason to worry about the backcourt Rick Pitino will be bringing in for the class of 2014. Lyle, who recently committed to the Cards, had an impressive showing on Friday, finishing with a team-high 22 points. Just like Whitehead, Lyle was a force from behind-the-arc, scoring all but seven of his points from three. The two highly-ranked point guards will square off on Saturday, in what might become the best position battle of the weekend. While Team New York will look to get out on the break and push the tempo, I expect Lyle’s command of the offense, and ability to control the flow of the game to have a huge impact on Saturday.
Isaac Copeland (PF, Team USA White / Brewster Academy / 2014): 19 points, five rebounds
Derrick Jones (SF, Team USA Blue / Philadelphia Carroll / 2015): 20 points, five rebounds
Ahmed Hill (SG, Team USA White / St. Thomas Aquinas, FL / 2014): 20 points, five rebounds, five assists
Khadeem Carrington (SG, Team NYC Orange / Brooklyn Loughlin / 2014): 21 points
Rawle Alkins (SG, Team NYC Orange / Queens Christ The King / 2016): 17 points, nine rebounds, seven assists
- Zach Fleer / @ZachFleerSP