Las Vegas, Nevada – This past weekend, October 13th – 15th, Bishop Gorman High School, and surrounding gyms, hosted the 2023 Border League in Las Vegas Tournament featuring some of the nation’s top high school teams, top nationally ranked prospects, and some elite preseason match-ups over the four-day event. The tournament pool play games began Friday the 13th and ran through Sunday the 15th. There were 9 boys’ divisions, but I was there to focus on the top two boys’ divisions; the Top Flight Invite Showcase and the Balldawgs Super 16 Division. The Top Flight Invitational featured the following 8 teams: Florida Eagles/Montverde Academy, AZ Compass Prep, Prolific Prep (CA), LABC/Harvard Westlake (CA), Knights/Bishop O’Connell (VA), Florida Explorers/Columbus, LV Orange/Bishop Gorman (NV), and AirNado/Coronado (NV). The Super 16 Division featured the following teams: Hoop Nation/Corona Centennial (CA), Blue Knights/Notre Dame (CA), Dream City Christian (AZ), Southern California Academy, California Basketball Club/Sierra Canyon, Corner Canyon (UT), Storm Troopers/Owyhee (ID), The Hall/Campbell (CA), American Fork (UT), Millennium (AZ), Canyon International Academy (AZ), Toros Select/Arbor View (NV), Bella Vista Prep (AZ), Wasatch Academy (UT), Team Overtime Elite (GA), Braves/St. John Bosco (CA), Big Red/Mater Dei (CA), and Trinity-SFBA (NV)
All of the Top Flight games and a majority of the Super 16 games were played at Bishop Gorman High School and that is where I stayed for all three days of the event. I left Las Vegas Sunday afternoon around 2:30 p.m. and was not live in person to see the last two rounds of games (Consolation and Championship). Cooper Flagg and Montverde won the Top Flight Division for the 2nd consecutive year and will be a key contender for the GEICO National Championship. There were top nationally ranked players from every class in attendance, high-level basketball played in mid-October, elite match-ups, and a truly well-run event that lived up to all the hype and then some.
This article takes a look at 25 seniors that performed well over the 3 days I was in attendance and is limited to players from the Top Flight and Super 16 Division. The players in this article are only those I saw play live. There were additional standout performances by other seniors not in this write-up because I did not see them live, but are likely in a number of other post-event write-ups. Although the list of players below were my top 25 senior standout performers the players are listed in alphabetical order and not in a ranked order. The article below provides a brief recap of how they played at the event, a brief analysis of their skill sets, and the relevant player information including their commitment if decided. I begin with a look at the big man from Florida, Malik Abdullahi.
2024 6’8 Malik Abdullahi (Columbus/Miami FL)
Abdullahi provided the punch in the paint for Columbus that allowed Cam Boozer to play more on the perimeter on offense, as well as anchor the defense. Abdullahi finished with 13 points and 5 rebounds in the team’s win over Prolific Prep. Abdullahi has nice touch on shots within fifteen feet, controls the boards, outlets the ball quickly, and runs the floor well. Abdullahi protects the basket, can stretch the floor from the perimeter, and can defend the 3 through 5 spot effectively.
2024 7’2 John Bol (Overtime Elite/Atlanta GA) – Ole Miss
Bol was a force in the paint on both ends of the court, as he was sending opponents’ shots into the seats and hammering down some monster dunks off the bounce or the lob. Bol has a massive wingspan, knocks down the mid-range jumper frequently, dominates the glass, and has enough handle to put the ball on the deck and attack the basket from the mid-post. Bol runs the floor well in the open court and has enough agility and length to alter shots on the perimeter. Versatile big that impacts the game in various ways.
2024 6’8 Carter Bryant (Centennial/Corona CA) – Arizona
Bryant has been leading the way in various statistical categories for the Huskies since making the move to Centennial in June, and he took his game up another notch in the Balldawgs Super 16 Division. Bryant dazzled fans and media in attendance with his diverse offensive skill set, as he is able to operate as a point-forward with the court vision and quality decision-making to find open teammates. As a scorer, Bryant has the moves and handles to create off the dribble, the accuracy to score from 3-levels, plays with good pace and control when on the attack, and has the size and frame to finish through contact at the basket. Bryant has a smooth stroke from the perimeter, good body control on tough jump shots, and has range on the 3-ball off the bounce or the catch-and-shoot. Bryant is an underrated defender, with the ability to guard bigger players in the paint, along with the agility and footspeed to stay in front of smaller perimeter players. Led the Huskies in scoring and rebounding over the course of the weekend, as well as dealing out plenty of assists.
2024 6’4 Liam Campbell (Owyhee, Meridian ID) – USC
Campbell had a stellar showing on opening night, as he nearly led his team to a win over a talented SCA team, 77-74. Campbell had his offensive arsenal on display and connected on tough shots from the mid-range to the 3-point line, off the dribble or the catch and shoot. Campbell has a physical build, the moves to create separation off the bounce, can finish through contact in the paint with good body control, and uses his footwork and shotmaking ability to generate space for open looks with countermoves to keep his defender off balance. Campbell does a solid job on the glass, looks to push the ball up the court, the court vision to find open teammates, and has range on the 3-ball. Impressive weekend of play against the top competition.
2024 6’8 Pharaoh Compton (Arbor View/Las Vegas NV) – San Diego State
Compton was up to his usual rim rocking dunks and dominance in the post, as he will be a key piece as Arbor View makes a run at a state championship. Compton displayed solid post moves to get around the basket where he was automatic with the dunks, as well as showing improved touch on the mid-post jumper. He had 14 points in a loss to SCA but made his presence felt. Compton has good agility, superior athleticism, and a massive wingspan to control the boards and provide constant protection at the rim. Plays with a high motor and runs the floor well to be the recipient of transition passes up the court.
2024 6’3 Tiger Cuff (American Fork/UT)
Cuff is a player who will be talked highly talked about as the biggest sleepers or breakout performers from the event, as he capped off a great weekend of hoops by dropping 26 points on Overtime Elite and nearly upset of the tournament before falling by a score of 66-63. Cuff has a complete all-around game as a lead guard, with the court vision and size to make plays over the defense, as well as the moves to create off the dribble and a smooth jumper with accuracy from the perimeter. Cuff plays with good pace, makes good use of the hesitation to keep his defender guessing, nice footwork in the mid-post area to get separation on his shot, and has good body control to score through contact. Solid defender capable of guarding the 1 through 3 effectively.
2024 6’7 Naas Cunningham (Southern California Academy/Castaic CA)
Cunningham has the ideal length, size, and skill set that college programs desire, and he would display his ability to score from various spots on the floor off the dribble or the catch-and-shoot. Cunningham had it going from beyond the arc against Arbor View, as he would connect on 6 threes en route to a game-high 21 points and a win. Cunningham has solid handles, makes good use of the wide crossover to shake his defender, has the accuracy and size to rise up and hit shots over most perimeter defenders, and is capable of making tough shots off the bounce from the perimeter. Cunningham is active on the glass, looks to push the tempo in the open court, and has the court vision to advance the ball up the court for easy buckets. Defensively, Cunningham has the agility and athleticism to stay in front of perimeter players, as well as the length and height to hold his own in the paint.
2024 6’6 James Evans Jr. (West Ranch/Valencia CA) – UNLV
Evans will be called upon to carry a bulk of the scoring load this year and he showed he is ready to take on that role, as he led the Wildcats in scoring this past weekend in Las Vegas. Evans would score a team-high 19 points in a quarterfinal loss to Dixie, scoring the ball from 3-levels and displaying his elite athleticism. Evans has good body control when attacking the basket, is able to finish through contact in the lane, has the moves and handles to create shots off the bounce, and does a solid job on the glass to push the pace of play in the open court. Evans has good court vision and makes good reads from the top of the key.
2024 6’8 Cooper Flagg (Montverde Academy/FL)
The two-way skill set and impact on every aspect of the game that Flagg brings to the court was on full display all weekend long, as he led Montverde to the Top Flight Championship in Las Vegas. Flagg put up great numbers all weekend, with an impressive 19 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 assists in a blowout win over AZ Compass to advance to the championship game. Flagg has the handles and moves to create the separation needed to get open looks from the perimeter, the footwork and agility to shake defenders in the paint, great body control when taking tough shots from the perimeter, can rise up over most perimeter defenders, and is accurate with the 3-ball with range. Flagg does a great job of pursuing the basketball, which allows him to feast on hustle points. Defensively, Flagg has the strength and size to hold down the paint, is an elite rim protector, has the footspeed and wingspan to stay in front of perimeter players, and controls the boards to push the ball up the court. Impressive player that will likely be the top pick in the 2025 Draft.
2024 6’10 Miles Goodman (Southern California Academy/Castaic CA)
Goodman held down the paint for SCA on both ends all weekend and displayed his solid play as a power forward, averaging a near-double-double for the event. Goodman has good hands around the basket, controls the glass for second-chance points, has good touch on shots in the paint, and provides adequate protection around the cup. He runs the floor well in open space, works well off pick and rolls, has good footwork in the paint, and gets to the dunker spot for easy points off passed from guards attacking the rim. Physical build to finish through contact.
2024 6’4 Linus Holmström-Riddervold (Colorado Prep/CO)
Holmstrom was cooking from beyond the arc this past weekend, as he would go for 20 points connecting on 5 threes in the process in a tough loss to Basha. Holmstrom has good handles and moves to create separation from his defender, has a quick release on his jump shot, uses his strong build to muscle through contact around the basket, and moves fluidly off the ball to get open for catch-and-shoot opportunities. Accurate from the perimeter with range from the 3-point line. Holmstrom does a solid job on the glass, outlets the ball quickly, and gets up the court for transition looks.
2024 6’4 Larry Johnson (Southern California Academy/Castaic CA) – Creighton
Johnson was one of the top shooting guards at the event and displayed his ability to score the ball from various spots on the floor, as well as throw down some entertaining dunks and one of the leading scorers for SCA. Johnson has shifty moves, keeps the ball on a string while surveying the court, has a good burst of speed off the dribble when he sees an opening in the defense and gets great lift on his jumper. Johnson is a knockdown 3-point shooter, has next-level range on his shot, and has the moves to create the space needed to get to his shot spots. Defensively, Johnson has quick lateral movement to stay in front of his opponent, gets into his man’s dribbling space, jumps passing lanes, and turns defense to offense routinely. Volume scorer with a smooth shot.
2024 6’7 Brody Kozlowski (Corner Canyon/Draper UT)
Kozlowski displayed his elite shooting from distance in a win over Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks on day 2 of the event, as he would drop 25 points with 6 threes. Kozlowski has a physical build with height to shoot over most perimeter players, has the moves to get by bigger defenders that overpursue on closeouts, is able to finish through contact in the lane, and is accurate with the 3-ball with next-level range. Kozlowski is active on the boards, makes good reads to cutting teammates, and moves well off the ball for catch-and-shoot opportunities. Volume scorer that can heat up from deep quickly.
2024 6’9 Kyle Lemke (Dixie/St. George UT)
Lemke showcased his post dominance on the glass, as well as his ability to space the floor from the perimeter, scoring 18 points in Dixie’s win over West Ranch on day 2 of play. Lemke uses his physical build and size to control the boards on both ends, has great touch on shots around the basket, the footwork to separate from his post-defender, and can put it on the deck and attack the basket from the mid-post. Lemke has good court vision and makes solid reads out of the high post. I first saw him live in Vegas at WCE Memorial Day Classic as a freshman and his game has grown substantially over the past four years.
2024 6’7 Liam McNeeley (Montverde Academy/FL) – Indiana
McNeeley was knocking down the long ball with frequency and played a pivotal role in Montverde’s run to the title in the Top Flight Division. McNeeley led all scorers in his team’s win over AZ Compass, as he scored 21 points and hit on 4 threes. McNeeley controls the glass, can push the ball up the court, has the moves and handles to create off the perimeter, and is one of the best 3-point shooters in the nation. McNeeley has the physical build to finish through contact in the paint and is a tough match-up for opposing defenses, as he has the strength to bully smaller players and the skill to get by bigger defenders that have to close out with his accuracy from deep. I first saw McNeeley in middle school at the Pangos Jr. All-American Camp at Cerritos College and he has lived up to the hype and then some four years later.
2024 6’4 Mercy Miller (Notre Dame/Sherman Oaks CA) – Houston
After sitting out the opening night of the event, Miller got to work on day 2 and was one of the top scorers of the tournament with an average of 32 points per game. On Saturday night, in a tough loss to Corner Canyon, Miller put up 34 points connecting on 4 threes and knocking down tough mid-range jumpers throughout the game. Miller is one of the most prolific scorers in the country and will shoulder a majority of the scoring load for the Knights this season. Miller keeps the ball on a string, has shifty moves to create separation off the dribble, good body control to take and make tough jumpers after contact, has great footwork to pivot away from his opponent to get open looks, and has limitless range from deep. Miller has solid court vision to make plays when on the attack and sneaky bounce to raise up at the rim. Another player that I was able to see as an 8th grader and the evolution of his game, especially as a pure scorer, has become one of the tops nationally.
2024 6’9 Asa Newell (Montverde Academy/FL)
Newell displayed one of the more diverse overall skill sets as a forward at the event, as he would impact the boards, scoring, and shot blocking to help Montverde win the Top Flight Division. Newell has the ideal length and size that college coaches look for at the high major level, as he would have 12 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 assists in their win over AZ Compass, followed by 15 points and 10 rebounds in the title game. Newell has a smooth stroke on the 3-ball, has great touch around the basket, controls the boards, and alters shots around the basket with the agility to switch off on perimeter players. Newell has enough handle and moves to operate off the wing and has the height to shoot over most players. One of my favorite players to watch over the weekend.
2024 6’4 Trent Perry (Harvard-Westlake/Studio City CA) – USC
Perry was cooking early and often in the opening game of the Top Flight Division, as Harvard-Westlake held their own against Prolific Prep in a close loss, 81-70. Perry had his lead guard skills on display, as he was looking to score the ball off the dribble and make plays when the defense collapsed. Perry has a strong handle on the ball, keeps his head on a swivel to survey the floor, has the court vision to make reads in tight windows, and keeps constant pressure on the defense. Perry has the moves to create separation from his defender, gets great lift on his jumper to shoot over his opponent, has the strength to finish through contact at the rim, and his mid-range jumper is deadly, which opens up with his ability to connect on the 3-ball with accuracy. Tough on-ball defender that fills up the stat sheet.
2024 6’4 Justin Pippen (Sierra Canyon/Chatsworth CA)
Most scouts have stated Pippen is looking like the most improved player in California this Fall, and he backed up that narrative for the Trailblazers this past weekend as the team’s leading scorer and playmaker. Pippen plays with great pace and control with the ball in hand, the moves to create off the bounce, good use of the hesitation and crossover to get by his initial defender, and was highly efficient from the 3-point line. Pippen has the court vision to find open teammates when on the attack, has a smooth stroke on his jumper, and is a creative finisher around the basket with good body control through contact. Big senior season coming up, as Sierra Canyon looks to be a team that will compete for an Open Title.
2024 6’9 Derik Queen (Montverde Academy/FL)
Queen was one of the more polished and effective scoring bigs at the event and his post-play was key in Montverde’s championship run in the Top Flight Division. Queen had 16 points in the semifinal win over AZ Compass and showcased his elite back-to-the-basket moves, the footwork to spin off defenders, and the body control to finish through contact. Queen controls the glass, is efficient with the mid-post jumper, and has good hands around the basket. He has enough handle to push the ball off the defensive rebound, as well as put the ball on the deck and attack from the high post.
2024 6’7 Derrion Reid (Prolific Prep/Napa CA)
On a roster filled with elite talent, including the top prospects for the 2025 and 2026 classes, Reid was the most consistent player for Prolific Prep over the course of the weekend. In the loss to Columbus, Reid scored a team-high 18 points and showcased his ability to score the ball from various spots on the floor. Reid is accurate with the 3-ball off the dribble or the catch-and-shoot, controls the glass on both ends, uses his physical build to score through contact in the paint, and displays great court vision when attacking off the perimeter. Reid should have had 6 or 7 assists against Columbus if shots were falling, and he was finding guys in tight windows or off the no-look pass. Reid will be a relied-upon veteran on a relatively young squad with lots of new pieces.
2024 6’3 Jase Richardson (Columbus/Miami FL) – Michigan State
Richardson looked really good with his new team and added an additional scoring punch that will help take some of that load off the Boozer brothers’ shoulders. Richardson scored 17 points in Columbus’ win over Prolific Prep and played a huge role in transition play off steals and deflections. Richardson is accurate with the 3-ball, gets nice lift on the stop-and-pop jumper, and can rise up when going at the rim. Richardson is a pesky on-ball defender, with active hands to create turnovers and transition points, and solid court vision to make plays up the court or when on the attack.
2024 7’ Emmanuel Stephen (Dream City Christian/Glendale AZ) – Arizona
Stephen was one of the most physically imposing players at the event in Vegas and had countless rim-rocking dunks and monster blocks that displayed his imposing presence in the paint. Stephen dominates the boards, is an elite shot blocker and rim protector, and has the imposing strength to finish through any contact in the paint. Stephen has good hands for entry passes, makes good use of the drop-step move, and when he gets moving there is not much his opponent can do to stop him from raising up and throwing it down. Elite athlete that leaves his impact on both ends.
2024 6’5 Dominik Stewart (Southern California Academy/Castaic CA) – Penn State
Stewart did a great job of contributing in various ways coming off the bench for the talented SCA, as he would finish with 16 points connecting on a pair of threes in a win over Arbor View. Stewart has a strong handle on the ball, good moves to create space from his defender, the frame to finish through contact at the basket, and gets good life on his jumper. Stewart is accurate with the 3-ball and has the court vision to find open teammates when attacking off the perimeter. Solid on-ball defender that can guard the 1 through 3 positions.
2024 6’6 Bryson Tucker (Bishop O’Connell/Arlington VA)
Tucker is a lengthy and active forward that was key in O/Connell’s win over host team Bishop Gorman. Tucker has the moves and handles to create off the dribble, is accurate with the mid-range jumper, runs the floor well in the open court, and gets to the dunker spot for easy buckets. Tucker is solid on the boards, can push the ball up the court, and uses his wingspan to alter shots in the paint, as well as on the perimeter. Impacts the game in various ways.