Under Armour's Elite 24 returns to New York for its third consecutive year for its tenth installment August 22 on ESPNU at 7 p.m. The event has hosted some of the top talent across the country since its inception, including 84 current NBA players, 55 total first round picks and three number one picks: John Wall, Kyrie Irving and Anthony Bennett. Past game MVPs include Michael Beasely, Lance Stephenson, Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans, and Brandon Jennings (who will serve as a coach to Team Doo Be Doo). It's safe to say a good amount of NBA talent will crowd the hardwood bordering the East River.
Current Terps Melo Trimble and Dion Wiley participated in the event in 2013. Trimble had 3 points, and Wiley scored 12 and grabbed 3 rebounds.
Five players are returning from last season: Troy Brown, Alabama commit Terrance Ferguson, North Carolina commit Jalek Felton, Josh Jackson, and Thon Maker (Dennis Smith is injured, which would have made 6).
Ten uncommitted players hold offers from Maryland. Who could be the next Elite 24 alumni-turned-Terp?
Team EZ Pass
Diallo is ranked the 18th best player in the class of 2017 by 247sports and the third best shooting guard. Already holding offers from many of the top schools in the country, recently he's heard from Kentucky, who's now showing interest. Earlier this month he played at Adidas Nations in California, where he averaged 19.5 points and 3.2 rebounds across six games for Team Africa. It's been reported that he may reclass to 2016, as he is on pace to graduate this year.
Duval wowed at Elite 24 practice, and one NBA scout called him the most talented guard on the court despite being a year younger in the class of 2017. Duval raved about how much he enjoys playing with Josh Jackson (the Terps top target in the class of 2016), and the chemistry is surely there. He has offers from most top schools with two noticeably missing: Duke and Kentucky, though he's recently been in contact with Coach Calipari. Duval averaged 12.7 points, 4.8 assists and 3.8 rebounds for Team Lillard at Adidas Nations.
Jackson is most likely headed to Duke, with 247sports crystal ball at 94% in the Blue Devils favor. He's talked to former Duke forward Jabari Parker a few times and has an official visit planned for next weekend. Coach K was in attendance to watch the guard play at Adidas All-American Camp on Long Island last month.
Jackson is regarded as one of the top three recruits in the class of 2016 along with Harry Giles and Jayson Tatum. He unofficially visited Maryland on Monday, and seemed thrilled with his visit. Jackson called Xfinity Center "one of the best gyms" he's seen in basketball, and stated he could "definitely envision" himself playing at Maryland. He was disappointed most of the players weren't on campus, but was happy with his conversation with Coach Turgeon, who told Jackson "he's the type of guy he wants on his team."" He doesn't have any official visits scheduled yet, but mentioned he'd like to visit Arizona, Kansas and Michigan State. He said he's most likely to make a late decision.
Jackson also won the dunk contest on the first day of competition at the Elite 24:
Team Doo Be Doo
Alkins is playing in the Elite 24 close to home in New York, comfortable not only because he's staying local, but because he's sitting on 11 scholarship offers to most of the country's best basketball schools. He said he's planning to visit ten of those schools (though he can only visit five officially). His recruitment is wide-open at this point.
The 6-foot-11 center is big... potential to break the backboard big. The Nigerian hasn't played basketball in America for long, but has made an impact quick as a current 4-star and potential 5-star recruit. Azubuike averaged 10.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game for Team Wall at Adidas Nations.
Gabriel recently narrowed his list down to five schools: Connecticut, Duke, Kentucky, Maryland and Providence. He's scheduled to officially visit Maryland from September 4th-6th, Kentucky September 25th-27th and Duke October 16th-18th. The forward peaked this summer, raking in major offers in peak recruiting season. He told TestudoTimes at Adidas All-American Camp that although he's already 6-foot-9, doctors say he's still growing.
4-star 2016 recruit Mario Kegler will officially visit Arizona State, Connecticut, Indiana and Maryland, though dates have not yet been set. He unofficially visited Mississippi State last weekend. Kegler stated he may not make his college decision until the spring. The small forward will play his final high school basketball season at Oak Hill Academy alongside Harry Giles, one of the top recruits in the nation, and the projected number one pick in the DraftExpress 2017 mock draft.
Preston unofficially visited Maryland Wednesday. He is the tenth best rated recruit in the class of 2017 according to 247sports, and third best power forward. Preston averaged 12.2 points and 4.6 rebounds per game for Team Noah at Adidas Nations.
Walker participated in the three-point shootout Friday night at the Elite 24. Though he lost to Alabama commit Terrance Ferguson in Brooklyn, he won the 3-point shootout at Steph Curry's Select Camp earlier in the summer. At Under Armour All-America camp he averaged 16.5 points and 5.5 rebounds in four games. Walker is also recruited as a wide receiver.
Follow @mellentuck for live updates at the Elite 24 game in Brooklyn.