SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Many of the top high school basketball players in the country — and perhaps future NBA talent — were featured in the Hoophall Classic at Springfield College over the weekend.
Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Anthony Davis, Jayson Tatum and Zion Williamson all played in the five-day showcase during their high school careers, and this year there was no shortage of talent. The No. 1 players in the 2024 (Cooper Flagg), 2025 (A.J. Dybantsa) and 2026 (Tyran Stokes) high school classes, plus several other high-major prospects, were on display as over 80 NBA scouts and executives were in attendance at the 2,000-seat Blake Arena.
"There's a lot of talent on the court and this is a must-stop for a lot of us," one NBA scout told Yahoo Sports. "It's important to track the development, see some new players for the first time and gauge where some of these guys will be in a few years from now."
It was packed for the marquee matchup between the No. 1 team in the country, Montverde Academy (Florida), and Prolific Prep (California). It was a back-and-forth battle with Flagg's Montverde squad edging Prolific Prep and Dybantsa, 76-71.
Standing room only for Montverde vs. Prolific Prep. The No. 1 players in 2024 (Cooper Flagg), 2025 (AJ Dybantsa) and 2026 (Tyran Stokes) are all on the court tonight at the @HoophallClassic. Several NBA scouts and execs are here. One of the best atmospheres in high school hoops. pic.twitter.com/zEOksyK9ac
— Krysten Peek (@krystenpeek) January 15, 2024
"It was great to go up against [Flagg]," Dybantsa told Yahoo Sports. "He's a really good player, and I love to compete and get better, so it was definitely a good matchup."
There were plenty of other players who impressed and made lasting impressions. Yahoo Sports takes a look at 10 top performers from the Hoophall Classic.
Montverde Academy played three games in three days, and Flagg was the best prospect and most consistent player. He's so versatile on both ends and impacts the game in a variety of ways. It's clear other teams try to run the offense away from him with how well he protects the rim (especially on the weak side) and because of the way he can sit down and guard switches on the perimeter. Scouts know how good he is off the block, but it was his game from behind the arc that was most impressive. The 6-foot-9 Flagg was stepping into deep transition 3s, taking players off the dribble and knocking down shots from long range with the pick-and-pop.
"He's the most complete player in high school basketball right now," one NBA scout told Yahoo Sports. "He's finding ways to add to his game, and he competes at a high level."
Flagg's best game came in a win over Oak Hill Academy (Virginia), recording 25 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and five blocks. The No. 1 player in the senior class is headed to Duke and is the projected No. 1 pick in the 2025 NBA Draft.
If Flagg is the No. 1 player in high school basketball, regardless of class, Dybantsa is a close second. He has great length as a 6-foot-9 guard and a quick first step that's nearly impossible to guard. Dybantsa and Flagg guarded each other almost the entire game and each had their moments. Dybantsa was so impressive getting downhill and finishing at the rim, and he also knocked down 3-of-8 from 3. It's his length and versatility as a perimeter player that is so appealing to scouts, and his game translates well to the NBA. He led all players on Prolific Prep with 21 points and added five rebounds and four assists against Montverde.
Prior to the season, Dybrantsa reclassified from the 2026 class to 2025 and holds several offers from high-major programs across the country. He took official visits to Auburn and USC in the fall and holds offers from Kentucky, North Carolina, Baylor, Texas, UConn, Michigan, Alabama and others.
— SportsCenter NEXT (@SCNext) January 15, 2024
Darius Acuff Jr.
Acuff is the No. 1 point guard in the junior class and a consensus top-10 prospect. The IMG Academy (Florida) guard has the ability to control the tempo of the game with how well he sees the court, and he can change speeds with the ball in his hands. He's a high-volume shooter who showed improvement on his shot selection in a win over Sunrise Christian (Kansas) on Sunday night. In IMG Academy's second game against Link Academy (Missouri), Acuff remained under control through full-court pressure and defended Tre Johnson, one of the best shot creators in the senior class, very well in half-court sets.
"I just want to show the NBA scouts that I'm getting better at being a leader," Acuff told Yahoo Sports. "They know I can score, so I just want to show my development as a facilitator and ramping up my intensity on defense."
Acuff has taken official visits to Michigan and Kentucky and plans on getting to Indiana, Houston, Kansas and UConn sometime in the spring and summer.
"The coaching staff is definitely most important to me [when looking at schools]," Acuff said. "I just want a coach that will tell me what I'm doing right and what I'm doing wrong and get on me to make me a better player and prepare me for the next step."
Over two games, Acuff averaged 26.5 points, six assists and two steals per game.
Darius Acuff Jr. finished with 23 points, 9 assists and 2 steals in IMG’s win over Sunrise Christian at @HoophallClassic. Acuff is the No. 1 point guard in the 2025 class and scored at every level today. pic.twitter.com/3y3dpgDroS
— Krysten Peek (@krystenpeek) January 14, 2024
Christopher Columbus (Florida) went 2-0 over the weekend and beat two tough teams. Cameron Boozer and his twin brother, Cayden, make up one of the best point-forward tandems in high school with the way they instinctively know where one another is on the court. Cameron Boozer was more of an offensive force in the first win over Long Island Lutheran (New York), leading all players with 26 points and adding seven rebounds, five blocks and four assists in the 81-62 win. In the second game against Paul VI (Virginia), it was Cameron Boozer's presence defensively that was most impressive. He finished with 14 points, 14 rebounds (nine defensive boards), four blocks and four steals. He has natural instincts as an inside-out player and looks physically stronger from the summer.
Both Cayden and Cameron hold several offers and took official visits to Miami, Florida, Kentucky and Duke prior to the start of the high school season.
Prior to the Hoophall Classic, Bailey strung together two 40-point performances in the last three weeks. If any player is going to challenge Flagg for the No. 1 spot in the senior class, it's Bailey. The 6-9 guard is headed to Rutgers next year, and although he had an off shooting night (converting only 1-of-7 from 3-point range) in the 60-59 overtime loss to Harvard-Westlake (California), it's clear he's a high-level scorer and will be a player NBA scouts monitor closely in the next year. Bailey finished with 23 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks.
"I'm always just looking to get my team involved first and put our team in a position to succeed," Bailey told Yahoo Sports. "I just want to show the scouts that I'm a great leader on and off the court. Mentally I'm ready. Physically I'm still getting there."
Harper is the No. 3 player in the senior class, and he's joining Bailey at Rutgers next year. Harper, a 6-5 combo guard, plays incredibly well under pressure and makes the right read against defenses. He uses his size in mismatch situations and has improved his back-to-the-basket game when posting up smaller guards. Harper reads the pick-and-roll option well as the primary ball-handler but can be turnover-prone at times. When playing off the ball, he gets to his spots and is a dynamic passer, particularly in transition. In a loss to Archbishop Stepinac (New York), Harper finished with 22 points, seven rebounds and three assists.
Bathea, a Miami commit, put up 40 points for Archbishop Wood (Pennsylvania) in its 73-71 win over Corona Centennial (California). He was unstoppable from 3-point range in the first half and finished with eight 3-pointers and added eight rebounds and four assists and didn't turn the ball over once in 32 minutes. He plays bigger than his 6-4 size and has improved his handle from the summer. Bathea chose the Hurricanes over Kansas, Temple and Villanova and is the highest-rated recruit Miami has landed in program history.
Peat did a little bit of everything for Perry (Arizona). The 6-8 forward comes from a football family that has played at the highest level. His dad played six seasons in the NFL and his older brother, Andrus, currently plays offensive guard for the New Orleans Saints. Peat's footwork defensively and timing as a shot blocker were particularly impressive, recording seven blocks in a win Saturday night. He also added 23 points and 10 rebounds in 28 minutes. Peat recently cut his list down to a top 10: Duke, Arizona, Arizona State, Baylor, Houston, Kentucky, Michigan, Texas, UCLA and UNC.
Richardson, the oldest son of former NBA player Jason Richardson, finished with 21 points (7-for-11 from the field), six rebounds and three assists for Christopher Columbus (Florida) in a 70-61 win over Paul VI (Virginia). No player has made a bigger jump over the course of the last season than Richardson. He consistently makes the right read, doesn't force anything and hits big-time shots at crucial times. Richardson is following in his father's footsteps and heading to Michigan State next year.
The initial attraction to McNeeley as a prospect is his size at 6-7 and outside shooting (46% from 3-point range this season). He showcased more versatility off the dribble and was more aggressive at the rim in both transition and set plays over the course of three games. Montverde has so much depth and size, but it's often McNeeley making big plays when the defense forces the ball out of Flagg's hands. McNeeley was crucial in the win over Prolific Prep and led all players with 22 points (4-of-5 from 3) and added three assists and two steals. The five-star prospect is headed to Indiana next year and chose the Hoosiers over Kansas and Texas.