Category: Chosen 25

Chosen 25 SG Anthony Edwards commits to Georgia

When news began to leak that Holy Spirit Prep (Atlanta) shooting guard Anthony Edwards cancelled his official visit to Florida State this past weekend, it raised eyebrows as his decision loomed a day after he was due to return.
On Monday the world found out why when Edwards committed to Georgia over the Seminoles and Kentucky.
Edwards, who is ranked No. 2 overall in USA Today Sports’ Chosen 25 in 2019, is the Bulldogs’ highest ranked recruit ever and is widely regarded as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
Why?
At 6-foot-5, Edwards scores efficiently at all three levels, is virtually impossible to keep out of the lane, knocks down threes from NBA range and is an elite athlete who finishes with ferocious dunks through contact.
This season, Edwards is averaging 26.7 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.1 steals a game.
Edwards is the Bulldogs’ third commit from the 2019 class, joining Chaminade-Madonna Prep (Hollywood, Fla.) wing Toumani Camara and Carver High School (Montgomery, Ala.) wing Jaykwon Walton.
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY

Villanova signee Bryan Antoine breaks conference scoring record

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TINTON FALLS – It will go down as one of the most memorable moments in an historic season for Shore Conference basketball. Make that one of the most enduring days ever for Jersey Shore hoops.
As the capacity crowd that poured tinto the tiny gym at the Ranney School was settling, a Senior Night eremony honored a class that had already won 90 games since it stepped onto the court as freshmen, including last year’s Shore Conference Tournament and NJSIAA South Non-Public B titles, while a victory against Mater Dei Prep on Wednesday gave them a third straight division crown.
And then, with 3:20 left in the third quarter, senior guard Bryan Antoine rewrote the local record book.
MORE: Chosen 25 | Super 25 rankings
The Villanova-bound Antoine added the latest chapter to his burgeoning legacy in fitting fashion, on a dunk in transition, to break the 46-year-old Shore area mark of 2,302 career points set by Croydon Hall’s Norm Caldwell in 1973.
As the overflow crowd rose as one to acknowledge Antoine’s achievement, the cheers served as a salute to the 6-5 guard, as well as the generations of great players who came before him, all of whom Antoine passed at some point on his way to the top.
Bryan Antoine (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)
There to embrace Antoine were classmates Scottie Lewis, headed to play at Florida, Alex Klatsky, who will join Lewis at Florida as a preferred walk-on, and Chris Autino, who will play football at Georgetown, all of whom have been part of this since showing up as freshmen, along with head coach Tahj Holden.
Antoine finished with 30 points, giving him 2,313 for his career, as Ranney defeated Mater Dei Prep, 103-43.
“It’s just been special to see him grow over the past four years,” said Holden. “He’s worked so hard to make this possible.”
By the time Antoine walks off the court for the final time, which the Panthers hope involves a joyous celebration after the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions final, he will have set a standard that could stand for decades.

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“Bryan was quiet before the game,” said Lewis, who finished with 12 points. “He knew he had something to prove, breaking the record and we tried to make sure we made plays for him to break that record. We’re all just speechless. We’re all so excited for him.
“It doesn’t come around very often, a guy like that, a player like that, a genuine person like he is.. He works his butt off every day and he gives credit to everyone else. And guys like that deserve big things like this.”
Read the rest of the article at the Asbury Park Press.

National Hoopfest: Despite reclass Anthony Edwards still not considering the G League option

HYATTSVILLE, Md. – Last month when Holy Spirit Prep (Atlanta) shooting guard Anthony Edwards announced that he was reclassifying from 2020 to 2019, his recruitment quite naturally went from laid back to intense overnight.
“It’s definitely picked up,” Edwards said.
College coaches are applying pressure with just four months left before the commencement of the NCAA’s Late Signing Period.
Makes sense since Edwards, who is ranked No. 2 overall in USA Today Sports’ Chosen 25 for 2019, is already projected to go No. 1 overall in the 2020 NBA Draft.
With that kind of buzz the poplar question is whether Edwards will be one of the players who opts for the G League’s new six-figure salary option.
The NBA announced recently that, beginning next year, select players would be able to earn $125,000 to play in its G League for a year before entering the NBA Draft.
Last month, prior to his reclassification, Edwards told USA Today Sports that G League route was “not for me.”
But Rod Strickland’s presence at Edwards’ game Friday night at the ARS Rescue Rooter National Hoopfest begs a revisit of that question.
Last month the NBA announced the hiring of Strickland, a 17-year NBA veteran and former college assistant, as program manager for the G League’s professional path program, which identifies elite high school players who would be NBA Draft early entry candidates if the one-and-done rule was not in place.
As it stands high school players must be one year removed from high school or be 19 to be eligible for the draft.
More than the six-figure salary, the lure of the G League’s professional path program is that, as pros, the players would be free to earn endorsement money. For example, DeAndre Ayton, the No. 1 overall pick last June to the Phoenix Suns, signed a four-year, multi-million dollar endorsement deal with Puma.
“I’m still only focused on going to college,” said Edwards who posted 41 points and 14 rebounds in Holy Spirit’s 85-73 win over Archbishop Carroll at the National Hoopfest. “That’s just not for me. I’m not worried about the money, that’ll be there. I want to experience college. I’m excited about that.”
Edwards said he’ll take official visits to Duke, Florida State, Michigan State and Kansas, while Georgia, UCLA and others remain in the mix as well.
“I’m going to get the dates for my visits soon,” Edwards said. “I’m just looking for the school where I’ll develop the most. I’m not looking at who’s there, who committed there or anything like that; I just want to go where I can develop and take my game to another level.”
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY

Spencer Rattler, Nico Mannion give Phoenix Pinnacle HS national elite in two sports

Pinnacle High School (Phoenix) is blessed with two of the best passers in the nation.
It’s been quite the week for the Pioneers athletic program, which saw Chosen 25 point guard Nico Mannion hit a game-winning buzzer-beater to defeat Shadow Mountain (Phoenix), which had been the No. 8 team in the preseason boys basketball Super 25, on Nov. 30.
Then, on Monday, quarterback Spencer Rattler received his All-American Bowl jersey.
He said the Shadow Mountain game “was the best game I’ve seen (Mannion) play.”
But Mannion might have one-upped himself Thursday, putting on a show against Chosen 25 guard Jalen Green. Mannion dropped 33 points and 12 assists as he weaved his way into the paint, drew attention from multiple defenders and consistently whipped pinpoint passes cross-court for open looks.

RelatedChosen 25 battle: Nico Mannion puts on a show against Jalen GreenWith Arizona records in hand, Chosen 25 QB Spencer Rattler receives All-American jersey
Mannion did so with Green switching on and off him.
Rattler was among the onlookers.
The quarterback also played on the Pinnacle basketball team last season, but with his Oklahoma career right around the corner, he’s focusing on getting into college football shape.
He is the No. 1 pro-style quarterback in the country.
And Mannion is the No. 1 point guard in the country despite reclassifying so he could start at Arizona a year early. He was a preseason ALL-USA selection.
Photo: Darryl Webb/Special for the Republic
Yet with all the accolades and attention, Mannion said he remains level-headed about Pinnacle running out the top player at two positions in two different sports.
“I wouldn’t say it’s normal now, but we’ve kind of gotten to the point where it’s not as big of a deal to us,” he said.
He does, though, take pride in the fact that neither player transferred. Both have been at Pinnacle since their first day of high school.
“It’s definitely odd to have the No. 1 point guard and the No. 1 quarterback at the same school, same city, and I mean, it’s not like we just transferred in recently.”
Rattler: “We really put Pinnacle on the map we feel like, and we just want to continue doing that.”

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Pinnacle basketball coach Charles Wilde said Mannion is humble, not just putting on a facade in front of the camera.
“He likes being on the court with a big crowd,” Wilde started to say – and that much is clear. The Thursday game was televised on ESPN+, and Mannion scored 12 of the first 17 points for Pinnacle, going 4-for-5 from 3-point range with his one miss rolling in and out of the hoop.
“But everything else outside of that, he’d rather just be at home or with his teammates in the locker room,” Wilde continued. “He doesn’t have to have the glory.”
Mannion was elected duke of Pinnacle’s homecoming but asked if he could pass on the honor.
“I get a lot of attention… I didn’t feel the need to do it,” Mannion said. “I felt like, if I won, cool, it’s not a big deal for me, especially when someone else could do it and get the attention for it.”
A point guard on and off the court alike.
Quarterback Spencer Rattler (2) of the Pinnacle Pioneers runs for a touchdown against the Perry Pumas on Aug. 17, 2018. (Photo: Billy Hardiman/Special for The Republic)
Rattler is no novice to national attention either. He has been the subject of an ESPN feature and Netflix’s “QB1: Beyond the Lights,” seemingly in the news his entire high school career.
The attention spans to social media, where Rattler has 43,000 followers on Instagram and Mannion has 227,000. Both have more than 10,000 followers on Twitter.
“I’m used to it and I like it,” Rattler said. “It’s something that really doesn’t matter to me, and I just kind of roll with it. It kind of just comes to me and I just try to not get a big head from it.”
That doesn’t mean either player lacks confidence. They absolutely recognize their abilities.
Wilde said Mannion realized he can compete with anyone after becoming the youngest basketball player ever on the Italy national team, and Rattler believes Pinnacle football would have won the championship if he hadn’t lost eligibility right before the playoffs.
But they don’t let that confidence become cockiness.
“They love (being the top-rated players) … but the thing is, as good as players they are, they’re probably better people. They’re fun to be around, they’re very polite, they’re very coachable,” Wilde said. “They’re just going to be outstanding at the next level because they’re that way.”

Pinnacle's Nico Mannion runs past San Joaquin Memorial's Jalen Green during in the first half of their game in Scottsdale, Thurs, Dec. 6, 2018.

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<p>Pinnacle's Nico Mannion puts up a 3-pointer against San Joaquin Memorial's Jalen Green during the first half of the game on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018 in Scottsdale, Ariz. (Photo: Darryl Webb/Special for the Republic).</p>

San Joaquin Memorial's Jalen Green points points to Pinnacle's Nico Mannion and during in the first half of their game in Scottsdale, Thurs, Dec. 6, 2018.

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<p>Pinnacle's Trent Brown (24) drives to the basket against San Joaquin Memorial's Kyle Micheli during the first half of the game on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018 in Scottsdale, Ariz. (Photo: Darryl Webb/Special for the Republic).</p>

Pinnacle's Nico Mannion drives the lane and scores against San Joaquin Memorial's Braxton Meah (34) and Jaden Geron(1) during in the first half of their game in Scottsdale, Thurs, Dec. 6, 2018.

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Pinnacle's Nico Mannion shouts out a play against San Joaquin Memorial's Jalen Green during in the first half of their game in Scottsdale, Thurs, Dec. 6, 2018.

Uscp 7333z8rh4k4168djzj2b Original

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Chosen 25 battle: Nico Mannion puts on a show against Jalen Green

Chosen 25 2019 point guard Nico Mannion did an ESPN2 interview before Thursday’s marquee matchup at Scottsdale Chaparral.
That pumped him up.
Then, he saw who San Joaquin (Calif.) Memorial was putting on him to start the Hoophall West showdown.
With 6-foot-6 Chosen 25 guard Jalen Green taking on 6-foot-3 Mannion, it was on.

RelatedExpanded Hoophall West features 16 games over three days in ArizonaLaMelo Ball, 2020 stars, Mobley bros: 5 things to watch at Hoophall West
Mannion drove around Green then popped out beyond the arc. Swish. He drove around, then got the ball from the 3-point line. Swish. Another 3 followed yet another 3.
Four minutes into the game, Mannion had  12 points — all on 3s — to keep pace with Green’s 11 points.
Neither Mannion nor Green disappointed, going back and forth, before Phoenix Pinnacle took control late in the second quarter and went on to win 90-69.

Pinnacle's Nico Mannion runs past San Joaquin Memorial's Jalen Green during in the first half of their game in Scottsdale, Thurs, Dec. 6, 2018.

Uscp 733417l1bnn1frowjj2b Original

<p>Pinnacle's Nico Mannion puts up a 3-pointer against San Joaquin Memorial's Jalen Green during the first half of the game on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018 in Scottsdale, Ariz. (Photo: Darryl Webb/Special for the Republic).</p>

San Joaquin Memorial's Jalen Green points points to Pinnacle's Nico Mannion and during in the first half of their game in Scottsdale, Thurs, Dec. 6, 2018.

Uscp 7334046xnkkiq9vj2b Original

<p>Pinnacle's Trent Brown (24) drives to the basket against San Joaquin Memorial's Kyle Micheli during the first half of the game on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018 in Scottsdale, Ariz. (Photo: Darryl Webb/Special for the Republic).</p>

Pinnacle's Nico Mannion drives the lane and scores against San Joaquin Memorial's Braxton Meah (34) and Jaden Geron(1) during in the first half of their game in Scottsdale, Thurs, Dec. 6, 2018.

Uscp 73341b3ygy11d5ncbj2b Original

Pinnacle's Nico Mannion shouts out a play against San Joaquin Memorial's Jalen Green during in the first half of their game in Scottsdale, Thurs, Dec. 6, 2018.

Uscp 7333z8rh4k4168djzj2b Original

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“The first half, I knew I had to get our team going,” Mannion said. “I made my first two (baskets) and I just kept shooting.
“Once I started feeling it, I kept going.”
Mannion finished with 33 points and 12 assists before taking a seat for good with 2:20 left.
“Nico wanted that from day one,” said junior guard Marcus Libman, who had to the challenge of trying to slow down Green. “It’s on ESPN, big showdown.”
Green, who has a 247Sports composite ranking of No. 2 overall in the nation and the No. 1 shooting guard, stuck around after Mannion and the rest of Pinnacle’s starters took a seat for a couple of highlight dunks, before going to the bench. He finished with 33 points.

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Green and Mannion once roomed together last year at the USA Basketball camp.
As Mannion was surrounded by cameras and reporters after the game, Green walked by and smiling yelled, “Hey, big time.”
“He’s an Arizona commit, and Arizona is going  to love him out here,” Green said. “It was a good matchup. We came out battling. We’ll both get better from it.”
Mannion said he was going to work on Green to follow him to Arizona.
But Green said Arizona is one of the schools he is considering, “but right now I’m not focused on a college.”
Read the rest of the story at the Arizona Republic.

Chosen 25 forward Vernon Carey Jr. commits to Duke

Duke checks in at No. 3 in the latest USA Today/Coaches Poll, but most experts and analysts agree that the road to the national title runs through Durham, N.C.
That standard isn’t likely to change next season with University School (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) forward Vernon Carey Jr. suiting up for the Blue Devils. The five-star forward made the announcement in a Thursday afternoon press conference at the school, televised live on ESPN’s SportsCenter.
RELATED: 2019 Chosen 25 Boys Basketball Player Rankings
Carey, who is ranked No. 3 overall in USA Today Sports’ Chosen 25 for 2019, picked Duke over Michigan State and North Carolina.
“The reason why I chose Duke and Coach K is the recruiting class they’re bringing in this year,” Carey told ESPN’s Cari Champion. “Wendell Moore and Boogie Ellis, and hopefully some more guys will come with me.”
In Carey, Duke gets one of the biggest matchup problems in the country because of his versatility.
At 6-foot-10, Carey is a capable ball handler with the ability to create for his teammates, take his man off the dribble from the wing, knock down the perimeter jump shot and overpower and out-maneuver the opposition in the paint.
“They see me as a position-less player,” Carey told ESPN’s Seth Greenberg. “They said I can be anywhere on the court, so that worked well with me.”
RELATED: ALL-USA Preseason Boys Basketball Team
In October, Carey told USA Today Sports that he welcomed the idea of playing alongside another dominant big man; that should help immensely in Duke’s pursuit of La Lumiere School (La Porte, Ind.) forward Isaiah Stewart, who is ranked No. 4 overall in the Chosen 25.
Last season, Carey averaged 26 points and 10.4 rebounds a game in route to leading the Sharks to a state title and the GEICO High School Nationals championship game.
Carey is Duke’s third commitment from the 2019 class, joining Cox Mill High School (Concord, N.C.) wing Wendell Moore Jr., ranked No. 23 overall in the Chosen 25, and Mission Bay High School (San Diego) combo guard Boogie Ellis, ranked No. 25 overall in the Chosen 25.
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY

Five to watch at the ARS Rescue Rooter National Hoopfest

From athletic guards to probable future NBA Lottery picks, we’ve zeroed in on the top five players you won’t want to miss at the ARS Rescue Rooter National Hoopfest this weekend at DeMatha High School (Hyattsville, Md.).
1. Anthony Edwards (2019)
Holy Spirit Prep (Atlanta)
Shooting Guard
Chosen 25 rank: 2
College: Undecided
Why you can’t miss him: Edwards is projected to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft and from his superior athletic ability to his nonstop motor to his scoring ability it’s easy to understand why.

2. Josh Green (2019)
IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)
Shooting Guard
Chosen 25 rank: 8
College: Arizona
Why you can’t miss him: Green is a super-athletic guard with the ability to fill it up from anywhere on the floor and create for his teammates.

3. Armando Bacot (2019)
IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)
Forward
Chosen 25 rank: 12
College: North Carolina
Why you can’t miss him: Bacot is a strong and talented post player with a variety of different moves in the paint that overwhelm the opposition.

4. Precious Achiuwa (2019)
Montverde (Fla.) Academy
Forward
Chosen 25 rank: 13
College: Undecided
Why you can’t miss him: Achiuwa is a versatile forward who uses his size and length to dominate the opposition.

5. Jalen Johnson (2020)
Nicolet (Glendale, Wis.)
Forward
Chosen 25 rank: 8
College: Undecided
Why you can’t miss him: Johnson is Mr. Versatility with the ability to dominate and guard all five positions on the floor.

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Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY

Chosen 25 forward Vernon Carey Jr. sets decision date

Vernon Carey Jr. is ready to upgrade the frontcourt of one college basketball’s most storied programs.
The University School (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) star forward announced via his Twitter on Saturday that he would make his college decision on Dec. 6.

I will announce my college decision this Thursday, December 6
— Vernon Carey Jr. (@vernoncarey22) December 1, 2018

Carey, who is ranked No. 3 overall in USA Today Sports’ Chosen 25 for 2019, is down to Duke, Michigan State and North Carolina.
In October at USA Basketball Minicamp, Carey told USA Today Sports that he welcomes playing with another dominant big man.
“I think it would be great,” said Carey, who was named to the ALL-USA preseason boys basketball team. “I feel like I have the type of game that can play with anyone. So, yeah, I’d love it.”

RelatedChosen 25 star Vernon Carey Jr. announces top three schools
Whoever lands Carey will add one of the country’s most versatile players; at 6-foot-10, Carey is a capable ball handler and playmaker with the ability to knockdown the perimeter jump shot and dominant in a variety of different ways in the low post.
Carey and the Sharks check in at No. 4 overall in the USA Today Super 25 rankings.
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY

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The Isaiah Stewart Blog: Visiting Duke, NBA Young Boy, style tips and more

Isaiah Stewart is ranked No. 3 overall in USA Today Sports’ Chosen 25 for 2019 after dominating the competition with La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.) during the high school season and City Rocks (N.Y.) during the summer circuit season. That kind of play has got everyone from Duke to Michigan State to Villanova, among many others in hot pursuit. Now Stewart has agreed to give USA TODAY Sports exclusive access into his world by chronicling everything from intimate details about his recruitment to his everyday life in a blog.
Isaiah Stewart here and I’m back to update you guys on what’s going on!
I know it’s been a while, but I’m here to let you know what’s been going on in Zay’s World!
I’ve been on a bunch of visits here lately that I want to tell you guys about.
The last visit I went on was to Michigan State and I had a ball there.
I got to hang out with the guys most of the visit and had a great time. I went to the football game and took in the atmosphere. It was just a visit where I got to really get a feel for what life would be like if I went there. I think the thing that stood out most is how close the players are. They really do hang out and do everything together. That was big because when it’s like that you know that you’re gonna have great chemistry that will lead to wins on the court.
The visit before that was to Syracuse and that was fun because it’s the hometown school. I got to meet with the guys and the coaching staff and they laid out the blueprint for me. They feel like I can be the special player that accomplish a lot of things like Carmelo Anthony did for them.
That’s big for me.
Before that visit was the Kentucky visit and that was a fun visit as well.
I got a chance to see the practice and the thing that stood out the most was how intense the guys were. I love that because I know they all just want to get better.
Coach Cal’s message was that I can come in and go to work. You just go with the opportunity there and if I work hard, hopefully, I’ll get a chance to leave achieve my dreams.
Duke is gonna be my last visit and that’s this weekend so I’m looking forward to that. I’m mostly looking forward to hanging out with the guys and just taking in what it would be like to go there.
I already have a great relationship with Coach K and the staff so I want to get the players’ take on everything.
I won’t be able to sign during the early period, but it’s all good. I can still commit. I’m not worried about not being able to sign. I would like to go ahead and make a commitment after the last visit, but it’s all about how I’m feeling and if I feel like I’m ready.
OK, right now I’m feeling really good about how my high school team is looking this season. We’ve just got a lot of talented guys that want to work and get better. We’re playing with a chip on shoulder this season and I’m excited about what we’ll be able to do.
Right now, we’re No. 6 in the USA Today Super 25 and I ain’t gonna lie that’s about five spots too low for us! We’re not stressing it; we’re just gonna work hard and prove it.
A few things I really want to work on individually is my finesse game. Everyone knows me for my strength and power, but I’ve added more to my game like going to the perimeter, facing up, putting the ball on the floor and all of that. That’s the way the game is being played now so I want to continue to polish that part of my game this season as I get ready for college.
School is going good for me right now too. I’m trying to finish up my first semester as strong a possible. My goal is to get three A’s and two B’s, but hopefully I’m gonna pull out all A’s.
OK, let’s get in to this music real quick; right now I’m listening to NBA YoungBoy. He’s the best out right now to me. That’s who I’m throwing on in the headphones before a game. Then I’m listening to Lil Baby, YG, Lil Uzi and I’m also listening to my boy Nahziah Carter. He plays for Washington and he’s actually Jay Z’s nephew, but he’s nice on the mic too.
He keeps it on the low, but he sends me his unreleased songs and they’re tough!
Of course I’m still listening to that reggae heavy too! Always.
I want to add in a little fashion tips in my blog too because I love to look good off the court. I’m always looking at different styles. I always like looking nice and presentable no matter what. I’d have to say my go-to look is a Nike suit with a fresh pair of Jordans.
Now if I’m trying to get dripped-up I’m gonna throw on some gold, put the earrings in, put some cut-up jeans on, nice pair or fly J’s or some Balenciaga’s! I can get dripped up a lil’ bit!
OK, guys I appreciate you checking out my latest blog and I’ll be back soon to let you know how the Duke visit went and what’s next for me.
Shoutout to you guys for keeping up with my blog!
Thanks again for tuning in with your boy Zay!
Don’t forget to follow Isaiah Stewart:
Twitter: @Dreamville_33
Instagram: the.isaiahstewart

Chosen 25 SG Anthony Edwards reclassifies from 2020 to 2019

Holy Spirit Prep (Atlanta) shooting guard Anthony Edwards is officially a member of the 2019 class after reclassifying from 2020, according to Edwards.
That will undoubtedly impact his recruitment, to say the least.
Schools will naturally turn up their pursuit of the 6-foot-5 star now that he’s a senior.
In September, Edwards told USA Today Sports that Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, Kansas and Michigan State were coming at him the hardest.
In his latest USA Today blog, Edwards said that he would be “going on some visits, but I don’t know where and when just yet.”

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Edwards, who was ranked No. 3 overall in USA Today Sports’ Chosen 25 for 2020, is a unique talent who could make the case for being the top player in the country regardless of class.
That means Edwards is primed to take one of the top spots in the Chosen 25 rankings for 2019.
This past summer he was named MVP of the Under Armour Association and the prestigious SC30 Camp.
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY