The rosters of His Airness' 2014 Jordan Brand Classic, like all of those in past years, read like a who's who of future collegiate and NBA stars.
In fact, the annual event has taken over the scene in regard to high school basketball showcases, as the nation's top talent gets ready to make the leap to the collegiate game. Michael Jordan's name helps reel in the elite talent, but the players themselves steal the show each year.
Look at 2013's even. Names like Julius Randle, Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins dominated the proceedings.
Who will use Jordan's showcase as a launch pad this year?
When: Friday, April 18 at 2:30 p.m. ET
2:30 p.m. ET: The International Game featuring top foreign players.
4:30 p.m. ET: New York Regional Game.
7 p.m. ET: The All-American Game.
Where: Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
TV: ESPN 2 for All-American Game
|Isaiah Whitehead||Seton Hall|
|D’Angelo Russell||Ohio State|
Stars to Watch
Jahlil Okafor (Duke)
At 6'11" and 270 pounds, Jahlil Okafor is a classic center who comes equipped with a bevy of offensive post moves and an attacking nature on the glass that makes him difficult to contain.
The co-MVP of the McDonald's All-American Game (along with North Carolina-bound Justin Jackson) thanks to 17 points, it was business as usual for Okafor. There wasn't a player on the floor who could go toe-to-toe with the polished prospect despite the overall impressive talent level of the game.
CBS Sports' Jeff Borzello put it best:
Few defenders have any chance of stopping Jahlil Okafor one-on-one when he gets the ball with position. Certainly no one in this game.— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) April 12, 2014
Okafor is a surefire stud, who already has a game that translates well to the next level. But to truly shine on Friday night, he'll have to expertly maneuver past the next prospect on the list, who just so happens to be an Illinois rival.
Cliff Alexander (Kansas)
Not only does Cliff Alexander have to come up with a way to stop Okafor, he has to help shut down future Kansas teammate Kelly Oubre, too. Still, the duo has big plans next season for the Jayhawks:
Alexander may remind some observers of the departed Joel Embiid thanks to his 6'9", 240-pound frame that allows him to be a monster on the boards. While he'll rather easily dominate the collegiate game, Bleacher Report's C.J. Moore writes that Alexander is unlike Okafor in that he may stick around a few years:
Alexander is also a guy who could be around for a few years. I overheard one NBA scout say that he doesn't think Alexander is a one-and-done prospect, and I agree. He's a 6'9" center who will be able to overpower college guys, but he'll need more to his game before he's ready for the pros. He needs to continue to refine those post skills and also continue to improve his 12- to 15-foot jumper.
Regardless, Alexander starts his journey on Friday night with a chance to stand out among the best of the best.
Myles Turner (Uncommitted)
All eyes will be on Myles Turner, perhaps the most notable uncommitted prospect standing.
Until then fans just have to hope Turner hits the hardwood on Friday night. He's 6'11" and 255 pounds of brute force who can both bang on the low block and step outside and hit shots from the perimeter.
Turner has a stunning all-around game that would wow the nation if he's healthy enough to go. The best part? He's in the early stages of development as a post player.