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April storylines emerge from live weekends

Matt Munro, Jabari Parker

In this photo taken in Chicago, on Tuesday, March 13, 2012, Simeon Career Academy’s forward Jabari Parker muscles his way through a block out attempt by Evanston High School forward Matt Munro during an Illinois state basketball super-sectional game. Lola Parker, Jabari’s mother, realized Jabari, had a special talent when he was in the second grade and going against fourth and fifth-graders in his father’s league. She saw how advanced his footwork was, and she told her husband that their son needed to be challenged, even if that meant taking a beating against the older kids. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)


The two April live weekends were the first opportunities in years for NCAA coaches to evaluate at tournaments and events. There was much more publicity and interest created by the “live” events, and some national storylines have emerged as a result.

The first question is if the rumored re-classification by 6-7 Andrew Wiggins, a Canadian at Huntington Prep in West Virginia goes through from the 2014 to the 2013 class, could he ultimately overtake Chicagoan Jabari Parker for the No. 1 slot in the class?

Both players showcased their games in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League, with Wiggins starring for CIA Bounce and Parker doing the same for Mac Irvin Fire. Both are the presumptive top players in their current classes.

The interesting thing about the duo is that Wiggins is actually a bit over a month older than Parker, despite being currently classified as one grade level behind him. With increasing buzz and a terrific talent level, it seems plausible that Wiggins would entertain speeding up his NBA early entry time table and immediately challenge for the top position in the class.

Beyond Wiggins and Parker, the pecking order is up for grabs in the 2013 class. A mix of prospects that includes power forward Julius Randle of the Dallas-area, Houston twin guards Andrew and Aaron Harrison, bouncy California forward Aaron Gordon and Florida power forward Chris Walker all appear to be in the mix, in some order, beyond Parker and Wiggins (if he re-classifies).

There are certainly other challengers to that mix of prospects but none has blown up more over the last month than 6-7 wing James Young, a star for the Michigan-based AAU squad The Family. His 18 points and 8 rebounds during Nike tournament play were with dozens of high-major head coaches present, and he’s made no secret that he desires a Kentucky scholarship offer. If he keeps up his impressive play, that could be around the corner, as could be a top-5 spot in national player rankings.

Another interesting item is that 6-1 point guard Tyus Jones of Apple Valley (Minn.), a 2014 prospect, has set himself apart as the top pure point guard in the land. While Andrew Harrison of the 2013 class has an amazing combination of frame and athleticism, Jones is an unrivaled passer with floor leadership skills. He leads Nike’s league with over 6 assists per game, but also has scored at 20 points game, which includes frequent trips to the free throw line.