Wood point guard Rahsool Diggins (above) was one of the standouts of Friday night's All-City Classic. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
Josh Verlin (@jmverlin) &
Ari Rosenfeld (@ARosenfeldDVHR)
The 2018 edition of the All-City Classic, the 24th-annual all-star trio of games put on by Philly USA Basketball, took place Friday night at High School of the Future.
Here are our picks for standouts from the three games -- one each for rising sophomores (class of 2021), juniors (2020) and seniors (2019):
Dahmir Bishop (2019/Imhotep Charter)
For the second offseason in a row, Bishop has been playing terrific basketball at every stop, and that was no different on Friday night. The 6-4 shooting guard led the Public team to an overtime win to cap off the event, finishing with 28 points, including four 3-pointers. He’s been playing with a tremendous amount of confidence lately and it showed with his relentless attacking style, not hesitating at all to rise up in transition either from beyond the arc or for several big-time dunks. Though he’s capable of playing either guard spot, he ultimately projects as a high-level off-guard who can score from all three levels, certainly a role he played to perfection at Future.
Rahsool Diggins (2021/Archbishop Wood)
Considered the top floor general in the local 2021 class since first coming on to the scene, Diggins did nothing to lose that moniker tonight. The lanky 6-foot-2 point guard came out looking to get his teammates involved, pushing the break and setting up his teammates for open looks, including a couple alley-oops. When it came to crunch time, though, Diggins showed the scoring chops that will be needed at Wood this year, knifing into the lane for a number of crafty finishes that showcased his advanced dexterity and body control. As he continues to hone his jump shot, Diggins will have a chance to emerge as one of the top guards in the region.
Christian Ings (2019/Neumann-Goretti)
Fresh off picking up offers from Robert Morris and Siena in the last few days, the Saints’ bouncy guard brought confidence into the All-City Classic, where his already-flashy style fits right in amongst the competition. A 6-0 point guard who can play above the rim, Ings finished with 20 points and plenty of dimes in a losing effort, getting up the floor in a blur and around defenders to create odd-man opportunities. Defensively, he’s always been an engaged on-ball presence, with quick hands and feet along with his high-level athleticism making him tough to get around.
Mikeal Jones (2020/Girard College)
If there was an overall MVP award given for the event, there’s no doubt who it would have gone to. A reclassified prospect from the 2019 class after his freshman year at Roman Catholic (2015-16), Jones’ maturity both in terms of his skillset and his body was clear as he dominated the sophomore game to the tune of a 30-point outing. The mobile 6-8 forward knocked down one 3-pointer but did most of his work within 10-15 feet, with the skills and footwork necessary to get to the rim in iso situations, coming up with several nifty assists on his way to the hoop as well. There’s no doubt that if he wants to reclassify back to 2019, he’ll be able to contribute to a high-level Division I program that fall.
Jordan Longino (2021/Germantown Academy)
The only freshman in the area with a Division I scholarship offer — coming in May from Rhode Island — showed why with a poised, confident 22-point outing for the Public squad, helping lead his team to a come-from-behind win in the event’s opening game. A 6-4 left-handed guard, Longino caught fire early in the second half, hitting three 3-pointers in a short span, the last of which came from well beyond the NBA range on the right wing. He finished with four triples, all in the second half, adding in a few pull-up mid-range jumpers as well as his usual catch-and-shoot knockdowns. There’s no reason to think he won’t be one of the area’s top shooters over the next three years.
Seth Lundy (2019/Roman Catholic)
The rising senior game at times felt like a one-on-one battle between Bishop and Lundy, two of the top prospects in the region in their class. Lundy, a 6-5 wing with a handful of high-major offers of his own, finished with 27 points, including two 3-pointers. His one-dribble pull-up jumper is his bread-and-butter, whether that’s a side-step from deep or getting into the mid-range, and though he’s not a flashy finisher, he knows how to use his body to protect the ball when he gets to the rim. One of the more versatile players in his class, he’s also a plus passer and rebounder for his position.
Elijah Taylor (2020/Imhotep Charter)
Perhaps the most imposing physical specimen in the area, the chiseled 6-foot-8, 225-pound Taylor continues to show that he’s more than just a bruiser. As he showed tonight, the high-major power forward prospect continues to refine his offensive game, developing some go-to moves on the low block and also using his quickness to face up and attack slower defenders. Don’t be confused though, as Taylor’s power game is still impossible to miss, highlighted tonight by a couple ferocious two-handed dunks that threatened to dislodge the rim.
Karell Watkins (2021/Chester)
After quietly putting together one of the more productive freshman seasons in the area for the Clippers, Watkins showed tonight that he can clearly hang with the best of the best. Though he began the game somewhat quietly, Watkins closed the night with a bang, as the 6-foot-4 wing forward knocked down three consecutive 3-pointers in short order to go along with a few nice finishes at the rim. It’s unclear exactly where he projects positionally at the next level, but his versatility should be attractive to college programs down the line. It looks obvious that Watkins will put together one of the more productive high school careers of anyone in his class.
Tyreese Watson (2020/Bonner-Prendergast)
The younger brother of Boys’ Latin alum and former Boston U/Creighton star Maurice Watson Jr., Tyreese showed tonight that he’s developing into a plenty capable floor general in his own right. Following up a strong spring with Philly Pride on the AAU scene, Watson showcased his crafty handle which, paired with his long arms, can leave defenders grasping at straws trying to guess which way he’s going. Always considered a capable shooter, down the stretch of the game, Watson constantly put pressure on the rim including several twisting finishes off the top of the glass.
Naadhir Wood (2020/Constitution)
Having worked his way back from a foot injury that cost him almost his entire sophomore season, Wood is quickly re-establishing himself as one of the top post players in the area. Capable of using both hands to finish at the rim, with the frame to go up strong and absorb contact, the 6-foot-7 sophomore was a consistent force around the rim all night. Most intriguing, though, was how comfortable he looked stepping out to 18-feet and knocking down a couple jumpers, an important development as Wood begins to project to the college level.
TaQuan Woodley (2021/Neumann-Goretti)
Despite being just a freshman, Woodley may be the most imposing defensive force in the entire area. Easily taking home Defensive Player of the Game honors in the first game, he was up to his usual tricks, using his explosiveness, uncanny timing, and long 6-foot-6 frame to swat shot after shot away from unsuspecting opponents. Although his rim protection and rebounding are clearly his calling cards, Woodley showed more flashes of developing into a skilled offensive big, hitting a couple turnaround jumpers and pushing the break a handful of times before throwing pinpoint passes. With a couple more inches added on to his frame over the next couple years, Woodley has all the makings of a future high-major frontcourt prospect.
Honorable Mention: Jerome Brewer (2021/West Catholic), Hakim Byrd (2020/Neumann-Goretti), Dahmir Fowlkes (2021/Bartram), KeShaun Hammonds (2020/Constitution), Samier Kinsler (2019/West Catholic), Christian Ray (2019/Haverford School), Jamir Reed (2019/Mastery North), Daeshon Sheppard (2021/Archbishop Wood), Themere Simmons (2021/Imhotep Charter), Jaylen Stinson (2021/Haverford School), Yasir Stover (2020/Simon Gratz), Derrius Ward (2020/Sankofa Freedom), Jihad Watson (2019/Math, Civics & Sciences), Zaakir Williamson (2021/West Catholic)