This one was pure domination from start to finish with IMG Academy blowing the doors off of United Faith in their season opener 104-54. Jaden Springer was incredibly efficient with his touches in his return to the Carolinas going 7/10 from the field with 22 points, and his teammates were excellent too. There were highlights on top of highlights with Mikeal Brown-Jones leading the way with a disrespectful dunk that got the crowd to their feet in the 3rd quarter.
IMG Academy had six players in double figures led by Springer with 20, Jarace Walker with 18 on only 10 shots, as well as Josh Green (Arizona Signee), Jeremiah Robinson Earl (Villanova Signee), Armando Bacot (UNC Signee), and Mikeal Brown-Jones. United Faith was led by Sam Wolfe with 14 points and 7 rebounds, he was one of the lone bright spots for United Faith.
Three Stars of the Game:
1. 6’5 2020 Jaden Springer: IMG Academy (20 Pts , 7 Reb, 5 Ast, 7/10 From the Field, 6/6 From the Line)
Springer was excellent in this one, impacting all aspects of the game with his ability to initiate offense, get downhill, and drawing contact at the rim, getting three AND1’s in the process. He’s clearly bulked up since getting to IMG, using their top notch facilities to his advantage, adding some serious strength to his frame, allowing him to be even better than he already was at the basket, which is hard to believe because he made his name as a top ten national level player with his slashing ability. The mid-range pull up is as smooth as it comes, and he defends at a high level with that added strength playing to his advantage in that regard. He’s one of the best guards I’ve ever watched at the high school level and I can’t wait to see how his game evolves.
2. 6’10 Armando Bacot: IMG Academy (15 Pts, 6 Reb, 2 Ast, 6/7 From the Field)
Bacot looks like a new man with his improved physique and is doing an excellent job gelling with his new teammates at IMG Academy. He was incredibly efficient from the field going 6/7, not forcing the issue, always maintaining a high level of control on the block, and was willing to pass out when the zone collapsed on him. He’s a high IQ big with really intriguing physical gifts that should EXCEL at UNC if he continues to to play the way he did last night. He’s a good leader that embraces his current situation, surrounded by all of the talent in the world, he gets excited for his teammates, empowering them to be their best on the court. A next level prospect and person.
3. 6’6 2022 Jarace Walker: IMG Academy (18 Pts, 6 Reb, 8/10 From the Field)
Walker showed flashes of brilliance, backing up his sky high rankings among the 2022 class with his natural three level scoring ability. He moves without the ball incredibly well for a kid of his age, possessing a great feel for the game at such a young age. He hit the only three he took, not falling in love with the shot, but still taking care of business, and he’s a really intriguing defensive prospect with his versatility, using his length, agility, and athleticism to his advantage. If he continues to work on his game, there’s no reason why he won’t be one of the top prospects in America when it’s all said and done.