College Sports

Spalding Hoophall Classic’s Five Most Intriguing Matchups

The Hoophall Classic is flooded with matchups between SI99 prospects.

After being cancelled last year due to the pandemic, the Spalding Hoophall Classic will once again serve as the meeting place for multiple SI99 prospects to duke it out from Jan. 13-17.

From a clash of dominant point guards to Montverde-IMG II, must-see matchups abound.

Here are the five most intriguing matchups in the loaded field.

Jan. 14 at 9 p.m. ET (ESPN+)

Dereck Lively (Westtown School) vs. Mikey Williams (Vertical Academy)

No, Lively, a 7’0” center, and Williams, a 6’2” scoring guard, won’t go head-to-head, but when the top player in the SI99 (Lively) faces off with the most famous high school athlete in the country (Williams), it’s noteworthy. Be clear, Williams, who inked an endorsement deal with Puma and has 3.5 million Instagram followers, is far from just hype and more than capable of dominating a game with his special blend of three-level scoring ability and elite athleticism. Lively, a Duke signee, is an all-everything athlete who dominates both ends of the floor. Simply put, this game is a highlight videographers dream.

Jan. 15 at 6 p.m. ET (ESPN+)

Keyonte George (IMG Academy) vs. Kylan Boswell (AZ Compass Prep)

This game highlights a matchup of two of the most physical and versatile lead guards in the country. Both play with palpable energy and dominate the game in multiple ways. Boswell, a junior, led Team Why Not to the E16 Peach Jam title last summer, and George, a Baylor signee, dominated the adidas 3SSB all summer. This matchup will also feature key matchups between IMG’s Jarace Walker and Compass Prep’s Mookie Cook.

RELATED: 2022 SI99 Basketball Rankings

Jan. 15 at 8 p.m. ET (ESPN+)

DJ Wagner (Camden) vs. Marvel Allen (Calvary Christian)

Wagner is widely regarded as the top player in the 2023 class, while Allen is a consensus top 15 player in the same class. Both are speedy floor generals with slippery maneuvering, three-level scoring ability and elite playmaking ability. Both play with an immeasurable level of confidence and will undoubtedly go at each other from the opening tip.

Jan. 17 at 3 p.m. ET (ESPNU)

No. 4 Montverde Academy vs. No. 2 IMG Academy

The Battle for Florida was an instant classic last month when Keyonte George’s last second layup sealed the Eagles’ fate 65-64 on their homecourt. Expect Montverde to be looking for payback in this clash of the titans where elite matchups abound from Jaden Bradley vs. Skyy Clark to Dariq Whitehead vs. Keyonte George to Jarace Walker vs. Dillon Mitchell.

Jan. 17 at 5 p.m. ET (ESPNU)

MJ Rice (Prolific Prep) vs. Jordan Walsh (Link Prep)

Walsh, an Arkansas signee, and Link drew first blood back in November, a 55-48 win over Rice, a Kansas signee, and Prolific, but Rice, who is ranked No. 7 overall in the SI99, is coming off an MVP performance at the Chick-fil-A Classic and has consistently elevated his game all season. Rice’s skilled-bully ball style could give Walsh fits, but the future Razorback’s gift is his ability to impact the game in multiple ways on both ends of the floor. Expect a “take no prisoners” matchup to cap off the Hoophall Classic.

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This story was originally published January 13, 2022 10:24 AM.

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