The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend is hard to beat when it comes to high school basketball. There may be a bit of a hoops hangover in the coming days without a mega-event like the Spalding Hoophall Classic on the calendar.
But don't tell that to folks in the Windy City, where a packed house is expected Saturday at Chicago State University to see national No. 1 Whitney Young
take on archrival and No. 5 Simeon
. It's an unexpected role reversal as Simeon entered the season ranked No. 1 with Whitney Young the hunter at No. 8.
The slate isn't totally void of showcase events. The Hilton Invitational at Norcross High School in Georgia and the Montverde Academy Invitational in Florida will provide big stages for top teams and players.Weekend WatchFive key games likely to impact next week's national rankingsNo. 1 Whitney Young vs. No. 5 Simeon
Though Whitney Young is the nation's top-ranked team, it may feel like a bit of an underdog in this one. The Dolphins have lost four of their last five games against Simeon, which is the three-time defending Class 4A state champion in Illinois. Hickman's pick: Whitney YoungNo. 4 DeSoto (Texas) vs. South Grand Prairie (Texas)
A key matchup in one of the Lone Star State's toughest districts, DeSoto will be facing a South Grand Prairie team that hasn't lost since the teams last met Dec. 21. In fact, the Eagles have handed SGP both of its losses this season. Hickman's pick: DeSotoNo. 7 Germantown (Wis.) vs. Dominican (Whitefish Bay, Wis.)
Behind the play of Indiana-bound big man Luke Fischer
, the nationally ranked Warhawks are winning by an average margin of 33 points per game. With Marquette signee Duane Wilson Jr.
and 6-foot-9 super sophomore Diamond Stone
on the roster, Dominican has to have the starpower to give Germantown a contest. Hickman's pick: GermantownNo. 11 Olympic (Charlotte, N.C.) vs. Greater Atlanta Christian (Norcross, Ga.)
Olympic won its first 25 games a year ago and is off to a 16-0 start this winter. Greater Atlanta Christian hit a rough patch in late December but has responded with a 6-0 record in January – winning those contests by an average margin of 44.5 points per game. Hickman's pick: Olympic* No. 6 Huntington Prep (W.Va.) vs. Mentor (Ohio)
It's David vs. Goliath here as the Division I training ground that is Huntington Prep heads to the Dunk 4 Diabetes Shootout to take on the scrappy, disciplined, high-scoring Cardinals of Mentor. Hickman's pick: Huntington Prep* Denotes Academy Top 10 RankingOther games of interest
- The Montverde Academy Invitational is the top tournament of the weekend. In addition to host Montverde Academy (Fla.)
, the eight-team field includes Edgewater (Orlando, Fla.)
, Inglewood (Calif.)
, Academy Top 10 No. 4 La Lumiere (LaPorte, Ind.)
, Oldsmar Christian (Fla.)
, Orlando Christian Prep (Fla.)
, Shiloh (Snellville, Ga.)
and St. Frances Academy (Baltimore)
- No. 3 St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.)
will look to extend its 78-game win streak at the SNY Invitational in the Big Apple. The Friars meet Boys & Girls (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
on Friday with Cardinal Hayes (Bronx, N.Y.)
and Long Island Lutheran (Brookville, N.Y.)
squaring off on the other side of the bracket.
- In addition to the Olympic-Greater Atlanta Christian tilt, the Hilton Invitational will feature top programs like Christ School (Arden, N.C.)
, DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.)
, Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.)
, Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.)
and host Norcross (Ga.)
. The full schedule can be found here
.Watch more videos of Simeon basketball