John Calipari Watches P.J. Washington, Marvin Bagley III and R.J. Barrett
Kentucky coach John Calipari was on hand for the first night of the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions in Springfield, MO on Thursday night.
Calipari watched 2017 signee P.J. Washington of Findlay Prep (NV), 2018 star Marvin Bagley of Sierra Canyon (CA) and 2019 stud R.J. Barrett of Montverde (FL) Academy. The 6-foot-11 Bagley and the 6-7 Barrett are each ranked the No. 1 players in their respective classes by ESPN.com, and arguably the two top prospects in high school basketball. (For more on Barrett, read this.)
Bagley went for 15 points and seven rebounds as Sierra Canyon dispatched Republic, 72-54, to advance to a semifinal showdown on Friday with Findlay Prep. Washington went for 21 points in Findlay Prep’s 77-50 win over Madison Prep.
Barrett scored 12 points as Montverde beat Kickapoo to advance to a semifinal showdown with Memphis East on Friday night.
Both Sierra Canyon and Montverde will also be on display this weekend in the Hoophall Classic in Springfield, MA., so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Calipari there over the weekend, too.
In addition to Bagley and Barrett, the Hoophall also features Kentucky signees Nick Richards of The Patrick School and Quade Green of Neumann-Goretti, as well as uncommitted big man Mohamed Bamba of the Westtown (PA) School, who faces Arizona-bound DeAndre Ayton and Hillcrest Prep (AZ) at 8 p.m. on Saturday night on ESPN.
Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.