One of the nation’s top high school basketball tournaments has come to a close as the John Wall Holiday Invitational wrapped up Monday night. With elite teams from across the country as well as the state traveling to Raleigh, NC for the event, there was an abundance of elite talent to watch.
From nationally-known 5-star prospects to local budding NC names, plenty of players made their mark on the annual invitational tournament. Here we’ll recap the top performers from the John Wall Holiday Invitational, in no particular order.
Cade Cunningham: Montverde Academy, 2020
You could’ve penciled this one prior to the start of the tournament. Oklahoma State commit Cade Cunningham is the best player in all of high school hoops and rises to the occasion in big moments. Cunningham made the game look too easy, even against nationally-ranked The Patrick School. The 5-star guard averaged 13.7 PPG, 7.3 APG, 4.3 RPG with a total of 3 turnovers on 64% shooting over the course of the 3 games played. While those numbers don’t jump off the page, his IQ on both ends of the floor popped and his total control of every game was apparent. Cunningham took home the MVP award for the David West Bracket.
Scottie Barnes: Montverde Academy, 2020
Another one of Montverde’s 5-star seniors stepped up to the plate when it mattered. Florida State pledge Scottie Barnes showed he is every bit as good as advertised and more. Barnes displayed a game-changing knack for consistently being in the right place at the right time. He showed off an elite basketball IQ and used that in tandem with his physical gifts en route to a dominant showing in Raleigh. Barnes averaged 11.3 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 5.7 APG, and just 4 total turnovers while shooting 71% from the field. His all-around dominance was crucial in Montverde’s epic team showing.
Nick Farrar: Apex Friendship, 2020
Nick Farrar is far from a household name, but certainly made his presence known at the John Wall Holiday Invitational. Farrar is ranked 220th nationally via 247Sports, though his stunning scoring performance in front of national eyes will likely give a nice boost to that ranking. The NC State signee averaged a whopping 32.6 PPG, which included a 35 point outing against top 2021 recruit Jon Kuminga, and 7 RPG to go along with that. What is most outstanding about this performance is his overall efficiency. Farrar shot 63% from the field and 64% from deep while not committing a single foul over three games.
Puff Johnson: Hillcrest Prep, 2020
UNC signee and younger brother of former UNC star Cam Johnson, Donovan “Puff” Johnson took home the MVP award in the TJ Warren Bracket. Johnson is known for his elite shooting ability, similar to his older brother. Puff was the best all-around player for Hillcrest Prep throughout the tournament, who won the TJ Warren Bracket title through a tough path featuring Combine Academy, Moravian Prep, and Word of God- each team features a top 40 player in their respective class. Puff averaged 14.7 PPG with most of his damage coming from beyond the arc in a rock-solid 3-and-D display.
Makur Maker: Hillcrest Prep, 2020
Teammate and co-star of Puff Johnson, Makur Maker impressed at the John Wall Holiday Invitational. Maker has only been with Hillcrest for a few short weeks, but he displayed a welcomed aptitude for playing within an offense and sharing the ball. Maker flashed mobility with the ball, impressive vision, and fluid shooting mechanics. The cousin of NBA player Thon Maker showed an all-around game in flashes, and it is easy to see the allure.
Josh Hall: Moravian Prep, 2020
Being an in-state player, Josh Hall was one of the top fan draws of the John Wall Holiday Invitational. Fans came in droves to see him, and he did not disappoint. He brought an undefeated Moravian Prep to Raleigh and only suffered a loss to an elite Hillcrest Prep team. The NC State signee averaged 20.7 PPG and 7.7 RPG, displaying a versatile skill-set at 6-foot-9 with legitimate guard skills. Hall showed that even when his outside shot isn’t falling, he can contribute at an elite level inside the arc and on both ends of the floor. Hall’s length and mobility poses a match-up problem for anyone on the floor.
Isaiah Todd: Word of God, 2020
5-star center Isaiah Todd was a fan favorite throughout the tournament. With Raleigh being his home, he was essentially playing with a homecourt advantage each game. Todd, with a good supporting cast, showed an improved ability to play within an offense being much less ISO reliant. At 6-foot-11, his ability to shoot off the dribble and create his own shots is supremely valuable. In the middle of Word of God’s 2-3 zone, Todd altered shots in the paint and kept opposing guards from looking to penetrate at times. His shot selection and overall decision-making will need to continue to improve, but Todd displayed why many believe he has one of the highest ceilings in the 2020 class.
Dontrez Styles: Kinston, 2021
Dontrez Styles was viewed as NC’s best-kept secret coming into the John Wall Holiday Invitational. Many local evaluators view Styles as top 50 talent in his class despite being ranked outside of the top 100 (via 247Composite) until their most recent update this week. The secret is out, however. Styles looks to be the latest elite player out of Kinston after a weekend averaging 20.7 PPG & 8.3 RPG with 2.7 stocks (steals and blocks) per game while shooting 78.5% from the field. Styles displayed an impressive efficiency on both ends of the floor, making his presence known as an elite player. His stock is set to take off, with this outing on a national stage serving as a breakout party.
Jon Kuminga: The Patrick School, 2021
To no one’s surprise, top-ranked 2021 recruit Jon Kuminga was one of the top performers over the weekend. The 6-foot-8 forward should an incredible mix of ball skills and physicality with a matured control of his body. Kuminga averaged 26 PPG & 9.3 PPG over the course of his three games. He got anywhere he wanted on the court, beating bigger opponents with speed and smaller opponents with size, the junior showed quick instincts in taking advantages of mismatches. He will need to work on his touch and decision-making, but the high ceiling he possesses is clear to see.
Will Felton: Millbrook, 2021
Will Felton is another NC secret that grabbed the attention of national media over the weekend. 6-foot-9 Felton, who isn’t ranked and only has a small handful of D-1 offers, proved himself a walking double-double on the biggest stage. The big man dominated inside the paint, using his long arms and overall size to control the boards and finish around the rim. Felton averaged 17.7 PPG & 11.3 RPG, even notching a double-double against the dominant Montverde squad. Fairly one-dimensional offensively and lacking elite athleticism, it is easy to see why he falls under the radar. However, his motor and ability as a consistent contributor will bring more attention his way nationally.
Daeshun Ruffin: Callaway, 2021
Samage Teel: Farmville Central, 2020
Eric Van Der Heijden: Millbrook, 2020
Day’Ron Sharpe: Montverde, 2020
Michael Foster: Hillcrest Prep, 2021