For those of you who don’t know, the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions is the most attended high school basketball tournament in the country and it is held in Springfield, Missouri. The tournament began in 1985 and has grown from there. The atmosphere at this tournament is unreal as it gives high schools a chance to play in front of 10,000+ fans with the championship game being on national television. Check out the atmosphere from the 2016 tournament:

I was at the tournament that night and it was one of the coolest things I have ever seen. Before attending Missouri State I had never heard of the tournament before, but will be in attendance for the fourth year in a row, this time as a media member. The best of the best play at this tournament every year. Just in the past few years I have seen the likes of Marvin Bagley, Lonzo Ball, Malik Monk, and Jayson Tatum. Other notable participants in this tournament include Ben Simmons, D’Angelo Russell, Bradley Beal, John Wall, Demarcus Cousins, Alonzo Mourning, and more.

This year is no different, as there are seven players in this tournament ranked in the top 50 of their respective class, according to the Rivals 150. The tournament is headlined this year by national powerhouses Oak Hill and La Lumiere, the #3 and #21 teams in the country respectively, according to MaxPreps. Without farther ado, this is what to watch for this weekend in Springfield.

The Lineup

Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah)

Brentwood (TN) Academy

La Lumiere (La Porte, IN)

Glendale (Springfield, MO)

Oak Hill (Mouth of Wilson, Virginia)

Ozark (Springfield, MO)

Christ the King (Middle Village, NY)

Webster Groves (Webster Groves, MO)

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Best Players (Rivals Top 100)

Wasatch Academy:

  • #55, SG Matt Bradley, Committed to Cal (2018)

Brentwood Academy:

  • #18, PG Darius Garland, Committed to Vanderbilt (2018)

La Lumiere:

  • #80, PG Tyger Campbell, Offers from Purdue, Michigan State, DePaul, and Maryland (2018)
  • #32, PF Isaiah Stewart, Offers from Duke and Texas (2019)
  • #97, SG Charles Smith IV, Offers from Cal, Baylor, DePaul, GT, LSU, NC State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, SMU, TCU, Tulane, Tulsa, UCLA (2019)

Oak Hill:

  • #14, SF Keldon Johnson, Committed to Kentucky (2018)
  • #34, C David McCormack, Committed to Kansas (2018)
  • #36, PG Will Richardson, Committed to Oregon (2018)
  • #70, SG Keyontae Johnson, Committed to Florida (2018)

Webster Groves:

  • #43, PG Courtney Ramey, Offers from Mizzou, Louisville, and Villanova (2018)
  • #63, PF Carte’Are Gordon, Committed to Saint Louis (2018)

Christ the King:

  • #38, C Kofi Cockburn, Offers from Auburn, Cal, Cinci, UCONN, Creighton, FSU, Georgetown, GT, Illinois, Indiana, LSU, Miami, Minnesota, OK State, Oregon, Providence, Rhode Island, Rutgers, SLU, Seton Hall, St. Johnson, Syracuse, UCLA, UNLV, VCU, and Virginia Tech (2019)

 

Who Will Win

My pick to win would have to be Oak Hill. Outside of the four top 100 guys, they have three more guys who are in the Rivals database with D1 offers, putting them at least seven deep with top-of-the-line guys. I would not be surprised to see them face off against La Lumiere in the finals, which would be a pretty chalk matchup. In Oak Hill’s last appearance at the ToC in 2016, Ty’Shon Alexander won them the championship on a buzzer beater against Sierra Canyon:

I can’t wait to see the talent present against this year, not just in the games, but also in the annual dunk contest. This tournament is among the best in the country and is a ton of fun for the players who get to play in front of a large crowd, sometimes for the first time in their lives. I will be at the Thursday and Friday nightcaps, as well as all day on Saturday, so keep an eye out on my Twitter, @Cody Goggin, for updates and videos.

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