Thoughts on the 2023 Nike Hoop Summit Game

April 10th, 2023

By Alan Lu

Recently, I was able to watch the 2023 Nike Hoop Summit that was played on April 8th, and it was a showcase game that featured numerous top prospects for the 2024 draft.  It was an opportunity to watch French forward, Zaccharie Risacher play, as well as other top prospects as well.  Ron Holland turned in a superb performance to help lead Team USA to get the win over Team World.  Here are my thoughts on how he and other various prospects fared in this game. Also, for those that are interested in the box score of this game, here is the link, courtesy of Kevin Pelton.

Strong Performances (9): 

6-8 forward, Ron Holland had 15 points, 9 rebounds, 6 steals, 5 assists, and 1 block, as he put forth a dominant display to lead Team USA to get the win over Team World at the Nike Hoop Summit in Portland, Oregon.
(Photo: Leon Neuschwander/Scorebook Live)

Ron Holland had a strong showing to help lead Team USA to get the win in this game.  The 6-8 Texas commit had a terrific all-around game, and he continued to play very well recently.

He thrived at scoring on strong drives to the hoop and on fast breaks.  Holland showed a knack for drawing lots of free throws on aggressive drives to the basket, and he also was able to score on a thunderous dunk on the break.  He also managed to score on a strong put back.  On the downside, he didn’t make any of the threes he hoisted up, and he’ll still need to work on his jump shot, but he did just about everything else really well.

He also displayed solid playmaking skills.  Holland is an unselfish player, and he would consistently find the open man to rack up assists.  Every once in a while though, he would make careless mistakes that would lead to turnovers.  On one play, he caught a pass but stepped out of bounds.  On another, he tried to post up, but cleared out with his arm and ended up committing an offensive foul and a turnover that time.

Also, Holland rebounded the ball very well.  He also played very good defense in this game.  Holland was able to get a plethora of steals, and he would jump passes and on loose balls to get them.  He also rotated to block a shot off of a drive another time.  However, sometimes he would play too aggressively, which would lead him to be out of position at times.

In general, Ron Holland played very well to help his team get a win over Team World.  He is looking to be the best prospect for the 2024 draft, and he has consistently thrived in the high school All-Star games.  He is a very athletic swingman that can really score and defend when he is on the court.  He’ll need to be a more consistent shooter in games, but his athleticism, versatility, and skill set could enable him to be a top 5 pick in the 2024 draft.

6-8 forward, Mackenzie Mgbako scored 22 points for Team World at the 2023 Nike Hoop Summit.
(Photo: Steph Chambers/Getty Images, via SB Nation’s Duke Basketball Report)

Duke’s 6-8 incoming freshman swingman, Mackenzie Mgbako had a solid showing for the World team in this game.  He led all scorers with 22 points in this game, and he showed off versatile scoring skills on offense.  He excelled at knocking down outside shots, and he also showed that he can score comfortably out of the post as well as on hustle plays.  He would run the floor to score on fast breaks, and he also scored off of a cut and a put back.  He would sometimes miss on contested, rushed shots in traffic, but he generally showed that he can make shots from the outside and also finish plays around the basket.

As a playmaker, he was quite turnover prone on offense.  For the positives, he can throw long, accurate passes to find teammates on the move.  On the downside, he ended up committing a handful of turnovers in this game, and he also dropped a pass that led to a turnover once.

Mgbako also rebounded the ball very well.  Defensively, he looked to be fairly average.  He was active defensively.  On one play though, he got outmuscled when defending a drive and didn’t cut off penetration, and he ended up committing a foul and allowing a score that time.  Overall, Mgbako played well in this game, and he is an athletic, shot maker that can score the basketball.  He may have a considerable amount of upside, and he could end up being a lottery pick in the 2024 draft.

Bronny James also played well for Team USA to help them get the win in this game.  The 6-3 guard is the son of NBA superstar, LeBron James. In this game, Bronny James didn’t shoot the ball quite as well from the outside, but he excelled at attacking the hoop to score, and he defended very well, and he showed off very good athletic gifts in this game.

James showed a knack for scoring on strong drives in transition while getting fouled to get extra free throws.  He also was able to score on a backdoor cut.  While he struggled to make outside shots from either the mid-range or from deep, James was still able to make a smooth, pull-up three once, despite struggling to consistently make long-range jumpers in this game.

He didn’t seem to make noteworthy passes, but James is a patient player that can pass and handle the basketball. Plus, he also rebounded the ball well.  James also played good defense.  He was able to intercept a pass to get a steal.  He also blocked a shot hard off of a put back late in this game.  He also defending an opposing ball handler to help force a ball-handling turnover another time.

Overall, Bronny James had a strong showing in his team’s win in this game, and he is a versatile guard that excels at scoring in a variety of ways, and he also is a very good defender.  He may be one of the best prospects in the 2024 draft, and he could end up being a lottery pick next season.

Stanford’s 6-6 incoming freshman swingman, Andrej Stojakovic also played well for Team World in this game.   He shot the ball well, especially on spot-up threes off the catch, and he is a sharpshooter that can knock down outside shots from downtown.  He also was able to score on a turnaround mid-range jumper, as well as on a backdoor cut.  

As a playmaker, he looked to be fairly average.  Stojakovic can pass and handle the basketball, and showed that he can push the pace and pass off the dribble.  However, sometimes he would be careless when handling the ball, as he lost the ball when handling it once, and he also was called for charging when driving to pass another time.  He also did a decent job of rebounding the basketball.  Overall, Stojakovic is an agile, skilled sharpshooter that excelled at shooting and scoring the basketball, and he could end up being a first round pick in the 2024 draft.

Miami’s 6-9 incoming freshman big man, Michael Nwoko played very well for Team World in this game.  He is a strong, athletic forward that thrived as an interior player in this game.  He showed a knack for scoring on hustle plays, and for finishing plays around the basket.  He would score on powerful put back dunks, and he also scored on a turnaround, jump hook out of the post once.

Nwoko generally passed the ball well.  He also was able to catch a long pass and pass back to a cutter to set up a score for a teammate on the break.  Nwoko also rebounded the ball very well.  Defensively, he looked to be about average at best.  He also was able to block a shot on the defensive end, but he also was very foul prone.  He would tend to play too aggressively, which would lead him to commit fouls in this game.

In summary, Michael Nwoko had a solid showing in this game, and he is an energetic player that excelled at making plays on both ends of the floor.  He’ll need to improve his jump shot and be a more disciplined defender in games, but he is an athletic, high-motor player that could end up being a first round pick in the 2024 draft.

Auburn’s 6-0 incoming freshman guard, Aden Holloway had a very good all-around performance for Team World in this game.  He shot the ball well, especially from deep, and he showed that he can make threes both off the catch and dribble.  He also thrived as a quick scorer off the dribble, and he showed a knack for drawing free throws when driving to the hoop or looking to score off of cuts.

He also showed adequate playmaking skills.  He can throw long, accurate passes to find open teammates on the move.  Sometimes though, he would be careless when handling the ball, which led to a couple of turnovers.  He also rebounded the ball very well in this game.  Overall, Holloway is an agile, skilled combo guard that showed off a solid set of skills, and he could end up being a first round pick for the 2024 draft.

USC’s 6-3 incoming freshman guard, Isaiah Collier had a solid showing for Team USA to help his team get the win.  He is a very athletic player that particularly thrived as a scorer, and he is tremendously fast as a ball handler in the open court.

Collier did a very good job of scoring on speedy drives to the hoop and making mid-range jumpers.  He also was able to drive up the court to score on a thunderous dunk in transition.  He didn’t take or make a three-point shot, but he was able to make a long two in this game.

He also displayed fairly average playmaking skills.  Collier is a tremendously athletic guard that can pass and handle the basketball.  He can throw patient passes to find open teammates on the move.  On the downside, he would sometimes throw wildly inaccurate passes that would end up going out of bounds.

Also, he was able to get a pair of boards to help his team chip in on the glass.  Defensively, he looked to be about average at best.  Collier ran in to try to get a loose ball and got his hands on it, but was unable to pick it up as he had run at full speed, only to trip and fall over the ball that time, but he did make a good effort in his attempt to do so.  On the downside, Collier tended to get beat off the dribble by players who shouldn’t have, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.

Overall, Isaiah Collier is a very athletic combo guard that can score the basketball, but he’ll need to be more willing to take threes, and he’ll need to show that he can reliably run the point at higher levels.  Still, he may be a high upside prospect, and he is a shot maker that has star potential, and he could end up being a lottery pick in the 2024 draft.

Virginia’s 6-9 incoming freshman big man, Blake Buchanan also played well for Team USA in this game.  He is a strong, fairly athletic, energetic player that excelled at making hustle plays to help his team on both ends of the floor.  He would score on athletic put back slams off of offensive rebounds.  He also scored on a dunk off of a roll to the rim.  Plus, he also rebounded the ball really well and was active defensively.  Overall, Buchanan thrived as an interior player to help his team in this game.  On the other hand, he’s also a bit undersized to play inside at the NBA level, and will need to improve his jump shot and playmaking skills.  Right now, his game may be a better fit for the collegiate level than for the NBA, but even still, he was a great get for Virginia, and Buchanan could make an immediate impact for them next season.

Oregon’s 6-0 incoming freshman point guard, Jackson Shelstad played fairly well for Team USA in this game.  He played very well in the first half, and he then sort of just faded into the background in the second half. Shelstad is a quick, agile guard that can ably get shots off, and he excelled at knocking down outside shots, especially from beyond the arc.  He is a good three-point shooter, especially off the catch, and he was able to run off of a ball screen to make one from deep.  He also was able to make a smooth, step-back mid-range jumper, although he struggled to score consistently on mid-range jumpers or off the dribble.  He didn’t really stand out in the other areas, but Shelstad is an agile playmaking guard that can deftly handle the basketball.  

Overall, he stood as a shot maker and shooter in this game, but he didn’t really seem to do much else when he was on the floor.  His lack of ideal size or distribution skills could make it difficult for him to move up draft boards early on, but Shelstad is a player that can shoot and score the basketball, and he could end up being a late first round pick in a future NBA draft.

Okay Performances (9):

6-8 French forward, Zaccharie Risacher has been mentioned as a possible number one overall pick for the 2024 draft, but despite some solid drives, and ability to pass and handle the basketball, and generally playing okay basketball, Risacher seemed to be a bit underwhelming for a prospect that came in with seemingly a considerable amount of hype prior to this game.  He didn’t shoot well and was reluctant to take outside shots, and he didn’t take over this game, though he did have some good moments at times.

Risacher was at his best when he would look to score on quick drives on fast breaks.  He is a tall, lanky forward that can use long strides to score on smooth drives in transition.  His length, ball-handling, and athleticism allows him to be able to fluidly handle the ball to score on the break.  He also managed to post up off of an offensive rebound to score on a fadeaway jumper.  On the downside, he struggled to score on half-court drives and missed on both of his threes, and he also missed on a contested layup off of a cut another time.

Risacher looked to be fairly average as a playmaker in this game.  He is a smooth athlete that can pass and handle the basketball.  He was able to throw a sharp pass to a cutter to notch an assist.  However, he was also a bit turnover prone on offense.  On one play, he attempted to make a drive and kick pass on the break to a corner shooter, but he threw a low, inaccurate pass that ended up going out of bounds.

Also, Risacher did a great job of rebounding the basketball.  He also played satisfactory defense.  He was able to poke a ball away to nearly get a steal, and he was active in pursuing and going for loose balls to make it difficult for opposing ball handlers.  He also successfully drew a charge on a drive to get a stop once.  On one play though, he struggled to defend a drive and didn’t cut off penetration, which led him to commit a foul that time.

Overall, Risacher had a decent game overall, but it still was relatively disappointing, given that he’s been billed as a projected top 5 pick for the 2024 draft.  Risacher was able to make some solid plays, but as for his overall skill level, it seems to be nowhere close to on the level of Victor Wembanyama. Right now, the 2024 draft is looking to be considerably weaker than the 2023 draft. It’s still a long ways away from that point in time, but Risacher will definitely need to improve his outside shot, and he has to be much more comfortable in taking three-point shots in games.  Risacher is an athletic forward that has a variety of skills, and he may be a high upside prospect that could end up being a lottery pick in 2024.

Duke’s 6-4 incoming freshman guard, Jared McCain did a decent job of scoring the basketball, but he was also turnover prone in this game.  For the positives, he showed a satisfactory ability to score out of the post, and he also showed that he can score on strong, drives to the hoop.  Sometimes though, he would miss shots in traffic, and he also didn’t take or make a single three-point shot.

He also was turnover prone.  While he generally passed the ball well and showed that he can make passes off the dribble, McCain was a bit reckless when handling the ball, and he would sometimes tend to over-dribble and commit ball-handling turnovers.

While he didn’t get many boards, McCain was able to get a pair of defensive boards in this game.  Defensively, he looked to be fairly average.  McCain was able to rotate to block a shot hard out of bounds, and he also would get his hands up in passing lanes.  On the downside, he would sometimes get beat off the dribble and off of cuts by quicker players, which would lead him to commit fouls.

Overall, McCain is an agile, skilled playmaking guard that can distribute the basketball and post up, but he will need to improve his three-point shot and show that he can consistently guard quicker players in games.  He was a good get by Duke for next season, and McCain could project to be a second round pick in 2024.

Baylor’s 6-5 incoming freshman guard, Ja’Kobe Walter didn’t really make much of an impact in this game, but he was able to have some moments at times.  On offense, Walter was able to score on a reverse layup off of a baseline drive.  He also missed on a three-pointer another time.  He also defended well.  He was able to successfully draw a charge when defending an opposing ball handler once.  Overall, Walter had some good moments despite getting so little playing time, and he is an athletic, energetic guard that excelled at making plays in the brief time he was on the floor.  He’ll need to improve his jump shot, but he could be a prospect to watch for the 2024 draft.

Arkansas’ 6-10 incoming freshman center, Baye Fall had his ups and downs in this game.  He is an athletic, high-motor big man that excelled as a rebounder and shot blocker in this game, but he also struggled to score out of the post.  He did score on a tip-in once, but he missed plenty of makeable shots in the paint in this game. Overall, he excelled as an interior defender, but he’ll need to improve his offensive skills considerably in the future.

Baylor’s 6-3 incoming freshman guard, Miro Little didn’t play much in this game, but he also had some good moments for Team World when he was on the floor.  He was able to make a three-pointer, blocked a shot, and rebounded the ball well in limited minutes in this game.  

On the downside, he struggled to make shots from inside the arc, and he missed on a fadeaway mid-range jumper. He also got outmuscled on a drive to allow a score once.  Overall, Miro Little is an agile, skilled guard that may project into a 3 and D role in the NBA, and he could end up having a solid freshman season for Baylor next year.

Baylor’s 6-10 incoming freshman center, Yves Missi didn’t play very much, but I thought he actually played fairly well in very limited minutes off the bench.  His impact on the game was limited because he received such few minutes, but he made an impact on the defensive end when he was on the floor.

Missi defended well in this game.  He was able to intercept a pass to get a steal.  He also blocked a shot hard off of a drive.  He also rebounded the ball well.  On offense, he was able to draw free throws on a put back, but he missed both of the free throws he took.  Overall, Missi is an athletic, energetic big man whose defense may be ahead of his offense right now.  He’ll need to continue to expand his skill set offensively, but he could end up being a rotational big man in the NBA someday.

Kentucky’s 6-3 incoming freshman, DJ Wagner is a very athletic, skilled combo guard that played with a very aggressive, score-first mentality.  He didn’t shoot the ball very well, but he was very eager to hoist up shots on offense.  He’s the son of former NBA guard and Memphis Tigers’ great, Dajuan Wagner, and DJ Wagner will come in with a lot of hype for next season.

DJ Wagner showed a decent ability to score off the dribble.  He has a quick, explosive first step, and he can score or get free throws on strong, speedy drives to the hoop.  However, he struggled to consistently knock down outside shots, and he also missed all of the threes he took on offense.  Late in this game, he would sometimes take wildly contested shots off the dribble that would lead to some awkward misses in traffic.

He plays with such a heavy, score-first lean and mindset that he doesn’t really look to set up his teammates that often on offense.  It wasn’t surprising that he didn’t get many assists in this game, but he did generally take care of the ball to limit turnovers on offense.

Wagner rebounded the ball well.  He also generally defended well.  Wagner was able to block a shot, and he would contest mid-range jumpers to force misses.  On one play though, he gave up too much space to a shooter, which led him to allow an opponent to score on a mid-range shot that time.

Overall, DJ Wagner is a very athletic, energetic combo guard that excels at making hustle plays, but he will need to improve his shot selection and playmaking skills in the meantime.  Still, he definitely has the mindset and the athletic ability to develop into a go-to scorer in the NBA in the future.  Wagner could project to be a high-profile, high-impact scorer at higher levels, and he may be a high-upside prospect that could end up being a first round pick in the 2024 draft.

G-League Ignite’s 6-3 guard, London Johnson had his ups and downs for Team World in this game.  He didn’t shoot the ball well, but he was able to get a handful of assists and rebounds when he was on the floor.

He took a lot of mid-range shots, and while he showed that he can knock down dribble, mid-range jumpers, he missed on too many shots from that range.  He also excelled at drawing free throws on speedy drives to the hoop.  On the downside, Johnson didn’t shoot well from the outside, and he missed all of the threes that he took from beyond the arc.  In this game, his shot selection was kind of spotty at times, and he tended to take quick, rushed shots that led to misses.

He also displayed decent playmaking skills.  Johnson is an unselfish player that can make passes off the dribble to set up plenty of scoring chances for his teammates.  On the downside, sometimes he would be careless with the ball, which would lead to some turnovers.

Also, Johnson rebounded the ball fairly well.  He also played satisfactory defense.  He would jump on loose balls to help his team get steals, and he would apply pressure to make it difficult for his opponents to handle the ball.

Overall, Johnson is an athletic, skilled playmaker that was able to make some plays to help his team on both ends of the floor, but he will need to work on his shot selection and be a more consistent shooter in games.  He will likely play a pivotal role for the G-League Ignite next season, and he could end up going in the late first to the second round range for the 2024 draft.

Kentucky’s 6-7 incoming freshman swingman, Justin Edwards didn’t have a great game, but he was able to grab a handful of rebounds when he was on the court.  He is an athletic player that can score in a variety of ways.  He can score quickly off the dribble, on hustle plays, and he also can knock down outside shots smoothly.  On the downside, he struggled to consistently knock down his outside shots, and he tended to miss too often when attempting them or when he would look to score off the dribble.

He also was able to throw an interior pass to find an open teammate around the basket once.  Edwards also rebounded the ball well.  Overall, perhaps Edwards’ performance should be considered lackluster, but there were so many other players that barely played.  In addition, his assertiveness on offense and ability to rebound was a welcoming sight, and that it seemed to outweigh his shooting struggles and iffy shot selection on this day.  He’ll need to improve his jump shot and shot selection, but his ability to contribute in an array of ways could enable him to be a first round pick in 2024.

Lackluster Performances (8) (also could be renamed as the “Did These Guys Actually Play?” Section):

Some of the players did not play well as anticipated in this game, and others just didn’t get much playing time at all.  It’s a bit unfair to list some of the players in the lackluster performances section due to their extreme lack of playing time (Ibrahima Sacko was recorded to have played a mere 3 seconds in what essentially is a high school All-Star game), but these players didn’t really stand out to me that much in this game.

Duke’s 6-8 incoming freshman forward, Sean Stewart didn’t play very well when he was on the court in this game.  He was the winner of the 2023 McDonald’s All-American dunk contest, but he hasn’t really played very well in the major high school All-Star games so far.  

For the positives, Stewart was able to score on a tip-in, and he rebounded the ball well.  However, he also missed on both mid-range attempts, and he also missed on a put back.  He also was foul prone in this game.  Overall, he didn’t really stand out, and he’ll need to show a higher skill level to ensure his way to make an immediate impact at the collegiate level moving forward.  Still, Duke should be excited to be able to sign him, and he could end up projecting to be a solid role player for them and at higher levels.

Oklahoma State’s 6-7 incoming freshman forward, Eric Dailey Jr. didn’t really stand out when he played in this game.  He did score on a strong put back while drawing an extra free throw to showcase his strength and ability to score around the basket.  On the other hand, he also missed on a pair of catch-and-shoot threes.

He rebounded the ball well.  Defensively, he looked to be about average at best.  He was able to contest a three to force a miss.  However, he had some trouble defending opponents in the post and in transition, and he was quite foul prone in this game.  Overall, he didn’t have a great game, but he could project to be a versatile role player at higher levels of basketball.

Florida State’s 6-9 incoming freshman forward, Taylor Bol Bowen didn’t play very much in this game.  In the brief amount of playing time that he spent on the floor, he grabbed a couple of rebounds and was active defensively.  He did not take a shot on offense.  He didn’t really get much of a chance to show what he can do at this event, but he’ll likely have plenty of opportunities to show people what he can do at Florida State in college basketball next season.

Gonzaga’s 6-7 incoming freshman forward, Alex Toohey played very little in this game, but he also didn’t seem to stand out when he did play at this event.  He struggled to make shots around the basket, but he also did seem to be active defensively.  The game was being played so fast that I wasn’t entire sure what he did on the court, but he didn’t play much and was held scoreless at this event.  I hadn’t seen him play before this game, so I’m still not really entirely sure what he can do on a basketball court, yet.

Colorado’s 6-8 incoming freshman forward, Cody Williams comes in with a substantial amount of pre-draft hype for the 2024 draft, but he played astonishingly little in this game.  All I seemed to notice from him was that he threw a pass to a teammate, but his teammate ended up stepping out of bounds to commit a turnover.  Therefore, it can be said that this game is not really a way to judge Cody Williams’ skills at all, as he barely played at this event.

Providence’s 6-5 incoming freshman guard, Garwey Dual barely played for the World team in this game.  He came with a little bit of buzz prior to the game, so I was hoping to see Dual make some highlight reel-worthy plays on the court.  Instead, he played very little, and he received astonishingly sparse few minutes. The only thing I noticed from him was that he brought the ball up the court and then threw an inaccurate pass that whizzed out of bounds.  I didn’t see him play much at all, and he wasn’t given much of a chance to showcase his skills at this event.

Iowa State’s 6-8 incoming freshman forward, Omaha Biliew played very little, but he also didn’t play very well in the brief playing time he received on the court.  For the positives, he is an athletic ball handling forward that was able to intercept a pass to get a steal, and he is a quick player on the defensive end.

On the other hand, he was not very good on offense in this game.  Biliew missed a corner three off the catch.  He also committed back-to-back turnovers, which is essentially a no-no for a bench player that may still be yearning to gain trust from his coach in order to play and get more minutes on the court.  He threw a hasty pass that got intercepted.  He also tried bringing the ball up the court, but lost the ball instead, which led to another turnover.

Overall, Biliew didn’t play very well, and he didn’t make good decisions with the ball in his hands, and he’ll need to tighten up his handles if he wants to be a point forward in the future.  Still, this probably wasn’t the best showcase for him, and Iowa State should still be happy that they were able to sign Biliew despite his tepid performance at the 2023 Nike Hoop Summit.  After all, the Nike Hoop Summit is still basically a showcase event, and Biliew will have plenty of more opportunities to show his skills to try to earn playing time at Iowa State for next season.

Ibrahima Sacko barely played, as he played a mere three seconds for the World team in the 2023 Nike Hoop Summit.  The 6-6 swingman played so little that I didn’t even know he even entered the game.  I wondered, ‘Did he even play?’  According to the box score, yes, he did.  A mere three seconds of playing time.  So basically, he didn’t even really get a chance to do anything substantive on the court.  To be fair, both teams were trying hard to win, but it’s unfair to Sacko that he came all the way to Portland just to be stapled to the end of the bench for all but three seconds of this game.  I didn’t know who Sacko was before this game, only that his last name shared something in common with a made-up award for a fantasy football player with the worst record in a comedic TV show called, “The League,” and I still have absolutely no idea what he can do on a basketball court.

Sure, both teams were being very competitive and were trying to win, but I thought every player was supposed to have an opportunity to showcase their skills.  Otherwise, why are they even on the roster at this event?  Maybe they should limit the roster size to just 10 players per team instead of having 13 players per team in this game, because there were a handful of players that didn’t play much at all.  Sacko got the least bit of playing time amongst all of the players that participated at this event, and he really wasn’t able to show what he can do in a basketball game here.

All in all, those are my thoughts on how all of the prospects fared in the 2023 Nike Hoop Summit.  As for the game itself, it was played at such a furious pace, and it was such a helter-skelter sort of game that it was difficult to keep track of everything, in addition to that it was hard finding jersey numbers of all of the players on the broadcast. There were a lot of players that played in this game, so it took a while to write all of this up.  Thanks for reading.

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