PFB - Cade Cunningham Dominates Hoophall Classic, Montverde Looks Unstoppable

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Feb 17, 2018
This 2019-20 Montverde team might be the best high school basketball team to ever exist, and its best player is going to Oklahoma State.

Cade Cunningham and Montverde moved to 19-0 on Monday afternoon after a 94-65 victory against McEachern (Georgia) in the Hoophall Classic. Cunningham had a game-high 18 points. That outing came less than 24 hours after Cunningham had 18 points, seven rebounds and four assists against No. 7 IMG Academy.

Cunningham matched up against Sharife Cooper, the No. 18 player in the 2020 class, on Monday and Jaden Springer, the No. 17 player in the 2020 class, on Sunday. And Cunningham dominated both of them.

Cooper ended Monday’s game with 12 points, but (by my count) only two came while Cunningham was on the court. And they were both free throws.

In the first half during Sunday night’s game, Springer went 0-for-4 with three turnovers thanks to Cunningham’s stifling defense.

Even in the little time Cunningham played Monday, he showed why he is the nation’s No. 2 prospect.

McEachern started the game in a 2-3 zone, but it didn’t take the Eagles long to bust it. Cunningham is praised for his all-around game, but if there was one thing people pointed to as a possible weakness for him was his 3-point shooting ability, something he has shored up.

Much like Isaac Likekele, Cunningham is a freight train heading downhill but not in a reckless way. It’s like he is moving in slow motion, yet still unstoppable.

As terrifying as a 6-foot-7 point guard who can hit 3s and slice teams open on the fastbreak is, his most lethal attribute might be his ability to post players up.

He’s 6-7, but a point guard. So unless a team puts their small forward on him, he is more likely going to be taller than his matchup. In the post, he can shoot over that player. Or teams can try to double him in the post just for him to prove that he is a point guard.

On Thursday, Cunningham will almost assuredly be named a McDonald’s All-American. He would be the eighth OSU player to do so, the first since Jawun Evans (2015).

As a whole, Montverde is ridiculous. The Eagles have a genuine argument to be the best high school basketball team ever.

Here is a look at the players on their roster with 247 Sports composite rankings:

Player Stars Class National Rank
Cade Cunningham 5 2020 2
Scottie Barnes 5 2020 9
Day’Ron Sharpe 5 2020 14
Moses Moody 4 2020 45
Zeb Jackson 4 2020 61
Langston Love 5 2021 17
Ryan Nembhard 4 2021 75
Caleb Houstan 5 2022 14
Dariq Whitehead 5 2022 15

Nine of the 13 players on Montverde’s roster are in the Top 75 of their respective class.

The Eagles are 19-0 and No. 1 on virtually every high school basketball ranking. They’re not just undefeated, though. They play a national schedule and have an average margin of victory of 38.

“We’re trying to be the best team ever,” Cunningham told ESPN’s Paul Biancardi after the game.

Montverde has played four games against teams in ESPN’s Top 25. The Eagles have beaten No. 25 Duncanville 84-51, No. 5 DeMatha 76-56, and No. 7 IMG Academy twice, 63-55 and 76-64.

IMG bounced Montverde in the semifinals of the national championship tournament last season before IMG eventually went on to win the national championship. Already having beaten IMG twice this season, Montverde will get a chance to claim a national championship in early April.

It would be Montverde’s fifth national championship since 2013.

The post Cade Cunningham Dominates Hoophall Classic, Montverde Looks Unstoppable appeared first on Pistols Firing.

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