Prime cuts: Getting to know fresh-to-death PG Makai Mason


One of my favorite things about high school basketball is discovering and subsequently following a talented player before he blows up. It’s almost like investing in a stock before it skyrockets in value, or going to see an underground rapper before he gets a deal.

Watching him against St. Anthony’s on Saturday, I became more and more impressed with Hotchkiss freshman point guard Makai Mason. Mason is a good shooter with nice handle, every pass he threw was a bounce pass, and he didn’t appear daunted in the least in facing off with the No. 2 team in the nation. I honestly had to keep checking the program and asking people around me, “Are we sure this kid’s a freshman?”

Hotchkiss ended up losing a tightly contested game, 74-63, but Mason ended up with 12 points, 2 assists, 3 steals and 2 three-pointers. As he gets older and his body gets stronger, I expect to hear very big things about him — he’s already very impressive and still has three years of high school to go.

Terry Rains of Blue Devil Nation and I caught up with Makai on Saturday and discussed what college and pro point guards he identifies with, his lofty expectations for his own game, and whether he’s considering any schools at such an early stage.

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Primetime players, Saturday: Tyrone thrives, Findlay fizzles

Victory From the first time I went to the Primetime Shootout — a young up-and-comer named LeBron James scored 52 points in Trenton — I was hooked. The tournament has always lured some of the best teams in the country, and it’s a great opportunity to get a handle on players you end up seeing at major college programs or in the pros.

(The tournament has hosted A-listers like Dwight Howard, Josh Smith, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony in the past. I’ve personally seen Luol Deng, Nolan Smith, Ty Lawson, Trevor Ariza and Sebastian Telfair.)

The Mega Group did a great job as usual organizing the Shootout, attracting not only a cadre of top teams, but a host of notables at courtside: The infamous World Wide Wes, Kentucky czar John Calipari, Murder Inc producer Irv Gotti, and former NBA players Ron Harper and NJ prep legend Dajuan Wagner.

I was joined on Saturday and Sunday by Terry Rains, a contributor to SportsAngle and Blue Devil Nation. We’ll have some video interviews in the next day or so, but for now, here are some of our thoughts, starting with Saturday:

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