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    Jaelan Phillips was ranked as the No. 1 overall football prospect in the Class of 2017. A defensive end from Redlands East Valley (Calif.), he was an Army All-American and named to the American Family Insurance ALL-USA First Team.

    Phillips graduated high school early so he could enroll early at UCLA and be on campus for spring football.

    He tweeted Monday night that the experience of being on campus early was invaluable after the news that basketball star Marvin Bagley III is reclassifying in order to begin his college career at Duke and become eligible for the 2018 NBA Draft.

    Here is a look at Phillips’ highlights from his senior season in high school.


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    Broken Arrow (Okla.) got a non-verbal shoutout on ESPN on Tuesday morning when Mike Golic wore a Broken Arrow polo shirt during “Mike & Mike.”

    Golic is a former teammate with the Philadelphia Eagles of Broken Arrow coach David Alexander, who played in the NFL from 1987 to 1996, including eight years with the Eagles.

    “I can’t thank Mike enough,” Alexander said. “We played a lot of years together, and his support means a lot to me.”

    Alexander returned to his alma mater as an assistant in 2013 and became head coach in 2014. He also was an assistant at Jenks for seven seasons.

    Broken Arrow is also the home of the greatest high school lip dub video.


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    Outside linebacker Javar Garrett is the highest-ranked recruit committed to the University of Virginia. Like everyone else around the world, he watched the tragic events over the weekend in Charlottesville.

    In the aftermath, he heard from the Cavaliers coaches who passed along “all of the information on the incident that they have received,” he told USA TODAY High School Sports.

    “We are all confident as a football program and school that the series of events were not due to the students and locals of the college town and the campus is very safe,” said Garrett, a three-star prospect from The Peddie School in New Jersey.

    The Twitter feed of the Virginia football program posted a team photo on campus with the words, “Our school, our city, our home. United Forever. #HoosTogether.” Coach Bronco Mendenhall said the photo was the players’ idea.

    “Our message is one of consistency, unity and embracing diversity and being together and respecting one another for those differences, not separating because of those differences,” he said.

    Garrett said he doesn’t think the incident will impact the attractiveness of Virginia to potential students.

    “Everyone that has been to Charlottesville knows what the school and community is all about,” he said. “They were outsiders. This situation can also happen in many places, I am sure we will be seeing more of these ugly protest in other places as time goes on.”

    Martin Weisz, a three-star offensive tackle commit from Florida, also said he heard from the Virginia coaches and is confident in the program, school and community.

    “The events that happened this past weekend in Charlottesville are very troubling,” Weisz said. “The damage and destruction that was done was brutal and should not have happened. But, being a commit to The University of Virginia, I am not just committed to the football team. I am committed to the university, the staff, and the city of Charlottesville. I talked to my coaches and they said that the players and them are sticking together and no events like this can impact the family they have up there.

    “Charlottesville is an amazing city, filled with historic facts and excellent traditions. I do not believe this will impact recruiting or attendance to UVA because I believe that the school and the city are so great, they will beat all of this hate.”


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    Marvin Bagley III’s addition to the Duke basketball team was made official when the school announced that Bagley signed a financial aid agreement Tuesday.

    In a news release, Duke said the Bagley plans to enroll in classes and join the basketball team prior to the fall semester. Classes begin at Duke in two weeks.

    Bagley, a 6-11 forward, announced his commitment to Duke and his intention to reclassify to the Class of 2017 on Monday. Bagley, from Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.), has been ranked as the No. 1 player in the Class of 2018. By enrolling this year at Duke, Bagley will be eligible for the NBA Draft next June.

    “Marvin is a special basketball talent and a tremendous young man,” Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a news release. “He is completely dedicated to his improvement as both a player and student and, given his family’s deep history in this area, he is fully aware of what it means to be part of Duke University. We’re thrilled to add Marvin to our program.”

    Bagley’s father is a Durham native and played at North Carolina A&T.

    Bagley was an American Family Insurance All-USA First Team selection after averaging 24.9 points and 10.1 rebounds to lead Sierra Canyon to a 27-3 record.

    Duke also will unretire Danny Ferry’s No. 35 for Bagley, who becomes the seventh freshman on the roster. It is the first time since 1999-2000 that Duke will have that many freshmen.


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    USA TODAY High School Sports is publishing a series called “The Class of 18,” highlighting 18 members of the Class of 2018 whom we will be watching in the coming year. The athletes were selected by the USA TODAY HSS staff. 

    ATHLETE PROFILE:
    Name: Christyn Williams
    School: Central Arkansas Christian (North Little Rock)
    Sport: Basketball
    Position: Guard
    College: Uncommitted

    The bookshelf in Christyn Williams’ living room in her Little Rock, Ark., home has the trophies from a basketball career that has seen her become the top-ranked player in the Class of 2018.

    That shelf might need additional reinforcement given the last few of months she’s had around the world. The display already had a bronze medal from last summer’s FIBA U17 World Championships and her Gatorade Arkansas Player of the Year award from 2016. She has since added a gold medal in the FIBA 3×3 U18 World Cup for Women in China, a gold medal as the only high school player on Team USA at the FIBA U19 World Cup in Italy and another Gatorade Arkansas Player of the Year award.

    Perhaps the scary thing is that all this international experience has made Williams a better player and that’s after coming off a season in which she averaged 26.6 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.4 steals for Central Arkansas Christian. She repeated as American Family Insurance ALL-USA Arkansas State Player of the Year.

    “Most definitely. That’s not even in question,” said Williams, a 5-10 lefty combo guard. “These experiences in and of themselves have raised my basketball IQ. Getting the chance to play with college players helps my game.”

    Christyn Williams (Photo: USA Basketball)

    It also has forced her to play a different role as is always the case when elite players move to what essentially are all-star teams. She also has gotten a potential approximation of what college basketball will be like with the travel, training camps and practice.

    “I’ve been learning how to get my teammates involved in every way possible,” she said. “I’m continuing to work on my game individually and also getting me ready for college and high school ball.

    “I’ll take some time off before I start training again. I’m a little exhausted mentally and physically.”

    And that doesn’t take into account recruiting. Because of her international commitments, she has not played on her NIKE EYBL team in the July evaluation periods, although at this point she has narrowed her nearly 30 offers to a top six of Baylor, Tennessee, Notre Dame, UCLA, Connecticut and Texas.

    “I’ll be taking my official visits in the fall. It hasn’t been really stressful yet— I’m just chilling. Just taking it day-by-day,” Williams said. “I haven’t really been thinking much about schools since Team USA took up most of my summer. I’m trying to look at the players at these schools as people and friends, and that has been a mutual thing.”

    Here is a scouting report on Williams from Dan Olsen, the director of ESPNW HoopsGurlz, and owner and director of Collegiate Girls Basketball Report.

    “Williams brings consistency to her game. A left-handed mid-range scorer capable of putting up big numbers. Williams can carry a team offensively, scoring inside 15 feet off the dribble or attacking the basket, yielding results. A solid defender as well, Williams can score from her defense tactics as well. The Class of 2018 has a number of stars that challenge Williams for the top spot, but for now, it’s hers.”


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    Four-star wide receiver Elijah Moore, from St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), announced his commitment to Georgia on Tuesday night on Twitter.

    The 5-11 Moore chose the Bulldogs from among 33 reported offers.

    Moore selected Georgia despite the Bulldogs not being on his list of three finalists released earlier this summer. That list had Ohio State, Miami and Ole Miss.

    Moore’s junior year stats won’t blow you away — nine passes for 42 yards in seven games — but consider that Aquinas was stacked at the position, including three receivers who signed with Power of Five programs. Perhaps appropriately, Moore’s HUDL highlights are titled, “just getting started.”

    Moore is the first wide receiver among 10 commitments in Georgia’s class for 2018.


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    Amari Bailey, a Chicago basketball player entering the eighth grade, has committed to DePaul, according to posts on his Instagram account and his AAU program’s Twitter feed.

    Bailey, 13 and listed as a 6-2 guard, is a member of the Class of 2022, meaning he would not be able to sign a binding letter of intent until November 2021.

    If the name sounds familiar, he also is one of five Chicago kids who are featured with their mothers on the Lifetime reality show “Bringing Up Ballers.”

    “We went on an unofficial visit and Amari just decided it was right,” Bailey’s mother, Johanna Edelberg, told Chicago’s CBS affiliate.

    Instagram Photo

    Oddly enough, Bailey has decided on a college but has not decided on a high school. He will attend Skinner West Elementary this year.

    Bailey’s commitment follows the move of Tim Anderson to the DePaul coaching stuff. Anderson had been working with MeanStreets AAU, the program that Bailey plays for.

    “Tim Anderson was his trainer. Now he’s the assistant coach at DePaul. That made all the difference,” Edelberg told CBS. The biggest thing for Amari is to have a solid team around. I think that since he knows the assistant coach so well, and he’s built a relationship over the years trusting his judgement and working for a head coach kind solidified the deal for Amari.”


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    Assumption Rockets head volleyball coach Ron Kordes talks to his players during a timeout huddle last fall. (Photo: David R. Lutman/Special to The Courier-Journal)

    Assumption (Louisville) will open the season ranked as the No. 1 team in USA TODAY Sports/American Volleyball Coaches Association Preseason Super 25 released Wednesday.

    MORE: See the full Super 25 rankings

    The Rockets finished 33-6 last season and this year’s roster has 10 players who have committed to play in college. That group includes seniors Alexis Triplett (Lipscomb), Kayla Kaiser (Georgia Tech), Payton Frederick (Western Kentucky) and Bella Bowman (George Washington); juniors Emma Monks (Michigan State) and Camille Nazor (Duke) and sophomore Rylee Rader (Ohio State).

    Assumption finished No. 18 in last year’s Super 25 after losing in the regional finals to Louisville rival Sacred Heart. Sacred Heart is ranked No. 16 in this year’s Preseason Super 25. The two schools are scheduled to meet Aug. 30 and Sept. 23, but will likely see each other again in the postseason.

    Hebron (Lewisville, Texas) is ranked No. 2 in the preseason and is coming off a second consecutive 6A  state title. The team is led by linbero Annie Benbow, middle blocker Lauren Merrill and junior middle blocker Emma Clothier, a Florida State commit. Hebron opened its season last weekend and lost in the championship match of the Adidas John Turner Classic to Reagan (San Antonio). Reagan is ranked No. 10 in the preseason.

    LOOKING BACK: Final 2016-17 Super 25 volleyball rankings

    Skutt Catholic (Omaha), which finished No. 2 last season after winning a second consecutive state title and going undefeated, starts at No. 3. Skutt returns most of the team that went 44-0.

    Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) checks in at No. 4 with a group led by UCLA commit Kelsey Campeau, USC commit Siena Secrist and West Virginia commit Abbie Cherin.

    Minooka (Ill.) is ranked No. 5, coming off a state runner-up finish in 2016. Kansas State-bound Holly Bonde and Tennessee-bound Raquel Perinar are among a strong senior class.

    Minooka begins a run of three Illinois schools as Marian Catholic (Chicago Heights) is No. 6 and defending Super 25 national champion Mother McAuley (Chicago) is No. 7.

    Yorktown (Ind.) comes in at No. 8. Archbishop Mitty (San Jose), the defending CIF Open Division champions in California, is ranked No. 9, followed by Reagan.


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    R.J. Barrett, the No. 1 player in the Class of 2019 who recently reclassified to the Class of 2018, released his top 5 on Twitter on Wednesday night.

    Barrett listed Arizona, Duke, Michigan, Kentucky and Oregon, noting they were in alphabetical order. He said he has not arranged any visits yet.

    Barrett, a 6-7 small forward at Montverde Academy (Fla.), wrote in his blog for USA TODAY High School Sports in late July that “not too much will change with my approach to the recruitment (because of reclassifying); we’ll just do the visits a little sooner than we probably would have if I stayed in 2019.” He noted then that Arizona, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Oregon, Texas and UCLA were showing the most interest.

     

    ESPN has Barrett ranked as the No. 2 player in the Class of 2018 behind Zion Williamson. Marvin Bagley III was No. 1 but announced earlier this week that he was moving to the Class of 2017 and enrolling at Duke.


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