Two marquee matchups featuring South Carolina teams will get the Chick-fil-A Classic started off in a big way on Tuesday night.
Defending state champion A.C. Flora will take on perennial power and unbeaten Keenan, and Gray Collegiate meets Spartanburg Day in the nightcap to begin play in the American Division bracket.
The second game features the No. 1 ranked players in South Carolina for 2017 and 2018 in Gray Collegiate’s Jalek Felton and Spartanburg Day’s Zion Williamson. Felton is a North Carolina signee and No. 1 ranked combo guard in the country, according to 247Sports.
Williamson is No. 2 ranked player in the country for the Class of 2018, according to 247Sports and is off to a big start to his junior season. The 6-foot-7 forward is averaging 36.3 points and 13 rebounds a game this season.
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Williamson, who has a 50-point game this season, scored 35 in Friday’s win over Ben Lippen and his windmill dunk earned him No. 1 play on SportsCenter’s Top 10.
“Zion is probably one of the hottest names around. He is playing phenomenal right now,” Chick-fil-A Classic tournament director Gary Fulmer said. “And Keenan against Flora is a marquee matchup.”
With four teams from South Carolina playing in the first day on same side of bracket, it is guaranteed an in-state team will make it to one of Friday’s two championship games. Hammond won the American Division title last year, the first time an SC team won a division since 2010.
The rest of the action in the American and National Divisions begins Wednesday, and Fulmer said this field might be one of the strongest ever. Seven teams were ranked nationally in the top 50 to begin the season, and there are 26 nationally-ranked players . Almost 30 players have already signed with Division I schools
The field is highlighted by La Lumiere School of Indiana. The Lakers are the No. 1 team in the latest USA Today Super 25 and have a roster which includes Michigan State signee Jaren Jackson, Michigan signee Jordan Poole, Australian Jacob Epperson and sophomore Brian Bowen (No. 17 in 247 Sports rankings for Class of 2019).
Wheeler (Ga.) has four Division I signees on its roster, including Darius Perry (Louisville) Jordan Usher (Southern Cal) and Jordan Tucker, who is No. 46 in 247 Sports Class of 2017.
“It’s hard to not think this is one of the best fields ever, if not the best,” Fulmer said.
For the first time, a slam dunk contest is set for Wednesday at 9 p.m. The 3-point contest will have 12 players and two rounds with the top four making it to the second round. The slam dunk contest also will be two rounds with the top four advancing.
Players to Watch
Class of 2017
Jaren Jackson, La Lumiere HS (No. 25 ESPN/No. 27 247Sports) – Michigan State signee
Brian Bowen, La Lumiere HS (No. 13 ESPN/No. 17 247Sports)
Jalek Felton, Gray Collegiate (No. 23 ESPN/No. 26 247Sports) – North Carolina signee
Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Hamilton Heights Christian (No. 29 ESPN/No. 39 247Sports) – Virginia Tech signee
Jordan Tucker, Wheeler HS (No. 38 ESPN/No. 46 247Sports)
Shai Alexander, Hamilton Heights Christian (No. 44 ESPN/No. 43 247Sports) – Florida signee
Darius Perry, Wheeler HS (No. 53 ESPN/No. 68 247Sports) – Louisville signee
Jordan Poole, La Lumiere HS (No. 58 ESPN/No. 90 247Sports) – Michigan signee
Chuma Okeke, Westlake HS (No. 67 ESPN/No. 56 247Sports) – Auburn signee
Galen Alexander, Lafayette Christian (No. 70 ESPN) – LSU signee
Jordan Usher, Wheeler HS (No. 99 ESPN) – Southern Cal signee
Class of 2018
Zion Williamson, Spartanburg Day (No. 3 ESPN/No. 2 247Sports)
Immanuel Quickley, John Carroll HS (No. 11 ESPN/No. 15 247 Sports)
EJ Montgomery, Wheeler HS (No. 23 ESPN/No. 17 247Sports) - Auburn commit
Elijah Weaver, Oldsmar Christian (No. 24 247Sports)
Jarius Hamilton, Cannon School (No. 41 ESPN/No. 57 247Sports)
Devon Dotson, Providence Day (No. 49 ESPN/No 50 247Sports)
Jamie Lewis, Westlake HS (No. 44 ESPN/No. 74 247Sports)
Class of 2019
Christian Brown, A.C. Flora (No. 10 ESPN/No. 14 247Sports)
Juwan Gary, Gray Collegiate (No. 12 ESPN/No. 27 247Sports)
Terry Armstrong, Wheeler HS (No. 19 ESPN/No. 31 247Sports)
Tyger Campbell, La Lumiere HS (No. 25 ESPN/No. 50 247Sports)
Chick Fil-A Classic Schedule
Game 2: Keenan vs. A.C. Flora, 7 p.m.
Game 4: Gray Collegiate vs. Spartanburg Day, 8:30 p.m.
Game 7: Greensboro Day (NC) vs. Hamilton Heights (Tenn.). 3 p.m.
Game 11: Oldsmar Christian (Fla.) vs. La Lumiere (Ind), 6:10 p.m.
Game 18: Greensboro Day/Hamilton Heights loser vs. Oldsmar Christian/La Lumiere loser, 4:55 p.m. (auxiliary gym)
Game 21: Greensboro Day/Hamilton Heights winner vs. Oldsmar Christian/La Lumiere winner, 7 p.m.
Game 22: Keenan/A.C. Flora loser vs. Gray Collegiate/Spartanburg Day loser, 8 p.m. (auxiliary gym), 8 p.m.
Game 23: Keenan/A.C. Flora winner vs. Gray Collegiate/Spartanburg Day winner, 8:30 p.m.
Game 24: Game 18 loser vs. Game 22 loser, 12:30 p.m. (auxiliary gym)
Game 27: Game 18 winner vs. Game 22 winner, 2 p.m.
Game 29: Game 21 loser vs. Game 23 loser, 5:10 p.m.
Game 31: National Division championship, 8:30 p.m.
Game 5: Providence Day (NC) vs. John Carroll (Md.), noon
Game 6: Cannon (NC) vs. Wheeler (Ga.), 1:30 p.m.
Game 9: Porter-Gaud vs. Blythewood, 4:40 p.m.
Game 13: Westlake (Ga.) vs. Lafayette Christian (La.), 7:40 p.m.
Game 14: Cannon-Wheeler loser vs. PG-Blythewood loser, 1:50 p.m. (auxiliary gym)
Game 16: Providence Day/John Carroll loser vs. Westlake/Lafayette Christian loser, 3:20 p.m.
Game 17: Providence Day/John Carroll winner vs. Westlake/Lafayette Christian, 3:50 p.m.
Game 19: Cannon-Wheeler winner vs. PG-Blythewood winner, 5:25 p.m.
Game 25: Game 14 loser vs. Game 16 loser, 12:30 p.m.
Game 26: Game 14 winner vs. Game 16 winner, 2 p.m. (auxiliary gym)
Game 28: Game 17 loser vs. Game 19 loser, 3:40 p.m.
Game 30: American Division championship, 6:15 p.m.
Game 31: National Division championship, 8:30 p.m.
Carolina Classic Schedule
Dutch Fork vs. Richland Northeast, 6:30 p.m.
Lower Richland vs. Heathwood Hall, 8 p.m.
Dutch Fork vs. Heathwood Hall, 4:30 p.m.
Charlotte Christian (NC) vs. Cardinal Newman, 6 p.m.
Richland Northeast vs. Liberty County (Ga.), 7:30 p.m.
Liberty County (Ga.) vs. Charlotte Christian (NC), 2:25 p.m.
Cardinal Newman vs. Lower Richland, 6:25 p.m.
Notable names to play in the tournament
Steph Curry, Devan Downey, P.J. Dozier, Zam Frederick, Anthony Gill, Ryan Kelly, Tevin Mack, James McAdoo, Thon Maker, Jodi Meeks, Josh Smith, Dennis Smith Jr., Jarnell Stokes, Marcus Thornton, Seventh Woods and Jeff Withey