Rising Stars in US High School: Humphries impresses Calipari; Simmons, Montverde back on track

Last Thursday night saw Kentucky head coach John Calipari visit La Lumiere to watch Isaac Humphries, and the Aussie 7-footer didn't upset - posting an impressive line as the Lakers defeated Wasatch Academy. Nearly 1000 miles south, in New Orleans, Ben Simmons and his Montverde Academy squad look to have rebounded from their City of Palms loss - opening the Bourbon Street Classic with a statement victory.

Isaac Humphries

Isaac Humphries | La Lumiere School | Class of 2016

La Lumiere School and The Mary Kline Classic teamed up to create an exciting night of basketball - The nationally ranked La Lumiere Lakers would go up against Wasatch Academy, while special guest Alex Kline spoke of dealing with his mother's death, as well as raising awareness for The Mary Kline Foundation.

The night reached another level of excitement when John Calipari walked into the gym, giving him a chance to watch Isaac Humphries for the first time.

Alex Kline (left) and John Calipari (right) at La Lumiere School on Thursday night | Photo courtesy: Alex Kline

Although Humphries and his teammates are still becoming accustomed with one another, he was still able to post an impressive 21 points, 14 rebounds and 5 blocks in front of the renowned Kentucky coach.

La Lumiere travelled to Ohio the following week for the Flyin to the Hoop Invitational, winning both of their games at the tournament - Humphries playing an integral part in both wins, making some big plays including this sweeping hook pass to find teammate Alex Olesinski (below).

Key Performances

La Lumiere 64, Wayne 59

24 pts | 10 rbs | 4 asts | 5 stls | 1 blk

La Lumiere 92, O'Gorman 50

28 pts

La Lumiere 71, Wasatch Academy 54

21 pts | 14 rbs | 5 blks

La Lumiere 71, Prolific Prep 69 (OT)

14 pts

La Lumiere 64, Dunbar 55

15 pts

Ben Simmons | Montverde Academy | Class of 2015

Ben Simmons and his Montverde squad suffered a setback last month, falling to Wheeler in the City of Palms Championship game. The squad wasn't the dominant force that we've all become accustomed to see from the Floridian powerhouse. Things have changed for the good, however, with Montverde back to their winning ways - thanks in large part to the production of Simmons.

Montverde swept the Les Schwab International, albeit with some struggles - Central Catholic nearly coming away with the upset in their semifinal matchup. Simmons was again instrumental in their success, posting 29 point and 11 rebounds in the Championship game against West Linn.

With a busy schedule throughout January, Montverde capped off an impressive stretch of games with a dominant performance at the Hoop Hall Classic - with their game against Bishop Gorman broadcast on ESPNU. Simmons put together an unbelievable 39 point, 13 rebound performance while also locking down Stephen Zimmerman - ESPN's #10 ranked recruit for the Class of 2015.

On January 14th, it was announced that Simmons was nominated for the 2015 McDonalds All-American game. The teams are expected to be announced in the coming days, with Simmons a favourite to make the squad.

Key Performances

Montverde 71, Westview 39

27 pts | 12 rbs

Montverde 93, Lake Oswego 64

37 pts | 11 rbs | 6 asts

Montverde 58, Central Catholic 57

20 pts | 8 rbs

Montverde 70, West Linn 58

29 pts | 11 rbs (MVP)

Montverde 100, Whitney Young 79

26 pts (11/11 FG) | 6 asts | 5 rbs | 19 mins

Montverde 72, Paul VI 50

28 pts | 9 rbs | 3 asts (MVP)

Montverde 92, Riverside 75

39 pts | 13 rbs

Montverde 76, Bishop Gorman, 57

36 pts (15/23 FG) | 9 rbs

Thon Maker | Orangeville Prep | Class of 2016

Thon Maker matchup up against Deandre Ayton

Thon Maker matchup up against Deandre Ayton

Orangeville Prep has proved to be a powerhouse in Canada. Their depth, however, is proving to be an issue as they're struggling to win against US teams. Sudanese-Australian centre Thon Maker is one of the main cogs of the team, with the Toronto-based squad sitting at 20-6 this season.

The squad faced one of its toughest challenges at the Hoop Hall Classic, where they took on Life Center Academy of New Jersey. Life Center came out of the gates strong and, with Maker struggling on both ends of the floor, took over the game in the first half. A late surge led by Maker put Orangeville Prep within stirking distance, but it wasn't enough as Life Center came away with the 64-50 win - Maker posting 23 points, 11 rebounds and 8 turnovers.

The questions surrounding Maker this month is when (and if) he will reclassify to the Class of 2015. The decision is expected to come toward the end of January, with all signs pointing to the 7-footer reclassifying.

Key Performances

Orangeville Prep 67, Virginia Episcopal 63

22 pts | 8/11 FG | 7 rbs

Orangeville Prep 79, Trinity 75

16 pts | 9 rbs

Orangeville Prep 75, Wesleyan Christian 78

24 pts

Orangeville Prep 55, Balboa 48

17 pts | 5 rbs | 3 asts | 2 blks (MVP)

Orangeville Prep 50, Life Center 64

23 pts | 11 rbs | 8 TO

Daniel Mading | The Rock School | Class of 2017

In what was a surprising omission, Daniel Mading, the 6'9 forward out of Perth, was left off of the new ESPN Class of 2017 Rankings.

This hasn't stopped his development or his recruitment as it became known that an assistant coach from the University of Connecticut visited The Rock School in Florida to watch the young Aussie at practice.

Matur Maker | Orangeville Prep | Class of 2017

Matur Maker

Matur Maker

Matur Maker, the young brother of Thon Maker, is making a name for himself this season. With the hype that surrounds his brother, it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that Matur is 'just Thon's brother', but Matur has been performing extremely well in his own right so far this year.

Key Performances

Orangeville Prep 79, Trinity 75

22pts | 5 rbs | 3 blks

Orangeville Prep 75, Wesleyan Christian 78

10 pts

Orangeville Prep 50, Life Center 64

6 pts

Kouat Noi

Australian U17 representative Kouat Noi has quietly been impressing for Montverde Prep this season, with a key performance coming at the Hoop Hall Classic, where scouts and coaches alike were impressed.

Noi posted 19 points (9/13 FG) in Montverde Prep's loss to Brewster.

Key Performances

Montverde Prep 69, Brewster Academy 100

19 pts (9/13 FG)

Deng Adel & Damien Rance

Deng Adel and Damien Rance round out the Aussies who have been nominated for the 2015 McDonalds All American game. The squad is expected to be released in the coming days but just being among the nominees is a great achievement.