Nassir Little has had a good couple of weeks.
After taking home the MVP of the McDonald’s All-American game two weeks ago, Little traveled up to Brooklyn to play in another all-star game, this one the Jordan Brand Classic in Brooklyn. With the weight of expectations, how would he perform?
I’d say he answered some questions.
The game was entertaining, as the incoming freshman led his team with 24 points, and added six rebounds which was good enough to take down the co-MVP for the event. At one point, both teams decided to just clear out and let Little and Duke signee Cam Reddish go one on one. Reddish would get the first laugh:
But Little would get even:
Reddish would then score on a layup over Little, and then Little again returned the favor with a Layup over Reddish. It’s the second time Little has made it a point to go one-on-one against a Duke recruit, famously besting Zion Williamson in the McDonald’s game.
Reddish spoke to USA Today afterwards about the matchup:
“Naz and I went against each other a few times,” Reddish said. “It was a lot of fun. Of course the (Duke-North Carolina rivalry) is there, but at the end of the day, it’s basketball and you just have to compete.”
Little would punctuate his night with a slam thanks to an assist from his future teammate, Coby White:
White had 21 points on his own, and the leading scorer was LSU-bound Emmitt Williams. Williams set a Jordan Brand Classic record with 44 points, and was the other Co-MVP.
Little’s two MVPs in these high-profile events have gotten the nation’s attention before he comes to Chapel Hill. It also puts him in some rarefied air:
List of players to win both MVP in McDonald’s All-American Game and the Jordan Brand Classic...— Taylor Vippolis (@tvippolis) April 8, 2018
1. LeBron James
2. Nassir Little pic.twitter.com/5VnlTI1sh4
There’s a palatable excitement about the players coming into Chapel Hill, as it’s been a while since freshmen have come in with such a chance to make an immediate impact. With the experience coming back, they’ll still have to earn their minutes. Each all-star game, though, shows that practices in the fall should be competitive.