Cliff Alexander (Curie HS, Chicago) is this year’s winner of Mr. Basketball USA. Alexander received 7 of the 10 first place votes, becoming the second straight Kansas recruit to win the award after Andrew Wiggins won it last season.
Curie HS won the Chicago city title over Jahlil Okafor’s Whitney Young team, and Alexander had great games against elite high school programs across the country. He put up 22 points and 20 rebounds against Bishop Gorman, 20 points, 14 rebounds against the aforementioned Whitney Young, and 30 points, 12 rebounds, and 5 blocks against the eventual high school national champion Montverde Academy.
Alexander has been compared to former Jayhawk Thomas Robinson by a lot of people, and the two share some similarities. Each player is physically imposing and has the potential to be an elite rebounder at the college level. Alexander, however, looks to have more offensive polish, and his longer wingspan should result in some better interior defense as well. Draft Express has this to say about the winner:
Chiseled big man who combines phenomenal physical tools with an excellent motor. A man amongst boys at the high school level, where he can dominate purely off his strength, athleticism and intensity. Will have to develop his all-around game against more physically mature opponents, but should be able to make quite an impact at any level with reasonable development
The last five winners of the award are Wiggins, Shabazz Muhammad, Michael Kidd-Gillchrist, Harrison Barnes, and Derrick Favors.