Michigan State and Georgia weren’t supposed to be playing at 9:30 a.m. local time in Maui on Tuesday but, after the third-ranked Spartans lost to Virginia Tech and the Bulldogs were blown out by Dayton, the stage was set. If anything, it wouldn’t have been a surprise if the two teams matched up in the winner’s bracket but, in the end, observers were treated to an entertaining battle of potential No. 1 overall pick Anthony Edwards matching up against a top-flight squad.
At the halftime break, it was all Spartans, with Michigan State leading by 21 points and Edwards producing only four points in the first 20 minutes of action. All hell broke loose in the second half, though, with Georgia racing back to make things interesting behind a breakout showing from Edwards.
The 6’5 freshman guard was utterly spectacular after the break and, when he connected on a three-pointer with 3:50 to go, the Bulldogs were suddenly within a four-point margin. While Georgia didn’t ultimately complete what would have been a significant upset in a seemingly impossible comeback, Edwards left his mark, scoring 37 points, grabbing six rebounds, generating four steals, and blocking three shots in 38 minutes of action.
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) November 26, 2019
Edwards, who doesn’t turn 19 years old until August, wasn’t incredibly efficient from two-point range, shooting just 4-for-10 from inside the arc. Still, he knocked down seven of his 16 three-point attempts and all eight of his free throw attempts on the way to an impressive performance. Edwards scored 33 of his 37 points after the halftime break, lighting the basketball world on fire, even while many were navigating an otherwise typical work day.
While Edwards is widely considered to be a consensus top-five prospect in the 2020 NBA Draft, consistency hasn’t been a strength to this point. He has a pair of single-digit scoring games and, in a win over Georgia Tech last week, Edwards shot just 5-for-15. Still, there have been flashes of his power and athleticism and, when combined with an off-the-charts skill set that can be deployed on both ends, the sky is the limit.
There will be a debate about Edwards when compared to more polished prospects like Cole Anthony or more traditionally measurable prospects like James Wiseman. By June, though, it wouldn’t be stunning to see Edwards at the top of the heap, and anyone who watched the second half on Tuesday would have something special to hold on to when attempting to project his upside in the future.