Poly, Redondo in Pac Shores championship rematch

REDONDO BEACH, Ca. – The Redondo Union and Long Beach Poly programs will hook up in the championship game of the Dijon Thompson/Pac Shores Tournament Saturday night at 7:30 at Redondo High – for the second year in a row.

The Jackrabbits knocked off the Seahawks – in overtime – last Nov. 29, 63-61.

Zafir Williams scored 28 points for Poly and was selected the event’s Most Outstanding Player.

The 6-foot-6 junior scored 26 to help his team knock off Eastvale Roosevelt, 55-48, Friday night to earn the Jackrabbits’ spot in the Saturday night finale.

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Ninth Prep2Prep Tip-Off tips Saturday morning

NEWARK, Ca. – The ninth Prep2Prep Tip-Off – with seven games being served on the Thanksgiving Weekend platter – gets underway Saturday morning at 11 o’clock at Newark Memorial High.

Five of the games are “NorCal vs. NorCal” matchups, with the exceptions being the Sacramento Sheldon vs. Carlsbad Army-Navy (in San Diego County) at 3:45 p.m. and, in the 8:30 finale, Hayward Moreau Catholic vs. Chatsworth (in the San Fernando Valley) Sierra Canyon.

Sierra Canyon returns five starters from the team that won the California State Division V title last March in Berkeley.

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Pac Shores hoops action resumes at Redondo High

REDONDO BEACH, Ca. – The first three championship quarterfinals Wednesday during the 64th Dijon Thompson/Pacific Shores Tournament were decided by margins of 18, 15 and 26 points, respectively.

The last of those quarterfinals played at Redondo Union High, between Long Beach Poly and Inglewood, didn’t follow that M.O. at all.

Trailing by seven points with a little less than a minute to go, Inglewood got a very deep 3 from senior guard Terrell Gomez then, after a steal, Jordan Bell dunked to get the Sentinels within two points with 28 seconds remaining.

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Babek leads Peninsula to Pac Shores upset over Crespi

REDONDO BEACH, Ca. — The first seven games played during Monday’s opening round of the 64th Dijon Thompson/Pacific Shores Tournament went pretty much to script at Redondo Union High.

As for Game No. 8, though . . . well, that wasn’t quite the case.

Encino Crespi returned four starters from a squad that won CIF Southern Section 4AA and State Division IV crowns last March and the Celtics were No. 7 in the BurlisonOnBasketball Southern California preseason Top 25.

But apparently none of those things made a dent in the resolve of the Peninsula Panthers, who are projected to finish in third place in the Bay League standings this season behind Pac Shores host Redondo and another tourney participant, Inglewood.

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NorCal 8th graders among “Elite Kings” standouts

NORWALK, CA – The Cerritos College gymnasium was the seven-hour home Sunday to some of the better “pre-high school” basketball players in California – and beyond – during the first “Elite King of Kings 32”elementary and middle-school camp.

The second day of the event (it was played Saturday at Gahr High in Cerritos, just a couple of miles south of the community college facility where things were held Sunday) featured non-stop action on three courts from about 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

And the middle court, home to the “Best of the Best” all-star game, provided a nice showcase for many of those aforementioned exceptional seventh and eighth graders.

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Pac Shores tourney under way at Redondo Monday

LAGUNA NIGUEL – The longest-standing high school hoops tournament in California – the Pacific Shores/Dijon Thompson Tournament – tips off for the 64th time Monday afternoon at 3 o’clock at Redondo High in Redondo Beach.

Six teams from within BurlisonOnBasketball’s Southern California Pre-Season Top 25 are slated to participate.

Those are: Long Beach Poly (No. 6), which takes on North Hollywood Campbell Hall at 7:30 in the auxiliary gymnasium.

The Jackrabbits knocked off the host Seahawks in overtime of the championship game with forward Zaafir Williams bagging event Most Outstanding Player honors.

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Lonzo Ball & Chino Hills head SoCal preseason ratings

LAGUNA NIGUEL – The 2015-16 high school basketball season gets underway in earnest on Monday in Southern California.

And it shapes up as a terrific campaign, both in the numbers of potentially outstanding teams as well as in superb players.

That point is illustrated nicely at Chino Hills and Sierra Canyon, whose squads are a very tight “1-2” in the BurlisonOnBasketball Preseason Top 25.

Chino Hills, which lost to San Ramon Valley in overtime of the California State Division I championship game last March, is led by the best player in the Western United States in 6-foot-5 senior point guard Lonzo Ball.

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A look at what could be a sweet 16 college teams

LAGUNA NIGUEL, Ca. – College hoops of the 2015-16 get underway in earnest on Friday, with things really kicking into pre-conference gear on Tuesday night in Chicago.

The United Center will offer up a double-header that will tip at 7:30 (ET) with Kentucky against Duke, following at about 10 or so by Kansas and Michigan State.

That would be a heck of a set of semifinal match-ups on Final Four Saturday (April 2) in Houston, wouldn’t it?

A look at my choices for the teams that will be playing into the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament this spring:



Why: Plenty of key returnees from what was the second best Big 10 team during the regular season plus three terrific newcomers equal a solid choice to win the conference and get to the Final Four.

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My Top 35, and more, Pangos Frosh/Soph wrap-up

LAGUNA NIGUEL, Ca. – The latest fall round of national Pangos All-Frosh/Soph Camps once again did what its predecessors accomplished so succinctly:

A hefty portion of the nation’s top first- and second-year high school players were able to show off their considerable skill and “upside” during stops in Norwalk, CA (West), Lewisville, TX (South), LaGrange, IL (Midwest) and Thorofare, NJ (East) that were run by the founder of the Pangos Camp (including the Pangos All-American Camp held in late spring in Southern California annually), Dinos Trigonis.

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Davis and Schwartz among WCE/Denver standouts

DENVER – The fourth West Coast Elite High School Camp, held at Manual High in Denver on Sunday, provided the perfect venue and opportunity for NCAA Division I coaching staffs to get a first-hand look at some of the best hoops talent in Colorado.

The only problem with my premise, of course, is that the event wasn’t held during one of the “live” evaluation periods – for non-high school-sponsored events – that the NCAA certifies in April and July.

Those in attendance (mostly parents, high school and club coaches, event organizer Ryan Silver and his staff, and assorted talent evaluators – including yours truly), though, had the opportunity to peruse a lot of players who already are, or will be, targeted by a lot of college recruiters.

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Meet Frank
Frank Burlison

Frank Burlison is a well-regarded basketball writer who was inducted into the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Hall of Fame in 2005. His opinions on the potential of high school and college players are widely respected and sought by college coaches and NBA scouts, personnel directors and general managers from coast to coast. Oh, yes – he can offer plenty of thoughts on movies, television and pop music. Yes, he can rank those, too. Hint: He’s a big The Godfather, Larry Sanders, The Wire and The Beatles loyalist.

To learn more about Frank's scouting services, click here.


“I’ve known Frank since he was a student at Long Beach State and no writer ever worked harder at studying and understanding basketball. When I was coaching I always put more stock into what he said about (high school) players than anyone I knew. As far as I’m concerned, he’s the best there is at evaluating the potential of basketball players.”
Lute Olson, Hall of Fame and NCAA Championship Winning Coach

"I have known Frank for 15 years and there is no one outside of those in the Trail Blazers' organization that I trust more than Frank when it comes to player evaluations."
Neil Olshey, Portland Trail Blazers' General Manager

“Frank Burlison has always been a proponent of my talent and, even more so, of my potential – far before it was evident to most. Even as a smaller and determined player who was being overlooked by most high-major colleges and national scouting services, Frank always served as a friendly voice who got me into the door to most events to help me prove my talents.”
Russell Westbrook, the No. 4 overall selection in the 2008 NBA Draft out of UCLA and an all-star guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder

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