Pflueger the BurlisonOnBasketball top SoCal senior

LAGUNA NIGUEL – Rex Pflueger, a key element to Mater Dei High teams that won 64 games over two seasons, is the BurlisonOnBasketball Most Outstanding Player for the 2014-15 Southern California senior class.

The 6-foot-5 Pflueger, who signed a national letter of intent with Notre Dame in November, averaged 16.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 3.0 steals per game for a 29-5 Monarchs squad this season.

The program’s bid for a fifth consecutive state championship was thwarted when Coach Gary McKnight’s squad fell to Oakland Bishop O’Dowd, 65-64, in overtime, in the Open Division finale on March 28 in UC Berkeley’s Haas Pavilion.

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Lonzo Ball is SoCal’s BurlisonOnBasketball Top Junior

LAGUNA NIGUEL, Ca. – Southern California’s boys’ high school hoops Class of 2016 is shaping up as something special.

And a significant reason is the presence of Lonzo Ball in the class.

Even with the presence of San Diego’s Player of the Year – T.J. Leaf, that area’s top prospect in a long while – and a couple of players who let their teams to state title games (Michael Cage Jr. of Santa Ana Mater Dei and De’Anthony Melton of Encino Crespi), Ball is the clear choice as the BurlisonOnBasketball 2014-15 Most Outstanding Player in the Southern California junior class.

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A look at the top SoCal weekend performers

ANAHEIM, Ca. – The Pump N Run/Rebibo edged Prodigy Elite in overtime Sunday afternoon to cap the Asics Double Pump Spring Hoop Fest Tournament at the American Sports Center.

The PNR squad was led by the stalwart play of seniors-to-be in 6-foot-3 DeAnthony Melton (Encino Crespi) – who hit the game-deciding bucket – and 6-9 Trevor Stanback (Pasadena Maranatha).

Prodigy Elite’s leading scorer all weekend was 6-foot Brian Beard, who graduated from Rancho Cucamonga High last June and now attends “Elite Prep”.

Among Prodigy Elite’s better underclassmen are 6-4 senior-to-be Bryce Peters (La Verne Damien) and 6-1 Miles Oliver (who was a second-team all-CIF Southern Section Open Division selection at Etiwanda this past season).

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Feagin and Freedman impress at SoCal Hoop Review

GARDEN GROVE, CA – The first day of the 12th SoCal Hoop Review showcased some top prospects across each high school class.

Four nifty Open Division matchups Friday night in the Next Level Sports Complex were held on Court 3, beginning with the L.A. Fastbreak Blue taking on the Salt Lake City Rebels.

The team from Southern California eventually pulled away for the victory before the overall play of K.J. Feagin (Long Beach Poly) who, along with Lindsey Drew (L.A. Fairfax) is one of the two best unsigned point guards in the West.

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Cody Riley is BurlisonOnBasketball’s top SoCal Soph

LAGUNA NIGUEL – Cody Riley, who set a single-game rebounding record while leading Sierra Canyon to its first-ever state championship victory, is the BurlisonOnBasketball 2014-15 Southern California High School Most Outstanding Player for the sophomore class.

The 6-foot-8 Riley grabbed 22 rebounds while scoring 18 points to go with three blocked shots in the Trailblazers’ 80-55 victory over San Francisco University in the Division V final at UC Berkeley on March 27.

For the season the two-time All-CIF Southern Section Open selection (the team went into its “natural” division for the state playoffs after losing to Etiwanda in the second round of the Section playoffs) averaged 15.6 points and 9.4 rebounds in a season that ended with his team at 26-4.

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Riley Battin heads SoCal all-freshman selections

LAGUNA NIGUEL – Riley Battin – whose adjustment to high school basketball wasn’t hampered by much in the way of “rough patches” – is the BurlisonOnBasketball 2014-15 Southern California High School Most Outstanding Player for the freshman class.

The 6-foot-7 Battin averaged 21.8 points and 10.5 rebounds per game at Oak Park while closing his first season as a prep with a 25-point, 11-rebound effort in his team’s 93-89 loss to Millikan in a second-round CIF Southern Section 1AA playoff game.

Players from the CIF Southern, L.A.

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Left handers with big impact at Colorado camp

PARKER, CO – A player who has probably hit a lot of shots from the very spot on that court nailed a huge 3 pointer down the stretch Saturday evening at Legend High.

Jared Small, a 6-foot-7 junior who attends Legend, dropped in the 3 from the left corner with 40 seconds to play to put the white jersey-wearing team up a point over its gray shirt-wearing counterparts in the Top 20 all-star game of the West Coast Elite Camp/Colorado.

After Jordan Phillips (a 6-6 junior at San Creek in Colorado Springs) missed a jump shot at the other end of the floor, 6-8 junior Austin Mueller (ThunderRidge in Highlands Ranch), was fouled with 8.3 seconds to go and hit both ends of a 1-and-1 free-throw opportunity to seal the 92-89 victory.

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Colorado’s Class of 2019 on display Friday

PARKER, CO – There are going to be some terrific boys basketball prospects making their high school debuts some eight months or so from now in Colorado.

That was evident during the elementary and middle school portion of the West Coast Elite All-Star Camp/Colorado Friday at Legend High in this Denver suburb.

Six-foot-four Jaedon Bowles scored 25 points while leading the white jersey-wearing to a 74-70 victory over its gray-wearing counterparts in the Top 20 game that wrapped up the first day of the camp Friday night.

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Boys BB all-star game set for IVC

IRVINE, Ca. – The first Orange County Boys High School Basketball All-Star Game, presented by Open Gym Premier, takes place Saturday night at 7 o’clock at Irvine Valley College.

Many of the very best seniors in Orange County, including UC Irvine-bound Brandon Smith (Godinez), UC Riverside signee Eric Rwahwire (Saddleback Valley Christian) and future UC Davis player Rogers Printup (Orange Lutheran), are among those expected to participate.

Here are my round-by-round NCAA tourney picks

LAGUNA NIGUEL, Ca. – The 2015 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Tournament – aka, “Can anyone beat Kentucky over the next three weeks” – tips off Tuesday night in Dayton two of the “First Four” games.

And let me dispense with a pet peeve: The Tuesday (Manhattan-Hampton and Mississippi-BYU) and Wednesday (North Florida-Robert Morris and Boise State-Dayton) games in Dayton are “First Four” or “First Round” games, not “Play-In” games.

Those eight teams are not trying to “play their way” into anything – they are already part of the NCAA Tournament’s 68-team field, every bit as legitimate NCAA tourney participants as are the teams that will played for the national championship on April 6.

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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.

Endorsements

“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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