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The stars shined quite brightly at HoopHall Saturday

SPRINGFIELD, MA – Saturday’s action during the 15th Spalding HoopHall Classic turned out to be a nifty preview of sorts to Sunday’s announcement of the 2016 McDonald’s All-American team.

Five players with strong likelihoods of being part of that honor squad were on display on Saturday.

And guards Frank Jackson (Highland, UT, Lone Peak) and Kobi Simmons (Alpharetta, GA, St. Francis), forward V.J. King (Fairfax, VA, Pius VI) and post T.J. Leaf (El Cajon, CA, Foothills Christian) and swingman Mustapha Heron (Waterbury, CT, Sacred Heart) more than looked the part of McDonald’s AAs on Saturday.

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SoCal powers head East this weekend for HoopHall

LAGUNA NIGUEL, Ca. – Four of the top five teams in the latest BurlisonOnBasketball Southern California High School Top 25 ratings will be headed for Springfield (MA) later this week.

Top-ranked Chino Hills and No.’s 3 (Sierra Canyon), 4 (Mater Dei) and 5 (Foothills Christian) are among the participants in the 15th Spalding HoopHall Classic.

The games will be played at Springfield College, located near the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame facility.

The “national” portion of the event will include 21 games over Saturday, Sunday and Monday (Martin Luther King Day).

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Lots of SoCal prep hoops options Saturday

At least four (that I’m aware of) high school hoops “one-day events” will be held on Saturday, stretching north to the San Fernando Valley and south to San Diego County.

The Sierra Canyon Super Showcase features the most intriguing if the Saturday matchups, Chino Hills (No. 1 in the most recent BurlisonOnBasketball SoCal rankings) playing El Cajon Foothills Christian (No. 8) at 6:45 p.m.

The teams met on Dec. 5 for the championship of the Battle Zone Tournament at Corona Centennial, with the unbeaten Huskies prevailing, 106-86.

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Unbeatens lead BurlisonOnBasketball ratings

LAGUNA NIGUEL, Ca. – The top-two teams in the updated BurlisonOnBasketball Southern California high school rankings are set to play during the James “Sam” Sampson State Preview at L.A. Fairfax High on the evening of Jan. 30.

But let’s hold our collective horses before becoming too giddy about the possibility that Chino Hills (13-0) and Torrance Bishop Montgomery (14-0) will both still be unbeaten when they finally meet on the court at Fairfax.

And here’s why:

*The Lonzo Ball-led Huskies play No. 8 Foothills Christian on Saturday; Highpoint Christian (of North Carolina; led by Kentucky-bound Edrice Adebayo) in the HoopHall Classic in Springfield, MA, on Jan.

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Bishop Montgomery 14-0 after Take Flight Challenge

REDONDO BEACH, Ca. – Eight high school basketball teams left Redondo Union High with victories Saturday during the third Take Flight Challenge.

And there was no doubt about which of those eight was the most impressive.

The Torrance Bishop Montgomery Knights thoroughly dominated the Corona Centennial Huskies, 73-51, during the sixth game played.

Coach Doug Mitchell’s defending CIF Southern Section Open Division champions rolled to 14-0 with juniors Jordan Schackel (25) and Ethan Thompson (21) and sophomore David Singleton (14) combining for 60 points.

Each starter scored at least one field goal for the Knights in the first quarter that ended with them up by nine points (19-10) even as Schackel and Thompson combined to hit just one of nine shots.

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One-day BB events at LB Jordan, L.A. Price

One-day high school basketball “showcase” events are set for Saturday at Long Beach Jordan and Los Angeles Price.

Two teams in contention for spots in the CIF Southern Section’s Open Division playoff field next month, Villa Park and Damien, are at Jordan for the Ron Massey Tip-Off Classic.

Damien – which beat Villa Park in the championship game of the MaxPreps Holiday Classic Ford Dealers’ Division at Rancho Mirage High Wednesday afternoon – faces Fresno Sunnyside at 5 o’clock.

Villa Park and Rancho Cucamonga hook up at 3:30.

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Take Flight Challenge on tap at Redondo High

REDONDO BEACH, Ca. – Many of the better teams in Southern California will be on display Saturday during the third Take Flight Challenge, hosted by Redondo Union High.

Eight games are scheduled, split into “morning/afternoon” and “evening” sessions, with separate admission charged for each.

Three teams that won tournaments earlier in the week, Santa Monica (National Division of the MaxPreps Holiday Classic at Rancho Mirage High), Eastvale Roosevelt (American Division of the Under Armour Holiday Classic at Torrey Pines) and Bishop Montgomery (D-I Challenge at L.A.

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Lonzo leads BurlisonOnBasketball all-MaxPreps picks

RANCHO MIRAGE, Ca. – Here are the BurlisonOnBasketball 20-player “Plus 1” all-tournament selections from the 13th MaxPreps Holiday Classic that wrapped up Wednesday night at Rancho Mirage High.

The choices are not based upon “college potential” but upon the way they players performed during the four games each played over Saturday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday:



Chino Hills High went “3 for 3” in December while winning tough tournaments in Corona, CA (the “Battle Zone”), Ft. Myers, FL (“City of Palms”) and, Wednesday night, at Rancho Mirage High.

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Chino Hills tops Redondo for MaxPreps Open crown

RANCHO MIRAGE, Ca. – It got a significantly tougher test than was presented it during its first three games of the event.

Ultimately, though, the Chino Hills High basketball team had too much transition offense, forced too many turnovers and had too many Ball Brothers for its Redondo Union counterpart to cope with – as was the case for the first 12 opponents the Huskies had knocked off prior to Wednesday night’s championship game of the Open Division in the 13th MaxPreps Holiday Classic at Rancho Mirage High.

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Chino Hills takes on Redondo in MaxPreps title game

RANCHO MIRAGE, Ca. – A couple of Southern California-based programs that could be on the path toward a meeting in late February or March will accelerate the process Wednesday night.

The Chino Hills Huskies and Redondo Union Seahawks have been in the California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section’s 16-team Open Division playoff field the past two years and will no doubt make it 3-for-3 in mid-February.

But they’ll get and up-close-and-personal look at one another Wednesday night, when they hook up at Rancho Mirage High for the championship game of the Open Division in the 13th MaxPreps Holiday Classic.

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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 Clippers' organization that I trust more than Frank when it comes to player evaluations."
Neil Olshey, Los Angeles Clippers' Vice President of Basketball Operations

“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

To see what other people in basketball are saying about Frank, click here.