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Langford shows why college coaches love this Romeo

SUWANEE, Ga. – Romeo Langford was selected National Sophomore of the Year by MaxPreps last week.

And his used the two adidas Gauntlet games he played with the Eric Gordon All-Stars Saturday to show the large gathering of college coaches, media and assorted other interested on-lookers in the Suwanee Sports Academy why the honored was bestowed upon him.

The 6-foot-5 and oh-so-smooth Langford scored 20 and 29 points, respectively, to help his team knock off Team Fast of Oregon (56-54) and Team Loaded of North Carolina (77-72, in overtime).

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Elite guards-galore at adidas Gauntlet Friday night

SUWANEE, Ga. – Backcourt play proved to be the difference for the winners during the four games I watched Friday night during the Atlanta session of the 2016 adidas Uprising Gauntlet in the seven-court Suwanee Sports Academy.

The Southern California-based 17s Compton Magic squad went 4-0 during weekend one on the circuit in Dallas.

But North Carolina’s Stackhouse Elite had too much balance and too much Lyndell Wigginton for the Magic and its UCLA-bound guard to overcome.

Stackhouse pulled away down the stretch for a tougher-than-the-final score-indicates, 76-61, victory.

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Here’s who played best at EYBL/Brooklyn version

BROOKLYN, NY – With 40 teams and just two days to do so, trying to sort out all of the high-caliber prospects in the 2016 edition of Nike’s Elite Youth Basketball League is a daunting task, for sure.

But, hey, I’ll give it a shot . . .

Games tipped off at 8 in the morning on Saturday and Sunday, in a four-court facility that normally serves as the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, and wrapped up at about 10 p.m. Saturday and 5 o’clock on Sunday.

I watched 30 of the EYBL’s teams for at least one full game and saw at least half of those for large portions or all of a second game.

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Plenty of standouts in PSA-Cal Supreme EYBL clash

BROOKLYN, NY – It didn’t’ take long for the national spotlight, of sorts, to turn onto the first day of the 2016 Nike Elite Youth Basketball season.

At 2 p.m. on Saturday one of the fifth set of games in the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal – converted into a four-court hoops facility by Nike for the event – was televised by ESPN2.

And the California Supreme and PSA Cardinals squads more than held up the league – and themselves –well in the glare of the extra lighting and the focus of the ESPN cameras.

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Washington, Williams impress in team’s UAA opener

NEW YORK, NY – What figures to be one of the travel ball circuit’s top circuits demonstrated exactly why that will be the case this spring and summer Friday night during the opening session of the Under Armour Association at Basketball City on the edge of Manhattan.

Six-foot-one Isaiah Washington (St. Raymond in the Bronx) and 6-5 Keith Williams (Brooklyn Bishop Loughlin) led New York’s New Heights on an 8-0 run to close out Southern California’s Earl Watson Elite, 63-58.

Williams (who finished with a game-high 24 points) hit a 12-foot, step-thru with a second on the shot clock (and about 30 seconds on the game clock) and a three-point edge then, after Earl Watson missed an attempt, Washington was fouled and sank the insurance free throws.

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Reno prep BB talent displayed at first TOW Showcase

RENO – Saturday’s first-ever Talent out West Showcase – held at both Reno High and just down the street at the Pennington Boys and Girls Club – proved just that for lot high school basketball players in and around the city, as well as adjacent states.

The 75 or so athletes in attendance included among 20 seniors who have yet to decide upon college destinations.

The most notable of those included 6-foot-10 Octavian Corley (McQueen in Reno) and 6-7 Zach Williams (Galena in Reno).

Corley averaged 18.6 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.3 blocked shots per game this past season as his team finished 18-11.

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Second-half run sparks Chino Hills to 35-0 finish

SACRAMENTO – The Chino Hills High basketball team found itself down by 10 points six minutes into the game and trailing at intermission – by two points – for only the second time in 35 games this season Saturday night in the Sleep Train Arena.

I write that for those who might have forgotten those things after watching the final 16 minutes turn into the same kind of fast-paced, high-flying and – oh-so-often – breath-taking style play that the Huskies established as uniquely their own this season.

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De La Salle is Chino Hills’ last challenge Saturday

SACRAMENTO – The final half of the six California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) boys’ basketball championship games will be played in the Sleep Train Arena Saturday.

And action wraps up at 8 p.m. with the headliner of the Thursday-Saturday 12-game (girls included) schedule, the Open Division championship game pitting Southern representative Chino Hills and its Northern counterpart, Concord De La Salle.

The De La Salle is 31-2 in A.J. Kuhle’s first season as the head coach at his alma mater (Class of 2000), with only losses to Las Vegas Bishop Gorman (in a second-round, Dec.

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Melton, Wooten, Smith are Cali standouts Thursday

SACRAMENTO – Each of the three California Interscholastic Federation boys’ championship games played Thursday in the Sleep Train Arena featured multiple standout performers.

Examples:

*The impressive efforts by freshmen Adam Campos (12 points and eight rebounds) and Kobe Keiner (a critical pair of free throws down the stretch) in Alameda St. Joseph Notre Dame’s 55-50 victory over Playa del Rey St. Bernard in the Division V finale;

*Senior guard Robert Fuller’s 15-point, four-assist and two-steal effort that helped St. Bernard stay close throughout;

*Left-handed junior forward Tydus Verhoeven showed off his variety of skills while scoring 11 points with 12 rebounds and four assists as Manteca knocked off Chino Hills Ayala, 60-51, for the Division III championship;

*Ayala (which finished 33-4 and, like 29-6 Manteca, was playing in its first state title game) rallied from an early 17-point deficit to get to within three points early in the fourth quarter, got a strong effort by one of California’s best unsigned seniors, 6-5 John Edgar, who scored 21 points – with four 3s – to go with six rebounds and four steals;

*And 6-6 senior Mitchell Mykhaylov picked a perfect moment to turn in one of his best efforts for Encino Crespi, scoring 19 points with 13 rebounds in the Celts’ 68-53, Division I-championship win over Berkeley in the final game played Thursday night.

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NorCal champ De La Salle final Chino Hills obstacle

LAGUNA NIGUEL, Ca. – The Chino Hills Huskies are just one victory away from wrapping up a season a perfection this Saturday night in Sacramento.

Coach Steve Baik’s crew earned the trip north via its latest dismantling of one of the state’s best squads, 84-62, over No. 2-ranked Bishop Montgomery before a standing-room-only crowd in the Walter Pyramid on the Long Beach State Campus this past Saturday in the Southern Regional Open Championship game.

The 34-0 Huskies, who play Northern champion Concord De La Salle at 8 o’clock in the Kings’ Sleep Train Arena, beat seven playoff foes (sectional and regional) in Open competition by an average margin of 30.2 points.

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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 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.