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Stars-to-be emerging on EYBL Lexington stop

LEXINGTON, Ky. – All of the big names of the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League were on display Saturday at the Kentucky Basketball Academy on the second day of the second weekend of the 2015 EYBL.

Among those players were 6-foot-9 Harry Giles (Winston-Salem, NC, Wesleyan Christian) of Team CP3, 6-7 Jayson Tatum (St. Louis Chaminade) of the St. Louis Eagles and 6-4 Malik Monk (Bentonville, AR) of the Arkansas Wings – each, certainly, to be found in a consensus selection of the five best prospects in the national class of 2016.

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A look at Friday night in Louisville, UAA-style

LOUISVILLE – With as many as five games going on at the same time in the building over five hours Friday night, one could easily have found himself in scramble mode during the second weekend of the Under Armour Association Grassroots Basketball League in the Mid-American Sports Center.

And I was at my scrambling best while watching big chunks of six 17Under games and two more in the 16U division.

So here goes.

I’ll rehash what I saw in the approximate order in which I watched it:

*Coach Mike Mullins’ Illinois Wolves got an impressive jump shooting performance out of 6-foot-5 Nate Kennell (Metamora, IL, High) in their 50-40 win against New Heights (NY).

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Lonzo Ball is SoCal Player of the Year

LAGUNA NIGUEL – In a season in which there were multiple candidates within the senior class for the honor it’s a member of the Class of 2016 who bagged the BurlisonOnBasketball Most Outstanding Player nod.

Lonzo Ball of Chino Hills High, the best point guard prospect produced in Southern California since Baron Davis was a senior at Santa Monica Crossroads 18 years ago, is the BurlisonOnBasketball Southern California Most Outstanding Player for the 2014-15 season.

Ball, who committed to UCLA more in the winter of 2013, averaged 24.3 points, 11.3 rebounds, 9.1 assists, 4.5 steals and 3.5 blocked shots per game.

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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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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.