REDONDO BEACH, Calif. - The Battle of the Beach served as a launching pad for two 2017 prospects on Team Bayless 16U in Jalen Hill and Marcus Shaver.
Hill one of west's best in 2017
While Cody Riley
and Ira Lee
have already proven themselves on the national circuit as two of the top power forwards in the country in 2017, Southern California has one more prospect at the position who deserves to be mentioned in that same category.
, a 6-foot-8, 175-pound power forward from Corona (Calif.) Centennial, had a terrific showing at Thursday's Battle of the Beach.
Hill has a good size, frame and athleticism, and plays very hard. He's a really good rebounder and was all over the glass on both sides of the court. He contests everything on defense and finishes well around the basket.
His physical tools and skill set give you reason to be optimistic about his future, but so does his approach to getting better.
"I like to be around the high post and face up," Hill said. "I can also go inside and do post moves, but I've branched out and expanded my game.
"Even though I'm not going to be a guard, I still do ball handling drills. I also work on free throws every day because I'm not where I want to be. I'm good at free throws, but I want to be excellent at free throws."
So far, Hill has heard from Kansas State
and California. He's hoping to play for an elite program at the next level.
"I like Kentucky
, the big schools," Hill said. "I like the big games. I want to go somewhere they always play in big games. I want to get to the best spot I can get to."
Shaver an emerging point guard
Over the last year, word has surfaced from Arizona that Phoenix St. Mary's has a talented point guard in Marcus Shaver
On Thursday at the Battle of the Beach, Shaver certainly showed he was deserving of the hype.
The 6-foot, 155-pound 2017 point guard has high level body control, changes speeds well, uses a crossover to create space, can really pass it and showed some crafty moves to create his own shot. He's certainly one of the top point guards in the class out west.
"I like to pass; I can score when I need to," Shaver said. "I'm a real point guard. I need to work on coming off screens better, being more aggressive, shooting off the dribble and screens, and my defense."
So far, Arizona, UCLA
, Arizona State
and Grand Canyon are showing Shaver interest.
He's also hoping to hear from another national program.
"I grew up a Kentucky fan; I really like John Wall," Shaver said. "I like coach (John) Calipari and his style of play."