High School Basketball Notebook (Dec. 29)

After taking a week off due to travel and the holidays, the High School Basketball Notebook is back! Jeremy Tyler is on a roll, while Austin Rivers and Michael Gilchrist are making their claims for the No. 1 spot in 2011.

Tyler Dominates In California


Jeremy Tyler has received his fair share of criticism over the past year. After being highly touted during the beginning stages of his high school career, Tyler looked unmotivated at times and laid eggs in big match ups during his junior campaign.

Now the early word out of California is the 6-foot-9, 225-pound big man is having a heck of a junior campaign. Prior to putting up 41 points and 38 in back-to-back games at the Max Preps Holiday Classic, he was averaging 35 points and 14 rebounds.

There's never been a question about Tyler's talent, as he probably should be the best player in the class of 2010. He's got the size, athleticism and skill set to hold onto that spot. What people have questioned is his drive and determination. Thus far, it appears he's answering his critics.

Last year he struggled mightily against the likes of Renardo Sidney and Tristan Thompson. This year he has a chance for redemption. The talented big man will face Sidney again, this time on national television, and he'll also go head-to-head with Ohio State commit Jared Sullinger at Flyin' To The Hoop in January.

Lack Of Commitments


With signing day in November, it's clearly a big month for commitments. But the last month of the year is typically a slow time, and this year is no different. We've counted just five commitments in December, three of which were to high major programs.


Hill Opted For USC
Solomon Hill, who originally committed to Arizona, gave a verbal commitment to USC on December 1st. Then two weeks later Villanova scored Jersey City (N.J.) St. Anthony's highly regarded wing Dominic Cheek. The next commitment came the day after Christmas when DeAndre Kane popped to Seton Hall.

So why have commitments slowed considerably in December? The main reason being college coaches are more focused on their seasons at hand, while high school prospects have turned their focus from recruiting to their upcoming seasons as well.

Who's The Best In 2011?


Currently Tony Wroten is rated as the top prospect in the 2011 class, but there are a handful of prospects on his heels.

The two prospects making the biggest splashes on the court right now are Michael Gilchrist and Austin Rivers. Gilchrist led St. Patrick's to the finals of the City of Palms and had monster first game where he dropped in 30 points. While Rivers led his squad to the semi-finals of the same event and scored 46 points in the 3rd place game.

LaQuinton Ross is the fourth name that comes up when talking about the 2011 class. His numbers have been quite impressive, but his team appears to be struggling, as Jackson (Miss.) Murrah is one game under .500 through 13 games this season.

The 2009 and even 2010 class hasn't had many prospects worthy of a No. 1 ranking and that appears to be changing with the 2011 group, as Wroten, Gilchrist, Rivers and Ross could each make a claim for the top spot.

Top High School Squad


The high school season is over a month in and a number of programs are starting to separate themselves from the pack.

The three we've been most impressed with are Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei, Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep and Newark (N.J.) St. Benedict's. All three are undefeated, while Mater Dei and St. Benedict's recently won major holiday tournaments.

Mater Dei has a starting lineup that consists of five players headed to high major programs. Gary Franklin, who runs the point for the Monarchs, led them to the City of Palms crown and scored a team-high 67 points through their four games. Tyler Lamb, and the Wear twins are also major factors for Mater Dei.


Findlay Remains Undefeated
For St. Benedict's it's a pair of underclassmen leading the way. Tristan Thompson, the top ranked recruit in 2010, and Myck Kabongo, a 2011 standout, helped them win the Kreul Classic just before Christmas and now they are making a run at the Gatorade International Championship in Puerto Rico.

Findlay Prep, which opted to switch from prep school to high school this season, is led by Player of the Year candidate Avery Bradley, who is averaging 22 points and nearly six rebounds a game. Be he's also surrounded by eight other Division-I prospects.

Mater Dei and St. Benedict's will square off in California in the Nike Extravaganza, which is held at Mater Dei.

On Tap This Week


After traveling all over Florida, South Carolina and Kentucky, Scout.com is posting up in a few locations during the days leading up to New Years Eve.

We'll have coverage from the T-Mobile Invitational in Muncie (Ind.), which consists of four teams – Duncanville (Tex.) High, Seattle (Wash.) Garfield, Indianapolis (Ind.) Lawrence North and Atlanta (Ga.) South Atlanta.

The event will be full of star power as guys like Derrick Favors, Tony Wroten, Dominique Ferguson, Stephan Van Treese, Roger Franklin, Shawn Williams and Perry Jones will all hit the hardwood at Ball State.

Scout.com will also have coverage from a pair of events in North Carolina.

On Monday, Dave Telep be at the GlaxoSmithKline Invitational and will see a number of North Carolina natives including John Wall, Ryan Kelly, Mason Plumlee, Lakeem Jackson, Melvin Tabb, Reggie Bullock and C.J. Leslie.

Then Tuesday, he'll slide over to the Bojangles Shootout in Charlotte (N.C.), which features Kendal Marshall, Joe Jackson, Ferrakohn Hall, David Chadwick, Talib Zanna and many others.


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