Beal Leads Red Devils To Title

Sophomore shooting guard Brad Beal's second varsity season at Chaminade College Prep High School in suburban St. Louis was filled with several memorable moments. But the high-scoring Division I prospect saved the best for last when he led his squad to the Missouri Class 5 championship last weekend.

Beal, a smooth 6-foot-3 (and growing) guard from a family of athletes, showed all season that he could beat opponents with his ability to score off the dribble, with his advanced mid-range game or his silky 3-point stroke that looks effortless from NBA range.

The 15-year-old regularly drew double teams, box-and-ones and whatever gimmick defenses opposing coaches could draw up in largely unsuccessful attempts to slow him down and often played with the likes of Bill Self, Billy Donovan, Bruce Weber, Mike Anderson and Rick Majerus watching closely.

And he never missed a beat.

Beal's scoring average jumped from 8.2 points per game as a freshman to 23.5 points per contest this winter. He made 71 of 180 3-point attempts (39.4 percent), 153 of 196 free throw attempts (78.1) and added 4.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.5 steals per game.

He scored a career-high 52 points in his fourth game of the season, a 92-85 overtime victory over rival CBC. He made 16 of 33 shot attempts, including six 3-pointers, and knocked down 14 of 18 free throw attempts. He scored 26 points in the fourth quarter, including banking a 3-pointer from half court at the buzzer to send the game to overtime.

Last weekend, Beal shined in the Missouri Class 5 semifinal and championship games at Mizzou Arena in Columbia.

In the semifinals against Columbia Rock Bridge, he scored 15 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter and led the Red Devils back from an 18-point deficit to win 66-65. He hit three 3-pointers in the final quarter and his free throw with 1.4 seconds remaining was the game-winner.

He then scored 30 points in the championship game the next night in an 80-70 come-from-behind victory over Grandview of Kansas City and standout guard Alec Burks, who has signed with Colorado and scored a game-high 33 points.

Beal, one of three sophomore starters for Chaminade, made nine of 21 shot attempts, with two 3-pointers, and converted 10 of 11 free throws in 30 minutes. He also grabbed eight rebounds.

The recruitment of Beal figures to be an interesting battle over the next year and a half.

Midwestern rivals like Kansas, Missouri and Illinois have been on him hard along with Florida, where former McDonald's All-American David Lee started for four years after graduating from Chaminade. If he wants to stay even closer to home, he could look at Saint Louis University and the program Majerus is trying to build just a few miles away.

North Carolina is among the latest schools to inquire about the Class of 2011 standout, with more schools to follow if they are not already too late.

Prentice Ivy (left) and Brad Beal celebrate Chaminade's victory over Grandview for the school's first Missouri state basketball championship (L.G. Patterson/AP).

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