Shabazz Muhammad, SF, Bishop Gorman – Any time Muhammad takes the court, fair or not, dominance is expected by those in the crowd. At this point, Muhammad, a 6-foot-5 strongly built wing, has built a cult like following among recruiting and collegiate fans. Despite the pressure, Muhammad consistently delivers. Up against Whitney Young on Saturday, Muhammad did it again. In front of a packed house, Muhammad went for 41 points, which became the sixth time this year he's passed the 40-point mark.
Muhammad's 41 points came from long range (6-for-6 from three), off post moves and from strong drives to the rim. Muhammad, who is known for his tireless work ethic, is turning into a complete scorer and on Saturday he was an efficient 13-for-20 from the field. Regardless of the competition, Muhammad brings effort and intensity to both ends of the floor, which is rare for high school prospects these days.
Xavier Johnson, PF/SF, Mater Dei – When the Monarchs needed some production in the second half against LaVerne Lutheran, Johnson, a 6-foot-7 active combo forward, was the one to step out. Johnson did the dirty work inside and focused on getting every rebound he could get his hands on. Offensively his rebounds led to points, as he had a handful of put backs. On the defensive end he quickly looked ahead and pushed the ball up the court when the opportunity was there. In all he finished with 19 points and double-digit rebounds.
Connor Clifford, C, Ocean View – A near 7-foot big man, Clifford dominated his space and scored at will on the block. Clifford has a nice set of hands that caught everything thrown his way. He can finish with both hands, but favors a jump hook over his left shoulder. He's gotten serious about his game and spent time getting in shape, as he sliced 40 pounds off his frame. He's a prospect that top-level mid-majors should take a strong look at. He finished with 26 points on 13-for-22 shooting. He also snagged 13 rebounds.
Marvelle Harris, SG, Eisenhower – When it comes to scoring there aren't many on the west coast that can match up with this 6-foot-4 guard. Early on he couldn't get shots to go down, but he scored 16 points in the second frame and scored buckets from three, mid-range and at the basket. Harris knows how to create space and is a confident shooter. He forced a few shots and could spruce up his left hand, but he's a talented scorer that can put points in a hurry.
Anthony January, SF, Taft – An impressive all around talent, January, a 6-foot-7 wing, stands out because of his athleticism and raw ability. When he caught the ball from the high post and attacked or touched it going towards the rim it usually turned into points. January made an effort to hit the glass and was actively pursuing the ball. January scored 26 points on 12-for-21 shooting and also grabbed 14 rebounds.
Brandon Perry, PF/C, Taft – Cal-State Northridge scored a nice pick up in Perry, a 6-foot-7 low post prospect. Perry brings energy to the block, has a nice set of hands and can finish around the basket. His effort level was high throughout the game and his wide frame helped him carve out space inside. From a rebounding standpoint he cleaned up his area and snagged everything he could get his hands on. Perry scored 13 boards and grabbed 12 rebounds in the win.
Roschon Prince, SF, Long Beach Poly – A strong, physical forward, Prince was an efficient 11-for-18 from the field on his way to a game high 25 points. Prince, who was 1-for-2 from three, did majority of his work around the basket and in transition. The 6-foot-6 wing finishes through contact well and knows how to use his body to fend off defenders. Prince also tacked on nine rebounds.
Eric Cooper, SG, LaVerne Lutheran -- For the second time in as many viewings this week, Cooper, a Arizona commit, played well. The 6-foot-4 guard came off screens ready to shoot and pumped in jump shots at a nice rate. In the fourth quarter, Cooper hit a couple of big shots and kept Lutheran close. Cooper, a 6-foot-4 guard, has turned into a major threat from behind the three-point arc.
Jahlil Okafor, C, Whitney Young – While Muhammad was the talk of the gymnasium, Okafor certainly grabbed the attention of fans at the Nike Extravaganza. Okafor, Scout.com's No. 2 player, displayed his tremendous touch and footwork in the low post. He hit at least three jump hooks over his left shoulder and showed confidence in his moves, despite being double teamed. Okafor scored 17 points in the loss.
Kendall Small, PG, Ocean View – Southern California is buzzing about their freshman class. While Small hasn't developed the reputation others in the area have, he's certainly a talent. Blessed with a solid frame and long arms, Small has no issues playing through contact. Small, who scored nine points in the win, likes to push the tempo and managed to play nearly 16 minutes without turning the ball over.
*Although Brendyn Taylor's shooting percentage wasn't terrific, the 6-foot-2 guard found ways to be effective and hit a pair of threes late in the match up with Eisenhower. Taylor scored 22 points on 5-for-13 shooting and snagged seven rebounds.
*Taylor's teammate Taj Adams who is headed to Loyola-Marymount, is an intriguing prospect because of his size, athleticism and mobility. In just 13 minutes of action Adams scored 8 points and recorded five boards.
*Senior guard Aleks Lupivic, who reportedly has a 3.9 GPA, showed off a strong skill set in a match up with Westchester. Lupivic also has a nice looking jump shot with good range and a good release. He scored 13 points in the loss.
*Jacob Hazzard, a 6-foot guard out of Loyola, hit five of his 10 attempts from three. He hunted jump shots and knocked them down. In all he finished with 19 points in 21 minutes of action.
*Loyola sophomore sensation Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored just eight points on 3-for-12 shooting. Jackson-Cartwright, who is known for his tremendous feel, struggled to get things going on the offensive end and. Still he's an impressive lead guard prospect because of his IQ and passing ability.
*A steady and heady guard, Eli Stalzer often times has a calming type impact for Mater Dei. The 6-foot-3 guard makes good decisions with the ball and always seems focused on getting the ball to his teammates, rather than look for his shot. He is, however, capable of knocking down long range shots.
*Reuben Strickland, a junior at Long Beach (Calif.) Poly, dialed it up for 21 points and six rebounds in a 22-point win over Orange Lutheran. Strickland worked in buckets at the rim and a pair of three-pointers.
*Despite scoring 23 points, it wasn't one of Gabe York's best outing. Up against Long Beach (Calif.) Poly, the Arizona signee was just 5-for-19 from the field. With his shot not working, York did find a way to get to the free throw line 13 times.
*UNLV signee Katin Reinhardt had his moments in Mater Dei's win on Saturday. Reinhardt hit two three-pointers early and mixed in buckets at the rim throughout the game. He finished with 17 points in the win.
*Reinhardt's teammate Stanley Johnson did a tremendous job on the defensive end with Grant Jerrett. The 6-foot-6 combo forward used his strength and physical nature to battle with the Arizona signee and was a big reason Jerrett failed to get going in the Mater Dei/LaVerne Lutheran match up.
*While Johnson's defense played a role, Jerrett struggled to get things going for a few other reasons. On Tuesday, the 6-foot-11 big man rolled his ankle and the injury was visibly hampering him throughout the contest on Saturday.
*Jordan Bell, who is known for his ability to block shots, appears to be filling out some. He's up to 6-foot-7, but his arms and frame appeared thicker and stronger. Defensively he's a treat to watch, as he can change the game on that end.
Scout.com's West Coast Analyst Josh Gershon spent time gather information at the Nike Extravaganza. His Nike Extravaganza Notebook highlight Roschon Prince, Marvelle Harris, Connor Clifford and Anthony January. Check out the Nike Extravaganza Notebook
Shortly after knocking off Stanford, Arizona head coach Sean Miller made his way to Orange County for the Nike Extravaganza to watch Arizona signees Gabe York and Grant Jerrett, plus watch commit Eric Cooper Jr., and targets Stanley Johnson and Jordan Bell.
Following his 41-point outing against Whitney Young, Shabazz Muhammad discussed his recruiting process. Here's an excerpt from the interview on when he will make his college decision:
"Right now I'm pretty much not worrying about the recruiting process, but like I said in April there will be a decision and that's when I'll make it."
*Ocean View 92, Mission Viejo 80
*Fairfax 73, Eisenhower 67
*Taft 73, Loyola 57
*Long Beach Poly 67, Orange Lutheran 45
*Mater Dei 71, LaVerne Lutheran 66
*Bishop Gorman 69, Whitney Young 50
Harris emerging in 2012
There aren't too many available players in the west like 6-foot-3, 180-pound Rialto (Calif.) Eisenhower shooting guard Marvelle Harris.
The 2012 prospect is known as a scorer and didn't disappoint at the Nike Extravaganza, scoring 25 points on 7 of 17 shooting, including knocking down 4 of 9 three-point attempts. Harris also contributed five boards in the game.
Harris has a football background – he caught 36 passes for 908 yards and 9 touchdowns this past season – but likely will play basketball on the next level.
"He's a very good wide receiver," said Eisenhower head coach Steve Johnson. "Basketball has picked up and I think he's leaning in that direction but you never know."
Look for Harris to garner attention from all levels before he finally makes a decision.
"I think it will come down to the end," Johnson said.
Clifford keeps improving
While Marvelle Harris is one of the top unsigned wings out west, there may not be an available post as good as 7-foot, 255-pound Huntington Beach (Calif.) Ocean View center Connor Clifford.
The big man has dropped 40 pounds over the past year and a half and his skill set has quickly improved. The result is a big, skilled center with very good hands and feet who is becoming an automatic two points whenever he gets the ball deep in the paint.
"I've been working on my mobility and my footwork and it's been paying off," Clifford said. "I'm trying to get a lot stronger and continue to work on my mobility."
Clifford scored 26 points with 13 rebounds in a 92-80 victory over Mission Viejo at the Nike Extravaganza.
Two leaders for January
One of the most debated prospects on the West Coast is 6-foot-7, 210-pound Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft small forward Anthony January.
School transfers and academic questions have clouded January's situation at times, but the bottom line is that he's made significant progress as a player and from a talent perspective is someone that makes a great case to be nationally ranked.
The 2012 prospect committed to UTEP last July but has recently opened things up, and several schools have been recruiting him lately.
"My favorites right now are San Diego State and UNLV and that's because they're closer to my home so my family can come and see me," January said. "They're real good programs at the same time."
Prince eyeing Aztecs
The San Diego State basketball program has emerged as one the best on the West Coast due to the Aztecs coaching staff doing a very good job on the recruiting trail.
On Saturday, Prince said that he's leaning towards SDSU.
The Aztecs' early interest is a big reason why he's high on SDSU.
"They were one of the first to recruit me besides UCLA," Prince said. "They offered me and I went to visit with my teammate Jordan Bell and I really liked it."
* Inna Lazarev contributed to this notebook.