Eight players stand out at Torrey Pines Holiday Classic

Jan. 8 -- There were several impressive players at the Torrey Pines Holiday Classic, with eight of them especially standing out in front of Scout...

Miles Norris was arguably the most impressive underclassmen at the Under Armour Holiday Classic. Standing 6-foot-8, Norris is extremely long and quite mobile for a guy his size. He runs the floor fluidly and is fairly active on both ends, as he contests and gets his hands on shots.

But where Norris impressed the most on Tuesday was on the offensive end, where he connected on a pair of right jump hooks, four mid-range jump shots and a three-pointer off the catch. His touch and confidence as a scorer particularly stood out. Norris certainly backed up his lofty, Top 15 status.

Jordan Fair has a ton of talent at Oldsmar (Fla.) Christian and the player that stood out the most on Tuesday was junior wing L.J. Figueroa. A 6-foot-5 wing, Figueroa proved to be a better athlete than we realized.

A native of the Dominican Republic, Figueroa made plays in transition, at the rim and managed to put back misses. Offensively, Figueroa, who ranks as a four-star prospect, made three catch and shoot threes and showed off his passing ability, as he whipped passes to open teammates.

Mableton (Ga.) Pebblebrook may have been missing Auburn signee Jared Harper on Wednesday, but their 2017 guard – Collin Sexton – certainly picked up the slack. In fact, Sexton put together an eye opening performance against Oakland (Calif.) Bishop O’Dowd, who is full of Division-I prospects. Sexton, a 6-foot-2 lead guard, went for 37 points and showed the full arsenal.

A quick, athletic and aggressive player, Sexton pushed the tempo, scored at the rim, made plays from mid-range, both with floaters and pull-ups, and also hit four three-pointers. The majority of his threes were plays he made off the dribble. Sexton does a great job of creating space when he wants to get a shot off and because of his explosive first step, he does a great job of getting into the paint. Sexton also has the potential to be a very good defender with his length, lateral quickness and athleticism.

You won’t find many guards in the country that can score it like 6-foot-3 wiry guard Jordan Griffin. Griffin is quick, aggressive and gets his buckets in a variety of ways. He has a quick trigger on his shot and is comfortable shooting, both off the catch and dribble. Long Beach State snagged a steal and a potential all league guy in Griffin.

Without Ike Anigbogu in the lineup due to a death in the family, Hill manned the interior for Centennial at the Torrey Pines Holiday Classic. He responded in a big way due the increased responsibility. Hill was terrific on defense, using his athleticism to frustrate opponents, while also blocking shots and gathering rebounds.

Hill’s defense has always been ahead of his offense, but he showed an improved hook shot, footwork and ability to finish around the basket. Due to his Hill’s youth – age-wise he should be a 2018 prospect – and physical tools you’ve always had to give him the benefit of the doubt, but he took a step in the right direction as a prospect this week.

During Leaf’s freshman season he emerged on the scene as one of the most skilled and talented players in high school basketball and he’ll exit his prep career with both of those honors still being the case. Leaf has good size for a four man at 6-foot-10 and a variety of skills on offense, pretty much all of which were on display this week.

Leaf’s passing ability and unselfishness are two of his best attributes. He’s not surrounded by an extremely talented group, yet is rarely forcing shots if he can get a better look for someone else on his team. He’s a capable shooter from midrange, has hook shots, good footwork and rebounds very well. His offensive ability will help UCLA early into his college career.

In the more up and down style of AAU and camp ball this summer and fall, Cherry flourished as a hybrid forward who can knock down three-pointers or take players off the dribble and finish around the basket. On his high school team, Cherry played more of a post role and showed that he’s comfortable in the paint as well.

Cherry proved that he has a jump hook in his arsenal, while he’s also a sharp passer and made some impressive passes to teammates from the high and mid post areas. He finished around the basket, off the glass and with a runner. It was tough to get a feel for the advancement of his perimeter game, but the worst case for Cherry has always been a talented and versatile four man and that hasn’t changed.

Isaiah Mobley is an impressive four man with an inside/out game. He showed his variety of offensive skills this summer playing for the Compton Magic in AAU and has continued to improve. Mobley is a very good passer and always displays a high basketball IQ, whether it be from his ability to find open teammates to his feel on the glass to his instincts on defense.

Mobley can face up and hit jumpers, but he’s equally comfortable posting up smaller defenders and finishing around the basket. He rebounds well and always plays hard. He’s proven himself as one of the west’s top 2019 prospects at this point.


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