Any worries that the Tournament of Champions held at Ocean View High School in Huntington Beach, CA might not be that talent laden event were squashed upon entrance into the Ocean View gym. Given that there were reprentatives -- including a handful of head coaches -- from at least 20 or so Division One schools among the crowd, it wasn't a surpise to find plenty of Los Angeles area talent on hand.
OCEAN VIEW TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS TOP PERFORMERS
Jrue Holiday - With Ben Howland looking on, the 6-4 guard took the floor and put together a 40 point and seven rebound outing. Those numbers are good enough in and of themselves, but it's scary to think how big of a night he could have had were it not for some carelessness with the ball and wild shots at times. Still, it's pretty tough to gripe about a 40 point performance and a win when Holiday did so many nice things. Perhaps his greatest atributes are his quickness, ability to change directions, ability to handle the ball with either hand and an incredible knack for following his own miss. Anybody with a brain already knew that UCLA is getting a terrific player, but Holiday made sure to erase any doubts that even the most extreme of haters could have regarding his game.
Michael Snaer - The 6-4 junior wing showed exactly why he is so highly regarded by West Coast observers when he refused to back down from Holiday. Sure Holiday got the better of him and his team, but Snaer had to have earned a lot of respect. Before foul trouble made him switch away from Holiday, the junior showed excellent reflexes on that end while carrying his offense. You wouldn't want to label him a jump shooter, but his stroke is pure enough that defenses would be unwise to play off daring him to shoot. A high major prospect all the way, he's one of the better competitors nationally in the junior class.
Malcolm Lee - It wasn't the best shooting performance for the 6-4 combo guard – especially from the free throw line – but the future Bruin still improsed. Most notable was the scrawny guard's improved explosiveness and ability to finish with authority in the lane. His bread and butter is setting defenders up with a hesitation dribble before snapping off a right to left crossover and blazing into the lane where he can pull up for floaters or ram home slams. He still needs more weight and it's worrisome that his shooting slump seems to have lasted since the summer, but Lee is an elite prospect all the way.
Renaldo Woolridge - Having grown to at least 6-8, it's probably going to be easier for Woolridge to play his natural position of power forward in college. While some like him as a three man, the slender forward may lack the lateral quickness to stay with smaller, quicker and athletic wings on the next level and he isn't exactly a creator off the dribble. What he does do well is face the basket and shoot from between 12 and 20 feet. He seems to be growing rapidly and may even have another inch or so left in him before he's done.
MORE NOTES FROM CALIFORNIA
He's still rough around the edges, but Dwayne Polee a 6-7 sophomore from Los Angeles (CA) Westchester has cemented himself as an elite level prospect. Long, quick, agile and incredibly explosive off the floor, he's got the tools to develop into one of the premier wing prospects in the class of 2010. Luckily for USC (who had two assistants on hand), Polee is already a Trojan. … Another sophomore to keep an eye on is 6-4 WG Anthony Brown of host Huntington Beach (CA) Ocean View. Still developing from a physical standpoint, the baby faced wing is fundamentally sound, has a crisp shooting stroke and nice feel for the game. As his body develops and he gains a little more confidence, he's just the type of kid who develops from bench contributor to potential high major prospect. … Those who follow high school hoops closely will remember the name Demetrius Walker. It was only three years ago that he was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated as the next big thing in hoops while he was only an 8th grader. Now a junior at J Serra High, the 6-4 Walker isn't the future of hoops but he's developed into a nice player. Athletic, long and exceptionally quick on the defensive end he's a slasher who should draw looks on the higher end of the mid major spectrum and perhaps even higher if he can iron out his jumper a little. … Schools looking for an electric scoring guard had to have liked what they saw in 6-3 WG Keion Bell from Pasadena (CA) High. A livewire athlete with an incredibly quick first step, Bell is wired to score from all over. He's not a shooter, but he hits enough jumpers to justify the threes he likes to jack. As long as everything checks out off the court and in the classroom, Bell could find himself on the high major level before it's all said and done. …
Schools in attendance- UCLA (Ben Howland), SMU (Matt Doherty), Arizona, USC, Portland State, Washington, Nebraska, UCSB, UConn, San Diego, San Diego State, Santa Clara, Stanford, Loyola Marymount, Pepperdine, UC Irvine, UC Davis, Cal State Bakersfield, UC Riverside (Jim Wooldridge).
- Total teams seen- 81.
- Total games watched- 48.
- Total miles traveled- 7,087.