The 18th Annual MLK Classic, presented by Concord (Calif.) De La Salle is set to be a barn burner on Monday, from first tip to final buzzer at California’s Haas Pavilion, which will also be the site of the CIF Championships for six divisions March 27-28.
The six-game slate features state title hopefuls, as well as eight players with Division I offers or high interest: San Jose (Calif.) Archbishop Mitty’s Ben Kone, Sacramento (Calif.) 2016 duo Solomon Young and Christian Terrell, Hayward (Calif.) Moreau Catholic’s one-two punch of Cal commit Oscar Frayer and Damari Milstead, El Cerrito (Calif.) forward Carlos Johnson, San Francisco (Calif.) Sacred Heart Cathedral’s 2017 prospect Alfred Hollins and Montana commit Michael Oguine, playing for West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade.
Opening the event at 10:30 a.m., is Berkeley (Calif.) against El Cerrito (Calif.). The Gauchos (14-2) are 10-2 since the addition of transfer and 2016 three-star prospect Carlos Johnson, who’s averaging 16.1 points and 7.0 rebounds per game since breaking onto the NorCal scene against Oakland (Calif.) McClymonds.
Guiding the Gauchos is point guard Tyrell Alcorn, who’s averaging 16.4 points and 3.0 steals per game, and shooting guard Sayeed Pridgett (18.1 ppg).
Berkeley (10-4) is led by point guard Casey Roquemore (17 ppg).
Next up is Elk Grove (Calif.) Franklin against Newark (Calif.) Newark Memorial at 12:15 p.m. Franklin comes in at 9-6, led by guard Christian Allen (13.7 ppg) and Memorial comes in at 5-9 after a 25-8 season a year ago.
Stockton (Calif.) St. Mary’s has four seniors to watch in the 2 p.m. game against Richmond (Calif.) Salesian – guard Alex Smith, 6-foot-5 forward Lance Coleman (22.1 ppg, 9.1 rpg, played his sophomore season at Salesian), 5-foot-9 guard Devin Williams and 6-foot-2 guard Jacob Aruta (9.4 ppg). St. Mary’s is 10-4, while the Pride come in at 9-3. Salesian is led by point guard DeMar Dunn, a 5-foot-10 senior. The Pride, though, are expected to start four freshmen in the game.
Sacramento (Calif.) and San Francisco (Calif.) Sacred Heart Cathedral square off in the 3:45 p.m. game, with 2017 three-star forward Alfred Hollins -- with interest from Cal, Florida State, LSU, San Diego State, USC and Virginia -- leading Sacred Heart Cathedral against the two-headed monster combo of 2016 four-star prospects Solomon Young and Christian Terrell, each with multiple Pac-12 offers.
Terrell is averaging 12.6 points, 6.4 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game, while Young has been solid inside, averaging 16.6 points and 8.7 boards per contest.
At 5:45 p.m., host De La Salle squares off with SoCal power and defending D3 state champ West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade. The Spartans (9-1) will face senior 6-foot-2 Montana commit Michael Oguine, who’s averaging 23.2 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. Oguine got the Eagles to the state title game with a 25-foot buzzer-beater last season against Sacramento. Chaminade hasn’t slowed down since winning the title, going 12-1 to start the season.
The 7:30 p.m. game features 2016 three-star Ben Kone and his San Jose (Calif.) Archbishop Mitty squad (8-4) against 2013-14 state semifinalist Hayward (Calif.) Moreau Catholic (10-5).
The Mariners are led by a pair of stars in 2016 four-star Cal commit Oscar Frayer and 2017 three-star point guard Damari Milstead, who has offers from the Bears, Hawaii, Montana, Loyola Marymount and New Mexico State.
In nine games, Milstead has averaged 14.4 points and 5.6 assists per game, while Frayer – who’s played in all 15 contests – leads the team with a 17.1 points per game average, adding 8.2 rebounds and 2.6 steals.
Kone – a 6-foot-9, 240-pound power forward – has high interest from a number of Pac-12 programs, including Oregon, Oregon State and Cal, with San Diego State also showing interest.