Rivals.com spent last week in Huntington Beach, Calif., for the Ocean View Tournament of Champions. While there, we were able to see a number of the top players from the West Coast in action. Justin Young breaks down his top five performers from the event.
No one made a bigger individual fingerprint on the Ocean View Tournament of Champions than Holiday, a UCLA-bound guard. He shined from start to finish in every facet of the game.
In his matchup with Demar Derozan, the nation's No. 2 prospect, Holiday was outstanding and seemed to take his already-outstanding game up a notch. Holiday scored whenever he wanted, crashed the boards, made brilliant passes, raised the level of play of his young teammates and defended like a player who suits up for 82 games a season.
In the home stretch in the matchup, Holiday scored at will. Moreover, his defense on Derozan was amazing. Holiday frustrated his opponent and forced his future college rival to take bad shots.
Holiday looked tremendous in every game we saw and continued to prove ? as he did all spring and summer ? he is one of the elite players in the nation. A state title is the goal for now, he says. The McDonald's All-America game certainly will follow. A chance to shine from Day One awaits at UCLA, and Holiday should not disappoint.
Holiday may have been the top performer in the field, but Derozan was a close second. You could even argue that he was 1B as far as the top performers go.
Derozan, a 6-foot-5 super athlete, averaged more than 35 points per game over a five-game stretch. He had moments of brilliance, channeling athleticism rivaling players like NBA standout Josh Smith.
Despite his high national ranking, Derozan still has work to do. His offense is primarily 3-pointers and playing at the rim. Compton's style of play isn't as organized as Holiday's team, which left Derozan standing around more times than he should. When he was aggressive, he was productive.
The most noticeable change is his body. He has great size for his position, incredible springs and an ability to get to the foul line.
Holiday was the better player last week, but he and Derozan project to be tremendous talents at the next level. That is where Derozan should be let loose, and his game certainly will expand and improve.
Those in the West who cover high school hoops said before the event that Thompson would be the biggest surprise. They were right. Not only did he surprise us, he was the most consistent and versatile player other than Holiday.
Thompson proved himself as a scorer, particularly on the wing, with a great-looking pull-up jumper. His basketball smarts make up for his average athleticism, much like Florida freshman Nick Calathes.
Thompson went for 30-plus points both times we saw him, and he made it look easy. But it was his passing skills that were most impressive. He's an unselfish player on a team full of smart players who play with an unselfish spirit.
Washington State has a good one, and Thompson certainly looks like the crown jewel in a solid five-player class heading to Pullman next season. Thompson has a chance to make his debut in the next Rivals150.
Individually, the UCLA-bound guard has as much of an impact on the game as anyone in the field. But Lee just didn't have the help around him to make his hard work and effort turn into big wins.
Lee had to do everything for his club. He had no problems scoring. Because of his lengthy strides to the basket and sprinter's speed, Lee got to the hoop whenever he wanted. He scored when he got there with a pretty floater or a powerful two-handed dunk.
Finding his teammates around the basket wasn't a problem, either. But his teammates' inability to finish at close range was a problem. Had they been able to do so, Lee easily would've had a double-double each game with points and assists.
The potential of UCLA's backcourt next season and beyond with Lee, Holiday and Jerime Anderson is tremendous. If Holiday decides to leave for the NBA after one season, Lee has a chance to have a huge impact on the Bruins' program.
Noticeably taller than we remembered from the summer, Woolridge was a matchup problem for opponents. Now at a legit 6-8, the Tennessee-bound forward had no trouble shooting over the top of zones.
Woolridge is a smart passer and looked good in a high-low type offense, finding players on the blocks for buckets. When he wanted to play inside, he was also effective. However, he did anchor himself out on the wing quite often, limiting his ability to crash the boards.
Woolridge is a versatile player who still has an interesting upside. His production at the TOC was impressive.