HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA -- The Ocean View Tournament of Champions is under way and one of the event's headliners put his stamp on the event with a 40-point performance on Monday.
Jrue Holiday is getting back onto the hardwood after a disappointing end to his nationally televised game last week against Michigan State-bound Delvon Roe. Holiday, a UCLA signee, rebounded from his trip East and put in a game that should set to the tone for the week of action.
Holiday scored 40 points and paced his Campbell Hall team to a 66-61 win over Rancho Verde. Holiday scored any time he wanted to score inside the paint with the dribble drive. If he didn't score, he made it to the foul line, where he was a perfect 11 for 11 from the charity stripe.
The nation's No. 3 ranked player in the nation makes it look easy when he gets into the paint. His power, burst of speed and athleticism around the rim just made him impossible to stay in front of. Holiday shot 13 of 22 from the floor, grabbed seven rebounds, had four steals, three blocks and two assists in the win.
There were times, however, when he was just too careless with the ball and tried to force the issue. Holiday finished with eight turnovers and gave Rancho Verde a chance to climb back into the game in the fourth quarter.
All and all, Holiday has so many facets to his game and the opposition just didn't have the kind of personnel to put a stop to him. In today's world of instant impact freshmen in the college basketball world, Holiday looks to be one of those that has next as a freshman for the Bruins.
Woolridge, Snaer also shine
Tennessee bound Renaldo Woolridge paced his Harvard-Westlake club with 16 points in a convincing 22 point win over J.W. North from Riverside. The 6-foot-8 forward was cold from the perimeter but had his way inside and used his length to his advantage as a scorer and rebounder.
Michael Snaer, one of the top juniors in the field at the TOC, showed why he's so well regarded amongst the locals. The 6-foot-5 guard from Rancho Verde High School scored 13 of his 21 points in the first half against Holiday and Campbell Hall, scoring on a trio of triples from the top of the key.
The big guard has great size for his position and a knack for scoring at the rim. The top 75 national recruit would have liked to of had this one back, as his production trailed off in the second half but he never shied away from his match-up against Holiday and proved his worth as an offensive threat.
The kids are alright
When Dwayne Polee, a 6-foot-7 forward from Westchester High School, committed to Southern Cal over a year ago, it didn't have a lot of fanfare.
Maybe it should have.
Outside of Holiday, Polee, a class of 2010 prospect, showed the most potential for the next level than any other player that stepped onto the floor on Monday. His numbers were modest in a win over Temecula Valley. But he made his impact in spurts for the Comets.
Polee is a big time athlete that fills the lanes, runs the floor, plays above the rim and can make an impact on the boards and as a shot blocker or shot changer. His production, especially with a seasoned and deep Westchester team, won't blow anyone away in terms of sheer numbers but the points for potential are off the charts.
The home team, Ocean View, is home to Anthony Brown, a 6-foot-4, 170-pound guard from the class of 2010, is a long and wiry guard that turned up the heat in the second half of his game on Monday.
He hit a couple of good looking baseline jumpers and made some plays at the rim to perk up the onlookers. Brown is more of a power forward or a wing for his team but he showed some flashes that said he is good enough to be a pure two guard in college. We'll be watching more of him this week and liked the first impression he gave, especially when the game was on the line in the second half.
Harvard-Westlake is home to the day one rebounding king. Damian Cain, a 6-foot-4 freshman, rebounded everything that came his way on the glass, collecting 20 rebounds by our count. He is an undersized player but his motor and positioning allowed him to go after every ball that came off the rim, especially on the offensive end of the floor. He scored 19 points as well in the victory.
All eyes on us
The turnstile saw nearly as many college coaches than spectators on the first day of action. UCLA head man Ben Howland, as well as a pair of assistant coaches, SMU head coach Matt Doherty and UC Riverside head coach Jim Woolridge all roll into the Ocean View gym on Monday.
Assistant coaches from Arizona, Cal State-Bakersfield, Connecticut, Nebraska, Portland, Portland State, Southern Cal, Stanford, UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara, San Diego State and Washington where all in the building for the first day of action.
News & Notes
UCLA bound guard Malcolm Lee struggled in his first game of the tournament, scoring just 12 points and missed a number of tough shots and free throws. His extra gear and burst to the basket is incredible, though.
Unsigned senior big man Kyle Clark, a 6-foot-11 center from Lakewood High School, scored 16 points, grabbed 16 rebounds and blocked six shots in a disappointing loss to Ocean View. The low-majors that made it out to the game had to like what he brought to the table.
Tuesday, Dec. 11 3:00 p.m. - Killarney Ocean View 4:20 p.m. - Temecula Valley Clovis West 5:40 p.m. - L.B. Cabrillo Santa Margarita 7:00 p.m. - Harvard Westlake St. Mary's 8:30 p.m. - TBD