Holiday Classic: Race for No. 1 in 2020 continues
TORREY PINES, Calif. -- Current No. 1 in 2020 Jalen Green showed again that he isn't going down without a fight as the race for 2020's top player continues to intensify this winter. Is a currently unranked junior in the mix for that No. 1 spot? National Analyst Eric Bossi recaps some high level action from the Torrey Pines Holiday Classic.
NO. 1 JALEN GREEN DELIVERS FLAWLESS PERFORMANCE
This is the third event this winter that I've seen Jalen Green and while I've seen him score more points and seen him make more YouTube-worthy plays, I don't know that I've seen him play better than he did on Friday.
When it came time to close the game out, Green did what he does best and scored at will to finish with 31 in a win. But what he did along the way was pretty special.
Green played all night at the point and he ran the show with skill and poise. He made teammates better, controlled tempo and never forced anything. He made the right pass, handled pressure and hit deep jumpers to soften things up. When it was winning time, he attacked the rim and kept things simple.
Fellow Californian Evan Mobley has been pushing Green hard for that top ranking in 2020, but Green keeps showing that he's a worthy No. 1 and it's not going to be easy to decide who emerges at the top the next time we update our Rivals150.
MAKER LOOKING LIKE A TRUE ELITE IN 2020
I'm not sure there are many big men in the country, regardless of class, that can do what 2020 five-star Makur Maker is doing right now.
Because he's been out of the country, getting healthy and for the most part out of the scene for the past few years, Maker isn't a guy anybody has seen a lot of and we've not been able to rank him. He will most definitely be ranked, and highly at that, when we update 2020's rankings.
He shoots deep threes off the dribble. He finishes with either hand and a variety of post moves in the lane and he's a legit seven-footer who can run and protect the rim. We need to see him more, but if Maker plays more games where he did the type of things he did in his 28-point effort Friday, then he's going to be in the conversation for players who belong at the top of the junior class.
MARCUS BAGLEY ISN'T LIVING OFF HIS BIG BROTHER'S NAME
There are benefits to being the younger brother of a player like former five-star and current Sacramento Kings rookie Marvin Bagley III. People know who you are and they are eager to see you. On the other side, you get held to a standard of your older brother and it's sometimes hard to get out of that shadow. Junior wing Marcus Bagley acknowledges that, but either way, his game is standing on its own.
At 6-foot-7 with strength, athleticism and a pretty jump shot, Bagley is quickly brushing off the dust from not playing as a sophomore. He can take contact, he plays with confidence and he looks to be on his way to a high-major future and he's certainly capable of moving into the national rankings in the near future.
He said that he's looking to set up a visit with Cal next and Long Beach State offered a scholarship
MORE FRIDAY NOTES FROM TORREY PINES
.... Guys headed to Duke are expected to be good and you couldn't find any issues with the production of combo guard Boogie Ellis on Friday. With one of his future coaches on hand, the senior at Mission Bay (Calif.) High went for 43 to power his team to the finals against a tough Seattle (Wash.) O'Dea bunch. Ellis can really shoot it from deep and has a knack for getting to the three-point line.
.... Unfortunately, Seattle (Wash.) O'Dea's 2021 five-star forward Paolo Banchero took a nasty spill in the second quarter and missed the rest of the game. But, he was on his way to putting on a clinic in skilled frontcourt play and finding the open man. While Banchero didn't get a full outing in, fellow sophomore John Christofilis did and he's a legit talent in his own right. A 6-foot-4 shooting guard, Christofilis wields a picture perfect jumper, some salt off the dribble and athleticism. He went for 31 and looked like a potential top 50 type talent in his own right. He said Washington and Grand Canyon are his first offers. One other on O'Dea who has a lot of ability is unsigned senior guard Noah Williams. He's 6-foot-5, can put it on the floor, is athletic and can play multiple roles.
.... Long Beach State really has something cooking with 6-foot-10 power forward Joshua Morgan of Sacramento (Calif.) Sheldon. He's 6-foot-10, runs like the wind, plays above the rim and is a high level shot-blocker. Watching him, it's hard not to see some shades of a high school Hassan Whiteside to his game. Very young for the senior class, Morgan won't turn 18 until October of 2019 and he deserves serious consideration for the Rivals150.
.... Can't fault Arizona State for moving to lock up local power forward Jalen Graham before anybody could really get serious with him. Some may remember Graham came out of nowhere as a somewhat raw but active shot blocker and rebounder during July. He committed to Santa Clara in the fall but backed out just before the early signing period. Last week, he committed to the Sun Devils and he sure looks to have a legit Pac-12 body and athleticism.