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December 28, 2013

Ramsey, Riley explode at UAHC

MORE: Chatman shines at Maxpreps

SAN DIEGO -- Devearl Ramsey and Cody Riley, a pair of underclassmen, came up huge in a win for Chatsworth (Calif.) Sierra Canyon at the Under Armour Holiday Classic and junior Max Hazzard and sophomore Lonzo Ball also played well at the post-Christmas event.

Ramsey, Riley huge in win

Perhaps the best game of the day was the quarterfinal battle between Chatsworth (Calif.) Sierra Canyon and Oakland Bishop O'Dowd. Featuring 2015's third ranked player Ivan Rabb, O'Dowd arrived at the UAHC fresh off an impressive run at last week's Tarkanian Classic. Sierra Canyon arrived ready to play. In particular, four-star sophomore point guard Ramsey and Riley, a stud freshman power forward, showed up ready for action. The duo combined for 47 points and got Sierra Canyon the win.

Riley came out quite aggressive early. A 6-foot-7 southpaw who already has a pretty chiseled 220 pound frame, Riley is one of the most impressive freshman I have seen thus far. Unafraid to mix it up in the paint, he scrapped around the rim for rebounds and finished in traffic. He also stepped out and hit a three and threw down a two-handed jam off of a lob against a zone defense to finish with 13 points in the first half.

During the third quarter, Ramsey turned it up. At 5-foot-10, Ramsey is athletic, an intense competitor and in the process of becoming a point guard. His burst off the dribble proved to be too much for O'Dowd defenders as he sank a few floaters in the lane and then hit on a few deep jumpers.

Late in a nip-and-tuck game, Ramsey took good care of the ball while Riley scored 10 of his team's final 12 points and helped keep Rabb bottled up (for the most part).

Though he is just a freshman, Riley said that he already has scholarship offers from Arizona, Kansas and USC. The Wildcats' Sean Miller and the Trojans' Andy Enfield were both in the house as well. Ramsey says that he has his first two offers from USC and Washington, to go along with interest from UCLA, Kansas, Arizona and others.

"It felt real good to get this win," Ramsey told Rivals.com. "They are a top five team in the state and nobody really thought we were going to win so that's big for us."

Hazzard goes off

Los Angeles Loyola is one of the best teams Rivals.com has seen this winter. The Cubs are very talented, well-coached and they play together. That was clear enough on Friday afternoon. While Arizona-bound senior point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright, who ranks No. 57 in the class of 2014 and UCLA-bound big man Thomas Welsh who checks in at No. 52 in 2014 get more headlines, the rest of the team is talented as well. That was evident as 2015's No. 134 player Max Hazzard went off against the Patrick School.

Though he projects as a long-term point guard, Hazzard plays off the ball a lot for Loyola due to the presence of Jackson-Cartwright. Friday afternoon, he exploded in that role, making seven three-pointers while pouring in a game-high 32 points.

Not only can Hazzard shoot from deep, he is very quick and a determined defender. His activity on the defensive end keeps him engaged and in a position to make the most of the opportunities that present themselves offensively. So far, Hazzard has offers from Loyala Marymount, UC Irvine, San Jose State and Brown while programs like UCLA, California, Stanford, Harvard and UC Santa Barbara have been showing some attention.

Ball is a dynamic floor general

During the nightcap, Chino Hills (Calif.) High took care of High Point (N.C.) Wesleyan and likely McDonald's All-American Theo Pinson with relative ease. The No. 20 player in the class of 2016, point guard Lonzo Ball had an awful lot to do with it as he racked up 22 points, six assists, six rebounds and six steals.

With the tools to be one of the more dynamic playmakers in the class of 2016, Ball is a very talented prospect with a high ceiling. Standing around 6-foot-5, the skinny playmaker has outstanding size and it certainly helps him see over the top of defenses. To go with the size, he is an outstanding ball-handler, has good speed and quickness and sees the floor extremely well. He will bury three-pointers from way beyond the stripe and plays the game with a high level of confidence.

In transition, he will attack the rim and he is tough to handle in the halfcourt because of his ability to score or find teammates. Ball loves to whip overhead passes one-handed with either his right or left and also plays the game with a lot of flair. He will need to get stronger going forward and has to be careful not to get caught up in being too flashy or trying too hard to make the exciting play, but his talent is real and he can be a load when fully engaged in the game.

West Coast programs are beginning to line up for Ball and he is a player whose recruitment could go national along with the likes of UCLA, USC, Arizona, UNLV and San Diego State that are already on him.

More Friday notes from UAHC and Maxpreps

Before leaving Palm Springs, I had to get another look at Stanford-bound Michael Humphrey. After another viewing, it is clear that he is going to be making a move up the rankings for 2014 when they get finalized. The 6-foot-10 power forward's fluid athleticism, shooting touch and overall upside are too big to dismiss and his future on the farm looks to be quite bright.

Delaware has landed a nice looking wing prospect in 6-foot-6 small forward Chivarsky Corbett from Tampa Catholic. The southpaw has good enough size that he can play some at the four and he is a dangerous marksmen from beyond the three-point line. A three-star prospect, Corbett will bring size and versatility to the wing for the Blue Hens.

One of the players drawing huge interest in the class of 2015 is massive big man Georgios Papagiannis of Westtown (Pa.) School. A legitimate seven-footer (and likely a little bigger than that) with plenty of bulk to go along with his height, Papagiannis clearly has some talent. His hands are good, he has a high skill level and he will try to tear down the rim. However, he isn't particularly fleet of foot and has to rely on teammates understanding how to properly use his him and get him the rock.

Against a scrappy and fast Corona (Calif.) Centennial squad, Papagiannis was often rendered ineffective because Centennial was able to turn the game into a track meet with their pressing and attacking style. Spearheading their efforts were 2015 four-star point guard Sedrick Barefield and 2014 three-star Long Beach State signee Deontae North.

A strong point guard, Barefield was in attack mode on Friday. He loves to hit defenders with floaters and is a capable playmaker. In the past, he has had a tendency to try and hit the home run with every play, but he looked much more patient and focused on making the simple play. A 6-foot-3 shooting guard, North is one of the hardest playing wings on the West Coast. Whether it is with his defense, a jumper or a slash to the rim he always seems to be in the mix of something good happening.



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