Just thought I should include this since recruiting was on the menu today. This was a huge loss today, especially since the So. Cal. Pipeline has been so insane for us these past few years. I am posting this because Ocean View is my alma mater, and I have attended Ocean View while these few players were there, and I have got to see all of them play and talk to them, and I even nudged them towards UCLA time after time.
For starters, Ocean View had a CIF championship last year, and got all the way to the state championship game, ultimately falling. On their road to the championship, they faced teams such as Canyon (Anaheim, CA) and Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, CA), and lost to King HS (Riverside) in the final seconds of the game. Yes, that is the King that slaughtered previously undefeated, and unchallenged Mater Dei HS (Santa Ana, CA)
Ocean View is a vein for talent and PAC 10 hopefuls as of right now, and UCLA is still on their biggest players' radars.
Ocean View High School has had one of the most prestigious basketball programs in Southern California history, led by the legend himself, Jim Harris.
Coach Harris is in his 32nd season at Ocean View (which is since the beginning of Ocean VIew's existence), and has amassed 614 victories in those seasons, but that doesn't matter to Coach Harris; it's what got him there. He has coached thousands of high-schoolers, one of which was his son Jimmy Harris who went on to play Division 1 Ball, but is now teaching and coaching right next to him.
Last year, Coach Harris led Ocean View to a 27-8 record, a CIF Southern Section Division IV-AA championship and advanced to the CIF State Championship game; a first in all 32 years. That starting line up, loses only 1 player, guard Mason Jones. The rest of the players are among some of the most sought after talents in the recruiting mix today. However, two players in the class of 2010 are just unbelievable talents. Those golden two are:
- Anthony Brown (Wing) Sr. (Stanford, UCLA, Cal)
- Avery Johnson (Guard/Wing) Sr. (Arizona, UCLA, WSU)
Anthony Brown (Committed to Stanford) Considered UCLA, Cal.
Anthony Brown (on the right), a 6'6" Sr. (Class of 2010) wing has announced his verbal commitment to Stanford yesterday (10/7/09), he had UCLA and Cal in his sights as well. Some people might say, "Who's this guy?". Anthony Brown has flown under the radar for most of his career until he went to several different tournaments in Las Vegas. One had an ESPN scout in attendance. That scout proceeded to rate Anthony (on a 100 point scale, 1 being the worst, 100 being the best) a 97, comparing him to Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks.
Anthony, as you can see, is an extremely athletic guy. His physical strengths make coaches drool of course height, and length are two, but an unquestionable basketball IQ and great decisions are two other intangibles that make him more of a prospect. Not only is he athletic, but he has his mind in the right place, making Academics the final decision as to where he went to school.
Now on to the basketball.
[Last year, Anthony] averaged 12.4 points and 5.8 rebounds per game last year for Ocean View... He had 21 points and 10 rebounds in the Seahawks' rout of Inglewood in the Division IV-AA championship, helping Ocean View win its first CIF title since 1998.
-Matt Szabo, Huntington Beach Independent (Emphasis added)
Anthony is an all around great player, he can play the 2, 3, or 4 spot with ease, and can switch between all 3 without a hitch. It is an amazing privilege to have seen this kid play, but now I can't help but root against him when he is playing against UCLA.
Avery Johnson, Considering U of A, UCLA, WSU
Avery, in my opinion, is the most valuable of the three. He is a freak. He has the most dominating presence on the basketball court, but he is still lanky and quick.
Avery's passion and presence on the court is again, undeniable. He can play any of the spots on the court because of his ridiculous vertical and ball control.
Avery averaged 11.9 points, shooting 44% from the field, 1.3 Blocks, with 44 on the season. He also averaged 6.8 rebounds per game, and 2.6 steals per game.
Avery is the prototypical Ben Ball player. Blue-collar, quick, and defensively inclined. He is quick enough to handle guards, and has enough athleticism to contest bigger guys. In basketball terms, Avery can lead the fast break and dish off an assist, or slam hit home by jumping over the rim and through the net. It seems as if he can jump all the way through it when you are watching him.
Avery has been hurt by a 88 overall rating from ESPN, although it should be much higher because of how much upside he has. The only flaw that he has was his traditionally low-arc jump shot, but you can't ask everyone to be like AJ Abrams right? As for the rest of his shooting, Avery has a terrific plant-and-shoot fadeaway shot that is just smooth as silk. It got him plenty of points in the post season as defenses started climbing in caliber. This summer, Avery has been more of a power player, he has gone to the dunk much more often as opposed to the layup that he has used in the past. High percentage shots are a great way to put a dent on the scoreboard when you can jump over people.
Shooting is only part of his offensive repertoire. Much like Jrue Holiday, Avery has a knack for passing the rock. No-look passing and high-tempo "no-dribble" fast break routines are his strong points, and his game-breaking ability is very evident when he has a smaller defender on him.
On defense, the stats project his ability. He is just a terror in the paint, but he's still a guard. That vertical leap is so insane, you'll just have to see it for yourself. Dominating blocks are still his favorite, but he can easily steal the ball as well. Rebounding is another thing that Avery leans on. That vertical leap, again, helps him snatch balls... off the board. That's just how high he gets.
In conclusion, while Anthony might be out of reach, Avery Johnson is still a major possibility in Ben Ball future. In personal experience, he has favored U of A, but I still think he will choose UCLA because of how much PT he could get right off the bat. Although Howland has attended two of Ocean View's games in the post season (yes, Pac 10 Tourney time), Avery has still leaned towards the Cats. So Bruins, please do all you can to get this amazing prospect in Blue and Gold!
P.S. Don't you think it's a sign that he got to play at Pauley for the Southern California CIF Championships?