Seven Sweet Scoops: Ball Brothers Shine, Marvin Bagley Finds a Home

Posted by Sean Moran on January 9th, 2016


Seven Sweet Scoops is a weekly column by Sean Moran, the RTC recruiting guru. Once a week throughout the season he will bring you seven notes from the high-stakes world of college basketball recruiting. We also encourage you to check out his contributions at The Intentional Fouldedicated to recruiting coverage and analysis. You can also follow Sean at his Twitter account @Seanmohoops for up-to-date news from the high school and college hoops scene. If you have any suggestions as to areas we are missing or different things you would like to see, please let us know at

Note: used for all player rankings.

1. The Ball Brothers Go National

Watching Chino Hills play basketball is similar to what you would see playing a video game. Full court passes, threes splashing in from all areas of the court, pressing, trapping, and an insane amount of highlights. Led by the Ball brothers, Chino Hills is the No. 1 team in the country after winning both the City of Palms tournament in Florida and the MaxPreps Holiday Classic in California. They narrowly defeated Thomas Jefferson (NY) 91-90 before handing Montverde their first loss of the season at the City of Palms, and then went out and beat The Patrick School, coached by former Rutgers coach Mike Rice, in overtime in the championship. The team is led by five-star senior point guard Lonzo Ball who may well be the best passer in high school basketball. His younger brothers LiAngelo and LaMelo also play key roles. LiAngelo in particular impressed over the holidays in using his football physique to punish smaller defenders in the post. All three brothers have committed to play for UCLA. After dismantling teams from across the country, the Ball brothers and Chino Hills will try to run and gun their way to a California state title.

2. Name To Remember: RJ Barrett

Candian Andrew Wiggins was the top player in a loaded 2013 high school class. Now, it appears that R.J. Barrett, a 6’6” freshman wing, might be the next Canadian to top the recruiting ranking charts. The Barrett buzz began early in the Canadian circles, as his father is a former pro player and Canadian national team member. It picked up that much more when Barrett scored 13 points in the U16 FIBA America’s gold medal game against the top USA players in the 2017 and 2018 classes. Now, Barrett is at the famed Montverde Academy in Florida playing for head coach Kevin Boyle. Before Christmas rolled around, Barrett was named to the all-tournament team at the City of Palms Classic. In one of the top tournaments in the country, Barrett averaged 19.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 4 assists. He also exploded for 31 points against Chino Hills, the top team in the country. Only 15, Barrett already displays a wide array of abilities. He makes three pointers as easily as he can finish with an athletic dunk, equally capable of punishing teams on attacks of the rim as he is from the perimeter. It’s very early in the young Canadian’s career, but Barrett currently sits at the top of the 2019 high school class.

3. Where’s Marvin?

In a twist on “Where’s Waldo”, the high school basketball world is playing a game of Where’s Marvin Bagley? The No. 1 rated sophomore helped lead Corona del Sol (AZ) to a state championship as a freshman before the 6’10” forward transferred to Hillcrest Academy, a “start-up national basketball program” in Arizona. Bagley briefly teamed up with the top junior in the country, 6’11” Deandre Ayton to form a formidable front-court, but after several problems arose at Hillcrest, Bagley left school and was seen visiting East Coast prep schools such as Huntington Prep and Oak Hill Academy. Now, Bagley has enrolled at Sierra Canyon School in Chatsworth (CA). Sierra Canyon is currently the second-ranked school in California and the fifth-ranked team in the country. Bagley has joined forces with senior point guard Devearl Ramsey (headed to Nevada) and Cody Riley, a four-star junior forward (No. 27 in the class of 2017). When he is on the court, Bagley is one of the top prospects in the country and has already received extremely strong interest from schools such as Arizona, Kentucky, Duke, and Connecticut. Right now, the skilled lefty has a lot of DerMarr Johnson in his game (a former No. 1 rated prospect in high school) Bagley is currently waiting to be cleared by the state of California before resuming basketball activities.

4. Pure Shooter Ready For Harvard

Harvard currently sits at 6-8 entering Ivy League play, but will be looking to extend their long-standing dominance in the league. Tommy Amaker’s recruiting has kept the Crimson playing at an extremely high level over the years and there doesn’t appear to be any drop-off coming in the near future, especially with the likes of 6’0″ guard Bryce Aiken coming along. Aiken is a four-star prospect starring for The Patrick School (NJ) and is the No. 82 recruit in the country. The baby faced assassin has a picture perfect shot that was on display throughout the City of Palms tournament and then again on New Year’s Eve in The Patrick School’s game against the Athlete’s Institute from Canada. During the summer, Aiken averaged 11.1 points per game and shot 37.1 percent from behind the arc. With talented players like Aiken and fellow four-star prospect Chris Lewis in the fold next year, Harvard will be an Ivy favorite for years to come.

5. Rawle Alkins Adds Arizona

Rawle Alkins recently returned to his New York home to play a showcase game to end the 2015 calendar year. A few days before, Alkins, a five-star small forward announced that he was adding Arizona to his list of suitors. Sean Miller watched Alkins play and said that he “looked like a 15-year NBA veteran.” With his SAT scores soon to arrive, the powerful wing will look to start taking official visits over the next few months. Alkins was previously a star at Christ the King (NY) and now plays for Word of God Academy (NC). In addition to Arizona, his list includes Indiana, Kentucky, Kansas, Louisville, UNC, NC State, UNLV, and St. John’s.

6. Nick Rakocevic Gaining Steam

It’s been a relatively down year in the state of Illinois. The list of recent talent from the state is long, with Jahlil Okafor, Tyler Ulis, Cliff Alexander, and Jalen Brunson among recent Blue Chippers to emerge from Illinois. No such talent exists in the class of 2016, where forward Nick Rakocevic was once the top player in the state but has taken a tumble down the recruiting rankings after a disastrous summer campaign that saw him switch AAU teams and under-perform in almost every tournament he played. Now, the 6’11” three-star is looking to regain interest from top-tier programs. Playing at St. Joe’s under Coach Gene Pingatore (Hoop Dreams), Rakocevic has put together a dominant start to his senior season. Schools such as Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, Louisville, and North Carolina, amongst others, are starting to show renewed interest. With a strong close to his senior season, Rakocevic can still right his ship.

7. Wisconsin’s White Chocolate?

With a skill-set eerily similar to Jason Williams (also know as White Chocolate), it’s no coincidence that Jordan McCabe, a three-star sophomore point guard from Kaukauna (WI) has long been compared to the former NBA veteran. McCabe recently scored 55 points in two games at the Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook shootout and has been collecting offers from a host of high and mid-majors, including Missouri, West Virginia, and UW-Green Bay.

Sean Moran (79 Posts)

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