Prep Hoops SoCal Awards: Most Improved

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Southern California

Posted On: 04/2/18 9:30 AM

The 2017-18 high school season is officially a wrap, which is the perfect time to release some All-SoCal teams.

But instead of going through the same old worn out, mundane First, Second, Third type of squads, we’ll recognize some of the area’s top players in categorical form.

First up, the most improved players in all of Southern California this past season.

Most Improved

Andre Ball, Sr., Chino Hills

The 6-foot-7 wing, who recently committed to Pepperdine and new head coach Lorenzo Romar, was able to remain relatively healthy throughout the season and it paid off in a big way. Ball helped lead the Huskies to a CIF Southern Section Division I championship and a Division I state title, displaying an enhanced all-around floor game. Ball was much more aggressive attacking the basket, used his elite athleticism and length to finish above the rim, and most importantly, was much more confident stretching the floor to the 3-point line.

Elijah Harkless, Sr., Etiwanda

The summer prior to his senior season, Harkless played club basketball for the Big Ballers and didn’t get to show his full capabilities as he played off the ball. Once the high school season began, though, the 6-foot-3 point guard was running the Eagles offense to near-perfection and his vision, passing and anticipation were front and center. Harkless helped lead Etiwanda to a 30-4 overall record and an appearance in the CIF State SoCal Regional Final.

Torrey Pines senior Finn Sullivan has seen increased Division I recruiting interest.

Finn Sullivan, Sr., Torrey Pines

Sullivan is one of those rare cases of being a young senior rather than a single or double holdback. The 17 year-old, 6-foot-5 point guard nearly doubled his output in every major statistical category from his junior season. Sullivan improved his scoring from 7.2 points to 18.7, his rebounding from 3.5 to 8.3 and his assists per game from 3.5 to 5.5. That major production has opened the eyes of handful of Division I programs including, American, Richmond, Delaware and Brown. Torrey Pines finished the season at 28-4, including a berth in both the CIF State and CIF San Diego Section Open Division playoffs.

Josh Adoh, Jr., St. John Bosco

With the style of play coach Matt Dunn and St. John Bosco wanted to play this past season, it needed a high motor, inside-out type of guy who could also defend multiple positions. Adoh fit that bill to perfection. The 6-foot-3 junior was blossomed as the Braves best 3-point shooter, hitting better than 60 shots from beyond the arc as Bosco finished at 25-8 with an appearance in the Southern Section Open Division playoffs and the Division I SoCal State Regional finals.

Jakob Alamudun, Jr., Marina

The biggest improvement Alamudun made wasn’t even basketball skill related, but more body related. The 6-foot-5 junior used the summer to drop 20-plus pounds, which increased his motor, and in turn, his overall production. Alamudun had multiple 15-plus rebound performances on the season, including a 30-point, 25-rebound effort in the Jim Harris Memorial Tournament of Champions. Alamudun was one of Orange County’s most productive players, which helped Marina to its first above .500 season since 2009-10.

Marina forward Jakob Alamudun led the Vikings to its first winning season since 2009-10.

Anthony Holland, Jr., Riverside Notre Dame

Holland went from a straight line drive, bully-ball type of scorer to a guy who could knock down jumpers from both the mid-range and 3-point levels. The 6-foot-4 junior led the Titans in scoring with 18.4 points per game, including canning 88 of his 195 attempts on the year. Holland also added 7.3 rebounds per game and led the Titans to the CIF Southern Section Division 3A title and a trip to the Division III state championship.

Jay Norton, Jr., Mission Bay

Much of the attention surrounding Mission Bay rightfully goes to junior sensation Boogie Ellis, but the Bucs probably wouldn’t have had the success they did without the efforts of Norton. The 6-foot-2 off-guard was a reliable second scoring option on a nightly basis and knocked down countless clutch and timely 3-pointers.

Isaiah Johnson, So., Crean Lutheran

Johnson remains one of the biggest “sleeper” type prospects in the 2020 class, but if he continues to progress on the perimeter the way he did this season, that won’t be the case for much longer. Johnson became an intriguing prospect as a 6-foot-5 freshman who could score with either hand around the basket. Now, the 6-foot-6 forward is a budding wing prospect with ball skills, athleticism, and ability to get to the basket off the bounce. The next step for Johnson will be to extend his range to 15-feet and then the 3-point line.