UCSD Team Camp: Five takeaways

High School
Southern California

Posted On: 07/2/18 2:25 PM

Michael and Bryce Pope are playing on another level

The 6-3 Torrey Pines twins were on fire throughout the weekend, leading the Falcons to an undefeated record at the camp. Bryce Pope was dominant in games against Oaks Christian and Hart, scoring at will from mid-range. Michael Pope gave the Falcons a huge boost in a close win over Diamond Bar, shooting 8-8 from the field en route to 24 points. Both guards have made big leaps as ball handlers, and while they aren’t necessarily playmakers for others off the bounce, they initiate the Falcons offense capably.

While Bryce has gotten most of the recruiting attention to date, expect Michael to really heat up on that front with a strong July. It’s not far fetched to believe that both twins will be on a D1 roster next fall.

6-8 2019 F Victor Novy adds interior depth and scoring to an already talented Falcons frontcourt

With Novy and Snider, Torrey Pines gets deeper

The 6-8 Wisconsin transfer suited up for the Falcons for the first time this summer, and the results were impressive. Novy, a broad-shouldered, versatile forward, gives them a legit interior presence on defense, and yet another shooter on offense. He complements the balance of the Falcons front court perfectly.

The Falcons earlier this summer added 6-6 San Dieguito transfer Travis Snider, who is quickly becoming a factor on both ends. Snider provides energy and inside-out skills to the Falcons, which he showed in their win against Hart, scoring from all three levels and working hard on the boards.

Mission Bay is my #1 team in San Diego out of deference to the fact they are the returning champs and bring everyone back, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Falcons are playing the Bucs for the title come next March.

Oaks Christian’s Freshman Class is special

The Lions from Ventura County gave Torrey Pines a scare Saturday afternoon, and a pair of incoming freshmen led the way. Skyy Clark, a 6-1 guard, and Amari Bailey, a 6-3 lefty swingman, both come in with big reputations for their play on youth circuits over the year. Both lived up to the reputations in the Torrey Pines game. Clark is an assertive scoring guard with an explosive first step. He gets into the paint almost at will and has the strength to finish through contact. He also shoots it well from three off the live dribble with range beyond the college three.

Bailey, who just moved from Chicago, had a couple of snafus in transition, but once he settled in, the lefty proved to be a crafty scorer off the dribble, with a smooth mid-range game. In transition, he fills the lane and looks to finish above the rim with authority.

Another member of the freshman class was sitting out with an injury, but suffice to say the group is special.

Watch out for Westview…

The Wolverines have an underrated quartet of rising seniors who have chemistry, complementary skills and quietly get the job done. The best of the group is 6-5 Ricardo Hopping, a knockdown shooter who is expanding his game off the dribble. 6-5 Adam Chang is also a solid shooter and an athletic playmaker on the wing. He’s also a D1 volleyball recruit. A pair of 6-4 forwards, Jackson Krogman and Michael Grendahl, round out the group. With 5-11 rising junior point guard Elijah Johnson (speedy playmaker) getting better, Westview should be in the mix for the Palomar League title this year.

Diamond Bar too…

The Brahmas were dealt a blow when 6-7 wing CJ Fisher transferred to Rancho Cucamonga. But even with the loss, Henry Frierson has his team playing at a very high level, competing admirably against Torrey Pines on the first night of the camp. 5-11 rising senior point guard Myles Corey is a cat-quick lead guard who’s active hands and quick feet make him a nightmare for opposing ball handlers. The team also has a rapidly improving prospect in 6-11 Mike Gao, who played solid minutes for Prodigy’s 17u team during the spring. This duo will give the Brahmas – who return five of their eight leading scorers from a CIF 3A Quarterfinals team – a fighting chance once more in the Palomares League.