Cliff Alexander has shown an ability to play big on the biggest stages this season. On Monday, the Kansas signee scored 24 of his 30 points in the second half to lead Curie (Chicago) to a 73-69 upset of No. 1 Montverde (Fla.) Academy. In one sequence, he had back-to-back dunks, one with each hand, to ignite a rally.
Alexander has kept himself in consideration for the American Family Insurance ALL-USA team. Going into a game Thursday with Kenwood (Chicago), he has led Curie to a 16-1 record and the No. 7 spot in the USA TODAY Super 25 rankings.
Until April, when the postseason ALL-USA boys basketball team will be announced, we’re taking a look at those who have either backed up the preseason hype or played their way into ALL-USA consideration.
This Week’s Player: Cliff Alexander, Curie (Chicago) senior power forward.
2013-14 Stats: Alexander is averaging 27 points, 17 rebounds and five blocked shots per game.
MORE: ALL-USA Performances of the Week
MORE: Preseason ALL-USA Boys Basketball Team
Best Games: On Monday, Alexander scored 30 points with 12 rebounds and five blocks to lead his team to a 73-69 upset of No. 1 Montverde (Fla.) Academy in the Spalding Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass. Had 22 points and 20 rebounds in a 66-62 defeat of Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) on Dec. 7.
Others’ Take: “We have the No. 1 player in the nation, not to take anything away from Jahlil Okafor. This guy does something different every game that people haven’t seen on a regular basis.” – Curie coach Michael Oliver.
His Take: “I just didn’t want to lose. We came too far to take a loss,” Alexander said of Monday’s game. “That’s my game, grab every rebound possible. That’s what I do, try to go up aggressive to the glass and try to get every rebound possible.”
Look Out For: Arsenal Tech (Indianapolis) power forward Trey Lyles and Hamilton (Milwaukee) power forward Kevon Looney. Lyles, who has signed with Kentucky, had 29 points and 15 rebounds to lead his team to a 80-76 defeat of Villa Angela-St. Joseph (Cleveland) at the Mustang Madness Showcase in Paducah, Ky., on Jan. 11. Looney, who has signed with UCLA, is averaging 28.8 points and had 33 points in a 79-54 loss to Westchester (Los Angeles) on Dec. 19.