Tempe (Ariz.) Corona del Sol weathered a pressing, 3-point shooting, pesky Peoria Liberty team, winning 73-72 in overtime Friday with 6-foot-11 sophomore Marvin Bagley III scraping the glass to reject what would have been a game-winning layup at the buzzer.
Two hours later, Bagley, after pouring in 40 points including hitting the game winner against Liberty, showed off his great passing skills and handles, powering through double teams and traps on his way to 27 points and seven assists in a 66-59 victory over one of the best Colorado teams, Aurora Regis Jesuit.
Corona del Sol was playing without guards Alex Barcello and Saben Lee in the Best In Basketball Summer Invitational at Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor.
The 6-2 Barcello was on the bench, supporting his teammates.
He sat out as precaution for a tender ankle, after a grueling week in Virginia, spending long days on the court in the NBPA Top 100. Barcello had tweaked his ankle a week before going to Virginia. It swelled up with all of the work he put in during the national elite camp.
But he expects to compete in July in the Adidas Uprising All-American Camp for the top 100 in New York.
He liked what he saw Friday with Tyrell Henderson the lead guard. Henderson, who has committed to Portland State, had 17 points and nine rebounds to go with four assists against Regis Jesuit, which hadn’t lost coming into the game.
“We have a lot of guys coming back,” Barcello said. “We’ve got to replace some key players like Cassius (Peat) and Dane (Kuiper). But I can see the chemistry already. As the season goes on, we always get better. But we have to keep our mind right and keep working hard in practice, and see where it goes from there.”
Barcello, a junior, who has 16 scholarship offers, including both from Arizona and Arizona State, said the work at the NBPA camp was intense.
“We were working out from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day,” said Barcello, who last week received offers from Wake Forest and USC. “It was eat, basketball the whole time. There were former NBA players and current NBA players, teaching me how to play point guard, helping me get better.”
Corona del Sol coach Neil MacDonald, who inherits a program from Sam Duane Jr. that captured the past four Division I state championships, is using the June tournaments not only for team chemistry but to see who might emerge as that fifth starter next season.
Candidates are lining up with 6-4 seniors Jake Burroughs and Jeffrey McCain in the mix. Junior guard Dalen Dorsey will give the Aztecs plenty of backcourt depth.
Bagley, whose latest big offers came from Kentucky and Duke, was happy to distribute while facing double teams.
“It’s an adjustment but I’m willing to do whatever to help the team win — score, rebound, give my teammates open looks,” Bagley said. “Whatever it is to help us.”