THE READ OPTION
Marvin Bagley III, at 6-feet-11, is still a very big deal, which probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise to those who saw him help lead Corona del Sol to the state title when he was a freshman.
The young man clearly had a little upside.
Now, though, as his junior season draws to a close, he and some top-tier players are among four schools in a postseason bracket that has no peer.
This week, Bagley’s current school, Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) is among the group of 16 in the California Interscholastic Federation Open Division as the state’s boys basketball postseason begins.
Bagley is the No. 1 player in the class of 2018 and, barring major issues, is likely to be the top overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft. His plans still include committing to a D-I school, and he obviously has his pick among the usual blue bloods including Kentucky, Duke, UCLA and Arizona.
Bagley is not alone as a star with NBA-level potential in this very sweet 16.
A son of Shaquille O’Neal, a son of the late Manute Bol, Arizona-bound Ira Lee and the younger brothers of UCLA star Lonzo Ball are among those looking to stop Sierra Canyon.
Two of Bagley’s teammates, Cody Riley (UCLA) and Remy Martin (ASU) also are big-school bound.
Fans in the LA area can see this is a big deal — the CIF Southern Section, according to an LA Times story, made “a large financial commitment to play the Open Division semifinals Feb. 24 at USC’s 10,280-seat Galen Center even though there’s no guarantee the top four teams — Chatsworth Sierra Canyon, Chino Hills, Santa Ana Mater Dei and Torrance Bishop Montgomery — will make it.”
Bol Bol (yes, first name, last name … correct), a 7-1 junior; the Ball brothers, senior LiAngelo and sophomore LaMelo, both of whom are UCLA commits; and juniors Bagley and Shareef O’Neal (Shaq’s son) are all marquee names in a tournament that features three of the nation’s top four schools (Max Preps rankings) among its 16 entrants.
1 Chino Hills (27-1): The Ball brothers, plus 6-9 sophomore Onyeka Okongwu and 6-5 Loyola Marymount-bound Eli Scott.
3 Mater Dei (28-1): Bol.
4 Sierra Canyon (25-1): Bagley, Riley, Martin.
It’s likely that at least four teams from the bracket will advance to the Southern California Regional bracket, which feeds into the North vs. South state championship game set for next month.
THE READ OPTION: 92 points! La-mazing or bad Ball?
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