On Thursday evening I had an opportunity to attend open gym at Corona Del Sol amidst many college coaches, while watching rising superstar 6-foot-2 junior guard Alex Barcello perform in an open gym with his Corona teammates. Barcello looked terrific on the evening and proved why this season will be an epic one for him.
Barcello looked physically impressive on the evening, as he showcased his very athletic frame. He competed hard on the night and showed off his terrific skillset. I was also able to catch up with him after the games on the evening and discuss many things, including his college recruitment, his outlook on the 2015-2016 high school basketball season and his thoughts on his former teammate Marvin Bagley leaving the Corona program.
Currently Barcello is among the highest recruited 2017 guards in the country, possessing a large number of offers already from the University of Arizona, Arizona State, California, Colorado, Creighton, DePaul, Grand Canyon, Marquette, New Mexico, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Providence, Auburn, St. Mary's (CA), Stanford, UCLA, USC, Utah and Washington State.
Barcello did not name any leaders at this point in his college recruitment, but he did indicate that he really wants to play for a college program that will be honest and straight up with him, and where he has a great relationship with the head coach.
Barcello is very excited about the up-and-coming basketball season and advised me that he is prepared to lead his high school program back to the top of the Division-I class. This season, without Bagley, Barcello will look to lead the Aztecs to a fifth consecutive Division-I state title.
"We will be very good this season," said Barcello. "We have a tough schedule this season, but we will be a lot better than people think."
The Aztecs, while without Bagley this season, will still be very tough to beat. The team will be led by the high-scoring Barcello, while one of the state's hottest guard prospects, 6-foot-1 junior guard Saben Lee, will provide excellent support. 6-foot-3 senior guard Tyrell Henderson (Portland State commit), 6-foot-4 senior forward Jeff McCain and 6-foot-3 senior guard Nate Marshall will each provide strong play this season as well.
Barcello advised me that he will really miss playing with Marvin, and that he understands just how impactful his departure will be this high school season. But Barcello also understands that the show must go on, and the responsibility for winning another state title this season will rely heavily on his shoulders.
I look for this team to still win it all this high school season, even without the amazing Bagley's presence. Barcello posted some very impressive numbers on the season last year as a sophomore, including a monster 50-point performance. This season, look out for Barcello as he will turn in one of the state's most impressive seasons ever as a junior.