La Jolla Light

Assigned Reading: The cautionary tale of La Jolla Prep

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Over the years prep schools have become an attractive option for many players who hope to earn a college scholarship. Whether it’s to improve their academic standing or to play with and against some of the most talented prep players in the country, these schools have grown in popularity.

But with this comes the risk of landing at a prep school that won’t prepare the player for the next level. This can lead to academic ineligibility at the college level or even derail a player’s growth to the point where a Division I scholarship isn’t possible. Therefore, athletes and their families need to leave no stone unturned when evaluating the possibility of attending a prep school.

In Sunday’s San Diego Union-Tribune, writers Dennis Lin and Stephanie Loh took an in-depth look at La Jolla Prep, and the findings aren’t pretty. According to the story the school, with Gary Trousdale serving as head coach, owes various parties some $56,000 and the problems left many families in a bind that could have derailed the hopes of their children. In the end, the players learned a life lesson they won’t forget anytime soon.

Fresno native Shaq Moore will play at Moorpark College this fall. For him, the experience proved to be a life lesson.

“Basically, he was selling people dreams of scholarship opportunities,” Moore said. “It didn’t really test me beyond my physical limits and my will and (did not) bring me to another step of competition.

“But it strengthened me mentally now that I know I can’t trust a lot of people. It’s a shady world.”

Are all prep schools dealing with issues like these? Absolutely not, but this is certainly a story that needs to be read and discussed within basketball circles.

The entire story can be read here.

Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament chances take a major blow in loss to No. 16 SMU

SMU guard Nic Moore (11) shoots over Gonzaga forward Kyle Wiltjer (33) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
(AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
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Nic Moore scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and added 11 assists as No. 16 SMU knocked off Gonzaga in Moody Coliseum on Saturday night, 69-60.

The Zags got 20 points and 16 boards from Domantas Sabonis, but Kyle Wiltjer scored just four points and shot 2-for-17 from the floor.

It wasn’t pretty.

And it may have been the end of Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament hopes.

Entering Saturday, the Zags had an RPI in the mid-60s, enough to keep them in the bubble conversation but not enough to make them anything more than a team that will be projected to end up on the cut-line.

The issue is a complete lack of quality wins on their résumé. Gonzaga beat UConn in the Bahamas. That’s a borderline top 50 win. They beat Washington, another borderline top 50 win. Beyond that? They swept Pepperdine, beat Tennessee and own a win over Montana. None of those are top 100 wins, and that’s why the SMU game was such a big deal. The Mustangs are a top 25 team. This was a road game. This win was the kind of thing that the Zags could pin at the top of their profile.

But Wiltjer didn’t show up, the Zags had no answer for Moore and they’ll head back to Spokane needing, in all likelihood, to win the WCC’s automatic bid if they want to dance.

POSTERIZED: Cal’s Jaylen Brown has his dunk contest entry

California's Jaylen Brown lays up a shot against Oregon State in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown: