College coaches pack Brophy Prep for Mater Dei-Millennium Section 7 high school basketball showdown

College coaches pack Brophy Prep for Mater Dei-Millennium Section 7 high school basketball showdown

Millennium top prospects DaRon Holmes and Justus Jackson found out what they need to work on against loaded Mater Dei Richard Obert, azcentral sports

College coaches from all over the country sat at the long bench that stretched from baseline to baseline at Phoenix Brophy Prep to take in Goodyear Millennium and Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei on Friday.

In the newer practice court at Brophy, there were more college coaches watching.

For a while, Millennium’s top college prospects, juniors DaRon Holmes and Justus Jackson, held their own against one of California’s most formidable programs, Santa Ana Mater Dei.

But Mater Dei, with its size and Arizona-target Devin Askew leading the break, wore down Millennium for an easy 94-59 victory.

"It’s a challenge," said Holmes, a 6-foot-9 forward, who has been offered by UA among the 11 colleges he has scholarship offers. "It’s really good that we got to play against that team to see what we need to work on for our team."

Holmes didn’t block a shot until late in the game when the outcome was well-decided. But in the first half, he scored on a power drive and converted a three-point play. He also caught a pass near the rim to lay it in.

Jackson, a point guard, made a great move to fake out a defender on a drive to the basket. He also hit a 3-pointer.

"We just wanted to get out there and have a challenge," said Jackson, whose recruiting has picked up since helping the Tigers reach the 5A state final last season.

This is new to Arizona and to the country, having a high school-controlled basketball tournament showcase environment for college coaches to watch them play. There will only be a couple of more opportunities this summer — in mid-July at AAU showcases around the country, and late July at NCAA-controlled regional camps, one of which will be held at Grand Canyon University.

Askew, a top target for not only UA but several major colleges as a 6-2 junior point guard, played as advertised, leading the break, swishing in long 3s, and creating for himself for baskets.

He also got his bigs, especially Harrison Hornery, involved for points.

"You just have to adjust," Askew said about playing with his full high school team in games that really do mean something as far as recruiting before playing in the actual high school season. "Beginning for the game it was a little new to me. But as the game kept going on, it call came back to me

"The chemistry of the team came back like a snap."

Mater Dei last season went 29-5 with Askew averaging 14 points and 6.8 assists. The Monarchs lost to eventual Open Division California champion Chatsworth Sierra Canyon in the semifinals.

Askew says he likes this format in Phoenix so far. The tournament continues Saturday and Sunday.

"There are great people and great coaches around you," he said.

To suggest human-interest story ideas and other news, reach Obert at richard.obert@arizonarepublic.com or 602-316-8827. Follow him at twitter.com/azc_obert.

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Marcia Mosley