On Feb. 4, Chino Hills (California) High School, the former home of UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball and the current stomping grounds of his two younger brothers, LiAngelo and LaMelo, was riding a 60-game win streak. The Huskies hadn’t lost a basketball game in two years, using an offensive pace that borders on lightspeed to wear down and eviscerate opponents. LaMelo made headlines by dropping 92 points in a single game.
That night, as part of a Nike Extravaganza tournament, Chino Hills was set to take on Oak Hill Academy, a basketball powerhouse boasting an alumni list that includes Carmelo Anthony, Rajon Rondo, Kevin Durant and countless other NBA stars. It was one of the most anticipated high school match-ups in years, and it was played in front of 3,000-plus people in a packed gym at Santa Ana Mater Dei High School.
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That’s where Oak Hill managed the unthinkable. Despite being down 10 at the half, they eventually downed Chino Hills 96-91 in a game that belongs on ESPN Classic. After an Oak Hill turnover on an inbounds, LiAngelo Ball bricked a 3 with six seconds left that would have tied the game, and Oak Hill’s Lindell Wigginton drained two free throws on the other end to snap Chino Hills’ absurd winning steak.
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At the head of the Oak Hill snake is point guard Matt Coleman, a left-handed blur who is headed to Texas in the fall as the crown jewel of head coach Shaka Smart’s first recruiting class. Rated the 27th best prospect by ESPN and 13th overall by MaxPreps, Coleman has been largely overshadowed by Chino Hills’ dominance, but you might want to start paying attention.
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Coleman put on a show during Oak Hill’s win over Scotlandville as part of the Jordan Brand Invitational over NBA All-Star Weekend in New Orleans. He darted up and down the court and through traffic with ease, showing off his elite speed at every turn, and zipped dimes that got to their targets so quickly that if you blinked, you’d miss an Oak Hill bucket. Coleman can shoot, too. He is most lethal when he uses his step-back crossover to get off a mid-range jumper, sometimes using it as he stops on a dime. His first step off the dribble is pretty killer, too.
Coleman leads Oak Hill in assists this season, averaging 7.6 per game, and he’s just as quick on the defensive side of the ball, averaging two steals per game. Scoring-wise, Coleman adds 12.2 points per game while shooting a robust 56 percent from the field. He’s also a threat from beyond the arc, shooting a blazing 46 percent from 3.
Per ESPN, “there isn’t a 2017 point guard that is as efficient or clever than Coleman” and “his passing prowess is high-level.” When the 2017-2018 college basketball season tips off, you might want to tune in to some Longhorns games and peep one of the best point guards in the nation going to work.