Los Angeles Preps: Kawhi Leonard

I.E.: Same obstacles for Etiwanda In Division 1AA

February, 12, 2012
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The Etiwanda boys’ basketball team is staring up at some familiar foes heading into the Southern Section Division 1AA playoffs.

According to the brackets released Sunday by the section office, the Eagles are seeded third in the division behind No. 1 Mater Dei and No. 2 Long Beach Poly.

Etiwanda (26-1) had its section playoff runs ended by either Mater Dei or Poly the last three seasons, and was eliminated by the Jackrabbits in the Southern California Division 1 regional playoffs the last two years.

To earn another shot at Poly, the Eagles will need to win their first three playoff games, beginning Friday night against visiting San Clemente.

A pair of Inland Empire teams also received the lone at-large berths in the Division 1AA playoffs.

Chaparral will face off against Mater Dei in the first round. Mater Dei 6-7 senior forward Xavier Johnson, the second-leading scorer for the Monarchs at 17.6 points and leading rebounder at 8.8 a game, played for Chaparral as a freshman and sophomore before transferring to Mater Dei.

Riverside King was awarded the other at-large berth and will open at Long Beach Poly. The Wolves shocked Mater Dei to win the Division 1AA title in 2009. King forward Kawhi Leonard, who currently plays for the San Antonio Spurs, had 20 rebounds in the victory, eight more than Mater Dei twins David and Travis Wear, who currently play for UCLA.

Other highly seeded teams from the I.E. include J.W. North (No. 3 in Division 2AA), Murrieta Valley (No. 3 in Division 2A), Palm Springs (No. 3 in Division 3AAA), Palm Desert (No. 4 in Division 3AAA), and Ontario Christian (No. 2 in Division 4A).

Look At Them Now: Darius Morris

January, 20, 2011
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Darius MorrisJim O'Connor/US PresswireDarius Morris was a standout at Windward High School before moving to play at Michigan.

Year in an year out, the Southland sends a number of boys’ basketball players to college with scholarship offers in hand.

Most move on and compete at the highest of levels -- Division I. Others continue honing their skill sets at institutions a notch below, whether that be Division II or III, or a smaller NAIA program.

Anyway, we figured it was time to check in and provide an update on some of the individuals who first made a name for themselves in this neck of the woods before ultimately deciding to take their talents elsewhere.

One problem, where to begin?

The options are many, seemingly too many to count.

Let’s go ahead and start with Darius Morris. Just yesterday, it seems, the point guard was running the show at Los Angeles Windward High. It was actually 2009.

Things have certainly changed in a short period of time.

These days, Morris is the floor general for Michigan and it appears as if the Wolverines will go as far as the 6-foot-4 sophomore takes them. He leads the Big-10 Conference in assists per game with 7.28, a total that ranks fourth best in the nation.

“Going from high school to college, there’s an adjustment process, but with each game I’m starting to feel more and more comfortable with my role here at Michigan,’’ Morris said. “Expectations are high, I’ve always been that way. You must have a different kind of mindset to do well at this level, and now, I understand the mental aspect of the game, as well as the physical. That’s been big for me.’’

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