Southern California will be without a team in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament the rest of the way, but a number former Southland high school players are still competing for their respective teams.
Here’s a rundown:
Taylor King, Villanova, (Mater Dei/Santa Ana). The sophomore transfer from Duke scored 10 points off the bench Thursday as the second-seeded Wildcats avoided a first-round upset against No. 15 Robert Morris in a South Region first-round game. King became Orange County’s all-time leading boys’ basketball scorer during his senior year in 2007. Villanova will play 10th-seeded St. Mary’s in the second round Saturday at 10:05 a.m. in Providence, R.I.
Justin Holiday, Washington. (Campbell Hall/North Hollywood). The older brother of UCLA point guard Jrue Holiday, the 6-6 junior is a starting forward for the 11th-seeded Huskies. He scored eight points Thursday in an East Region first-round win against sixth-seeded Marquette. Tyreese Breshers (Price/Los Angeles) and Darnell Gant (Crenshaw/Los Angeles) also played limited minutes off the bench. The Huskies will play third-seeded New Mexico on Saturday at 2:50 p.m. in San Jose.
Renaldo Woolridge, Tennessee, (Harvard-Westlake/North Hollywood). The son of former Los Angeles Lakers forward Orlando Woolridge, the 6-8 sophomore forward started 10 games in the middle of the season but has since been relegated to limited minutes for sixth-seeded Tennessee. He did not play in the Volunteers’ first-round victory Thursday against 11th-seeded San Diego State in the Midwest Region. Tennessee is scheduled to play 14th-seeded Ohio in the second round Saturday at 12:35 p.m. in Providence, R.I.
Jon Jaques, Cornell, (Harvard-Westlake). Jaques played sparingly during his first three seasons at Cornell but moved into the starting lineup in early December and has become a vital contributor for the 12th-seeded Big Red, who upset fifth-seeded Temple in an East Region first-round game Friday in Jacksonville, Fla. Jaques, a 6-7 forward, played the most minutes of any Cornell player in the first round, totaling six points and four rebounds. Cornell is scheduled to play fourth-seeded Wisconsin in the second round Sunday at 11:50 a.m.
D’Andre Bell, Georgia Tech, (Palisades/Pacific Palisades). Bell, a 6-6 senior, had a team-high four assists in 17 minutes as the starting guard for the 10th-seeded Yellowjackets during their victory Friday against seventh-seeded Oklahoma State in the first round of the Midwest Region. Georgia Tech will meet second-seeded Ohio State on Sunday at 11:20 a.m. in Milwaukee
Patrick Christopher, California, (Dominguez/Compton & Lakewood). Christopher scored 17 points and pulled down a team-high eight rebounds as the eighth-seeded Golden Bears defeated ninth-seeded Louisville, 77-62, in the first round of the South Region. Fellow starter Jamal Boykin (Fairfax/Los Angeles) had nine points and a team-high five assists. Boykin, who played for top-seeded Duke his first two seasons, will meet his former team Sunday at 2:15 p.m. in Jacksonville.