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May 28, 2013

What we learned: Magic Memorial Tournament

CORONA, Calif. - Another Compton Magic tournament is in the books as the Magic Memorial tournament came to a close Monday afternoon. GOAZCATS.com was in attendance for all three days of the event and there was plenty to see inside the Players Edge facility all weekend long.

So here's a look back at some of the things we learned while watching a ton of games during the event.

Compton Magic Elite proved something: There has been plenty of talk this spring about the Compton Magic's 2015 squad with prospects like four-star recruits Cameron Walker and Sedrick Barefield. And heading into last weekend's tournament there was plenty of talk about Dreamvision with its talented roster.

However, the team that ended up coming out on top of the BattleZone Division was Compton Magic Elite, which is led by four-star wing prospect Isaiah Bailey from Compton, Calif.

Bailey led the way for his squad that finished the tournament with a big victory over Dreamvision in the final Monday afternoon. Etop Udo-Ema's top squad has definitely had some talent over the years - including current Arizona player Gabe York - but this year's squad hasn't received quite the attention as team's in years past.

However, Bailey and players like Arizona State commit Kodi Justice helped Compton Magic Elite take down Compton Magic Select, Superior Athletes and Dreamvision on its way to the title and that's no easy task.

Stephen Zimmerman has come full circle: The five-star prospect missed time last travel season with some knee issues, but the high school season was very good to Zimmerman. He was named a five-star recruit during that time and now he is rated as the second-best prospect in the entire 2015 class right behind his buddy and fellow big Ivan Rabb.

Zimmerman's knee troubles started at Players Edge, and he was certainly playing like it over the weekend. The rising junior punished the rims on all three courts during the tournament and really showed why he was the top prospect in attendance.

It's been a journey for Zimmerman to get to this point, but the knees sure look fine now as he was draining threes, throwing down monster dunks and blocking shots left and right over the three-day tournament in Corona.

Superior Athletes could be just that: The young Superior Athletes squad saw its run at the Magic Memorial Tournament come to an end Monday afternoon when it lost a semifinal matchup to the eventual tournament champion, Compton Magic Elite. Leading up to that game, however, the talented group turned some heads with its solid play throughout the weekend.

The group is led by a trio of impressive 2015 prospects in Kendall Small, Jeremy Hemsley, and Stephen Thompson, Jr.

All three add something different to the squad, and that helped them get far over the weekend. Small runs the show as the team's steady point guard, while Hemsley provided some big time plays off the wing.

Thompson is very much a do-it-all kind of prospect as he made nice plays to help his teammates and he made plays for himself as well.

One thing is that all three can really get to the basket when they need to, and for Hemsley that was a lot during the three-day tournament as he had numerous big plays at the rim for Superior Athletes.

Rex Pflueger has helped himself this spring: Walker and Barefield are the two highest-rated prospects, according to Rivals.com, on the Compton Magic Select squad. However, one prospect who has really turned things on this spring is Pflueger. The athletic guard will play for Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei next season and he knows what it's going to take to be a big contributor for the Monarchs.

All spring Pflueger has elevated his play and that continued over the weekend. The 6-foot-5 standout has really become more of a well-rounded prospect this spring with his ability to both score and create opportunities for his teammates.

At this point there has been interest from schools all over, but a big summer could really help Pflueger's recruitment overall.

We'll have more from Corona throughout the week, so continue to check back for video, evaluations and updates.

Matt MorenoMatt Moreno
GOAZCATS.com Senior Recruiting Editor

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