Freshman explodes for 55 points in just sixth varsity game

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

In California, a new star has emerged on the basketball court. In only his sixth varsity high school basketball game, Marcus LoVett Jr. scored an astounding 55 points (or 57 points, depending on which source you trust) in an early season tournament game on Saturday, leading his Burbank (Calif.) Providence High squad to an 85-74 overtime victory against Santa Maria (Calif.) St. Joseph High.

Burbank Providence point guard Marcus Lovett
Burbank Providence point guard Marcus Lovett

According to the Santa Maria Times, Los Angeles Times and other Southern California media outlets, LoVett was practically unstoppable, nearly doubling his season-average of 30.5 points per game while stretching the St. Joseph defense by drilling four threes. He also connected on 15 of his 19 free throws, punishing St. Joseph for fouling to try to keep him from getting good looks.

And perhaps most impressively of all, LoVett took over when the game was on the line, scoring 10 of his points in overtime.

"I think he could get to the hole anytime he wanted to," St. Joseph basketball coach Tom Mott told the Santa Maria Times. "The great players are going to figure out a way to do what they have to do."

That LoVett Jr. has emerged as a potential star isn't a huge surprise. The teen was one of the more highly touted young prospects in the country entering the season. Still, that he has done so as rapidly as he has is shocking. The point guard's scoring prowess has hardly gone unnoticed, with the Santa Maria Times reporting that he is on the verge of committing -- or perhaps already has committed -- to play at UCLA.

If that's true, LoVett would have just earned himself a major scholarship invitation to one of America's most prestigious basketball programs on the basis of just six games of varsity work. That's an astounding achievement, even if LoVett came with a promising reputation.

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Of course, based on LoVett's early returns -- and the video highlights you can see above -- UCLA coach Ben Howland might have made a shrewd move in landing the prodigious talent's commitment. After all, it's not every day that a true freshman drops in a whopping 55 points in his first six games, let alone 55 points in just one of those games.

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