Not only will the Section 7 high school basketball event allow players to showcase themselves at Glendale's State Farm Stadium this weekend, but it will also make things a lot easier on coaches and spectators.
All players will be on one of 12 floors inside the Cardinals' home, with the teams who have top prospects generally scheduled to play on two marquee courts, instead of having everybody scattered at high schools all over the Phoenix area as they were in 2019.
Canceled because of COVID-19 last season, Section 7 is a "scholastic" (i.e. non-club) event that debuted in 2019 as a product of the commission the NCAA formed in response to the federal investigation into college basketball. Club-type high school teams are not invited.
While UA coach Tommy Lloyd is expected to be busy hosting five-star point guard Jaden Bradley this weekend -- Bradley is finishing up a visit to North Carolina this week -- the Wildcats are expected to have coaches attending all three days of the Section 7 event.
Lloyd may be more likely to attend the Section 7 "finals" (for teams that succeed this weekend, and others who can't play this weekend because of playoffs in their home states), which will be played June 25-27 at Brophy Prep.
There are 192 teams scheduled to play at State Farm Stadium this weekend, including 16 girls teams. Tickets are $15 per day or $30 for the weekend and all the teams, brackets and schedules are posted to the Arizona Basketball Coaches Association's app.
UA commit Dylan Anderson and his Gilbert Perry teammates will open at 7:15 p.m. Friday against Seattle Prep. Perry also has UA target Cody Williams, a 2023 wing, and much-heralded incoming freshman forward Koa Peat.
Other players UA staff might be watching this weekend include:
Milos Uzan, a 6-2 class of 2022 point guard at Desert Pines High School of Las Vegas. First game: Friday at 8:30 p.m. vs. Garfield High School of Seattle.
Tru Washington, 6-3 point guard from class of 2023 at Mountain Pointe. First game: Friday at 8:30 vs Mater Dei of California.
Jalen Lewis, five-star class of 2023 power forward at Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland. First game: Friday at 9:45 p.m. vs Cherry Creek of Colorado.
Jaylin Stewart, 6-5 class of 2023 small forward at Garfield. First game: Friday vs Desert Pines 8:30 p.m.
Jason Fontenet Jr., class of 2023 guard at St. Mary’s. First game: Friday at 6 p.m. vs Harvard-Westlake of California.
Kylan Boswell, 6-1 class of 2023 point guard from Corona (Calif.) Centennial. First game: Friday 6 pm. vs Davis of Kaysville, Utah.
DJ Thomas, 6-0 class of 2024 point guard at Liberty High School of Las Vegas. First game Friday at 6 p.m. vs Moreau Catholic of Hayward, Calif.
Aaron Powell, 6-1 class of 2024 combo guard for Campbell Hall of Los Angeles. First game: Friday 8:30 vs Peoria