HILLSBORO - As Cassius Stanley stood courtside at Liberty High School following Sierra Canyon’s semifinal win over Jefferson in the Les Schwab Invitational on Friday night, five parents formed a request line asking one of the nation’s top unsigned prospects to take a picture with their child.
Three of the boys in those pictures were wearing University of Oregon hats, possibly looking to send an unspoken message to the four-star wing.
“Everyone here has been super nice and super cool,” Stanley said. “It is definitely cool to feel the love.”
Stanley wasn’t discussing the Ducks or his other college options with any spectators while members of the media were warned by athletic director Rock Pillsbury not to mention Oregon in any interviews.
“My AD doesn’t want me to answer those questions,” Stanley explained.
The 6-foot-5 wing has narrowed his choices to the Ducks, UCLA, and Kansas, but decided not to sign during the early recruiting period to hold off on an official decision until April.
“I really don’t have a timetable to decide right now,” Stanley said. “But I don’t really want to drag it out super long, so I will probably make a decision soon.”
Oregon signed four players last month while Stanley and five-star point guard Cole Anthony of Oak Hill Academy in Virginia remain the top targets heading into the spring signing period.
Stanley is part of the most high-profile prep team in the nation, playing alongside seniors Scotty Pippen Jr. and Kenyon Martin Jr., two Division I prospects whose famous NBA fathers were in attendance last week at Liberty. Seven-foot center Christian Koloko has signed to play at Arizona while 7-2 sophomore Jia-Hao Yu already has an offer from Cal.
“That gets you adjusted to having other people on the team who can really play,” Stanley said. “It’s not just this team, it’s every team I play on so I am used to it. Every situation I have been in prepares me for college.”
Stanley is looking to lead the Trailblazers to a second straight Open Division state title in California. Sierra Canyon, located in Chatsworth, Calif., is ranked No. 8 in the nation by USA Today.
“It has been good, up and down like every season, but it’s cool,” Stanley said. “I am excited to get to the playoffs and try to win a state championship again.”
Stanley had 21 points, seven rebounds, and four assists to lead the Trailblazers to the championship of the LSI during a 68-52 win over University High of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. on Saturday.
The Sharks feature 6-8 junior Scottie Barnes, a top-five recruit in the 2020 class who has Oregon on his list of college options along with Florida, Kentucky, Duke and others. Oregon coach Dana Altman made the trip to watch Barnes and Stanley at Liberty High.
Barnes averaged 11.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 4.3 assists in four games at the LSI playing alongside 6-11 center Vernon Carey Jr., who has signed to play at Duke.
In the semifinals, Gonzaga Prep took a 31-24 halftime lead over University as Gonzaga signee Anton Watson, a 6-9 senior, had 13 points on 6-for-9 shooting. Barnes guarded Watson in the second half as he scored six points while the Sharks rallied for a 58-53 win.
“We saw he was killing us so we made that adjustment for me to get on him and not let him really touch the ball,” Barnes said.
Barnes was also signing autographs and taking photos with Oregon fans during the week, but unlike Stanley, he wasn’t muted regarding his college options while admitting he had “no clue” when he will pick a school.
“I like Oregon, they have nice uniforms and a great coach,” he said. “I know he will develop me into a better player.”
Typical Oregon weather in December did not provide the climate that the Ducks would have preferred for Barnes.
“I see that it is really cold and rainy, so I am not really used to that, it is different,” he said.