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Cal Basketball Recruiting: Scouting Report on 2017 Commit Justice Sueing

A follow-up on how recent Cal commit Justice Sueing is faring during his senior year of basketball with Mater Dei.

NCAA Basketball: Utah at California Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

I previously wrote an article breaking down a highlight video of Justice Sueing, shortly before he committed to the Bears. I broke down his style of play in that first story and how much he fit the mold of a Cuonzo Martin player. I decided to look for more highlights of Sueing and found a video from this season’s Tarkanian Classic featuring Mater Dei taking on several top teams from the West.

His play in the Tarkanian Classic reaffirms my thoughts from the previous story.

The first play in the video features a baseline drive and finish at the hoop. Getting to the basket is a common feature of Sueing’s play. He has good size, especially for high school, and knows how to use it to his advantage when driving to the hoop.

In the previous story I talked about his ability to make smart plays without the ball and he demonstrates more of the same at the Tarkanian Classic. He makes an intelligent cut to the hoop, receives the pass before missing his initial attempt. He does put-back his own miss for the hoop. On the next play he makes yet another cut to the basket and receives the inbound pass before finishing a layup.

Sueing is a good three-point shooter and he drains a wing-three during a fast break opportunity on one play, but that doesn’t mean he always settles for a three-point shot, even when it is an open one. On one play in the video he gets the ball at the top of the key - and he could have taken a three before the defender closed the space - but he instead chose to drive to the hoop and make an easy shot in close.

I mentioned in the previous story that Sueing frequently finds himself in the right place at the right time. That isn’t luck, that’s positional awareness. He knows where to be as he sees the play develop. The next play in the video features Sueing taking advantage of a double-team on a teammate by finding the space under the basket and converting the easy chance.

On the next two plays Sueing shows his ability to finish through contact and also run the floor on the fast break. Next, he does more work on the offensive glass once again, and though he misses the first attempt, he does make good on a second chance at second-chance points. He really should finish the first one though, as it becomes less likely at the next level that he’ll get a second chance after missing a bunny.

More than a minute into the highlight video we see Sueing make a play on the defensive end by using his length to strip his opponent on a drive attempt. Sueing races up the court before dishing to a teammate for the finish. The play works fine here, but Pac-12 refs (ugh) would probably call a reach-in foul on this one (wrongly).

It’s easy to look good in highlight videos, so I decided to do some more digging into what Sueing does on a game-to-game basis. I found box scores for each of the 25 games he’s played for Mater Dei this season to evaluate his performances.

For the season as a whole, Sueing is averaging 17 points, 2.1 assists, 6.7 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 0.4 blocks per game. He is shooting 57 percent from the field, 40 percent from three-point range and 71 percent from the stripe.

Something I noticed when looking at the box scores is that Sueing performs really well against the top teams on Mater Dei’s schedule. His performance, generally, rises to the competition. The Monarchs have played 9 games against teams ranked in the top 20 of California according to Max Preps, plus another against St. John Bosco — ranked a respectable 51st in California — and a meeting with Bishop Gorman, ranked 4th in Nevada, was also against good competition.

In these 11 games Sueing bettered his season averages nearly across the board. Points per game went up from 17 to 19. Assists stayed steady at 2.1, while rebounds went up from 6.7 to 8. Steals dropped from 1.6 to an even 1, while blocks saw a modest improvement from 0.4 to .72. Field goal percentage dropped from a blistering 57 percent to a respectable 53 percent, while three-point percentage increased from 40 percent to 42.4 percent. His free-throw shooting jumped from 71 percent to 74.6 percent.

Sueing’s best games of the season thus far have come against the very best teams on the schedule. In a Tarkanian Classic meeting with Chino HIlls, Max Prep’s number one ranked team in the nation, Sueing balled out of his mind racking up 27 points on 11 of 17 from the field, including 3 of 6 from deep. Sueing added 11 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal as well. Mater Dei lost 84-73, their only loss of the season, but it certainly wasn’t Sueing’s fault.

Mater Dei has taken on Santa Margarita — ranked 10th in California and 34th in the nation according to Max Preps — twice this season and Sueing had a monster first game. In the first meeting he dropped a season-high 31 points on 10 of 19 shooting, including 3 of 3 from deep and 8 of 8 from the line. He added nine rebounds, one assist and two steals as well. In the second meeting he scored 10 points and took just 6 shots, making 3 of them. He added 7 rebounds, 4 assists and one steal.

In two matchups with St. Augustine — ranked 19th in the state and 92nd in the nation — Sueing scored 21 points on 7 of 13 shooting, including 3 three-pointers, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal and 2 blocks. In the second meeting he scored 20 points on 9 of 13 from the field, though he made just 2 of 8 attempts from the foul line. He added 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal.

He also put up a monster performance against Bishop Gorman in their hometown Tarkanian Classic tournament by scoring 25 points on 12 shots, to go along with 15 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals and 1 block.

Sueing’s ability to turn it up a notch against the top competition should serve him well during a freshman season that could see him play quite a bit considering our projected lack of wings with length on next season’s roster. He is listed as a 3-star prospect by Scout and Rivals, but ESPN has him as a 4-star. I’m inclined to agree with ESPN’s take on him based on the eye-test.

What do you guys think about Sueing? How much do you think he will play for the Bears next season?

Sound off below!