Wednesday, October 12, 2016

West Oaks' Figueroa On The Rise

It doesn't matter the court, the opponent, or the number of college coaches meandering through the stands.

LJ Figueroa, one of Florida's and now the country's elite scoring wings, takes every game with the same focus and methodical approach.

Major games, against more highly acclaimed recruits and those situated in the Top 50, have extra juice for Figueroa.

A 6-foot-6, 190-pound wing now at West Oaks, Figueroa is lethal for his consistency.

Known for a prodigious shooting range and the type of scoring acumen which propelled him up Florida's "who's who" Figueroa thrives on big matchups.

He's still not completely equated with the same star status of recruits he's gotten the better of.

Now Figueroa, who averaged 20.4 PPG for Team Breakdown, will shoulder the role of all around threat at West Oaks.

"He can make plays, he can play above the rim, he can put the ball on the floor and now we have a defender in him," said West Oaks' assistant coach, Alex Arias.

"He's really the total package at this point, he's the most consistent. He just puts the ball in the rim at a high rate."

Such a presence is needed at West Oaks, which will again yield the basketball seed in Orlando. Coming off a 2016 state title, West Oaks must fill the scoring void left by Andres Feliz and Richardson Maître.

This two man foundation accounted for a considerable percentage of the program's offensive output last season.

Figueroa, who has become a hotly pursued recruit with schools such as Louisville, Miami, St. John's, UCLA and Florida giving chase, will look to keep the school reputable on a national scale.

Hunger and an insatiable thirst for buckets are both immeasurable intangibles. You simply can't teach the nose for the rim Figueroa has displayed this fall.

Head coach Kenny Gilliam and company will hope this consistency and routine 20+ performances continues in the SIAA, widely regarded as one of the country's most brutal and prospect-loaded conferences.