Sam Morris/Las Vegas News Bureau
Wednesday, March 14, 2018 | 2 a.m.
Henderson’s Findlay Prep has become a basketball factory, producing top prospects for the college ranks on an annual basis.
The UNLV basketball team may have missed out on the NCAA tournament for the fifth-straight year, but Findlay Prep and other high schools around the valley have provided plenty of local players for Las Vegans to cheer on this weekend.
Findlay Prep alone has eight products playing in this year’s tournament, highlighted by former McDonald’s All-Americans PJ Washington and Allonzo Trier who have helped lead Kentucky and Arizona, respectively, to the Big Dance.
“You’re definitely cheering for those guys to do well,” former Findlay Prep coach Andy Johnson said. “You see how much work they put in when they played for me, and all the sacrifices they make, so to see it all paying off is great.”
Johnson was with Findlay Prep as an assistant and head coach from 2009-2016, helping guide the Pilots to national high school championships in 2012 and 2013.
“Anytime you’re around these players for multiple years you build great relationships with them,” he said. “One of the benefits of Findlay Prep is the time you put in with the players on and off the court, and the bonds that you build last.”
This weekend Johnson will be keeping an eye on all of his former players. Here are all the local products to watch for throughout March Madness.
PJ Washington (Kentucky)
The freshman Findlay Prep product is averaging 10.5 points and 5.5 rebounds this season for the Wildcats. Washington was a McDonald’s All-American, and the No. 12 recruit in the country last year, according to ESPN. Like the rest of Kentucky, Washington found his stride down the stretch, scoring in double figures in eight of the last nine games. The Wildcats are a five seed in the South region and will face Davidson on Thursday.
Allonzo Trier (Arizona)
The 6-foot-4 junior out of Findlay Prep has starred for Arizona this season, averaging 18.4 points, 3.3 assists and 3.1 rebounds this season. Trier and the Wildcats won the Pac-12 conference tournament last week to earn the No. 4 seed in the South region, and will face Buffalo on Thursday.
PJ Savoy (Florida State)
The junior from Las Vegas High has averaged 6.1 points this season coming off the bench for the Seminoles, and has hit 39 3-pointers on the year. Florida State is the No. 9 seed in the West region and faces Missouri on Friday.
Braian Angola-Rodas (Florida State)
The Findlay Prep product is an all-around playmaker for the Seminoles averaging 12.9 points, 3.8 rebounds and three assists per game this season. Angola-Rodas is originally from Colombia but spent one season at Findlay Prep before moving on to the college ranks.
Stanford Robinson (Rhode Island)
The 6-foot-4 senior guard out of Findlay Prep will help one of the best mid-majors in the country try for a deep tournament run. Robinson leads the Rams with 5.7 rebounds per game and is also scoring 9.1 points per contest. Rhode Island is the No. 7 seed in the Midwest Region and will face Oklahoma on Thursday.
Horace Spencer (Auburn)
A junior guard out of Findlay Prep, Spencer has helped the Auburn Tigers to their first tournament appearance in 15 years. He is averaging 4.5 points and 4.8 rebounds per game for the Tigers, who are the four seed in the Midwest region and face Charleston on Friday.
Oshae Brissett (Syracuse)
A freshman forward out of Findlay Prep, Brissett has been a monster in the paint this year for Syracuse. The 6-foot-8 big man leads the Orange with 8.8 rebounds per game while averaging 14.7 points. Syracuse plays Arizona State in first round game Wednesday.
Jake Desjardins (Arizona)
A Coronado product, Desjardins has made only three appearances for the Wildcats this season. Arizona is the No. 4 seed in the South Region, and will face Buffalo on Thursday.
Ben Carter (Michigan State)
It’s been a long, complicated college career for the Bishop Gorman product. Carter played two seasons at Oregon before sitting out a year to transfer to UNLV. He played 22 games with the Rebels in 2015-16, then transferred to Michigan State where he sat out last year with an injury. He’s played in 21 games as a senior for the Spartans, averaging 6.9 minutes per game off the bench.
Gavin Schilling (Michigan State)
The senior forward out of Findlay Prep is averaging three points and 3.5 rebounds per game this season for Michigan State, who is the No. 3 seed in the Midwest and faces Bucknell on Friday.
Chris Giles (Oklahoma)
The freshman Findlay Prep product has made eight appearances for the Sooners this season. Oklahoma is the No. 10 seed in the Midwest and faces Rhode Island on Thursday.
Chase Jeter (Arizona)
Jeter was a McDonald’s All-American and Nevada Gatorade Player of the Year in 2015 at Bishop Gorman, and played two seasons at Duke before transferring to Arizona. He is sitting out this season due to transfer rules.