SPRINGFIELD, Mo. —Sierra Canyon big man Cody Riley says few environments will prepare himself and his teammates for the college atmosphere like the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions.
This is the second straight year Riley and Sierra Canyon has competed at the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions. Last year he was apart of a team that fell on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer in the championship game against Oak Hill in front of a packed house. The T of C is widely recognized as one of the nation’s premier high school tournaments with an atmosphere that is tough to match.
“It’s getting us prepared for next year and playing in the Pac 12, especially the way UCLA is doing,” Riley said. “We are all going to big D1s and I feel it’s a great look forward to the future for us.”
A UCLA recruit, the 6’9 Riley is bruising forward that can dominate the paint, but skilled enough to step away from the basket and make plays. He is one of three Sierra Canyon players who have already signed to play at the next level along with point guard Remy Martin (Arizona State) and Adam Seiko (San Diego State), while 2018 Marvin Bagley is the nation’s top ranked recruit in his class.
He says he tries to watch a host of players at the next level and take different elements from their games.
“I like (Carmelo Anthony) in the mid post and how he uses his body, how Andre Drummond rebounds the ball,” Riley said. “I’ve never watched anyone specifically, but I try to look at what a lot of guys do really well and use that in my game.”
Riley says competing on the AAU circuit has helped his game and said he spent much of the offseason working on his mid range and mid-post game in attempt to stretch his game away from the basket a little more.
“Most definitely facing up and getting to the basket and my free throws,” Riley said. “I know today I don’t shoot it well, but I also worked on my free throws and throughout the season I have shot it pretty well.”
Riley said he is looking forward to competing against the top teams and players as Sierra Canyon has put together a nationally recognized schedule.
“I always want to challenge myself against the best of the best,” he said. “My team is also like that … it’s just natural for us because we’re all competitors and want to do that.”
Riley narrowed a long list of offers to Kansas, USC and UCLA and said from there it was a tough decision.
“It just came down to my relationship that I had with Steve Alford and I trusted them and I trust that they will put me in the best position possible to allow me to do what I want to do in the future,” Riley said.