Monday, July 22, 2013
Cali events attract potential D-I stars
By Joel Francisco
CALIFORNIA -- The second of July's three evaluation periods ended with a bang out West this past weekend, with a pair of exciting events taking place in California.
Marshawn Cherry's San Diego All-Stars Pump-n-Run squad efficiently put away the competition in impressive fashion to win the Double Pump Best of the Summer event in Anaheim. The victors were led by one of the fastest rising prospects in the country in Trey Kell.
As Kell and his teammates were celebrating their championship, Ryan Silver launched his Pangos Stars of the Future event, and to say it was a success would be an understatement. The prospects in attendance ranged from the Class of 2015 to 2017, and none were as impressive as 6-foot-10 DeAndre Ayton. Many other recruits contributed standout performances, including Max Heidegger, Nuwr'iyl Williams and Vance Jackson.
Let’s take a closer look at which prospects made the most noise at the two West Coast events.
Trey Kell (San Diego/St. Augustine)
2014, SG, 6-foot-4, 190 pounds
Status: Claims new offers from USC, Vanderbilt and Virginia to go with Gonzaga, New Mexico and several others.
Kell's game doesn't necessarily translate to "camp ball.” He won’t wow you with high-flying dunks, but he will attract your attention with his buttery smooth jump shot and overall feel for the game. His assist-to-turnover ratio is high-level, and he's one of the smoothest jump shooters in the country. Some may jump higher, but few can claim they possess the intangibles of Mr. Kell.
Three-star SG Dejounte Murray is a rising wing prospect out of Seattle.
Wing On The Rise
Dejounte Murray (Seattle/Rainier Beach)
2015, SG, 6-foot-4, 175 pounds
Status: Claims offers from Washington, California and Boise State
When it comes to explosive moves to the rim, few can keep up with Murray. He has a great burst with either hand and displayed one of the better moves of the summer when he dropped in a left-handed finger roll. His shot is playable when on balance and he has an ideal frame, but his approach –mainly paying attention to details -- needs to improve.
Best Perimeter Players
Kendall Small (Lakewood, Calif./Mayfair)
2015, PG, 6-foot, 170 pounds
Status: Arizona, Gonzaga and Washington are all interested in the ESPN 60 PG.
Small is a pit bull on the court who swallows up opposing point guards with his strength and active hands on D. His jump shot has improved to open up his solid driving game even more. He forces the issue at times by driving into the teeth of the defense and turning the ball over, but overall he is one of the elite point guard prospects out West.
Stephen Thompson Jr. (Torrance, Calif./Bishop Montgomery)
2015, SG, 6-foot-3, 160 pounds
Status: UConn, Arizona, San Diego State, Columbia and Brown.
While his father made his claim to fame with thunderous dunks over defenders, Thompson’s game is smooth as silk. There is no wasted motion to his game and his jump shot is feathery. He is getting more productive off the dribble (changes speeds and knows angles) and his strength has improved as well.
Jeremy Hemsley (La Verne, Calif./Damien)
2015, CG, 6-foot-3, 180 pounds
Status: Recently added an offer from Arizona State to a list of interested teams that includes UConn, Arizona, Boston College, New Mexico, Oregon State, Washington State, Washington, UNLV, USC and UCLA.
Hemsley is one of the hottest names on the market right now due to his relentless ability to attack the defense off the dribble. He gets to the rim with skill and desire and his body control is excellent. HIs jump shot has improved, so too has his on-ball defensive pressure.
Lake Lutes (Sacramento/Jesuit)
2014, WF, 6-foot-6, 185 pounds
Status: Has interest from UC Santa Barbara, Louisiana Lafayette, Cal Poly, San Francisco, Pepperdine, Army, Navy and Air Force.
Scouts didn't know much about Lutes before the Double Pump event, but the Nor Cal Pharaohs product has the look of a legitimate Division 1 prospect. The lengthy wing-type has a smooth shooting touch out to 21-feet, gets great lift on his shot and plays with purpose at both ends of the floor.
Mason Stuteville (Orangevale, Calif./Casa Roble)
2014, PF/C, 6-foot-8, 220 pounds
Status: Has interest from Oregon State, Washington, New Mexico, California, Weber State, Sacramento State, Oklahoma, USC and Air Force.
When engaged, Stuteville is a definite mid-major post prospect with a good frame, nice length and soft hands. His fundamentals are solid and his timing around the rim is impressive. He can hit the elbow jump shot, but needs to be much more assertive at both ends.
Lonzo Ball (Chino Hills, Calif./Chino Hills)
2016, PG, 6-foot-4, 165 pounds Ball’s talent and upside have been noted quite a few times this spring and summer by yours truly. He has the frame, skill and overall savvy to progress into a special player one day. His passing prowess is off the charts, both in advancing the ball in transition or running a textbook pick-and-roll. For his game to reach another level, he needs to limit his turnovers and improve his shot selection. This game is about efficiency and that will be an area of note going forward in regards to the immensely gifted Ball.
Isaiah Wright (Boise, Idaho/Borah)
2014, PG, 6-foot-2, 190 pounds
Status: Boise State and many other mid-majors are showing major interest.
Wright won’t wow scouts and coaches with deep jump shots or explosive drives, but the heady playmaker knows how to run an offense. He is a marvelous leader on the court as he orchestrates the offense and his passing is high-level. In the open court, he hands out full-court passes on the money, while in the half court his drive-and-kick passes always find the shooter's pocket. Wright needs to improve his jump shot and ability to create his own shot, but overall his game is quite mature.
Chandler Hutchison (Mission Viejo, Calif./Mission Viejo)
2014, WF, 6-foot-7, 190 pounds
Status: Holds offers from Pacific, UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, UC Davis, Santa Clara and San Diego.
Hutchinson has the type of frame college coaches covet, and he possesses the game as well. His length is impressive and his game has improved significantly in the past six months. Hutchinson’s footwork is solid while maneuvering for shots in the paint, and he can finish with either hand. His passing prowess was exhibited as well as he handed out some nice assists. He needs to add more arc to his jumper, but overall his progress has been excellent.
Best Scoring PG
Max Heidegger (Encino, Calif./Crespi)
2016, PG, 6-foot, 155 pounds Heidegger is an incredibly gifted scorer. He is phenomenal off the dribble and rises up on a dime to convert deep jump shots on a consistent basis. He is clever off the dribble and changes speeds very well. To improve his stock as a point guard. He’ll need to involve his teammates a bit more instead of going one-on-one so often.
Senior forward Ron Freeman is a major sleeper and an athletic freak.
Ron Freeman (Gardena Calif./Serra)
2014, WF, 6-foot-4, 175 pounds
Status: Claims offers from Utah State and Cal State Fullerton.
Freeman has the quintessential frame for a wing, with very long arms and catapult-like bounce. He excels in transition where he'll either elevate over the rim for a dunk or nail his pull-up. He needs to clean up his ball handling and play with better balance and pace, but he's a talent nonetheless.
Best Unknown Prospect
Tres Tinkle (Missoula, Mont./Hellgate)
2015, WF, 6-foot-6, 200 pounds Tres is the son of Montana head coach Wayne Tinkle, and it's obvious he has had a tremendous impact on his son's game. Tinkle plays with great pace and assertiveness on the boards as he attacks with relentless passion. He is a long-armed wing who can face-up on his opponent and attack, which often leads to an explosive move at the rim. He finishes with either hand and has the ability to score at all three levels.
Marquese Chriss (Rancho Grove, Calif./Pleasant Grove)
2015, PF, 6-foot-8, 210 pounds
Status: Most of the Pac-12, Mountain West and WCC schools are jumping on board.
Chriss sometimes looks like he’s playing the game on a trampoline. His bounce is awe-inspiring and he gets off the floor quickly. His game is raw at this stage both in shooting and ballhandling, but his upside is frightening. Chriss gets most of his buckets off putbacks and can even hand out the nifty assist. However, he needs to get better at finishing through contact and improve his play in the painted area.
Christian Terrell (Sacramento, Calif./Sacramento)
2016, PG, 6-foot-4, 170 pounds Terrell has grown physically and his overall game has expanded as well. The rangy point guard is a phenomenal passer with either hand for a player his age and his ball skills have improved. Now he needs to improve his decision making and limit his over-dribbling, but overall he is an outstanding floor general prospect for the next level.
Jonathan Galloway (Richmond, Calif./Salesian)
2014, C, 6-foot-8, 215 pounds
Status: Picked up an offer from Cal Poly this weekend.
Galloway’s game and production has come a long way in the past year as he is evolving from project to prospect. He has a good frame with long arms and soft hands and his post skills have improved as he displayed a solid jump hook. At this stage, he impacts the game with is hustle, length and timing, but the other areas are catching up.
Best Power Guard
Milan Acquaah (Pasadena, Calif./La Salle)
2016, PG, 5-foot-11, 170 pounds Acquaah is a beast at this level and a tremendous competitor who overpowers his defender with his strength. Ironically, he is far more effective going with his off left hand and is pull-up game and vision are also weapons.
Max Hoetzel (Calabasas, Calif./Calabasas)
2014, WF, 6-foot-6, 195 pounds Hoetzel has a rangy frame with good length and a sweet shooting stroke. He is quite good off the catch and is getting better off the dribble. He needs to improve his assertiveness on the boards at both ends, but his shooting touch is bound to generate plenty of Division I attention.
Name To Remember Damari Milstead (Hayward, Calif./Moreau Catholic)
2017, PG, 5-foot-11, 145 pounds
Milstead frame projects well at the next level. He has long arms, good quickness and savvy well beyond his years. He is good in the open court where he advances the ball well and is an astute passer (exceptional bounce passer). He has a solid burst going left or right and his vision is stellar.
Double Pump/Pangos notes
The Oakland Soldiers U15 team has a number of good looking 2016 prospects, including 6-foot-8 Arash Poorsina (San Francisco/St. Ignatius), 6-foot-2 Nakota Shepard-Creer (Richmond, Calif./Salesian), 6-foot-7 Ben Kone' (Richmond, Calif./Salesian) and 6-foot-1 Brandon Lawrence (Hayward, Calif./Moreau Catholic)
It would be shocking to find a more impressive 2017 prospect out here than 6-foot-10 DeAndre Ayton (San Diego/Balboa School). His game resembles that of Kevin Garnett and he has superior length, ball skills, bounce and seemingly magnetic hands.
One of the more underrated point guards out West is 2015 K.J. Smith (Westlake, Calif./Oaks Christian). Smith plays the game at a great pace, always has his head up and his overall skill level continues to improve.
Anthony Townes (Modesto, Calif./Modesto Christian), a 6-foot-6 junior, is a chiseled 4-man with very long arms, good hands and excellent feet. He needs to improve his overall skill-set, but the physical ability and assertiveness are there.
Senior Jeremy Lieberman (Calabasas, Calif./Calabasas) continued his excellent July period with improved decision making and a better shooting from long range.
2015 Noah Blackwell (Roseville, Calif./Woodcreek) has size, skill, and deep shooting ability to play at the next level. However, his decision-making and overall feel for the game needs to improve.
U16 A Plus has a number of Division I prospects in addition to the aforementioned Dejounte Murray. Isiah Brown (Lynnwood, Wash./Lakeside) is a poised sophomore point guard with a high basketball IQ, while 6-foot combo-guard Shadeed Shabazz (Seattle/Rainier Beach) is multi-skilled left-hander. Also, 6-foot-7 junior Scott Hastings (Lynden, Wash./Lynden) can play inside and out due to his all-around game and savvy.