- Joel Francisco
LONG BEACH, Calif. -- The Fullcourt Press All-Frosh/Soph Camp continues to be one of the most beneficial stops on the West Coast recruiting circuit. The quality of play can be a major chore evaluating at times due to selfishness and a lack of savviness, but there were a number of standout performances, nonetheless.
Winston Shepard (Las Vegas, Nev./Findlay Prep), a 6-foot-7 sophomore, has an extraordinary amount of natural talent, but his flair for the spectacular was hard to stomach throughout the event. If he can slow down and allow the game to come to him, there is no reason he shouldn't be considered one of the top wing-types in the Class of 2012.
Furthermore, there were a bevy of freshmen that displayed high-level talent and upside. Isaac Hamilton (Los Angeles/Crenshaw) displayed not only his scoring prowess, but a willingness to set up others. In addition, 6-1 Chance Murray (Los Angeles/Price) and 6-5 Aaron Gordon (San Jose, Calif./Archbishop Mitty) have the potential to be nationally ranked sooner rather than later.
There were times at this event where it was rather comical in terms of how Shepard was toying with the competition. He is transforming into a high-major wing due to his willowy frame, developing skills and outstanding athleticism. He handles the ball well in the open court and he can drain the jump shot when he's on balance. He is a quick leaper with very good hands and his passing prowess is impressive, especially in transition. Unfortunately, he has a flair for the spectacular and would rather make the more difficult play rather than the more efficient play. His handle can get very sloppy (high dribble) and his passes are wild, as well. There isn't anything wrong with his effort level, but his approach needs an overhaul if he wants to hold on to his lofty upside. Overall, Shepard needs to play with purpose in mind and with less flair for the spectacular. He has the tools to be very good at the next level, but he now must begin to hone his basketball IQ to reach his potential.
He is the younger brother of Texas recruit Jordan Hamilton and is a top-notch prospect, as well. He has grown considerably over the past year and he has obviously learned how to score from his older sibling. He is a tremendous slasher and he possesses one of the sweetest floaters, regardless of class. He handles the ball well in transition and he even exhibited some remarkable passing ability. His jump shot is smooth out to the stripe and it should get more consistent with added strength. If he can continue to hone his savviness and passing skills, his upside is quite high due to his innate ability to score from anywhere on the court.
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Winston Shepard stands out at Fullcourt Press Camp, despite his showboating, writes Joel Francisco.