Best in the West
Dog days of summer heat up at the End of Summer Showcase.
No one wants the summer to end, especially NCAA Division I basketball coaches and scouts who annually travel out west to see some of the nation’s premiere players in action at the numerous tournaments and camps.
Things kicked off back in late May with the Pangos All-American Camp in Long Beach, CA. A brief jaunt to Las Vegas, NV, for July’s Reebok Summer Championships and adidas Super 64 events followed shortly thereafter. The Nike Global Challenge in Beaverton, OR, was a success in early August. Mere weeks later, on August 22 to be exact, the dog days of summer culminated with the End of Summer Showcase in sunny Southern California.
So, without further delay, here’s a look at several individuals who enjoyed breakout efforts over the past couple months, the recruits that did nothing to tarnish their growing reputations and a glance at some of the summer’s up-and-comers.
Josh Smith | 6-9 | C | Seattle Rotary | 2010
This guy is a load, a flat-out load underneath the basket. There’s not many people that out-muscle the 270-pound wide-body from Washington. He hits the board with reckless abandon and changes plenty of shots. He’s an intimidator, no doubt about it. Equally impressive is the fact that Smith has a soft touch from the perimeter. He’s the total package, extremely close to being a finished product.
Terrence Jones | 6-8 | PF | I-5 Elite | 2010
Another northerner with a solid all-around game (pictured above). It will be interesting to see what position the Oregon product ends up playing at the next level considering he’s projected as a small forward by some, and a power forward by others. One thing is certain, Jones will find a home and opponents will have a tough time defending the lefty. Seemingly every top-notch college has offered him a scholarship.
Tyler Lamb | 6-3 | SG | Pump-N-Run Elite | 2010
The crafty California guard (pictured, right) is as smooth as they come, a trait UCLA coach Ben Howland noticed immediately. Perhaps that’s why he pursued Lamb so diligently, even though fellow Los Angeles-based guard Kendall Williams, a talent in his own right, had already orally committed to the Bruins. Williams is out of the picture these days. Lamb isn’t, he‘ll be the one with the ball in his hands for Howland.
Tristan Thompson | 6-9 | PF | Grassroots Canada | 2010
When Canada is mentioned, most people think hockey, rightfully so. Thompson, however, is doing his best to change the perception. And the Canadian-born prodigy is doing a really good job. The talented post presence, who plays high school ball at juggernaut Findlay Prep in Nev., was recruited by powerhouse programs such as UConn and Duke before orally committing to Texas in March of 2008.
Keala King | 6-5 | PG | California Supreme | 2010
In the midst of a high-profile high school transfer in Los Angeles, CA. And when he finally lands, some program is going to be very lucky to have him onboard. His size, quickness and passing ability makes him an attractive option at the point. Then again, King consistently buries open jumpers, making him an ideal fit at the two. Given the opportunity, he could play some small forward.
James Johnson | 6-9 | PF | Pump-N-Run | 2010
Might be going out on a limb here, but who cares, it needs to be stated: No one has increased his stock more in the eyes of the powers that be than Johnson (pictured, left). Before the summertime evaluation period started, the San Diego product was receiving interest from a few Pac-10 Conference institutions. The Big East, Big 12 and SEC have jumped on the suddenly crowded bandwagon since.
Anthony Brown | 6-6 | SG | SCA All-Stars | 2010
The Golden State guard possesses above average size, creating a mismatch problem more often than not. One problem: Brown is a mere 180 pounds and needs to put on some added weight or run the risk of being pushed around in the very near future. Rumor was that he was bound for Arizona, but his options remain plenty. Several Pac-10 schools have offered and Florida and Oklahoma are in the mix too.
Gary Franklin | 6-2 | PG | California Supreme | 2010
In case you haven’t noticed, California has plenty of backcourt talent spread throughout the region. Might as well add Franklin’s name to the growing list. He’s the real deal, a true leader in every sense. Few run a team better than this floor general, who orally committed to USC before Tim Floyd was replaced by Kevin O’Neill. Franklin is officially back on the market, so look out…
Tony Wroten Jr. | 6-5 | PG | Seattle Rotary | 2011
There’s plenty to like about the underclassman from Washington. He possesses unlimited range out on the perimeter, can put the ball on the floor and get to the basket or find the open man for the easy jumper. Wroten is a special player with tons of upside. Believe the hype. Don’t be surprised if he ends up being recognized as the top player in the country by this time next year.
DeAndre Daniels | 6-8 | SF | Pump-N-Run | 2010
The senior from California has flown underneath the radar for too long. It’s about time for someone to shed some light on this subject. Daniels is a do-it-all type of player, the prototypical wing with an uncanny knack for being in the right place at the right time. Texas was so impressed with his skill set that the Longhorns offered him a scholarship and he accepted in May.