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WCE Utah 2016

By Joel Francisco, 10/26/16, 10:00PM PDT

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2016 West Coast Elite Utah Camp

South Jordan, Utah

 

Each and every year Ryan Silver takes his West Coast Elite staff out to Salt Lake City to unveil the hidden gems in Utah. Frank Jackson, a McDonald's All American that will be hoop'n in a Duke uniform this season, was the first stud that laced'm up at the camp a few years ago. Since then there have been a plethora of others--Gonzaga's Jesse Wade and BYU's Yoeli Childs come immediately to mind--that have exhibited their talents. 

 

This years version of the camp showcased the No. 1 player in the state in Utah-bound Branden Carlson as well as possibly the No. 1 prospect in the state in the multi-skilled sophomore 6-9 Isaac Johnson. 

 

Francisco's Finest

 

Branden Carlson (South Jordan, UT./Bingham)

2017, PF, 6-foot-11, 230 pounds

 

Joel's take: Carlson was pretty much an unknown until this past Spring during the NCAA evaluation period. However, within 6 months the late-blooming "Big" has committed to Utah due to his springy bounce, evolving skill, and immense upside. 

 

Isaac Johnson (American Fork, UT/ American Fork)

2019, PF/C, 6-foot-9, 220 pounds

 

Joel's take: Johnson is arguably the best prospect out of Utah regardless of class. His combination length, skill, and savvy project well to the next level and beyond. He can start the break, dish out the nifty pass, drain jump shots, or go inside and convert buckets. He plays too straight up and down and needs to pick up his intensity on the defensive end

 

 

Untapped potential

 

Levi Dunn (American Fork, UT/American Fork)

2018, C, 6-foot-10, 210 pounds

 

Joel's take: Dunn is best described as "a project." The slender 5-man runs the floor effortlessly and is a sneaky athlete. His post skills and fundamentals (plays too straight-up) need work, but he's intriguing.  

 

Best Motor

 

Trey Johnson (Idaho Falls, ID/Hillcrest)

2018, WF, 6-foot-5, 210 pounds

 

Joel's take: When it comes to "bringing it" every game, there is not too many more consistent than Johnson. He corrals rebounds, attacks the rim with a vengeance, and had a number of impressive off-hand lay-ups through contact. 

 

Luc Krystkowiak (Salt Lake City, UT/Brighton)

2019, WF, 6-foot-2, 165 pounds

 

Joel's take: Not surprising when a son of a former NBA player as well as a college coach (Larry Krystkowiak) exhibits natural instincts for the game. This late-blooming wing has a nice frame with long arms and possesses a solid skill set that will only continue to improve. 

 

Biggest Surprises

 

Nate Hansen (Provo, UT/ Timpview)

2019, PG, 6-foot, 155 pounds

 

Joel's take: Definitely one of the top performers in camp. Hansen can impact the game with his facilitating and scoring. He is a nifty finisher in transition, shows an excellent burst off the dribble, knocks in deep jump shots, and his vision is impressive. 

 

Mikey Frazier (Salt Lake City, UT/East)

2018, C, 6-foot-8, 230 pounds

 

Joel's take: Big-bodied 5-man who possesses very good feet, solid length, and soft hands. He has good instincts in the paint while finishing and rebounding and he can be quite potent in a pick and roll offensive set. With his evolving skill set and motor he projects well at the Division 1 level. 

 

Most Underrated 

 

Delveion Jackson (Boise, ID/Centennial)

2017, WF, 6-foot-6, 185 pounds

 

Joel's take: Bursted onto the scene in Las Vegas in the Spring and continues to advance his game to new heights. The chiseled wing was arguably the most athletic player in camp as he sliced and diced his way to the rim. Not too mention he knocked in jump shots as well. However, the most impressive skill in his game is his defensive prowess. Shall we say Kawhi Leonard-like

 

Burning the nets

 

Trevin Knell (Woods Cross/UT/Woods Cross)

2017, SG, 6-foot-5, 180 pounds

 

Joel's take: Each and every season Knell has taken his game to a new level. He has always been known as a superb shooter, especially off the catch. However, he is now much more confident with the ball in his hands against pressure and as a result his pull-up game is getting tight. 

 

Elias Ballstaedt (Heber City, UT/Wasatch)

2017, WF, 6-foot-5, 195 pounds

 

Joel's take: Ballstaedt is a power wing who can stroke jump shots with the best of them. He sets his shot up well and his shoulders are always squared to the basket. In addition, he has a mature approach to the game where he rarely forces jump shots  or gets sped up with the ball. 

 

Most Explosive

 

Daxton Carr (Pocatello, ID/Highland)

2018, WF, 6-foot-6, 175 pounds

 

Joel's take: If Carr dedicates his time in the gym to developing a killer instinct and improve his perimeter skills, he has all the physical tools to be a Division 1 player someday. 

 

Beast Mode

 

Christian Popoola Jr. (Las Vegas, Nev./Gorman)

2017, CG, 6-foot-4, 200 pounds

 

Joel's take: Popoola Jr. has evolved into a beastly guard-type that should be capable of playing all three perimeter positions at the next level. HIs motor always runs "hot" at both ends and he consistently puts pressure on his opponents with his strength and athleticism. His jump shot needs polishing as well as his decision making, but he's a winner. 

 

"Basketball Players"

 

Hunter Erickson (Provo, UT/ Timpview)

2018, SG, 6-foot-3, 170 pounds

 

Joel's take: Erickson is another one of the camp standouts that impacted the game in multiple ways. He has a knack for being around the ball at both ends and he has active hands too boot. Whether it's knocking down a deep jump shot, snagging a rebound in traffic, or delivering an assist to an open teammate, Erickson does it all. 

 

Jared Bagley (Logan, UT/Logan)

2018, PG, 6-foot-1, 165 pounds

 

Joel's take: Bagley is one of these kids that just plays the game. He is a basketball player who excels at the point guard position due to his vision, IQ, and ability to snap passes to open teammates without any wasted motion. 

 

Son of a Coach

 

Cameron Krystkowiak (Salt Lake City, UT/Brighton)

2018, WF, 6-foot-6, 180 pounds

 

Joel's take: Krystkowiak was one of the more improved players I witnessed. He has a nice rangy frame with long arms and his skill set is coming together. He has 3-point range and his triple threat game is coming together as well. 

 

Max Rice (Boise, ID/Bishop Kelly)

2018, SG, 6-foot-4, 190 pounds

 

Joel's take: Rice has excellent size, strength, and his skill level is quite good as well. He pushes the ball well in the open court and he can convert jump shots consistently with range out to 22-feet. Overall, he is always engaged at both ends utilizing his moxie and savvy to create plays for his team. 

 

Best of the 2019s

 

Rylan Jones (Salt Lake City, UT/Olympus)

2019, PG, 6-foot, 155 pounds

 

Joel's take: Jones is quite polished for a kid who has yet to begin his sophomore campaign. He plays with a great pace (never gets sped up), has his head always up to advance the ball, and he can knock in jump shots 22-feet and in consistently. 

 

Jaxon Pollard (Highland, UT/Lone Peak)

2019, WF, 6-foot-6, 175 pounds

 

Joel's take: Pollard is a rangy wing-type who plays with a terrific motor. He uses his length, budding skills, and basketball instinct (has a nose for the ball) to make plays at both ends of the court. 

 

Ahead of his time

 

Nico Mannion (Phoenix, AZ/ Pinnacle)

2020, PG, 6-foot-1, 160 pounds

 

Joel's take: Mannion is arguably the best freshman point guard in the West. He has the ability to affect the game with his scoring as he does with his passing. He can knock in 3-point shots, carry defenders on his hip (plays through contact), and possesses exceptional speed and quickness. He turned the ball over too much at this event, but overall he was potent.