Southern California Spring Tip Off
Garden Grove, Calif.
The Southern California Spring Tip Off, organized by Gerry Freitas and Ryan Silver, had a plethora of quality teams that were chock full of Division 1 talent. With the "Shoe Season" not quite in full motion, it was nice to see many of the upper tier teams from Under Armour, Nike, and Adidas go head-to-head with a number of individual performances that were high-level.
Josh Green (Peoria, AZ/Hillcrest Prep)
2019, 2G, 6-foot-5, 190 pounds
Joel's Take: Explosive immediately comes to mind when describing Green. He has the ability to knock in jump shots from deep, drop off a nifty assist, or unveil a high-level finish. That about sums it up. Should be nationally rated.
Bol Bol (Santa Ana, CA/Mater Dei)
2018, C, 7-foot-1, 230 pounds
Joel's Take: There might not be a player in the country who uniquely impacts the game like Bol. His Pterodactyl-type length is a site to see as he swats shots away with ridiculous ease. Toss in a pair of magnetic hands and a remarkable touch from deep and you have an anomaly here. He needs to improve his conditioning as well as his post skills, but this kid is a freak.
Bigger, Stronger, Better
Nico Mannion (Scottsdale, AZ/Pinnacle)
2019, PG, 6-foot-2, 175 pounds
Joel's Take: Mannion is the new-age point guard who can score attacking the basket or nail the pull-up jump shot. However, in the open court his vision sets him apart as does his leadership.
Riley Battin (Oak Park, CA/ Oak Park)
2018, PF, 6-foot-9, 235 pounds
Joel's Take: Despite being a rim-level player, Riley's fundamentals, skill, and overall feel separates him from most of his peers. His footwork is impeccable and his vast skill set is a thing of beauty.
J'raan Brooks (Seattle, WA/Garfield)
2018, 6-foot-8, 230 pounds
Joel's Take: Consistency is one of the first descriptions that come to mind when describing Brooks. Strong frame, long arms, and excellent hands describe this prototypical D1 4-man who can score through contact as well as out to 19-feet.
This "Ball" is different
LaMelo Ball (Chino Hills, CA./Chino Hills)
2019, PG, 6-foot-3, 160 pounds
Joel's Take: It's shocking to know that LaMelo is still 15 years old. However, there are some concerning areas to his game that will need attention going forward. No one should question his innate ability to score in a variety of ways (better than Lonzo in the mid-range area) and his passing is high-level as well, but his shot selection and defensive effort need to improve.
Wes Slajchert (Oak Park, CA/Oak Park)
2018, SG, 6-foot-4, 185 pounds
Joel's Take: Slajchert has good size for the 3/2. He always makes the right basketball play and he can knock in open shots both off the catch and off the bounce.
De'Sean Allen-Aikens (Santa Monica, CA/Santa Monica)
2019, WF, 6-foot-5, 215 pounds
Joel's Take: Allen-Aikens is planning on reclassifying and will attend a prep school this Fall. The strong wing-type plays with a terrific motor and impacts the game with his rebounding, passing, and rim-rattling finishes.
Jump Shot away from.....
Devonaire Doutrive (Lake Balboa, CA/Birmingham)
2018, 2G, 6-foot-5, 170 pounds
Joel's Take: Doutrive is likely the most underrated prospect in the West. The slick ball handler/passer has a point guard mentality and is only a consistent jump shot away from being a National Top 25 player.
Cassius Stanley (North Hollywood, CA/Harvard-Westlake)
2019, CG, 6-foot-5, 185 pounds
Joel's Take: Stanley is the most explosive prospect in Southern California since DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors)--as his finishes are awe-inspiring. However, in order for his game to elevate to higher levels, his attention to detail (Jump shooting/rebounding/defending) need to improve as does his motor.
Kenyon Martin Jr. (West Hills, CA./Chaminade)
2019, WF/PF, 6-foot-5, 190 pounds
Joel's Take: Martin Jr. is yet another position-less prospect who impacts the game with his bounce and length. Despite his size, his rim protection is impressive and he has excellent hands. He can lead the break as well, but his off-hand (right) needs to improve as does his half court scoring skills.
Best kept secret out West
Armound Anderson (Lawndale, CA./ Leuzinger)
2020, PG, 6-foot-1, PG, 155 pounds
Joel's Take: Anderson plays the game like a senior. Always on balance, terrific off the dribble, and his passing is high-level. Projects well to the Division 1 level as a point guard.
Scratching the surface
Jalen Green (Fresno, CA./San Joaquin Memorial)
2020, 2G, 6-foot-5, 175 pounds
Joel's Take: Has that prototypical 2-guard frame with excellent length and his high-wire act is impressive. His jump shot (winds up) needs more consistency as does his ball handling against pressure, but the physical traits are evident.
Julian Strawther (Henderson, NV./Liberty)
2020, WF, 6-foot-6, 180 pounds
Joel's Take: Although listed as a point guard by some scouts, I'm not ready to go there. His passing is impressive, but with continued development this athletic 3-man has terrific potential.
Kiimani Holt (Phoenix, AZ./Rancho Solano)
2020, 2G, 6-foot-3, 180 pounds
Joel's Take: Not sure what position he'll be going forward, but Holt impacts the game with his athleticism, length, and scoring--especially in the open court.
More than a jump-shooter!!!
Aidan Prukop (Santa Ana, CA./Mater Dei)
2020, SG, 6-foot-4, 175 pounds
Joel's Take: Coming into this event, Prukop's jump shot was well known, but it was his passing in the open court and overall feel that were equally impressive.
Miles Norris (San Diego, CA/ Helix)
2018, PF, 6-foot-9, 200 pounds
Joel's Take: Norris has the frame (long and broad) and athleticism to garner Division 1 attention. However, other than a few active moments versus Cal Supreme, his all-around game needs to improve to play at the college level. Strength, assertiveness, and balance (plays too straight up) need attention to take game to another level.
Shareef O'Neal (Santa Monica, CA/ Crossroads)
2018, PF, 6-foot-8, 220 pounds
Joel's Take: Not sure where this effort was during the Mater Dei game, but O'Neal was very active at this event. His bouncy nature and soft shooting touch are well-documented, but his motor can fluctuate and he spends far too much time out on the perimeter instead of impacting the paint.
Sava Dukic (San Gabriel, CA./San Gabriel Academy)
2019, PG, 6-foot-2, 175 pounds
Joel's Take: The more you watch, the more you like. Steady play maker who sets the table for teammates and can knock in open jump shots as well.
Beasts of the West
Matt Bradley (San Bernadino, CA/San Bernadino)
2018, WF, 6-foot-4, 215 pounds
Joel's Take: Bradley is a chiseled left-handed wing-type who has improved his all-around game in the past year. His jump shot is tight out to 22-feet and he impacts the game with his moxie and overall feel for the game.
Jonathan Salazar (Las Vegas, NV/Trinity)
2019, 6-foot-5, 220 pounds
Joel's Take: Relentless immediately comes to mind when describing this thoroughbred. Attacks the rim and rebounds with a vengeance due to his explosive nature and his motor is always running hot.
"Boogie" can go
Rejean "Boogie" Ellis (Mission Bay, CA/Mission Bay)
2019, PG, 6-foot-1, 150 pounds
Joel's Take: At this stage it's a matter of strength holding him back from improving his efficiency. His burst is lightening quick (splits double teams with ease) and he can score at all three levels. However, his most important trait may be that he doesn't pound the ball into submission like so many other guards did this weekend.
Backcourt of the future
Clark Slajchert (Oak Park, CA/Oak Park)
2020, PG, 6-foot, 155 pounds
Joel's Take: Arguably the most productive freshman in Southern California. This fearless lead guard isn't afraid of the moment and is equally adept at either scoring or facilitating.
Lamont Butler (Riverside, CA/ Riverside Poly)
2020, PG, 5-foot-10, 155 pounds
Joel's Take: Long arms, active hands, and savvy beyond his years describes this up-and-coming point guard. Butler changes speeds well and can knock in the pull-up jump shot as well.
Spring Tip Off Notes
* Tyler Johnson Elite has a number of quality D-1 recruits in 6-foot-3 Joe Foley (Menlo, CA./Menlo), 6-foot-2 Logan Johnson (Mountain View, CA/St. Francis), 6-foot-7 Dylan Belquist (Los Gatos, CA/Los Gatos), and 6-foot-6 Demetrius Williams (Amador Valley, CA/Amador Valley)
* Darryl Polk (Long Beach, CA/Poly) has gotten considerably stronger to go along with his evolving point guard skill set, while 6-foot-6 Kessler Edwards (Etiwanda, CA/Etiwanda) has that mid-range pull-up down to a science, but needs to improve his ball skills (weak left hand) against pressure and overall offensive package.
* One of the better Division 1 point guard prospects in the West is 6-foot Tauras Samuels (Vista, CA/Vista). The cerebral lead guard doesn't have a great burst, but he changes speeds well, is innate passer, and can knock down the clutch jump shot.
* Like the perimeter trio of Gamepoint Pump N Runs 16u in 6-foot-2 Jordan Hilstock (Vista, CA/Vista), 6-foot-3 Graham Cook (La Costa, CA/La Costa Canyon), and 6-foot-3 sharp shooter Ryan Langborg (La Jolla, CA/La Jolla Country Day).