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Joel`s Take: SoCal Hoop Review

By Joel Francisco , 04/24/17, 2:00PM PDT


2017 Southern California Hoop Review

Garden Grove, CA.


Although there were a few standout veterans--Cassius Smits and up-and-coming Dezmond Washington come immediately to mind. However, the 2017 Southern California Hoop Review will be best remembered for unveiling the next "youth movement" in Southern California, beginning with ultra-skilled big man 6-foot-8 Tosh Baker (Splash City Elite 2020).


Francisco's Finest


Senior Standouts


Cassius Smits (Phoenix, AZ/Cactus Shadows)

2017, PF, 6-foot-9, 225 pounds


Joel's Take: Smits came into this weekend as a relative unknown. Originally from Indiana, he tore his ACL and did not play his senior campaign. However, he dominated all foes at this event. Good hands, good feet, great frame, high motor, and can score through contact--yah, that about sums it up.


Walter Urbina Graves (Fresno, CA/ Clovis West)

2017, WF, 6-foot-6, 190 pounds


Joel's Take: There wasn't a better slasher/finisher at this event than Urbina-Graves. Ideal Division 1 frame with long arms and he is explosive in transition. He scored in a variety of ways and he was engaged at both ends as a rebounder and weak-side defender.


Luis Rodriguez (Los Angeles, CA/ Westchester)

2017, WF, 6-foot-5, 185 pounds


Joel's Take: Rodriguez showed this weekend that he has definite college potential. He impacts the game with his scoring and hustle. He can attack the rim or drop in a 3-point shot and his ball skills are improving.


Marquis Moore (Los Angeles, CA/ Westchester)

2017, WF, 6-foot-5, 190 pounds


Joel's Take: Consistency is the key with Moore as he possesses the skills and motor to play somewhere on the college level. He has the strength to rebound and finish through contact in the paint, but also has the finesse to knock in open shots.



Best kept secret out West?


Dezmond Washington (Pasadena, CA./Blair)

2018, WF, 6-foot-5, 190 pounds


Joel's Take: Each season there is always a kid who will emerge from the pack of sleepers--Devonte Dourtrive comes to mind--and Washington appears to be on his way. The prototypical wing-type can convert buckets at all three levels and he's an explosive athlete. Slashing drives, above the rim finishes, mid-range pull-ups, and some dazzling passes are all part of his repertoire.


Ahead of their time


Tosh Baker (Scottsdale, CA./Pinnacle)

2020, C, 6-foot-8, 225 pounds


Joel's Take: This big-bodied youngster is ahead of his time when it comes to fundamentals and post skills. He loves converting buckets over his left shoulder and his shooting touch is feathery out to 15-feet. Definitely one of the more promising prospects out West in the Class of 2020.


Chris Howell (Carlsbad, CA/ San Elijo Middle School)

2021, PG, 6-foot-4, 160 pounds


Joel's Take: Howell, who plans on attending San Marcos High School in the Fall, is an intriguing point guard prospect. The rangy floor leader has excellent vision, changes speeds very well, and can drop in a floater as well. His jump shot needs to be more consistent, but his savvy and passing are terrific for his age.



3-Point snipers


Jarius Cook (Brooklyn Park, MN./Park Center)

2018, SG, 6-foot-3, 175 pounds


Joel's Take: Came across Cook and quickly took notice of his smooth shooting touch. Ideal Division 1 frame, solid athlete, and a knack of making plays on the offensive end. He needs to sharpen up his handle against pressure and improve his initial burst, but he is definitely a Division 1 prospect.


Kyle Braun (Calabasas, CA./Calabasas)

2020, SG, 6-foot-1, 155 pounds


Joel's Take: Braun has a good looking frame with long arms and broad shoulders. He has a textbook release on his shot and he gets great lift on it too. Intrigued to watch his development over the next couple of seasons, especially if his ball handling against pressure evolves.


Ryan Turrell (Valley Village, CA./Valley Torah)

2018, WF, 6-foot-5, 170 pounds


Joel's Take: This spindly swingman can tickle the twine as they say. Each season he has taken his game to another level. He is well-coached, his head is always up while surveying the defense, and he gets nice lift on his jump shot. As he continues to get stronger and hones his ball skills, his stock will continue to elevate.


Truman Brown (Layton, UT/Layton)

2018, SG, 6-foot-3, 175 pounds

Joel's Take: Yes--it's shocking--a terrific shooter from Utah. He is best coming off of screens to get his shot off and he moves well without the ball. In transition he can rise up and knock in the shot and he does a nice job of utilizing the head-fake to free himself up for the mid-range pull-up.




Son of a coach


Hunter Clarke (Lafayette, CA./Campolindo)

2020, WF, 6-foot-5, 180 pounds


Joel's Take: It's that time of the season where dunks and forced 3-point shots take precedent over fundamentals, skill, and savvy. That is why it's so refreshing watching Clarke. He utilizes the jump stop, passes with either hand, exhibits on-balance shooting, and executes clever drives with aplomb. That pretty much describes this up-and-coming Division 1 player.


Bryce Monroe (San Francisco, CA./Sacred Heart Cathedral Academy)

2020, PG, 5-foot-11, 160 pounds


Joel's Take: Along with Jelani Clark (Archbishop Riordan) and Nick Bowden (St. Bernards), Splash City 2020 has a heck-of-a-trio of guards. Clark has a motor and extremely long arms while Bowden can nail jump shots with ease. However, the catalyst is Monroe who weaves in-and-out of defenses utilizing his quickness and scoring instincts.


Jadon Jones (Montebello, CA./Cantwell Sacred Heart)

2020, PF/WF, 6-foot-5, 165 pounds


Joel's Take: Jones is a slender left-handed wing-type who plays hard at both ends. He can slash to the rim off the dribble, find open teammates due to his feel for the game, and operates the offense well from the elbow. Intriguing prospect who has a high ceiling going forward.



Sleeper Alert


John Nagle (Vacaville, CA/Will C. Wood)

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


Joel's Take: This willowy wing-type has a feathery stroke and he's an excellent passer as well. He sets up his shot well off the catch and his release is smooth. In addition, despite his slight frame, he is a willing rebounder.


Garrett Pascoe (Concord, CA./Clayton Valley Charter School)

2018, PG, 6-foot-2, 175 pounds


Joel's Take: Pascoe was one of the more interesting finds this weekend. He possesses a nice burst off the dribble combined with ideal size for the point guard position. His handle is solid and he can knock in open shots. He needs to tighten up his post passing (better angles) and learn to change speeds with the dribble, but he's a talent.



Youth will be served


Demetrius Calip II (Woodland Hills, CA./Taft)

2020, PG, 6-foot-2, 155 pounds


Joel's Take: Calip II runs in the same Cal Supreme backcourt with fellow 2020 standouts Amound Anderson (Leuzinger) and Camren Pierce (Etiwanda). Calip II is a combo-guard who has the feel to run the 1 and his passing is high-level off the dribble. He needs strength and his jump shot has a long release, but his talent is evident.


John Tan (Rolling Hills, CA./Rolling Hills Prep)

2020, PF, 6-foot-7, 220 pounds


Joel's Take: It's nice to see a young player understand his strengths and know what he is on the court--and that is the case with Tan. The burly 5/4 has soft hands, a knack for rebounding, and is physical as well. He isn't a leaper, but he knows how to carve out space.


Joshua Christopher (Lakewood, CA./ Mayfair)

2020, SG, 6-foot-4, 175 pounds


Joel's Take: There is no question Christopher has D1 talent and size, but his approach needs some tweaking. He has that prototypical 2-guard frame combined with strength and athleticism. He can score in a variety of ways as well, but he tends to force the issue (turnover prone) and his shot selection is questionable as well.


Fredric Burton (Sacramento, CA/ Capital Christian)

2020, SG, 6-foot-2, 170 pounds


Joel's Take: Fellow classmates and Cal United teammates Jalen Green and Julian Strawther get more attention, but Burton is a winner. He plays with rare tenacity at both ends and he can either attack off the dribble (explosive burst) or drop in a deep 3-pointer.


Future D1 Bigs


Dishon Jackson (Oakland, CA./ St. Patrick St. Vincent)

2020, C, 6-foot-7, 220 pounds


Joel's Take: Although not as tall, Jackson has some physical attributes that remind me of UCLA big man Ike Anigbogu. He has long arms, solid timing, and he's assertive in the paint area. He can finish above the rim and he shows a soft touch as well.


Hugo Clarkin (Las Flores, CA./Tesoro)

2020, C, 6-foot-8, 195 pounds


Joel's Take: With most bigs it takes time, and Clarkin is no exception. However, he has the long frame, solid hands, and good feet. His offensive game is still raw and his fundamentals (bending knees and playing on balance) are areas that need attention, but he shows touch and more importantly he isn't afraid to mix it up in the paint.


Nakial Cross (La Jolla, CA/The Bishop's School)

2020, PF, 6-foot-7, 170 pounds


Joel's Take: This wiry 4/3 is just scratching his potential. He has extremely long arms, soft hands, and he can convert shots to the elbow. His strength will increase as he matures, but he projects well to the next level.


Biggest Surprises


Landis Spivey (Stockton, CA./ Aspire Langston Hughes Academy)

2018, WF, 6-foot-4, 170 pounds


Joel's Take: Spivey is an ultra-athletic swingman who can impact the game with his bouncy nature, instincts, and high motor. Above the rim finishes, soft hands, and an ability to find ways to score are his gifts.


Jordan Brinson (Los Angeles, CA./Westchester)

2019, SG, 6-foot-2, 155 pounds


Joel's Take: Brinson is beginning to put it altogether on a more consistent basis. He has the lengthy frame and explosiveness to be a college player someday, but he needs to continue to tighten up areas of his game. His jump shot has a low release point and overall his shot needs to smoothen out, but overall the upside is evident.


Mr Clutch


Miles Greene (Gilroy, CA/ Monte Vista Christian)

2018, 6-foot-1, 185 pounds


Joel's Take: Greene is a gamer. The thick-bodied combo-guard competes at both ends and isn't afraid to take the big shot. He gets in the lane due to his strength and determined mindset. He can score at all three levels, but is willing to set up his teammates as well.