West Coast juniors take center stage
Although many of the top West Coast prospects were displaying their skills at various events outside of California, there still were a number of D-1 prospects at the Southern California Hoop Review this past weekend.
Losing five players from last season's squad will certainly be a blow to Kentucky. Still, in Brandon Knight, the Wildcats are getting a signature recruit with superstar ability. Paul Biancardi
As the Class of 2010 winds down its high school eligibility, the Class of 2011 has taken center stage. Overall, the class looks weaker top-to-bottom than the mediocre Class of 2010, but it's early on and there a few late-blooming prospects -- Norman Powell and Kevin Bailey come immediately to mind -- who are climbing up the recruiting charts.
Kevin Bailey, SF (6-5, 180)
2011, Fresno, Calif./ Clovis East
When it comes to athleticism, there are few prospects who can equal Bailey. He is a terror in the open court with his ability to finish above the rim. He gets most of his points in transition and attacking the offensive glass. His ball skills are raw and his jump shot needs polishing, but with his bounce and length, his upside is immense.
Rosco Allen, SF (6-7, 180)
2012, Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman
Allen is one of the more promising prospects in the ultra-talented Class of 2012. He needs to gain considerable strength, but he can knock down the 3 and utilizes the pump fake to free himself from defenders very well.
Norman Powell, SF (6-4, 180)
2011, San Diego, Calif./ Lincoln
Along with the aforementioned Bailey, Powell is an athletic menace to his opponents. His jump shot is quite flat and inconsistent, but he can slash to the rim with the best of them and he affects the game on many levels.
Darius Nelson, SF (6-5, 210)
2011, Sacramento, Calif./ Sheldon
Nelson doesn't pass the look test because of his bulky frame, and he has questionable upside. Still, he knows how to score inside and out. He can stick the 3 and he utilizes his thick frame to score around taller opponents.
Brandon Jawato, G (6-3, 190)
2011, El Segundo, Calif.
Jawato has been one of the pleasant surprises thus far during the spring signing period. He plays extremely hard at both ends and he has a knack for scoring. His pull-up jump shot is very good and he can finish hard at the rim.
Montigo Alford, PG (5-10, 155)
2011, Fontana, Calif./ Summit
Alford is an undersized point guard prospect, but he's quite a talent. He is extremely explosive off the dribble and can finish in the paint, utilizing his athleticism and overall strength. In addition, he handed out a number of fine assists.
Chris Read (6-3, 180) 2011, PF, Castro Valley, Calif. In November, Read was an explosive 4-man with limited perimeter skills. However, at this event he showed a solid midrange pull-up and delivered some nifty passes in transition.
Paulin Moawe, F (6-7, 200)
2011, Redlands, Calif./ East Valley
Moawe is quite raw on the offensive end and lacks fundamentals, but the upside is there. He has a rangy frame and is very bouncy in the paint area. Not to mention he hit a couple of jump shots at the elbow in transition.
Two to watch
Chris Brown, PG (6-0, 155)
2011, Los Angeles/Washington
Brown is slowly evolving into a solid Division 1 point guard prospect. In this day and age where most lead guards are looking to score, Brown is the ultimate playmaker for his teammates. His jump shot needs to continue to get better, but his passing was impressive throughout the event.
Isaac Hamilton SG (6-3, 160)
2013, Los Angeles/Crenshaw
At this stage, Hamilton may be the most polished scorer in the West Coast class of 2013. Like his brother, Jordan (Texas), Hamilton has a knack for scoring. However, unlike his older sibling, he has more of a tendency to give it up to his teammates.
• Amir Garrett, a 6-6 junior out of Lawndale, Calif./ Leuzinger, needs to work on his handle and midrange game, but he plays very hard, attacks the rim and can knock down the open jump shot.
• Lonnie Jackson, a 6-3 junior out of Valencia, Calif., has a wiry frame that needs to get stronger to separate from defenders. His shot is consistent in a catch-and-shoot situation, but it gets erratic (lack of strength) when he has to shoot off the dribble.
• Spencer Dinwiddie, a 6-3 combo-guard out of Woodland Hills, Calif./ Taft, is one of the more intriguing prospects out West. His best basketball is definitely ahead of him due to his undeveloped frame and evolving guard skills.
• Dorian Cason, a 6-6 junior out of Fontana, Calif./ Summit, displayed a smooth shooting stroke out to the stripe. His face-up game is still raw, but with his frame, he should develop some post moves for the next level.
• One of the slickest ball handlers in the event belonged to 5-7 junior Jordan Daniels (Etiwanda, Calif.). He has a very small frame, but he has a high basketball IQ and a variety of skills.
• One of the top sleepers in California is 6-5 junior Resean Simpson (San Diego, Calif./ Lincoln). He has a lanky frame that should fill out nicely and his perimeter skills are pretty solid as well.
• Norvell Pelle, a 6-9 junior out of Los Angeles/Price, is a tremendous shot-blocker, but he plays in spurts, has limited post skills, and is a poor rebounder in traffic.
Joel Francisco is a recruiting coordinator for ESPN Recruiting.
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