- Joel Francisco
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LOS ANGELES -- When it comes to high school hoops evaluations, the first week of July is usually hard to stomach as most elite players have gone east for either the LeBron James Skills Academy or the adidas Nations Invitational. However, the Double Pump and Pangos events provided a change of pace and gave a number of prospects to put their talents on display for coaches.
Grant Jerrett (La Verne, Calif./ Lutheran)
2012, PF, 6-foot-8, 220 pounds
Jerrett has catapulted fellow ESPN Super 60 prospect Brandon Ashley (Oakland, Calif./ Bishop O'Dowd) as the best young big in the west. His skill level is remarkable and his footwork is impressive. He can step out and swish jump shots from the perimeter and he is finishing above the rim with much more ferocity. His length is outstanding and he is one of the better passing big men in the country. Defensively, he blocks shots and he fills the lane very well in transition.
Rosco Allen (Las Vegas/ Bishop Gorman)
2012, SF, 6-foot-7, 190 pounds
Allen has continued to add new dimensions to his game each and every year. At first, he too often settled for the 3-point shot. However, now he is attacking the basket at a relentless rate and finishing above the rim, especially in transition. His 3-point shot is still potent and his release is quite good. He still needs to get stronger to finish with contact and to separate from defenders off the dribble, but his overall offensive game has improved.
Dylan Garrity (Huntington Beach, Calif./ Edison)
2011, PG, 6-foot, 155 pounds
Garrity has no offers at this point, but after his performance, his recruiting interest should escalate. He has ideal size for a point guard and he is a good 3-point shooter. His quickness is deceptive and he changes speeds very well. He doesn't have that highly-coveted next gear, but his first step is quite good and he is a very clever passer, both in transition and the half-court set.
Alex Carmon (Long Beach, Calif./ Poly)
2011, SG, 6-foot-3, 180 pounds
Carmon was categorized as a tweener for the next level because he wasn't tall enough for the 3 or a good enough shooter for the 2. However, due to his play this spring and summer, those misconceptions are vanishing. Carmon plays with a high motor at all times and makes plays at both ends of the floor as well as being a good athlete that can slash to the rim and hit the mid-range jump shot. Defensively, he can guard multiple positions. If his jump shot continues improve, his recruiting stock should rise as well.
Two to watch
Isaac Hamilton (Los Angeles/ Crenshaw)
2013, SG, 6-foot-4, 160 pounds
Hamilton had a terrific week at Fairfax and his play continued at this event. His rangy frame, slick handle, and scoring prowess has vaulted him into the discussion for top shooting guard prospect in the west, regardless of class. What separates him from most of his peers is his ability to create for others. He has a sweet release on his jump shot and has shown to be a high-level passer off the dribble. He needs to get stronger because defenders can crowd him and get him off balance, but overall his skills (for a 2-guard) are about as good as anybody in the region.
Skylar Spencer (Los Angeles/ Price)
2012, C, 6-foot-7, 190 pounds
Spencer has improved immensely over the last six months. His intensity at both ends is impressive and he is arguably the best shot blocker in the west. He runs hard in transition and has impeccable timing at both ends. His offensive game (footwork and fundamentals) needs polishing, but he does have a pretty effective jump hook. Due to his approach to the game, live body, and 7-foot-5 wingspan, he should be considered one of the elite prospects regardless of class in the west.
West Coast notebook
• Victor Robbins (Compton, Calif./ Compton) has as many offensive tools as any guard prospect in the west. The 6-foot-5 junior has a nice pull-up game and he has great length. However, he lacks (at this stage) the needed intensity to take his game to the next level.
• After a lackluster spring campaign, 6-1 USC commit Gelaun Wheelwright (Corona, Calif./ Centennial) displayed the kind of playmaking ability that made him such an attractive recruit. He still gravitates towards the spectacular play, but he can knock down the 3-point shot and is very athletic.
• One of the fastest rising juniors on the west coast is 6-4 Marqueze Coleman (Los Angeles/ Dorsey). He has a solid all-around game that includes an efficient 3-point shot and some nifty passing.
• Team Odom, which is organized by Lionel Benjamin, unveiled a blue collar big in 6-8 Emmanuel Ochenje (Sacramento, Calif./ Sheldon). Ochenje, who is originally from St. Louis (MO.) is a magnetic rebounder with good hands and a lengthy frame.
Joel Francisco is a recruiting coordinator for ESPN Recruiting.
In a July surprise, the Double Pump and Pangos events gave a glimpse at some of the top West Coast prospects.