Commentary

Wiltjer, Copes impress at Fab 48

Updated: July 23, 2010, 11:54 AM ET
By Joel Francisco | ESPN Recruiting

After spending 15-plus hours watching a plethora of games, Day 1 at the inaugural Las Vegas Fab 48 ended when Belmont Shore upended California Supreme 88-80. The explosive playmaking of 5-11 Cezar Guerrero (Bellflower, Calif./ St. John Bosco), the soft shooting touch of 6-8 DeAndre Daniels (TBD) and the dominant inside duo of 6-8 junior Grant Jerrett (La Verne, Calif./Lutheran) and 6-8 Ronnie Stevens (Gardena, Calif./Serra) were too much and eventually wore down the Supreme.

Standout player

Kyle Wiltjer (Portland, Ore./Jesuit)
2011, 6-8, 210 | AAU team: Drew Gooden Soldiers

In Las Vegas, Wiltjer has continued the dominance he exhibited at the Nike Peach Jam. His skill level and savvy separate him from any big man in the West. Coming into the summer, he had a reputation for not playing hard all the time and being soft. However, in two games at the Fab 48 he has battled inside for rebounds, finished in traffic with an assortment of moves and has even blocked a number of shots due to his length. His athleticism and strength need to get better and should as he matures. Overall, he is making a run for the No. 1 prospect in the Western region.

Surprise players

Erik Copes (Philadelphia/Imhotep Charter)
2011, 6-8, 220 | AAU team: Team Philly
Copes is a high-major 5-man with a relentless motor at both ends of the floor. His offense is limited beyond overpowering a defender five feet from the basket. However, he is a high-level rebounder who is always around the ball and gets numerous tip-ins due to his energy level and power. Defensively, he has excellent timing and plays with a blue-collar mentality.

Kyle Dranginis (Nampa, Idaho/Skyview)
2011, 6-5, 180 | AAU team: Boise Elite White
There are many reasons Gonzaga offered Dranginis last summer before his junior year. He has a young-looking frame with good length and is multiskilled. To go along with his efficient 27-points -- which included some very deep 3s -- he handed out a number of dazzling assists. He has great size for the point and a high basketball IQ. Despite not being overly quick, he changes speeds well and his handle is tight. Due to his youthful-looking frame and shooting prowess, it will be interesting to see how Mark Few utilizes his talents at the next level.

One to watch

J.P. Tokoto (Menomonee Falls, Wis./Menomonee Falls)
2012, 6-6, 185
Tokoto is one of the top 2-guard prospects in the country, regardless of class. He is a slick ball handler and he made a number of nifty passes as well. His jump shot looked smooth out to the stripe and he can get to the rim off the dribble. He has all the physical intangibles (length, bounce, skill) to be an impact player at the highest level. However, he needs to play with more physicality and take care of the basketball because he can be turnover prone.

West Coast notebook

• The Class of 2012 in California has a couple outstanding prospects in Jerrett and 6-7 Brandon Ashley (Oakland, Calif./Bishop O'Dowd).

Although Ashley has received more notoriety -- and rightfully so -- Jerrett is becoming more consistently dominant. Jerrett's skill level has always been high-level, but now all those finesse finishes around the rim are becoming rim-rattling dunks.

• Team Loaded, consisting of players from Virginia and North Carolina, had a couple of senior standouts in 6-5 Andrew White (Colonial Heights, Va./Thomas Dale) and 6-8 Anthony Gill (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Christian). White can stroke the deep ball, while Gill displayed a soft shooting touch and some bounce.

• There isn't a quicker guard in high school basketball than Myck Kabongo (Henderson, Nev./Findlay Prep). His burst is impressive and his passing is high-level. At the next level, when defenses will collapse on his penetration, he'll need to become a much more consistent shooter.

Samuel T. Dekker (Sheboygan, Wis./Lutheran) is a 6-7 junior who is a solid-looking Division I-wing type for the next level. He affects the game at both ends due to his length, bounce and savvy.

Joel Francisco is a recruiting coordinator for ESPN Recruiting.