- Joel Francisco
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SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- For over 30 years, the Ocean View Tournament of Champions has consistently provided Southern California hoop enthusiasts with high-level prospects. However, the last couple of seasons, the TOC has not produced anything remotely close to it's illustrious past. As a result the "The Tournament" held at Santa Monica High School appears to be the next great tournament in Southern California as demonstrated by its field that consisted of San Diego/Lincoln, Corona/Centennial and Compton, among others.
Norman Powell (San Diego, Calif./Lincoln)
2011, SG, 6-foot-3, 190 pounds
The UCLA commit dominated the field in a variety of ways. His explosiveness is awe-inspiring as he hammered down a few dunks that would have made Dominique Wilkins proud. Overall, his game is reminiscent of current NBA player Jason Richardson. Powell can get to the rim at will as he glides in transition and knock down 3-pointerers, but needs to be much more consistent. In addition, his ballhandling can get a bit sloppy, but Ben Howland has a great reputation for developing raw talents.
Gabe York (Orange, Calif./Lutheran)
2012, SG, 6-2, 170 pounds
York is one of the more sought after scoring guards on the West Coast in the 2012 class. He has a terrific stroke that extends out to 23 feet and gets great lift on his shot. He can explode in transition off of two feet to dunk over the competition or nail a pull-up jumper. He is getting better with the ball, yet his left hand needs to get stronger. In addition, his game has gone to another level due to making a more concerted effort of getting his teammates involved off the bounce. He still needs to be more physical and show better effort at the defensive end, but he is definitely a talent.
Dominique Dunning (Corona, Calif./Centennial)
2011, SG, 6-4, 190 pounds
There isn't another prospect in Southern California that personifies winning like Dunning. The New Mexico signee can affect the game in a variety of ways. He loves to attack in transition and is one of the better slashers in in the country. His jump shot is a bit rigid and will need to get better for the next level, but his midrange game has improved and he is quite the potent rebounder for a player his size. How his game translates to the next level will be interesting, but every program needs a player with his intangibles.
London Perrantes (Encino, Calif./Crespi)
2013, PG, 5-11, 155 pounds
Perrantes has the savviness and poise of a veteran college point guard. He doesn't possess great quickness and speed, but he does have a tight clever handle and he can deliver the Steve Nash-like assist with either hand. His skip passing is impressive and he runs the pick-and-roll or pick-and-pop very well, despite his youth. He can knock down the 3-point shot and he gets solid lift on it as well. His overall game should continue to evolve, but it will be interesting to see how his frame and athleticism progress during his high school career.
Johnathan Bell (Sherman Oaks, Calif./Notre Dame)
2012, SG, 6-2, 160 pounds
Bell has the frame (long arms) and quickness to be a Division I scoring guard. He is quite good in transition, where he slashes his way to the rim for the finish. He has a soft touch in the paint due to his potent runner and solid pull-up. His jump shot is solid, especially when he gets his legs into his shot. Overall, he needs to continue to develop his ballhandling and get considerably stronger for the next level, but his upside is evident.
Players to watch
Isaac Hamilton (Los Angeles, Calif./Crenshaw)
2013, SG, 6-4, 160 pounds
Blessed with an outstanding frame (extreme length) and budding athleticism, Hamilton appears to be right on schedule for becoming an elite scoring guard. He can knock down the 3-point shot or attack off the dribble. He doesn't have elite quickness, but as he gets stronger his ability to attack off the dribble should improve dramatically. While his older brother (Jordan Hamilton at Texas) thinks score all the time, Isaac looks to set up his teammates at a much more consistent rate.
Tyree Robinson (San Diego, Calif./Lincoln)
2013, SG, 6-3, 190 pounds
Robinson is an explosive scoring guard who has a fair amount of savvy as well. His pull-up jumper off the dribble is a thing of beauty and his overall athletic package is impressive. He is quite good in the open court where he attacks off the dribble very well. At this stage he is a better-than-average passer and may have some upside at the point guard someday. However, his game management skills need to improve. He plays too fast (can be turnover prone) and his shot selection is questionable at times. He is an FBS prospect in football as well, so it will be interesting to see how his basketball skills improve in the coming seasons.
• Fresno, Calif. has three promising prospects in 6-5 Kevin Bailey (Clovis, Calif./Clovis East), 6-2 Denzel Johnson (Freson, Calif./Clovis West) and 6-2 Anthony Trammel (Central). Bailey, who is headed to Portland, is an electrifying athlete in the open court, while Santa Clara inked one of the more polished guards in the class in Johnson. Meanwhile, Trammel utilizes his strength, length and athletic prowess to make plays at both ends of the floor.
• Anthony January, a 6-7 junior out of Compton, Calif., has clearly worked on his overall skill set in recent months. His shot selection is still an issue, but he is an explosive rebounder and is much more on balance (triple threat position) while attacking off the bounce.
• Murray State snuck into Southern California to snag the multi-faceted 6-3 Jaylen Bland (Reseda, Calif./Cleveland). He can stick the 3-point shot and he plays the game at both ends with purpose in mind.
• Loyola (Los Angeles) has two promising prospects in 6-4 junior Julian Harrell and 5-8 freshmen Parker Cartwright. Harrell is relentless at both ends of the floor and can really attack the rim, while Cartwright has the savviness, quickness and smooth stroke to be an elite point guard prospect before he graduates.
• After a scintillating fall campaign, 6-4 Danny Cheek (Newport Beach, Calif./Corona Del Mar) has continued his climb up the ratings with another dazzling performance. The Northern Arizona signee is a high-level athlete who gets great lift on his midrange jump shot and has the potential to be a devastating defender at the next level.
• Sheldon (Sacramento) has a bevy of intriguing underclassmen, including 6-1 junior Kyi Thomas, and sophomores 6-4 Dakari Allen, and 6-1 Jalen Hicks. Thomas is an explosive combo-guard with a legitimate jump shot. Allen is a rangy 4/3 with a soft 3-point touch and Hicks is a lengthy shooting guard with a solid upside.
Joel Francisco is a recruiting coordinator for ESPN Recruiting.