- Joel Francisco
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With the high school basketball season wrapping up, here is a look at the top players and biggest surprises in the West for the 2011 class.
Myck Kabongo, PG (Toronto, Can./Findlay Prep)
Kabongo is about as fast and quick with the ball as you'll see at this level. The physical tools and skill are evident, but he must do a much better job at becoming more efficient with the ball in his hands, if he wants to garner immediate playing time at Texas.
Tony Wroten Jr., PG (Seattle, Wash./Garfield)
Wroten is one of the most unique prospects in the country. He is essentially a small forward playing the point with a strong frame and an ability to thread the needle with his nifty passing. However, his assist-to-turnover ratio is alarming.
Kyle Wiltjer, PF (Portland, Ore./Jesuit)
He has a feathery touch out to 23-feet and polished footwork in the post. He'll need to get significantly stronger for the next level, but he's probably the most skilled 4-man in the country.
Nick Johnson, SG (Henderson, Nev./Findlay Prep)
No one on this list affects the game at both ends like the Arizona-bound Johnson. His on-ball pressure is impressive and he doesn't need an elevator to get to the second floor while in transition.
Jabari Brown, SG (Oakland, Calif./Oakland)
Oregon needs a talent influx and it has one coming in the sweet shooting Brown. He needs to get better with the ball and make a more concerted effort at the defensive end, but he'll make an immediate impact due to his shooting prowess.
Jahii Carson, PG (Phoenix, Ariz./Mesa)
Arizona State needs some offensive punch and Carson will provide it the moment he steps on campus. He has a dizzying array of moves while attacking the basket and he can knock down the 3-point shot.
Norman Powell, SG (San Diego, Calif./Lincoln)
The Bruins need some much-needed athleticism out on the perimeter and Powell should provide that immediately. The high-flyer affects the game at both ends and his skill set should improve under coach Ben Howland's watchful eye.
Angelo Chol, PF (San Diego, Calif./Hoover)
The sinewy left-hander has a go-to move in his formidable jump hook. He has also improved his touch out to the 3-point line. Defensively, his timing is impeccable and he's a gifted rebounder as well.
Gary Bell Jr., SG (Kent, Wash./Kentridge)
Bell Jr. has the physical makeup of a Division I scoring guard. He plays with an even keel at both ends and his jump shot is deadly out to 22 feet. Look for him to start in place of senior Steven Gray when he arrives at Gonzaga.
Norvel Pelle, PF (Los Angeles, Calif./Price)
In terms of size, length and bounce Pelle is at the top of the charts. However, until he decides he wants to be a player (suspensions, missed practices, etc.) all the physical gifts are meaningless at this point.
Chris Anderson, PG (Anaheim Hills, Calif./Canyon)
Anderson, who is WCC-bound (San Diego), is undersized but he makes up for it with speed and savvy. He is electrifying in the open court and knows how to get into the seams of the defense.
Michael Caffey, PG (Corona, Calif./Centennial)
Once Josiah Turner (Quality Education/NC) left for the East Coast, Caffey could be considered the No. 1 point guard prospect out west. His burst off the dribble and ability to get to the rim is awe-inspiring. In other words -- Long Beach State got a steal.
Byron Wesley, SF (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Etiwanda)
Wesley is the owner of the most deadly midrange game on the West Coast. He utilizes his chiseled physique and savvy to ward off opponents while taking them off the dribble. Kevin O'Neil has a prospect here that is ready for the physical pounding of college basketball.
Davon Potts, SG (Cerritos, Calif./Gahr)
Potts led his team to the CIF championship with one of the more polished midrange games in the state. Due to his academics and shooting prowess he should be a strong late signee for any mid-major program.
Alexis Moore, PG (Long Beach, Calif./Poly)
The versatile Moore has steadily matured as a player and his upside looks promising. A great frame and an improved jump shot are part of the package that is headed to USC.
Joel Francisco is a recruiting coordinator for ESPN Recruiting.
PGs Myck Kabongo, Tony Wroten Jr. highlight best prospects out west, writes Joel Francisco.