Downey, Calif. — Whenever Earl Watson Elite Director Ryan Silver puts together a showcase event, it’s certain to host a talented crop of players, as was the case with the West Coast Elite Spring Breakout Saturday and Sunday at Warren high school.
Saturday focused on players who are soon to enroll at high schools across the Southland and beyond and others who are a year, or more, away from hitting the prep circuit.
Sunday was for the current high school prospects to showcase their talents in front of family and the handful of media members who were on hand.
Some of the top performers included well-known prospects such as 2016 guard Leland Green (Redondo Union HS), 2016 F/C Jayce Johnson (Santa Monica HS), 2017 F Matt Mitchell (Eastvale Roosevelt HS), 2017 guard Jemarl Baker (Eastvale Roosevelt), 2016 F Luka Radovic (Cantwell-Sacred Heart HS), 2016 F Kavaughn Scott (Orange Lutheran HS) and 2018 F Miles Norris (Chula Vista Mater Dei Catholic HS).
Green, like he did all through the 2014-15 high school season, was at his best in transition and using his speed and athleticism to blow by defenders and finish at the rim. Johnson blocked just about every shot the opponents attempted in the paint, ran the floor well, finished offensive looks with a strong drop-step, showing why he continues to prove his Pac-12 worth as a recruit.
There was really no stopping the 6-5 Mitchell all day long. He was getting to the basket at-will off the dribble, bulling through would-be defenders for easy looks at the basket. His perimeter shot is also coming along, and that’s quite the scary combination. Baker, a 6-3 guard, played his first game of the day despite injuring his hand, but still had a productive outing. Baker, who led his high school team in scoring last season as a sophomore, has great lift and a pretty release on his jump shot. He can also get to the basket as he pleases. Radovic is a skilled big at 6-8 who can score it from the perimeter or with his back to the basket and Scott is a sort of hybrid forward at 6-7 with good athleticism and instincts when finding space to score around the rim.
Norris, who had a strong freshman campaign down in the San Diego-area this past high school season, really showed why he’s such an intriguing prospect. He’s a legitimate 6-feet-8 with a rangy wingspan, has solid ball-skills, a smooth jump shot, and is just as smooth when attacking the basket off the dribble. The development of Norris is definitely something to keep an eye on.
There were also a couple of “lesser-known,” or better yet, soon-to-be-known prospects who stood out among the players in Downey, including 2017 guard Charles Neal, Jr. (6-3, Rancho Mirage HS), 2018 guard Wes Slajchert (6-4, Oak Park HS), 2017 F Miles Brookins (6-8, Santa Ana Mater Dei HS), 2017 F Adrease Jackson (6-7, Tesoro HS), 2018 F Jordan Guest (6-7, Santa Margarita HS), 2017 wing Marvin Bragg, Jr. (6-6, Gahr HS), 2017 F John Duff (6-8, Venice HS), 2018 guard Nikko Hall (6-1, St. John Bosco HS), 2018 F Andre Fields (6-7, Warren HS), 2018 guard Michael Feinberg (6-3, Sierra Canyon HS) and 2018 guard Bryce Hamilton (Pasadena HS).