Pangos All-West Frosh/Soph Camp selections
NORWALK, Calif. — The 12th annual Pangos All-West Frosh/Soph Camp wrapped up Sunday with the Top 60 and Top 30 games, pitting many of the best players in the camp against one another after two days worth of games. (If you need a refresher course on the Day One “happenings,” HoopsByUgland.com broke that down here.) But as far as Day Two goes, a lot of Saturday standouts continued to make their cases as some of the best freshmen and sophomore basketball players in the western United States. Oh, and there were plenty more “sleepers” to awaken and plant themselves firmly on the prep basketball landscape. In the Top 60 game, the team wearing the White uniforms defeated the team in the Black, 92-69. Sophomore point guard Taurus Samuels (Vista High) did everything in his power to prove that he belonged in the camps’ Top 30 game and the result of that effort was impressive. Samuels, who always seems to play the right way regardless of the setting, knocked down a number of mid-range jumpers, showcased sound decision-making with the ball in his hands due to his high basketball IQ and adept vision. Six-foot-5 shooting guard Trey Johnson out of Hillcrest high school in Idaho Falls was another prospect who impressed during the Top 60 game.
Trey Johnson, pictured above, made the 16-hour drive from Idaho to SoCal to showcase his shooting ability and versatile game at the Pangos All-West Frosh/Soph Camp. Photo Credit: Devin Ugland Johnson, a sophomore, scored 15 points, many of those coming by-way of his unusual, but effective 3-point stroke, and like Samuels, made “winning plays” with his unrelenting motor and ability to rebound the basketball. The Top 60 game also gave those at Cerritos College a glimpse of the future of the Los Angeles-area guard position. Los Angeles Fairfax freshmen Ethan Anderson and Dijuan Chumack are two players who should flourish under coach Harvey Kitani off Melrose Ave. Anderson is a strong, athletic and tough combo guard who is great in transition and attacking off the dribble, while Chumack is a rangy and smooth guard with a great feel for the game. Two other Los Angeles-area guards who stood out were freshmen Amir Franklin Adams (Campbell Hall) and Jonathan Daniels (Heritage Christian). At 6-feet-2, Franklin Adams is of the long, athletic and slashing variety who possesses ball skills and a high motor. Daniels is what I call a “players point guard,” meaning his teammates (and coaches) are going to be happy to have him on their side. He plays true to the position: Always under control, a willing and talented passer, but can score the ball when a bucket is needed. The Top 30 game was a much closer contest, tight enough at the end to where the losing squad was fouling the winning squad to extend the game at the charity stripe - something I hadn’t yet seen in “showcase game” atmosphere. The team wearing the White uniforms defeated the team in the Black jerseys, 96-87. Six-foot-8 Oak Park sophomore forward Riley Battin dominated this game early on, exhibiting footwork and post moves well beyond his years, scoring 15 first-half points to help is team to an early lead. His high school teammate and fellow sophomore, Wes Slajchert, was another player who capped a good weekend with a solid Top 30 game performance. Of course there were the “usual suspects” who had good showings as we’ve come to expect. Los Angeles Windward G/F Jules Bernard continued to prove why he’s one of the best sophomores you’ll find just about anywhere, while Torrance Bishop Montgomery guard David Singleton, San Diego St. Augustine forward Taeshon Cherry, Mesa (AZ) Desert Ridge forward Timmy Allen, Encino Crepsi guard Brandon Williams and Barrow (AK) forward Kamaka Hepa made their case as to why they belong in that same conversation. *2018 Santa Ana Mater Dei point guard Spencer Freedman was selected for the Top 30 game, but wasn’t able to play because of academic commitments. Freedman, a 4.0 student, was, by far, the best pure passer and shooter in the camp. The Top 30 game also gave us a look at a handful of talented west coast freshmen in Temecula Rancho Christian forward Isaiah Mobley, Seattle Garfield guard P.J. Fuller, Napa Prolific Prep point guard Pierre Cockrell, Sun Valley Village Christian forward Elijah Scranton, Rancho Santa Margarita forward Jake Kyman, American Fork (UT) forward Isaac Johnson and Logan (UT) point guard Rylan Jones. *Harvard-Westlake freshman Cassius Stanley, who was dazzling on Saturday, was a Top 30 selection but was unable to play Sunday due to high school team commitments. Harvard-Westlake had a fall league game Sunday afternoon. Below are my Top 15 selections for the sophomore and freshmen classes (in alphabetical order): Top 15 Sophomores Timothy Allen, F, 6-5, Mesa (AZ) Desert Ridge Wayne Arnold, G, 6-3, Compton Dominguez Riley Battin, F, 6-8, Oak Park Jules Bernard, G/F, 6-5, Los Angeles Windward Jamal Bey, G/F, 6-5, Las Vegas Bishop Gorman Harrison Butler, 6-5, Santa Ana Mater Dei Taeshon Cherry, F, 6-7, San Diego St. Augustine Spencer Freedman, PG, 6-0, Santa Ana Mater Dei Kamaka Hepa, F, 6-9, Barrow (AK) Trey Johnson, SG, 6-5, Idaho Falls (ID) Hillcrest Payton Moore, G, 6-4, Los Angeles Windward Taurus Samuels, PG, 5-11, Vista (CA) David Singleton, G, 6-4, Torrance Bishop Montgomery Wes Slajchert, G, 6-4, Oak Park Brandon Williams, G, 6-2, Encino (CA) Crespi Keep an eye on: 6-2 Ben Baker (Berkeley, Calif.); 6-8 Marlon Cunningham (Albuquerque, NM); 6-5 Daijon Davis (Garden Grove Orangewood Academy); 5-11 Jamal Hartwell (Los Angeles Fairfax); 6-6 Zach Taylor (Plain City, UT, Fremont); 6-9 Michael Wang (Santa Ana Mater Dei); 6-8 Warren Washington (Escondido, Calif.) Top 15 Freshmen Amir Franklin Adams, 6-2, G, Campbell Hall Ethan Anderson, 5-10, G, Los Angeles Fairfax Dijuan Chumack, 6-0, G, Los Angeles Fairfax Pierre Cockrell, PG, 5-10, Napa (CA) Prolific Prep Jonathan Daniels, PG, 5-10, Los Angeles Heritage Christian P.J. Fuller, SG, 6-4, Seattle Garfield Jaime Jaquez, G, 6-5, Camarillo (CA) Isaac Johnson, F, 6-8, American Fork (UT) Rylan Jones, PG, 5-11, Logan (UT) Jake Kyman, F, 6-5, Rancho Santa Margarita (CA) Robert McRae, G, 6-4, Los Angeles Fairfax Chance Michaels, PG, 6-2, Las Vegas Bishop Gorman Isaiah Mobley, F, 6-8, Temecula (CA) Rancho Christian Elijah Scranton, 6-4, F, Sun Valley (CA) Village Christian Cassius Stanley, 6-5, G, Studio City (CA) Harvard-Westlake Keep an eye on: 6-6 Kaevon Baptiste (Los Angeles Pacific Hills); 6-6 Solomon Davis (Temecula, Calif. Rancho Christian); 5-9 Phaquon Davis (Anaheim, Calif. Servite); 6-2 Makani Whiteside (Bellflower, Calif. St. John Bosco) Just down the road… There were a handful of eighth grade prospects in the camp, the following are ones who impressed: Braise Dottin, 6-5, G, Irvine (CA) Dominick Harris, 5-10, PG, Temecula (CA) Jonathan Juzang, 6-6, G, Malibu (CA)