SoCal Top 50 Junior Players
December 2, 2013West Coast Hoops
Fullcourt Press SoCal
“Top 50” Junior Players
by Dinos Trigonis*
(December 2, 2013)
When it comes to talking and comparing the top Southern California classes of the past 20 years, the senior groups of 1997, 2001 and 2008 stand out. In 1997, Southern Cal produced five McDonald’s All-Americans (Baron Davis, Chris Burgess, Collins twins and Eric Chenowith) as well as two other elite players (Schea Cotton and Kenny Brunner) that also could have easily been in that game as well as future NBA player Jeff Trepagnier (USC). In 2001, future #2 pick of the NBA Draft Tyson Chandler joined Josh Childress (Stanford/NBA) and Cedric Bozeman (UCLA/NBA) as McDee’s picks and that class was bolstered by future NBA players like Dijon
Thompson (UCLA), Kirk Snyder (Nevada) and Jamal Sampson (Cal) as well as HM players like Andre Patterson (Tennessee), Craven twins (USC), Dominic Ingerson (Michigan), Isaiah Fox (Arizona), Jason Braxton (Arizona State) and Rory O’Neil (USC). And in 2008 it was the nation’s #1 player Brandon Jennings (Detroit Pistons) leading a 5-player SoCal McDonald’s contingent that included DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors), Jrue Holiday (New Orleans Pelicans), Malcolm Lee (Minnesota Timberwolves) and Larry Drew (UNC/UCLA) as well as future NBA players Paul George (Fresno State), Klay Thompson (Washington State) and Jeff Withey (Kansas) and college standouts Kyle Fogg (Arizona), Oscar Bellfield (UNLV) and Troy Gillenwater (New Mexico State).
2015 is shaping up as a worthy rival to those classes with a Rolls-Royce-caliber guard in Tyler Dorsey, intriguing skilled players in Bennie Boatwright, Stevie Thompson and Cameron Walker, creative guards in Marcus LoVett, Aaron Holiday, Sedrick Barefield, Kendall Small and Jeremy Hemsley, exciting athletes like Rex Pfleuger, Nu Williams, Justin Simon and Jeremiah Headley and
impressive size in Chance Comanche, Chimezie Metu, Griloje Samdacevic, LaRond Williams, Nick Pete and Jon Ross. But the real beauty of this 2015 class is its quality depth with at least 25 players having high major capability or potential.
With that prelude out of the way, the Fullcourt Press releases our Top 50 Southern California junior (class of 2015) players(listed by order of rank).
Top 50 Southern California High School Juniors (2015)
1. Tyler Dorsey 6’4” CG St. John Bosco (Bellflower CA)
Dorsey personifies the new age of guard play at the elite college and NBA levels: the emergence of the “Lead Guard”. Tyler has the skills and size to play both backcourt positions equally well and his overall versatility makes him a very hard match-up. When “TD” has his competitive juices flowing like he did at his 2013 Las Vegas Fab 48 matchup with top national guards Malik Newman and Emmanuel Mudiay (scored 35 points twice against that terrific duo) and at last summer’s Pangos All-American Camp (had 15 points/6 assists in the Top 25 game there) and NBPA Camp in Virginia, he is a bonafide Top 5 prospect nationally as well as a contender for 2015’s #1 spot (Hoop Scoop has him currently ranked #1 in that class). Duke, Arizona, UCLA, Kansas, Kentucky, UConn, Florida, Louisville, USC, Arizona State, Cal, Gonzaga, St. John’s and UNLV are among a herd of schools that would love to get his signature on a national LOI come November 2014. Will put his talent on display this month at the Chicago Elite Classic (December 7th) and City of Palms Classic in Ft. Myers FL.
2. Bennie Boatwright 6’9” WF Village Christian (Sun Valley CA)
Evolving big wing is in the mold of a Austin Daye (Gonzaga/Toronto Raptors) or DeAndre Daniels-type (UConn). Boatwright has been known
as a sharpshooter for a while now but it’s just recently that he has shown real signs of being a much more complete player – displaying very improved agility as well as nifty ballhandling skills at a recent scrimmage. Boatwright’s impressive size/skill package has catapulted him into the #2 spot in these rankings and he may now have a legitimate chance to hear his name called out as a McDonald’s All-American come March 2015. Alemany transfer has already received offers from Arizona, UConn, Florida, Kansas, Cal, Washington, Oregon, Arizona State, Colorado, Gonzaga and Oregon State.
3. Chance Comanche 6’11” C View Park (Los Angeles CA)
Fast rising big man is like Boatwright a hot name in national recruiting circles these days. Long, mobile and with an impressive feel for the game, Chance showed last summer (played very well at the NBPA Camp and was named all-tourney at the Las Vegas Fab 48) that he has the potential to be an elite big man in this class. Once he adds weight and strength, he will be an impact freshman at the next level. Arizona, Oregon, UCLA, USC, Florida State, Missouri and Kansas are among the growing number of programs that desire his future services. Mother Melissa played basketball at Long Beach State for former 49’er women’s coach and retired NBA player Glenn McDonald.
4. Marcus LoVett 5’10” PG San Gabriel Academy (San Gabriel CA)
Flashy playmaker is very creative off the bounce and his deep 3-point range makes him a dangerous offensive weapon. Shifty and quick ballhandler (utilizes excellent cross-over dribble) has nice court vision. Father Marcus LoVett Sr. won a NAIA national championship at Oklahoma City University in 1996. School list is somewhat of a mystery at the moment, but sources indicate that Big West upstart UC-Irvine is in much better shape here than most realize.
5. Aaron Holiday 6’1” CG Campbell Hall (North Hollywood CA)
Quick and explosive scoring combo-guard has ultra-confidence every time he steps foot on the court. Youngest of the Holiday brothers (brothers Jrue plays for the New Orleans Pelicans and Justin was a star at Washington and had a cup of coffee with the Philly 76’ers), Aaron needs to improve his decision-making to move higher in the national rankings but his overall talent is too hard to ignore. Reminds me of NBA guard Will Bynum. UCLA (where Jrue starred) has made him a priority.
6. Stephen Thompson Jr. 6’4” WG Bishop Montgomery (Torrance CA)
Silky smooth jump shooter is the son of former Syracuse star and current Cal State Los Angeles coach Stephen Thompson Sr. and an emerging star in his own right. Stevie is starting to stretch out (pushing 6-4) and his athleticism is starting to blossom. Add those attributes to his stellar academic credentials (currently boasts an off-the-charts 4.4 GPA) and you have the type of “student-athlete” recruitable at the highest playing and academic levels. Growing number of schools in pursuit include Syracuse, UCLA, Stanford, Gonzaga, Arizona State, Oregon, Boston College, Vanderbilt, Washington State, New Mexico, San Diego State and Harvard. Stevie scored 28 points in Bishop Montgomery’s opening game win over Villa Park last Saturday.
7. Rex Pflueger 6’5” WG Mater Dei (Santa Ana CA)
Bouncy wing had his share of Rex Chapman-type moments this past summer. JSerra (San Juan Capistrano CA) transfer had his coming out party at last June’s Pangos All-American Camp (scored 21 points in Top 50 Game there) and was great at the adidas Super 64 (helped lead Compton Magic to that event’s 16u title and his dunk there over Top 15 national junior Carlton Bragg acquired
legendary status). USC, Stanford, UCLA, Notre Dame and many others are lining up for this high-flying WG with deep perimeter range. Very good student too.
8. Cameron Walker 6’6” WF Righetti (Santa Maria CA)
Big wing with a sweet 3-point stroke is also a deceptively good athlete that can finish with authority at the rim. Stanford, Cal, Vanderbilt and Harvard are among the many schools showing interest for this “A” student. Pangos All-American Camp (made Top 50 game there) and adidas Nations invitee.
9. Sedrick Barefield 6’1” PG Centennial (Corona CA)
Hard-working floor general is a dynamic scorer with pin-point passing skills. Confident ballhandler has terrific ability to penetrate defenses and plays with much energy on the defensive end. “Sed” had 22 points/5 assists versus USC-bound Jordan McLaughlin in the title game of the Tip-Off at the Empire Invitational last Saturday. Made Top 50 Game at the 2013 Pangos All-American Camp and participated in the adidas Nations this past August. Barefield already has offers from a host of schools including UConn, Memphis, Baylor, Missouri, Michigan, San Diego State, Boston College, Kansas State and Fresno State.
10. Nuwr’lyl “Nu” Williams 6’1” CG Santa Monica (Santa Monica CA)
Nu is as good an athlete as there exists on the West Coast in this class and his rapidly improved skills and intense work-ethic bodes well for his hoop future. Lefty is drawing strong interest from Louisville, Oregon, Washington, New Mexico, Oklahoma State, Florida State, USC, UCLA and Cal.
11. Chimezie Metu 6’8” PF Lawndale (Lawndale CA)
Metu is a long and athletic forward with an excellent skill set and his play this past week at the Pacific Shores tourney showed that he is ready for prime time. Pangos All-American Camp invitee is a very good student that is hearing from USC, UCLA, Washington, UConn, Missouri, Cal, Arizona State, Florida State, Stanford, Creighton, Oregon, Vanderbilt, Harvard, Princeton and Yale.
12. Jeremy Hemsley 6’3” WG Damien (La Verne CA)
Slithering scoring guard is hard to stop off the dribble and possesses the soft touch expected of a big time scorer. Although he needs to add strength to absorb contact when driving in traffic, Jeremy has a knack of making plays while harassed and is an underrated defender. Great kid is hearing from UNLV, USC, Washington, San Diego State and New Mexico among other programs.
13. Kendall Small 5’10” PG Mayfair (Lakewood CA)
Very crafty and heady point makes plays and is very adept at initiating contact and drawing fouls. Lack of great size sometimes presents problems when driving and finishing against quality size but Small does compete every game. Small played very well at the recent Pac Shores tourney at Redondo Beach CA (leading Mayfair to the title game and was named Most Outstanding Player in the process) and is drawing interest from programs like Oregon, Gonzaga, San Diego State and New Mexico. Great kid!
14. Justin Simon 6’4” WG Temecula Valley (Temecula CA)
Very athletic and strong wing needs to improve his outside shooting but all the physical tools (as well as underrated ballhandling) are
there to project high major success. Washington, Colorado, USC, San Diego State, Penn State and New Mexico are among the schools showing interest.
15. Griloje Samdacevic 6’9” PF Cantwell (Montebello CA)
Extremely physical post plays with the kind of assertiveness normally found in the Big 10. Serbian import is a very good rebounder and “face-up” mid-range shooter. Very good student is hearing from UCLA, USC, Cal, Stanford, Ohio State and Penn State.
16. Austin Armstead 6’4” WG Bullard (Fresno CA)
Smooth and athletic wing has a great body and the skill set to be a high major recruit.
17. LaRond Williams 6’8” PF St. Anthony (Long Beach CA)
Long and athletic power forward is just scratching the surface of his immense potential. Long Beach Poly transfer improved as much as anybody during last July’s viewing period and was very impressive at the Las Vegas Fab 48. UTEP, Tulsa, Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine are among the schools showing interest.
18. Nicholas Pete 6’8” PF Tahquitz (Hemet CA)
Strong and athletic PF is active around the cup and is an excellent interior defender.
19. Roman Davis 6’6” WF Windward (Los Angeles CA)
Sleek swingman runs the floor like a gazelle and can score at a high clip off the bounce. Very good student is hearing from schools like Boston College and Vanderbilt.
20. John Ross 6’8” PF St. Anthony (Long Beach CA)
Promising young post runs floor well and has plenty of upside. Young “bigs” usually develop late and this should be the year that John takes the next big step in his development.
21. Jeffrey McClendon 6’3” WG Quartz Hill (Quartz Hill CA)
This class’ top defender, Jeffrey always gives maximum effort and has worked hard to improve his perimeter shot. Pasadena transfer is a bonafide winner! Hearing from Washington State, Oregon and UC-Santa Barbara.
22. Max Hazzard 6’0” PG Loyola (Los Angeles CA)
Solid lead guard has an improved jump shot and is Loyola’s heir
apparent PG to Parker Cartwright. Very good student is hearing from Stanford, UC-Santa Barbara, Loyola Marymount, UC-Irvine and Harvard.
23. Brodericks Jones 6’9” PF Lawndale (Lawndale CA)
Jones has been an enigma so far in his HS career but if the Pacific Shores tourney is any indication, he might be ready to make a fast climb up this list. Long and athletic with the physical tools to be a terrific defender, Jones has also improved his offensive skills. Jones has been working lately with NBA trainer Tony Falce. UTEP, Memphis and USC are showing interest.
24. Nick Pallas 6’7” PF JSerra (San Juan Capistrano CA)
Jon Brockman-type post has soft hands and can consistently finish in the paint.
25. Jeremiah Headley 6’6” PF Redondo Union (Redondo Beach CA)
Explosive forward makes plays above the rim and is also a good student.
26. Tyler Burch 6’6” WF Westminster (Westminster CA)
Burch is one of the top shooters on the West Coast with a Mike Dunleavy-type frame. Ocean View transfer should be one of the leading scorers in Orange County this season.
27. Kameron Edwards 6’5” WF Etiwanda (Etiwanda CA)
One of the top “sleepers” in this class, this strong and well-built wing is an underrated perimeter shooter.
28. Balsa Dragovic 6’9” PF Cantwell (Montebello CA)
Skilled post doesn’t mind mixing it up inside.
29. Nnamdi Okongwu 6’8” PF Chino Hills (Chino Hills CA)
Improving PF has the size and athleticism to be a coveted D-I recruit.
30. Ke’Jhan Feagin 5’10” PG Poly (Long Beach CA)
Smooth PG has ability to elude defensive pressure as well as make big shots.
31. Mason Shepard 6’6” PF Windward (Los Angeles CA)
Athletic forward can finish high above the rim. Must put his injury-proneness behind him to fulfill his vast potential.
32. Kahlil Simplis 6’0” PG Campbell Hall (North Hollywood CA)
Very improved point makes good decisions and has the kind of range on his jump shot to extend defenses.
33. Tommy McCarthy 5’11” PG La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad CA)
Heady floor general is strong with the ball and a great leader that runs his team well. Very good student.
34. Lorne Currie 6’3” CG St. John Bosco (Bellflower CA)
Extremely athletic lead guard has terrific potential but his decision making must improve to rise even higher on this list.
35. Jordan Naughton 6’9” PF Etiwanda (Etiwanda CA)
Rancho Cucamonga transfer is not eligible until January but he is a long shotblocker that will give Dave Kleckner’s squad a rim protector for its title hunt this season.
36. Roy Hemsley 6’7” PF Windward (Los Angeles CA)
Burly post is a bull in the paint and a solid rebounder.
37. Jimbo Lull 6’11” C Rolling Hills Prep (San Pedro CA)
Center with size is still a work in progress but has the bulk to be a factor at the next level.
38. Eric Patton 6’6” WF Foothill (Santa Ana CA)
Tough wing forward finishes well at the cup.
39. Kenny Smith Jr. 6’1” PG Oaks Christian (Westlake Village CA)
Son of former UNC/NBA star and current TNT host Kenny Sr. has developed a nice mid-range pull-up jump shot.
40. Cameron High 6’0” CG Redondo Union (Redondo Beach CA)
Rapidly improving guard is the kind of athlete that blossoms well in coach Reggie Morris’ system.
41. Rogers Printup 6’4” WG Orange Lutheran (Orange CA)
Strong wing competes on every play.
42. Kevin Olson 6’3” WG Villa Park (Villa Park CA)
Savvy guard is quick off the dribble and plays with poise.
43. Sequan Walker 6’2” WG Cabrillo (Long Beach CA)
When he’s hot, Sequan shoots it with the best in this class.
44. CJ Hankins 6’2” WG Orange Lutheran (Orange CA)
Hardworking off-guard plays excellent defense.
45. Travis Fuller 6’7” PF La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad CA)
Finesse stretch “4” has nice touch on his perimeter shot.
46. Latrelle Franklin 5’9” PG Great Oak (Temecula CA)
Small but speedy PG can create his own shot.
47. Kendall Lauderdale 6’7” PF Orange Lutheran (Orange CA)
Aggressive PF rebounds well.
48. Myles Franklin 5’11” PG Hart (Newhall CA)
Fine passer pushes it well in transition.
49. Clifton Powell 6’1” CG Taft (Woodland Hills CA)
Sleeper lead guard has a nice skills package. One to track.
50. (T) Ountae Campbell 6’3” WG Brentwood (Los Angeles CA)
Athletic wing is an effective slashing scorer.
50. (T) Alex Copeland 6’2” CG Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood CA)
Very improved guard has legitimate 3-point range.
50. (T) Trammel Wilson 6’2” CG View Park (Los Angeles CA)
Washington (Los Angeles CA) transfer is a scoring combo-guard that should impress this season.
Honorable Mention (by height):
* Marquise Mosley 5’8” PG Renaissance Academy (La Canada CA)* AJ Bigornia 5’9” PG Glendora (Glendora CA)
* Brandon Tillis 5’10” PG Crossroads (Santa Monica CA)
* TJ Johnson 5’10” PG Lawndale (Lawndale CA)
* Jordan Cohen 5’10” PG Campbell Hall (North Hollywood CA)
* Michael Polman 5’11” PG Burroughs (Ridgecrest CA)
* Keyon Johnson 5’11” PG Rancho Dominguez Prep (Long Beach CA)
* Corbin Martinez 5’11” PG Temecula Valley (Temecula CA)
* Nick Anderson 6’0” PG Canyon (Anaheim CA)
* Ryan Beddeo 6’0” PG West Ranch (Valencia CA)
* Cesar Reyes 6’0” PG Poly (Sun Valley CA)
* Michael Orlich 6’0” CG Clovis West (Fresno CA)
* Torin Webb 6’0” CG Great Oak (Temecula CA)
* Michael Oguine 6’1” PG Chaminade (West Hills CA)
* James Washington 6’1” CG Price (Los Angeles CA)
* Preston Beverly 6’1” CG Elsinore (Lake Elsinore CA)
* Jack Beech 6’1” CG Torrey Pines (San Diego CA)
* Akil Reese 6’1” CG Westchester (Los Angeles CA)
* Quentan Bright 6’1” CG Burbank (Burbank CA)
* AJ Garrity 6’2” CG Edison (Huntington Beach CA)
* Lindsey Drew 6’2” PG Fairfax (Los Angeles CA)
* Javan Burnom 6’2” CG Price (Los Angeles CA)
* Khy Kabellis 6’2” CG Escondido (Escondido CA)
* Ryan Kleinman 6’2” WG Corona del Mar (Newport Beach CA)
* Robert Lewis 6’2” WG Compton (Compton CA)
* Robbie Feinberg 6’3” WG Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth CA)
* Chris White 6’3” WG Lawndale (Lawndale CA)
* Legend Demps 6’3” CG El Modena (Orange CA)
* Kevin Dinges 6’3” WG Crescenta Valley (La Crescenta CA)
* Marquis Reed 6’3” WG Upland (Upland CA)
* Brennan Bryant 6’3” WG Paraclete (CA)
* Charlie Hall 6’3” WG Crossroads (Santa Monica CA)
* Eli Silverman-Lloyd 6’3” WG Windward (Los Angeles CA)
* Jeraun Richards 6’3” WG Downey (Downey CA)
* Jalen Abney 6’4” WG Clovis West (Fresno CA)
* Rodney Henderson 6’4” WG St. John Bosco (Bellflower CA)
* Sammy Linn 6’4” WG St. Anthony (Long Beach CA)
* Brady Twombley 6’4” WF La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad CA)
* Dezmon Murphy 6’5” WF La Mirada (La Mirada CA)
* Josh Conley 6’5” WF Sylmar (Sylmar CA)
* Benjamin Rico 6’5” WF Sonora (La Habra CA)
* Devon Edmonds 6’5” CF Poly (Long Beach CA)
* William Armbruster 6’5” PF Yorba Linda (Yorba Linda CA)
* Malcolm Gordon 6’6” CF Price (Los Angeles CA)
* Nicholas Giordano 6’6” PF Bishop Montgomery (Torrance CA)
* Sam Bockman 6’6” PF El Camino (Oceanside CA)
* Justin Bessard 6’6” PF Calabasas (Calabasas CA)
* Braxton Shaw 6’6” PF Etiwanda (Etiwanda CA)
* Kendall Smith 6’6” PF Mayfair (Lakewood CA)
* Jake Porath 6’6” PF Viewpoint (Calabasas CA)
* Josh Ajayi 6’6” PF San Gabriel Valley Academy (San Gabriel CA)
* Kameron Dashner 6’6” PF La Quinta (La Quinta CA)
* Josh Palmer 6’6” PF Viewpoint (Calabasas CA)
* Sedrick Johnson 6’6” CF Lakeside (Lake Elsinore CA)
* Malik Anderson 6’7” CF Providence (Burbank CA)
* Troy Kramer 6’7” PF Mater Dei (Santa Ana CA)
* Maxwell Kupchak 6’7” PF Brentwood (Los Angeles CA)
* Jack Kaub 6’7” PF Los Alamitos (Los Alamitos CA)
* Deandre Johnson 6’7” PF Price (Los Angeles CA)
* Amore Smith 6’7” PF Etiwanda (Etiwanda CA)
* Michael Bodney 6’7” PF Moreno Valley (Moreno Valley CA)
* Joseph Alvarez 6’8” PF Glendora (Glendora CA)
* Zavier Harris 6’8” PF Temecula Valley (Temecula Valley CA)
* Adam Lieberman 6’9” PF Valley Torah (Valley Village CA)
* Colin Bell 6’9” PF Campbell Hall (North Hollywood CA)
* Jordan Dallas 6’10” C Poly (Long Beach CA)
*A note about the author of these rankings: Dinos Trigonis has been the Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of the Fullcourt Press web site and scouting service as well as an event operator, basketball coach and skills instructor since 1993. Dinos played varsity basketball at Long Beach Wilson High School and is a graduate of Long Beach State (BA - Political Science) and Temple Law School (Juris Doctorate). While at Temple Law School in Philadelphia, Trigonis founded and was the editor-in-chief of the Temple Political & Civil Rights Law Review. As head coach & director of the Belmont Shore Basketball Club (based in Long Beach CA), Dinos has coached 120-plus players that have received NCAA Division I scholarships as well as 19 players that have reached the NBA. Some of the major events that Trigonis has created and organized include the Pangos Dream Classic, Pangos All-American Camp, Las Vegas Fab 48 (directs with Gary Charles & Grant Rice), Pangos All-Frosh/Soph Camps and Tarkanian Classic (directs with Grant Rice). In addition, Dinos has worked as the West Coast editor for Clark Francis’ Hoop Scoop and has served as a voting member of the Student Sports Mr. Basketball USA Tracker, Press-Telegram “Best in the