SoCalHoops Tournament & Recruiting News
Fall Hoops Classic Recap: Dinos
Clark Francis Opine On Players....--(Sept. 17, 2003)
Yes, it has been a while......since we posted anything in the Daily Article section of the site. But having taken more than a few months away from the keyboard, and with the college and high school seasons both right around the corner, and with recruiting commitments and recruiting visits and trips being taken, we figured it was time to revisit the Daily Articles. And so we sort of had the idea of posting some notes and thoughts about who played well at this past wekeend's Fullcourt Press Fall Hoops Classic tournament held at the Warrior Center in Cerritos, but Dinos Trigonis and Clark Francis both saved us a tremendous amount of time, as well as conserving all of the mental energy which would be required if we really had to think about what we saw, so being the lazy laggard slugs that we are, we're just going to steal their stuff and pass it along as our own...yeah, you read that correctly: We're just going to reprint their stuff here for the general enjoyment and amusement of all. It may ruffle some feathers, but so what....
Actually, we did manage to get out for some of the action on Saturday, but unfortunately, couldn't make it back out for the final day, so we didn't get to see the finals, and so any observations we might make about particular players would necessarily be limited to the one or two games in which we saw each of the tournaments teams play in a full day of action of pool play on Saturday. But tournament organizer Dinos Trigonis and Clark Francis were there for the entire deal, saw virtually everyone in multiple games, so they have about as good a frame of reference as anyone. Oh, there were a couple more scouts and "guru" types in attendance too, including Frank Burlison (who is now writing for Hoopmasters.com, which for the uninitiated is the relatively new venture launched by Bob Gibbons and Van Coleman earlier this summer), and Greg Hicks from TheInsiders.com, but we're not going to repeat anything that they've written, largely because they really will get pissed if we do. If you want to read their stuff, head over to their respective sites, both of which are pay-per-view, but on occasion are well worth the small fee. We also don't mean to suggest that Clark Francis' stuff is free for the taking either, because it's not, and you'll need a full subscription to the HoopScoopOnline to read his daily recruiting dose, something which we've become addicted to....and there's no one else in the recruiting business who has the kind of longevity that Clark does, so say what you will about his opinions, at least he's seen it all for more than 30 years.
But back to the tournament: A fair amount of top talent from in and around the Southern California area, certainly not all the best players, but more than a few, and even some surprises (in more ways than one) from Arizona, Mississippi, and Alaska. There was also a smattering of D-II and NAIA coaches in the house, but as everyone knows by now, there are no events certified by the NCAA during what used to be the fall contact period (well, it's still a contact period, but reserved for home and campus visits only), so there were no D-I coaches present.
But you're here to read about the players....So here's what Dinos had to say in an e-mail he sent us yesterday morning, which was apparently limited to his observations of those players who made the All-Tournament team:
2003 Fullcourt Press Fall Hoops Classic All-Tourney Team
Germaine Calvin, 5'10" Senior, McClintock (Tempe AZ) (co-MVP)
Maybe the most underrated point on the West Coast. Although Calvin does not have great size for a PG, he has an excellent combination of speed and strength that gave defenders fits all tourney long (opponents found it near impossible to keep him in front of them). Germaine was the catalyst for Arizona Cager Blue's run to the tourney championship and seemed to make every big play when the Cagers needed it most. After drawing rave reviews from national scouts like Clark Francis and Frank Burlison in attendance, he might just get a call or two this week from schools across the country in dire need of a heady point that can break-down defenders off the dribble and slice through fullcourt pressure like a hot knife through butter.
Calvin Chitwood, 6'7" Senior , Paradise Valley (Phoenix AZ) (co-MVP)
Very athletic forward played above the rim all weekend and was part of a balanced offensive attack that (with the exception of having to overcome a six point half-time deficit against Belmont Shore in the quarter-finals) rolled over its opposition.
Dubois Williams, 6'6" Senior, Marcos de Niza (Phoenix AZ) (co-MVP)
Son of Cagers Blue head coach Dave Williams, Dubois is a multi-dimensional swingman that has a nice blend of post and perimeter skills. Williams runs the floor well and handles the rock nicely in transition and is a solid mid-major-plus prospect whose versatility can help a lot of programs.
Other All-Tourney Players
(in alphabetical order)
Arron Afflalo, 6'5" Senior, Price (Los Angeles CA)
Smooth operating wing showcased why he is arguably one of the Top 30 players in the nation here, creating for himself and his new Price teammates as well as taking The Hood (made up of primarily Dominguez HS players) to the limit in a narrow, but exciting play-off quarterfinal loss.
Curtis Allen, 6'4" Senior , Poly (Long Beach CA)
Long armed wing can really skyrocket around the rim for dunks, rebounds and block shots. Very good pull up jumpshooter has Washington, Miami FL, Kansas State, Colorado, Texas and Oregon State high on his list. In a pool play "head to head" matchup, Allen (17 points) outscored touted
wing rival Lee Cummard (12 points).
Orlando Baeza, 6'0" Senior, Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks CA)
Underrated point has great floor leadership skills and is slippery to handle one-on-one. Very good student (3.8 GPA/1010 SAT).
TJ Benson, 5'10" Senior, Corona del Sol (Tempe AZ)
Strong and scrappy point knows how to run a team. Very good ballhandler and passer too.
Jamal Boykin, 6'7" Junior, Fairfax (Los Angeles CA)
Boykin has always had great intangibles and nice post skills, but this weekend Jamal showed flashes that he may eventually be able to evolve into a Luke Walton-type point forward that can put the ball on the floor and find teammates for high percentage baskets. There aren't many more talented non-guard passers on the West Coast in any class than Boykin. Boykin also showed an improved range on his jumpshot, but needs to look for his shot more often as he is often too unselfish (almost to a fault). Some recruiting experts believe that Boykin cannot compete at the highest level of college basketball, but don't get it twisted: Boykin has very few equals in the Class of 2005 in terms of desire, determination and passion for the game. And those qualities are great ingredients for success in contributing to a winning team at the high major level.
Andre Bright, 6'1" Senior, Cleveland (Reseda CA)
Athletic defender is a slashing scorer and able ball handler.
Pierce Brooks, 6'6" Freshman, Taft (Woodland Hills CA)
Oozing with potential, Brooks has "promise" written all over him. Strong and active body as well as possessing a multitude of triple threat skills make him one of the top freshmen in the country. When he settles into those size 16 shoes a couple of years (and inches) from now, Pierce will have a nice choice of major schools to pick from.
Kyle Brucceleri, 6'7" Senior, Los Alamitos (Los Alamitos CA)
Excellent outside shooter is also a very good student.
James Cawthorne, 6'8" Sophomore, Villa Park (Villa Park CA)
Villa Park coach Kevin Reynolds does an excellent job developing big men and he has a potential gem in Cawthorne to work with over the next three years. Agile and well coordinated, Cawthorne can also stroke the perimeter "J" with regularity.
Lee Cummard, 6'6" Senior, Mesa (Mesa AZ)
There are those that rave about Cummard (Greg Hicks, Tracy Pierson and Frank Burlison) and those that feel that he is not as good as advertised (Clark Francis), but the reality may be somewhere in the middle. Long and skilled, Cummard has a nice, but not great stroke as well as impressive ability to put the ball on the floor. Lee's frail frame could be a problem against athletic and agressive defenders at the high major level, but will have the luxury of two years to put on weight and strength before he arrives on a college campus after an expected two year Mormon mission stint. Although one could make a "straight face" argument that Cummard belongs in the Top 100, I believe that he still needs to demonstrate that he can perform well against elite level talent before he deserves to be annointed as the #1 wing guard on the West Coast over the likes of DeMarcus Nelson, Arron Afflalo, Josh Shipp and Bryce Taylor, all of whom have proved their worth against national elite competition.
Ok, so there's more from Dinos below, but right about here is where we want to insert some additional observations from Clark Francis, because there's been a lot of controversy about TheInsiders' annointing the young Mr. Cummard as the No. 1 SG prospect on the west coast. If you ask Greg Hicks or Tracy Pierson, they will tell you that their rankings are not solely based on how well a prospect performed during the summer, but how much upside at the college level they think the player has, i.e., his potential for development. Ok....now that's a tricky thing, and a it confuses a lot of people, and we're not sure we understand it either completely, but methodology notwithstanding, we're still unconvinced (not that Tracy and Greg have an opinion that isn't valid, or one they are entitled to express, but one that we don't happen to quite share based on the limited time we had to view Cummard this weekend). Francis, who also had a chance to watch Cummard several times this weekend, also came away, well, a bit confused too, as did we after watching him in two games on Saturday. Cummard is an intriguing player, and we can see the upside-- especially if he takes off two years before ever entering college (of course, a lot will depend on what happens during those two years while he's on a Mormon mission), but we too remain unconvinced that this young man is really, actually and truly the No. 1 SG prospect in the west, simply because there are so many very good two-guards who can shoot the ball (some better in our humble opinion). We will admit that we didn't see Cummard at the Big Time, which is evidently where he had several breakout games, but in those games we watched this weekend he was perhaps the second or third best guy on his own team, didn't find a rhythm on his shot and....well, we just remain unconvinced. Here's what Clark had to say at the HoopScoopOnline.com about Cummard:
One of the questions we were hoping answer this weekend at the 2003 Fullcourt Press Fall Hoops Classic at the Warrior Center in Cypress, CA was just how good is 6'6 Lee Cummard from Mesa (H.S.) AZ. However, Cummard remains an enigma for a number of reasons. First, he needs to get bigger and stronger physically. Second, he played his best this weekend when he was not playing against top level competition. As a matter of fact, when Cummard was matched up against 6'4 Curtis Allen from Long Beach (Poly) CA and 6'5 Chris Fields from Long Beach (Poly) CA, Cummard only scored 13 points and had a hard time getting open looks. Third, Cummard reminds us of a shorter version of 6'9 Sean Phaler, who signed last fall with UCLA, but was released from his scholarship after the new coaching staff arrived this spring and now is enrolled at New Mexico. Cummard is not as good an outside shooter as Phaler and is three inches shorter, but he is more athletic than Phaler and, as a result, is better suited defensively to play out on the perimeter. But, unlike Phaler, who isn't quick enough to be a good defender, Cummard doesn't work very hard at the other end. Cummard also reminds us a poor man's Michael Dunleavy. Dunleavy was a better 3-point shooter, better ball handler, and more coordinated and savvy at the same stage. However, Cummard has comparable athleticism to Dunleavy and he has that same wiry type frame. Fourth, Cummard is a competitor and he does have the potential to improve dramatically, especially after he gets back from the Mission that he plans to go on for the next two years. Fifth, if Cummard is a top 100 senior, then why is Lute Olson and the Arizona coaching staff, which is second to none in terms of evaluating talent, not all over Cummard? Sixth, those same competitors always seem have a tendency to overhype and go off the deep end when they find an athletic white kid who can play. In other words, there is no question in our mind that Cummard can play, but we're still not sold on the fact that Cummard is a top 100 senior nationally, which suddenly seems to be a consensus among people in the know on the West Coast. Remember, Greg Hicks and Tracey Pierson of Insiders.com's have gone on record saying that they think Cummard is the best 2-guard on the West Coast. However, there is no way we would rank Cummard ahead of 6'2 DeMarcus Nelson from Sacramento (Sheldon) CA, 6'4 Arron Afflalo from Los Angeles (Price) CA, 6'4 Bryce Taylor from North Hollywood (Harvard-Westlake) CA, 6'5 Josh Shipp from Los Angeles (Fairfax) CA, and 6'4 Curtis Allen from Long Beach (Poly) CA and, if you include 5th Year Players and Underclassmen, we also would not rank him among ahead of 6'5 Nick Young from Reseda (Cleveland) CA, 6'6 Soph
Martell Webster from Seattle (Prep) WA, 6'5 Jr Brian Harvey from Compton (Dominguez) CA. We also aren't sure that Cummard is any better right now than the three players - 5'10 Germaine Calvin from Tempe (McClintock) AZ, 6'6 DuBois Williams from Tempe (Marcos De Niza) AZ, and 6'7 Calvin Chitwood from Phoenix (Paradise Valley) AZ - on the Arizona Cagers Blue Team that we saw play four times this weekend in the 2003 Fullcourt Press Fall Hoops Classic. And, if you don't believe it, just ask Dinos Trigonis, who is the head coach of the loaded Belmont Shore team, which included 6'3 Gabriel Pruitt from Los Angeles (Westchester) CA, 6'6 Jr Jamal Boykin from Los Angeles (Fairfax) CA, 6'4 Matthew Thomas from Riverside (King) CA, 6'6 Frosh Taylor King from Santa Ana (Mater Dei) CA, 6'10 Jr Brett Hoerner from Fullerton (H.S.) CA, 5'11 Soph Joseph Johnson from Gardena (Serra) CA, 6'2 Ralph Miley from Downey (Calvary Chapel) CA, and 6'5 Jr Jerard Moret from Los Angeles(Westchester) CA, that lost to the Arizona Cagers Blue Team in the quarterfinals. None of these three players are currently ranked among the HOOP SCOOP's top 445 seniors nationally, but they will be. Calvin, who is the best of the three, makes this team go with his incredible speed and quickness, excellent court savvy, ball handling and passing skills, and ability to play defense and create havoc in defense. Calvin also is a tremendous competitor and he more than keeps you honest with his outside shooting and ability to get to the hole. And, if Calvin finished a little better against top notch competition and was a little bigger, we'd be talking about a legitimate top 100 senior nationally. Williams, who is a legitimate top 150 senior nationally, is a multi-dimensional athlete who can play four different positions at the high school level, because he has the ball handling and passing skills necessary to play point guard, the 3-point shooting ability and size necessary to play both the two and the three spots, and the rebounding ability necessary to play inside. Chitwood, who is a legitiamte top 250 senior nationally, also can step out and shoot the 3-point shot, but he really is an undersized power forward, as he scores around the basket, is tough on the boards, a good shot blocker, and a tremendous competitor. Williams averaged 20.0 ppg, Chitwood averaged 18.0 ppg, and Calvin averaged 12.7 ppg in the quarterfinals, semi-finals, and championship game, but it was Calvin's 32 points in pool play against the ICAN All-Stars that really got our attention. As a matter of fact, this was the best individual performance we saw in the entire tournament. In other words, we're talking about three of the biggest sleepers on the West Coast, as well as three players who are in the same 101-250 range as Cummard. Currently Calvin is attracting the most interest from Northern Arizona, Oral Roberts, Liberty, Lehigh, Cal State-Sacremanto, St. Mary's, Florida Atlantic, UC-Davis, Montana, Colorado, and Oregon State, but, once the word gets out, you can bet that this list will increase dramatically. And the same can be said with regards to Williams, who is getting the most attention from Clemson, Oregon State, San Diego, Colorado State, Arizona State, Evansville, Southern Utah, and Northern Arizona, and Chatwood, is receiving the most interest from Cal State Northridge, Northern Arizona, San Diego, St. Joseph's, and Santa Clara. Another one of the top performances of the tournament was turned by 6'5 Nick Young from Cleveland (Reseda) CA, who scored 29 points in the semi-finals and continues to remind us of former USC star Jeff Trepagnier, due to his incredible athleticism and ability to get to the basket. Also playing well enough to deserve special mention from the 2003 Fullcourt Press Fall Hoops Classic are 6'3 Gabriel Pruitt from Los Angeles (Westchester) CA, 6'6 Jamal Boykin from Los Angeles (Fairfax) CA, 6'4 Jr Brian Harvey from Compton (Centennial) CA, 6'5 Chris Fields from Long Beach (Poly) CA, 6'1 Jr Seketoure Henry from Lynwood (H.S.) CA, 5'10 Jr Shane Mahoney from Malibu (H.S.) CA, 6'4 Anthony Goods from Corona (Centennial) CA, 6'7 Lamar Roberson from Compton (Dominguez) CA, and 6'1 Loren Leath from Cleveland (Reseda) CA. Pruitt played excellent defense, made big shots, and ran the show, as he played well enough to move back into the top 50. Currently we have Pruitt ranked #73 nationally in the senior class. Boykin is still a power forward all the way, but he does show the ability to step out and hit the open three, plus he was one of the best passing big men in the tournament. Harvey and Roberson overcame a stunning to loss to Belmont Shore Black in pool play, as they led The Hood into the semi-finals of the tournament. Fields really is an undersized inside guy, but he is extremely active inside, very athletic, and excellent on the boards. Henry is a lights out 3-point shooter. Mahoney is small, but is a tremendous competitor and he always seems to find a way to beat you. As a matter of fact, he played an instrumental role in Belmont Shore Black's shocking win against The Hood. Goods is a point guard with size who also gets to the basket, shoots the three, and knows how to run a team. Leath was one of the best 3-point shooters in the tournament, as was evident by the fact that he hit six 3-pointers in the championship game.
* * * *
Now, back to Dinos' notes on other players from the All-Tournament team:
Jason Deutchman, 6'5" Junior, Santa Monica (Santa Monica CA)
Skilled lefty has nice scoring ability. Put up 22 points in Belmont Shore Black's play-off win over Spirit of the North.
Steve Elman, 6'5" Senior, Apache Junction (Apache Junction AZ)
Athletic swingman can flush it with most his size.
Chris Fields , 6'5" Senior , Poly (Long Beach CA)
Athletic wing forward seems to get better with every outing.
Todd Folmer, 6'11" Senior, Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita CA)
Center prospect has nice hands and can score effectively on the block, but needs to develop a meaner attitude in the paint as well as add 20 pounds to compete well at the high major level.
Anthony Goods, 6'4" Junior, Centennial (Corona CA)
With the arrival of every new season, a handful of juniors emerge as new darlings of scouts and coaches alike. Goods could very well be the new face on the block that has the potential for national significance come next spring. Although long considered a wing prospect, Goods displayed an ability to play the point here........and play it well! Has the bouncy body type and language of a Baron Davis and the height of a Tito Maddox which means that he could develop into a big time national Class of 2005 lead guard prospect.
Bryan Harvey, 6'5" Junior, Dominguez (Compton CA)
Other than Martel Johnson (Seattle Prep), there is not a junior wing on the West Coast with better perimeter offensive skills than Harvey. Bryan tickles the nets like Santa tickles babies at Christmas and his arch on his jumper is a thing of beauty. Underrated ballhandler too with very nice ability to make things happen off the dribble.
Jason Hill, 6'4", Junior, Cleveland (Reseda CA)
Frank Burlison believes that this promising lead guard can be a national recruit.
Brett Hoerner, 6'11" Junior, Fullerton (Fullerton CA)
Hoerner, although still really thin, has made great strides in all aspects of his game. Improved shotblocker with a soft touch within 17 feet, Hoerner is agile with just added weight and strength away from being a impact post player that could contribute to most college programs.
Mike Hornbuckle, 6'3" Senior, Oaks Christian (Westlake Village CA)
Hot shooting off-guard with a great perimeter stroke is also an underrated ballhandler.
Davon Jefferson, 6'7" Junior, Lynwood (Lynwood CA)
Up and coming junior has the potential to make national noise come next spring and summer. A rising star.
Taylor King, 6'6" Freshman, Mater Dei (Santa Ana CA)
Wow can this kid knock down three-point shots! And when he can't get a open look, Taylor has that Paul Pierce-like step back move that allows him to shake defenders to get his shot off. King's competitiveness and confidence in his game is what separates him from most in his class.
Loren Leath, 6'1", Senior, Cleveland (Reseda CA)
Excellent three-point shooter as was evidenced by his 5 made three-point shots during the championship game.
Todd Lowenthal, 6'1" Sophomore, Poway (Poway CA)
Much improved point is athletic with ability to score in a multitude of ways.
Shane Mahoney, 5'10" Junior, Malibu (Malibu CA)
Scrappy point will not back down from anybody. Led team to huge pool play upset over The Hood.
Marcus Malone, 6'3" Senior, Dominguez (Compton CA)
Lefty has nice stroke and is receiving mid-major interest.
Christian Marshall, 6'9" Senior, Wingfield (Jackson MS)
Long post-forward is quick on his feet and has nice upside.
Schuyler McKay, 6'4" Senior, Price (Los Angeles CA)
"Jack-of-all trades" player has a winning attitude and a knack for getting to the cup.
DeAndre Myles, 5'9" Sophomore, Cleveland (Reseda CA)
Quick sophomore point is a tenacious defender with a nice handle.
Gabriel Pruitt, 6'3" Senior, Westchester (Los Angeles CA)
Pruitt may have as much upside as any point guard in the West and that includes Jordan Farmer. Long and athletic, Pruitt has the ability to impact a game at both ends of the floor. Gabe's three-point stroke is soft and has plenty of arc.
Lamar Roberson, 6'7" Senior, Dominguez (Compton CA)
Point forward type had 33 points in The Hood's quarter-final win over the Knights. Very good ballhandler and passer for size has great long term potential.
Brian Schaeffer, 6'2" Senior, Hamilton (Chandler AZ)
Solid guard played excellent defense and scored when he had the oppportunity.
Matthew Thomas, 6'4" Senior, King (Riverside CA)
At times this weekend, Thomas played as well as any guard in attendance. Matt has really improved his perimeter range on his jumper, but really thrives in transition where he can use his size and quickness to blow past defenders to score or throw pin-point assists to teammates. Thomas reacts to the ball on the defensive end like a tasmanian devil. If he decides to bypass the fall signing period, Thomas could be a coveted guard come Spring 2004.
Marquis Washington, 5'10" Senior, Carson (Carson CA)
Quick point has accurate 3-point shot and nice ballhandlng abilities.
Nick Young, 6'5" Senior, Cleveland (Reseda CA)
Springy wing can really score in a variety of ways and against good competition as his 28 point effort versus The Hood in a semi-final win attests. Young (committed to USC) has a bright future.
All in all, the Fullcourt Press Fall Hoops Classic Tournament continues to be one of the best events in the fall, with or without the D-I coaches. If you were there, then you saw some good games (ok, there were some really crappy ones too), but for the most part, this was one of the better Fall Hoops Classic tournaments we've attended. Not the biggest in terms of the numbers of teams, but we enjoyed it neverthless.
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