NORWALK, Ca. – The inclination, following the event’s conclusion mid-Sunday afternoon, is to suggest that the 14th Pangos All-American Camp will often be recalled for the caliber of backcourt prospects in attendance among its approximately (give or take) 110 participants.
Camp participants Jose Alvarado, Trevon Duval, Quade Green, Jaylen Hands, Trae Young and Isaiah Washington are each among my choices for the Top 10 point guards in the Class of 2017.
Spencer Freedman, JaVonte Smart and Brandon Williams fall into that category for the Class of 2018, with Cole Anthony as good a prospect, at the position, in the Class of 2019 that I’ve seen.
As for the other guard position (“shooting”, “2” or “off” – take your choice on designation), camp standouts Gary Trent Jr. and Hamidou Diallo are at the top of my national Top 10, with Jay Jay Chandler, Charles O’Bannon Jr., Ethan Thompson and Keith Williams not far behind in 2017.
But, over the course of the camp’s two nights, one morning and two afternoons of competition, some of the best of the very front-court players in the Class of 2017 were also on display, front and center, via DeAndre Ayton, Ira Lee, Michael Porter Jr., Billy Preston, Jarred Vanderbilt and P.J. Washington, as well as the best of the Class of 2019 “bigs” in Charles Bassey.
So there you go.
For the most part, the 24 “camp” games among the 12 squads, from Friday night thru Sunday morning, were competitive, well-played, entertaining and, often, bordering on thrilling, as well.
They offered, for the most part, nice platforms for each of the players to show off their skill, focus and competiveness, as well.
All of which makes the fact that the all-star games (Top 60, followed by the Top 30) that should have been final nifty closing touches to a terrific event each eventually deteriorated into lackluster displays of basketball tomfoolery.
You know the look: players stopped making even half-hearted attempts to run in either direction and/or guys pounding their dribbles to death and ignoring teammates while seemingly trying to make the setting (everyone in the building watching with only that game being played at the time) their own personal showcases.
Little did most of them know that they had succeeded quite well at doing so but not quite in the fashion they were assuming.
And that’s a shame because those two “games” offered final opportunities for those selected to put a nice finish on some otherwise impressive efforts beforehand.
Meanwhile, there were 50 or so players who didn’t get selected to play in either game for whom that honor would have left them elated.
A bummer, indeed, for those who wanted to watch a serious approach to those games and for those who would have loved having the opportunity to take that approach on the court (and, to be far, for those players who actually did so).
OK . . . on to the lists of players whose camp performances (at least, that is, until the all-star games) over the weekend.
Brothers Michael Jr. and Jontay Porter left for their new Seattle home Sunday morning and didn’t get to play their final camp games nor participate in the all-star games.
But no player impressed me more, over one game, at the event that did the 6-foot-9 Michael Porter on Saturday night during his “Washington” team’s game with DeAndre Ayton and the rest of his “Arizona” teammates.
His combination of athletic and basketball skill, especially at his physical dimensions, is of the head-shaking variety. And he seemed as dialed in to the moment as did any player over the weekend.
The same could be said of Charles Bassey who was far and away the most impressive performer among the event’s underclassmen.
If Bassey – who came to San Antonio by way of Nigeria late last summer – stays healthy, stays focused and driven, gets quality coaching and remains (relatively, at least), from all of the attention and assorted distractions that will become potential trip-wires on his road to college and, seemingly inevitably, the NBA, his future is dazzling.
*My “Top player” choices were based upon how each athlete played over the weekend when I was watching him and his team – not necessarily upon his “next-level (college) potential”.
* I watched each of the 12 teams play one full contest apiece, stole glances during portions of other games on Friday and Saturday and watched decent chucks of four games on Sunday, the entire Top 60 game and the first half of the Top 30 game (which was all I could stomach without heaving).
*San Diego Cathedral Catholic Brandon McCoy hung out at the camp all weekend but never played because of a sore left quadriceps. Center Kevin Samuel and Wake Forest-bound forward Melo Eggleston didn’t play after Friday night because of injury. Guards Jade Smith and Galen Alexander didn’t arrive at the camp until Saturday. Cassius Stanley (one of California’s best in 2019) only played on Saturday. That is why you will find none of their names on the following lists.
All names on the lists are in alphabetical sequence.
Top 15 Seniors-To-Be
DeAndre Ayton (6-11/Phoenix Hillcrest)
Jay Jay Chandler (6-4/Katy, TX, Cinco Ranch)
Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree (6-8/Philadelphia Neumann-Goretti)
Hamidou Diallo (6-5/Putnam, CT, Science)
Trevon Duval (6-3/Dallas Advanced Prep International)
Quade Green (6-0/Philadelphia Neumann-Goretti)
Jaylen Hands (6-3/San Diego Balboa Prep)
Ira Lee (6-8/Napa, CA, Prolific Prep)
Michael Porter Jr. (6-9/Seattle, WA, TBD)
Billy Preston (6-9/Mouth of Wilson, VA, Oak Hill)
Gary Trent Jr. (6-5/Apple Valley, MN, Apple Valley)
Jarred Vanderbilt (6-8/Houston Victory Prep)
Isaiah Washington (6-1/New York St. Raymond’s)
P.J. Washington (6-7/Henderson, NV, Findlay Prep)
Trae Young (6-1/Norman, OK, North)
Next 15 Seniors-To-Be
Jose Alvarado (6-0/Middle Village, NY, Christ the King)
Victor Bailey (6-4/Austin, TX, McNeil)
Hassan French (6-7/Springfield, MA, Commonwealth Academy)
Deng Gak (6-10/Blairstown, NY, Blair Academy)
RaiQuan Gray (6-7/Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Dillard)
Brandon Huffman (6-9/Raleigh, NC, Word of God)
Isiah Jasey (6-9/Wichita, KS, Sunrise Academy)
David Nickelberry (6-7/Windermere, FL, Prep)
Charles O’Bannon Jr. (6-5/Las Vegas Bishop Gorman)
Tyler Polley (6-8/Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Sagemont)
Jordan Schakel (6-6/Torrance, CA, Bishop Montgomery)
D’shawn Schwartz (6-6/Colorado Springs, CO, Sand Creek)
Ethan Thompson (6-4/Torrance, CA, Bishop Montgomery)
Walter Whyte (6-5/New Canaan, CT, St. Luke’s)
Keith Williams (6-4/Brooklyn Bishop Loughlin)
Top 10 Underclassmen
Cole Anthony (2019/6-2/New York Archbishop Molloy)
Charles Bassey (2019/6-10/San Antonio, TX, St. Anthony)
Spencer Freedman (2018/6-1/Santa Ana, CA, Mater Dei)
Tony Goodwin (2018/6-5/Bethesda, MD, Johnson)
Miles Norris (2018/6-9/Chula Vista, CA, Mater Dei)
Jontay Porter (2018/6-9/Seattle, WA, TBD)
David Singleton (2018/6-3/Torrance, CA, Bishop Montgomery)
JaVonte Smart (2018/6-3/Scotlandville, LA, Magnet)
Brandon Williams (2018/6-1/Encino, CA, Crespi)
Emmitt Williams (2018/6-8/Bradenton, FL, IMG)