NCAA 1st Evaluation Recruiting Wrapup

LAGUNA NIGUEL, CA – And the NCAA’s first evaluation “week” (ok, four-day period of 5 p.m. Wednesday to ditto on Sunday) for July is a wrap.

And we get to repeat the process this Wednesday (July 18)!

But, before we get too far ahead of ourselves, here’s a quickie recap on what happened on the final day of the first period in Southern California, beginning with . . .

*The Double Pump Tournament (the American Sports Center/Anaheim): In an inter-program confrontation for the 17-under finale, Double Pump Elite (2013) knocked off Pump ‘n Run Elite.

The “DPE” (if you will) was led by one of the region’s top Class of 2013 point guards in London Perrantes (Encino, CA, Crespi), as well as one of the strongest and most forceful forwards in the same class, Keonta Vernon (Tulare, CA, Union – located near Fresno).

Its Pump Brothers’ counterpart was paced by two of the better Southern California guards from the 2013 class in Jahmel Taylor (Chatsworth Sierra Canyon) and Jose Estrada (Montebello Cantwell), as well as a Southern California “sleeper” of sorts in 6-3 Malcolm Drumwright (Rancho Cucamonga).

Double Pump Elite (2014) toppled QJZ (made up of players from Riverside and San Bernardino counties) in the 16-under championship game.

Making his debut for DPE was junior-to-be point guard Casey Benson (Tempe, AZ, Corona del Sol) and he was tremendous throughout.

A lot of his passes went to 2014 forwards Jack Williams (West Hills, CA, Chaminade) and Evan Fitzner (San Diego Francis Parker).
QJZ was paced by one of the better point guards in the 2015 class in Tristen Hunter (Perris in Riverside County), and a tremendous jump shooter in freshman-to-be Lonzo Ball (Chino Hills in Chino).

In the 15-under finale, Utah Pump ‘n Run Red Elite outlasted Pump ‘n Run Elite (2015) behind the play of 5-10 Jesse Wade (Kaysville Davis), 6-3 Malek Harwell (Pocatello Century) and 6-5 Jarriesse Blackmon (Layton). Each will be a sophomore this fall.

Point guard Cameron High (Playa del Rey, CA, St. Bernard) – a recent addition to the PNR program – and wing Tyler Burch (Huntington Beach, CA, Ocean View) were terrific as well for the runner-up.
And, as well as the . . .

*Pangos Summer Sweet 16 (Cabrillo High in Long Beach): Belmont Shore Gold (Invitational), Utah Hoops (Platinum), High Five America 17 (Premier) and Team Compton (Gold) won divisional championship games on Sunday.

There was a plethora of the best juniors-to-be from the West on hand, including 6-foot Jordan McLaughlin of Etiwanda (for Prodigy Elite Red), 6-7 Dalton Nixon of Orem (Utah Hoops), 6-3 Iziahiah Sweeney of Compton (Team Compton), 6-foot Shaquile Carr of Las Vegas Canyon Springs (Las Vegas Prospects 16) and 6-1 Robert Cartwright of La Canada Flintridge Prep (L.A. Rockfish).

Many of the better players in this event also participated in the All-West Camp on Wednesday and Thursday at Cabrillo High. For rundown on the all-star games for the camp, check an earlier entry on this website.

Frank Burlison is one of the most respected basketball writers and basketball talent evaluators in the world. He’s an original (1978) member of the McDonald’s All-American Selection/Advisory Committee and was inducted into the United States Basketball Writers’ Association Hall of Fame during the 2005 Final Four in St. Louis. You can catch his writing, player evaluations and comments on the sport – on all levels – at and via his Twitter account – FrankieBur. He can be contacted at

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