May 21, 2013

Busy weekend in SoCal



There's no room for a dateline in this piece, because this past weekend had me in two places that are separated by 134 miles.

This first event I attended was the Double Pump Media Day at Beverly Hills high school hosted by David and Dana Pump themselves.

Among the noteworthy prospects in attendance were 2016 big man Trevor Stanback of West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade high school.

During his freshman year with the Eagles, the 6-foot-9 Stanback averaged a near double-double with 9.1 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. During slew of drills that the players went through in front of the media members in attendance, Stanback showed his low-post prowess and potential. He was also knocking down jumpers from 10-15 feet.

Another intriguing prospect was 2015 sharpshooter Kenny Smith Jr. Smith, who plays his high school ball at Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian, averaged 8.8 points for the Lions.

There's no question that Smith Jr. has the ability and savvy to become a very good player, especially with his picturesque jumper. If there's one knock on Smith Jr., however, his father -15-year NBA veteran Kenny Smith - said that his son needs to be more aggressive.

I first saw Smith Jr. when he was playing in the South Bay Classic tournament in Torrance (Calif.) back in November. At times, the 6-foot-2 wing showed flashes of just how good he could be, but at other times, the sophomore shied away from the moment, and didn't look for his offense. If Smith Jr.'s confidence can start to mimic his talent, he'll be a guy to keep an eye on.

One of the more polished prospects in attendance was 2014 big man Evan Fitzner of San Diego (Calif.) St. Francis.

I followed the 6-foot-10 swingman through each drill, and he impressed in them all. Fitzner can handle the ball, shoot it out to 3-point range and has great footwork both on the perimeter and in the post.

Fitzner said that he would like to try and play more on the wing when he gets to the college level, and has been hearing from a lot of Pac-12 schools. He currently holds offers from: California, Colorado, Oregon State, USC and New Mexico.

Class of 2015 wing Travis Fuller of Carlsbad (Calif.) La Costa Canyon high school also had a solid day on Saturday.

Like Fitzner, Fuller has a great touch on his shot, and can do a little bit of everything. At 6-feet-6, Fuller has a solid frame that can only get better with time. The sophomore played limited minutes for his La Costa Canyon high school team this past season, but that is sure to change in his junior season, and Fuller should expect to begin hearing from a number of college programs.

On a potential sleeper note, class of 2016 combo guard Christian Juzang of Calabasas (Calif.) Viewpoint is a very strong and athletic prospect. The 6-foot-1 Juzang averaged 13.3 points during his freshman season, and caught my eye with his consistent hard work and attention to detail through the set of drills.

On Sunday, I woke up and had nothing to do, so I decided it would be smart to drive to San Diego to watch the final two games of the EBO showdown at San Diego City College.

The first game featured the ultra-talented 2015 trio of Kendall Small, Jeremy Hemsley and Stephen Thompson Jr. of Superior Athletes.

I've probably seen these three potential Arizona recruits play over 20 times, but it never gets old.

Small opened the game with back-to-back 3-pointers, while Hemsley was able to get to the rim at will early in the game. Thomspon Jr. got into the act with his patented smooth 3-point shot.

The game wasn't much of a contest, as Superior Athletes went on to blow out the San Diego Cougars 75-26, but there were a lot of improvements I saw from Small, Hemsley and Thompson Jr.

Small was dishing some flashy, no-look dimes, while Hemsley was draining three's over the zone defense deployed to try and slow him down. Thompson Jr. is one of the more savvy defenders I have seen. The 6-foot-3 guard might not be the quickest or strongest, but his understanding of playing defensive angles is second-to-none, which makes him a great on-ball defender.

The second game featured the San Diego All-Stars and class of 2014 scoring machine Trey Kell.

Kell has a laundry list of offers, including schools such as: Colorado, Gonzaga, New Mexico and San Diego State. SDSU has made it clear that Kell is atop their list of 2014 recruits, but UCLA might be making a late push to land the 6-foot-4 shooting guard.

Kell and SDA fell behind High Desert Crush and its eccentric coach early, but Kell took over despite being targeted by a box-in-one defense to finish with 33 points to lock up the EBO Showdown championship.

This coming weekend will be a big one on the circuit as the Magic Memorial Tournament will be going on at Players Edge in Corona (Calif.). Stephen Zimmerman, Chase Jeter, Derryck Thornton Jr. and Namon Wright will be in attendance with Dream Vision, as well as Sedrick Barefield, Cameron Walker and Rex Pflueger of Compton Magic.

Devin UglandDevin Ugland
GOAZCATS.com West Coast recruiting analyst

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