LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Each year the Pangos All-American camp serves a bridge between the spring travel ball circuit and the summer's All-Star camp circuit and live evaluation periods. On opening night, five-stars
Tyler Dorsey and Isaiah Briscoe went head to head and Jacob Evans left his mark.
Dorsey and Briscoe trade blows
Maybe the most intriguing matchup on opening night was the one between five-star guards Tyler Dorsey and Isaiah Briscoe. Headed to Arizona, Dorsey is a 6-foot-4 combo from Los Angeles who currently ranks No. 7 in the class of 2015 while Briscoe is a tough 6-foot-3 point guard from New Jersey who checks in at No. 19 nationally.
On the spring travel circuit, Briscoe made a strong case that he should be considered the best point guard in the class of 2015 and he will be moving upwards in the rankings. Early on, he took the fight right to Dorsey. Perhaps Briscoe didn't finish as well as he usually does, but he got anywhere he wanted to go and he did it anytime he wanted. Maybe most impressive early was the message Briscoe was sending defensively. A few early Dorsey drives were met by Briscoe beating him to the spot, getting his chest out using it to knock Dorsey back a few feet.
Like Briscoe, Dorsey came out aggressive. But, in the first half he lost a little bit of steam as Briscoe got off to his hot start and chatted up Dorsey and anybody else in the gym who wanted to listen. However, halftime gave Dorsey a chance to regroup and he came out and had a much better go of it in the second half. Mostly, Dorsey drove the ball and by the end of the game he had pretty much evened things out with Briscoe after Briscoe had gotten the better of him early on.
Evans announces presence
Each year, the Pangos All-American camp serves as the launching pad to national notoriety for a player or two who entered the camp relatively unknown. Based on Friday night's results, small forward Jacob Evans from Baton Rouge (La.) St. Michael is putting himself in position to be one of the players who sees his stock take off.
During Friday night's mostly wild and out of control play, Evans skill based game, basketball IQ and ability to use his body to create space and finish with either hand were impressive.
Evans does most of his damage attacking off the dribble where he can best utilize his size and he dictates the pace of things on the floor.
"I felt pretty good out there," Evans told Rivals.com. "My team, we can all push the ball and that's my type of playing style."
Currently an unranked three-star, Evans is going to be somebody to watch much more closely this weekend and during the summer with the Louisiana Dynasty. He is certainly a kid who has a good feel for his own game.
"I feel like I can get to the rack," said Evans. "Then along with my driving I can shoot pretty well. I'm working on my shooting more and want to be better with my three point jump shot.
More Friday notes
Oklahoma shooting guard Shake Milton continues to build his case for the national rankings in the class of 2015. At this point, he's a safe bet to make his way into them and it is just a matter of where he settles in. The beauty of Milton's game is in his efficiency and even in a camp setting where some wild shots are going up around him, Milton stays dedicated to taking good shots, using his quickness and making things happen. He was hot from three on Friday night and had a rock solid outing.
The No. 79 player overall in the class of 2015, Horace Spencer is one of the most athletic big men in the country. The 6-foot-8 Philly area native who attends Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep is bouncy, strong and has great quickness in the lane. He was tearing down rims and dishing out some intimidation in the lane on Friday night.
Another impressive big man on Friday night was Marquese Chriss. The 6-foot-9 power forward lacks strength but he is a high end athlete who has touch on his jumper. For the most part, Chriss played above the rim and beat opposing bigs from block to block with regularity. He's had a good grassroots season and is under-ranked a bit at No. 76 nationally.
During the first game of the night, the stage was set for a battle between two of the West Coast's top players in the class of 2016, point guards Lonzo Ball and Derryck Thornton. As it turned out, 2015 three-star Paris Austin outplayed both of them on Friday night. Paired with Ball, Austin showed an alpha dog mentality and took over primary ball handling duties. A sidekick of five-star Ivan Rabb at Oakland (Calif.) Bishop O'Dowd, Austin isn't the tallest point guard but he is tough, strong and very fast with the ball. He attacked the lane and did a nice job of blending his offense with setting up teammates to finish with 11 points and seven assists.
On Thursday, Jeremy Hemsley committed to San Diego State and not surprisingly the four-star shooting guard played very well on Friday night. Something about getting a commitment out of the way always seems to take the edge off of things for a prospect and allows them to just play free and easy. Friday night, Hemsley focused on getting to the rim and used good first step quickness to lose defenders.
Friday night was Rivals.com's first look at 2016 small forward Micah Thomas. The slender wing from Eads (Tenn.) Briarcrest Christian is definitely one to monitor going forward because of his fluid athleticism and open floor ability. High major programs will surely be getting to know more about him this summer.
No. 39 in the class of 2016, 6-foot-7 combo forward Vance Jackson is one of the country's premier jump shooters from deep. If he gets a clean look -- particularly from the corner -- he isn't going to miss very many of his three-point attempts. Thought of as more of a wing up until now, Jackson has started to bulk up and he is an interesting option as a four man who can stretch the floor. He was one of the night's most productive players with 20 points and six rebounds.