This weekend I ran the Southwest All-American Camp at the Kroc Center in Phoenix.
Anthony Ray (Arizona Preps) and I put together this event strictly for exposure purposes. We had almost 110 players attend the camp with 7 college coaches on hand plus some of the top West Coast scouts.
We had Gerry Frietas (Hoopreview.net), Roy White (West Coast Hoops), Josh Gershon (National recruiting analyst for Scout.com) and Chris Karpman (Sun Devils Source/Scout.com) on hand. Those four communicate weekly to over 200 college coaches which should bring some more exposure to the players.
Here is a rundown of the top 2019 prospects from the event . . .
Jaelen House PG 5’11” 155 Shadow Mountain HS
-House is jet quick with the ball in his hands and his ability to split defenders is second to none. He has the floater game and despite his smaller frame, he absorbs contact and scores or gets fouled with great body control. He sees the court well but is usually trying to set himself up for a shot. His pick and roll game is next level and his IQ is of the charts. His best skill may be how competitive he is. He hates losing and he has the heart of a lion.
Jovan Blacksher PG 5’10” 155 Shadow Mountain HS
-Blacksher was the top real PG at the camp. He makes plays for others look so effortlessly. He sets them up to the point where the player who caught the ball is usually shooting an uncontested shot. He has handle is tight and he can get by players in tight quarters. His defense on the ball can be suffocating. His shooting has improved along with his pull-up off the dribble. He uses his mind and his court demeanor is very professional. It’s very rare to see him have a facial response on a good or bad play.
Jalen Williams PG 6’2” 153 Perry HS
-Williams is a long and skinny skilled PG. He had some incredible full court passes on a dime with his right and left hand. He is one of the better spot up shooters in the class and uses his massive wingspan to steal/deflect many passes. His mind really works and he can change gears to get his man off balance to go by him. He isn’t the athlete as some of the others yet, but it looks like he’ll end of close to 6’4” or so which will of course help his game. He has big hands and feet with a huge upside. Look for Williams to take a big leap this year.
Josh Baker CG/SG 6’2” 170 McClintock HS
-Baker is another with a big upside. He may just be the best shooter in the entire West Coast. (Jarrod Lucas from Compton Magic may handle it better and has a beautiful J but I’ll take Baker with his pure stroke.) He is one of those kids when he attempts a shot your are shocked when he misses. He has picture perfect form and one of the fastest releases in state. He had one 3 he made where the defender was running at him full speed to close out and I still don’t know how he got the shot off in less then a second and swished it-that was truly amazing. But he is more than just a shooter. He also has a massive wingspan and he is improving his floor game as a lead guard. He will never be the prototypical PG but someone capable of handling it in a pinch. Like Williams, I believe Baker can get close to 6’4” and mostly be that elite shooter. His stock will go up this year and he should have a big year.
Lucas Elliott C 6’9” 210 Pusch Ridge Academy
-Elliott is a high level physical rebounder. He grabs the ball with two hands at its highest point. He had 9 rebounds in the all-star game using his strength and athleticism. He isn’t the top-tier offensive player yet, but he actually showed signs of growth this weekend. He hit two face-up shots from around 10-feet, which is two more then I have ever seen with him. He had a high arc and good form to show he can do it long term. He has big hands and he can throw down easily. He needs to progress his post footwork and catching passes in traffic to further his game but his motor, effort and rebounding are at a high level.
Jalen Williams CG 6’3” 185 Shadow Mountain HS
-Williams may transfer in from Brookside Christian HS (CA). I’ve seen him once before on Team Lillard in the Spring. He has a great body and good length. He plays football and brings that tough mentally over to the hardwood. He is a physical driver and his best skill is currently his on-ball defense. The lefty can shoot it from deep but needs more reps and confidence from the arc. He loves to slash to the basket and get deep in the paint and score it. He is a good athlete and it will be interesting what route he chooses after HS.
Walter Talley SF 6’7” 210 Tri-City Academy
-Talley had a good weekend and has been playing well this summer. He seems to be in better shape than he was and his game has improved because of it. He has a thick body and he is very strong. His best skill is his midrange jumper and he hit four of them in two games plus he extended past the 3pt line to hit one shot from there as well. He is a strong rebounder in his area and he has clearly grown an inch to help him be more productive. He can handle the ball well and create a shot for himself. He gets into trouble when he shoots low percentage shots out of character. It will help him become a more consistent 3pt shooter, but Talley looks to be on the rise.
Isaiah Marin PG 6’4” 170 Copper Canyon HS
-Marin is a long and smooth ball handler who is a pure PG. He has nice court vision with a tight handle. He has a nice stroke from deep and he should probably look to score more as he sometimes differs too much and has that unselfish nature about him. He understands how to change speeds and get into the lane. He uses his length defensively and he is one of the bigger true PGs in state.
Isaiah Wilson SG/CG 6’0” 135 Desert Vista HS
-Wilson is another outstanding mid-range shooter. He hit five shots from around 17-feet plus one 3 as well. He has a nice burst to get by his defender and he has some serious springs to get up on the break and flush it down. He defends hard on the ball and he is turning into an athletic undersized scoring guard.
Josh Ursery SG/CG 6’0” 150 Liberty HS
-Ursery is very similar to Wilson with his supreme athleticism and scoring mentality. He also is turning his game into an athletic undersized scoring guard. He is a little longer and more explosive than Wilson but not as consistent as a perimeter shooter. He gets very streaky and can rattle off shots from mid to the 3pt line plus has a nice floater game. He would probably rather attack the rim and Wilson would probably rather pull-up. Both players have big upsides once they thicken up some more.
Jeron Artest CG/PG 6’2” 170 Hillcrest (Pictured)
-Artest is an intriguing player. The son of Ron Artest has great length with a 6’6” wingspan and good instincts. He is a defensive minded player like his dad and uses his length, quick hands and lateral quickness to deflect or steal balls. He can turn the corner on his defender with his tight handle and finish off a layup. He isn’t the offensive star yet but he can score on mid-range pull-ups off the dribble but he will need to improve his perimeter shooting long term.
Malik Salahuddin PG 6’0” 155 Mountain Pointe HS
-Salahuddin was one of the best passers at the event as he dished out multiple assists in every game played. He has decent size and speed to get by his defender. He can hit shots from the arc plus get to the cup. He also is very quick laterally and uses his speed on the defensive end to guard his position. Yet another rising 2019 player from AZ.
DJ Hawkins SF 6’6” 190 AZ Compass Prep
-Hawkins has really come into his own. His skill is coming around from the perimeter. In both games, regular game and all star, he hit at least one 3 and one mid-range shot. He has a good build and length plus he is a good rebounder in his area. He would see his stock rise with an improved handle but he already made proper strides to becoming a better prospect.
Shamar Grant PG 6’1” 160 Millennium HS
-Grant is a new player that just moved in from IL. He is a tough hard-nosed defender and has nice length. He plays the game with a great motor and was on the floor diving for balls multiple times. He sees the court decently and he is a natural driver to the hole. His shot is decent but he will need to make strides with this. He will bring some immediate toughness to any team.
Alec Bryan F 6’6” 185 Chaparral HS
-Bryan is a long and skilled face-up forward. He can hit the deep ball with ease and has deep range. He can handle the ball decently and is trying to become a SF. He will need to thicken up some and improve his handle but his shooting will get him into college. He was the lone player on here who didn’t make an all-star game and probably got snubbed.
Takari Fields C 6’7” 235 Chandler HS
-Fields is a physical presence. He is one of the true rare post players in the class. He can handle it a little and create space in the paint with his mass. The lefty can make baby hooks and has decent footwork to score. He doesn’t get off the ground too high but uses length and strength to get the job done. If he can gain a little more mobility, it would help him long term.
Carson Mittun SG 6’3” 182 Seton Catholic
-Mittun had a good weekend. He hit shots from deep plus showed the ability of hitting a pull-up off the dribble from 17-feet. He shows great court awareness and plays the game from the neck up. He could improve his handle to make things easier for him to score and be a more versatile offensive weapon but his shooting will keep him on a court.
Kade Maddock F 6’5” 180 AZ Compass Prep
-Maddock was a pleasant surprise this weekend. He scored inside per usual, but showed he can face up out to the 3pt line, which is something I have never seen him do before. He hit a couple shots from midrange as well and is looking like a stretch-forward. He has a good motor who rebounds the ball well and he is slowly improving his fluidly and ball handling. If he can keep making strides, he may turn into a SF long term.
Dylan Bennett-Sanders CG/SG 6’1” 163 Copper Canyon HS
-Bennett-Sanders is a player I have never seen or heard of before and he impressed. He has a nice handle and has the ability to separate from his defender and score it from the perimeter. The lefty can hit shots from mid to the 3pt line and he good quickness. He gets into a defensive stance and plays with good energy. He has good length and if he can keep growing, he will be even harder to handle.
Skylar Certo SG 6’3” 165 Notre Dame Prep
-Certo was another player I’ve never seen before and I was pleasantly surprised. He has decent size for the guard position and I thought he was a top-5 shooter at the camp. He was on the 5A All-Region 2nd team and I see why. He gets a clean look every shot and has great rotation on the ball. It would help him to improve his handle and work on his all-around game, but a very good player.
Xavier Hall CF 6’3” 190 Valley Vista HS
-Hall is a versatile combo forward who can score from inside and out. He can shoot it from about 15-feet and in and he can pound the ball inside and score it with his strength. He can handle the ball somewhat and if he can extend his shooting range beyond the arc, it would make him even more versatile.