On September 18, 2016, Ryan Silver hosted his 2nd annual West Coast Elite All- Star Camp-Arizona on the campus of Rancho Solano Preparatory School in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Like last years’ camp that was held at South Mountain CC, this years’ event was also a screaming success from start to finish with every game featuring multiple Division-I players on each court, as well as each games’ intensity was at an all-time high.
Thank you again to Ryan Silver, Jason Simon, Scott Martin and the rest of the West Coast Elite Staff for hosting such a great event.
Of the games that I personally saw this weekend, here are some notes on the top performers from this year's event . . .
2017 6’3 SG Garrett Sullivan was one of the best sleeper prospects in the event. Sullivan stood out with his ability to shoot the basketball in a variety of ways (catch/shoot, curls, flairs, etc.). He also got out well in transition and finished above the rim as well. He recently transferred from Brophy College Prep to Hillcrest Prep Academy here in Phoenix. Look for him to have a big upcoming year after his performance this weekend.
2019 6’5 SG/F Majok Deng still continues to impress with his extremely high motor on both ends of the floor. Deng also had multiple big dunks in transition, and continues to display his improved shooting stroke from the perimeter. He also went head-to-head in an entertaining battle with fellow elite wing - 2018 prospect Tevian Jones. Deng looks to be the best player in the city of Tucson this year and should have a huge year scoring the ball for Salpointe Catholic.
2017 6’5 SF Harold Moore from Westchester HS (CA) in Los Angeles was one of the most physically imposing players on the day - regardless of position. Moore used his big chest and shoulders to bully defenders all day to the basket, and did a great job finishing through contact. He also shot the ball very consistently from the perimeter from catch/shoot situations. Moore also gets out well when the ball is being pushed out in fast break situations, and did finish w/some big dunks.
2020 6’0 CG Nico Mannion from Pinnacle HS is truly skilled beyond his years. Mannion shot the ball well from 3 in the games I saw him compete in. He also did a great job setting up his teammates on fastbreaks/half court situations. Gonzaga and Grand Canyon are among the schools who have already been in to see this very talented 2020 prospect who has offers from Arizona State and Cal-State Northridge.
2017 6’5 SF Jimmy Smith from Hamilton HS is a big-time athlete who is very under the radar, but made a name for himself on Sunday. Smith had some big-time put-back dunks and displayed a good feel for shooting the ball. But more impressively, he was able to put the ball on the deck and attack the basket at a high rate. A big-time sleeper prospect in Arizona’s 2017 class.
2018 6’8 PF Christian Anigwe from Desert Vista may have the most upside in Arizona’s 2018 Class. Anigwe has taken huge strides in his game in regards to transforming from a pure post, to a stretch-4, who can be a legitimate threat from the perimeter. While he is nowhere close to being a hybrid big, he displayed an improved ability to drag out and hit some shots, while still being able to bang down low on the block - despite a skinny frame for now. He also looked more mobile as he blocked some shots around the rim, and got out well in transition and finished some put-back attempts.
2017 6’7 SF Jared Rodriguez from Mountain Ridge had a productive day in reference to scoring the ball. Rodriguez has great size from the wing position, and is a good passer from the perimeter as well, as he was able to find open cutters for easy buckets on a few occasions. He also shot the ball at a good clip and possesses one of the cleanest shooting strokes from the 3 in the state. A good athlete as well who can finish dunks in transition, and can also attack the basket off of the dribble/hit tough mid-range shots as well.
2018 6’6 SG Jaxson Baker of Brophy College Prep is one of the best shooters of the basketball in the state. Baker hit numerous 3’s on the day in a great number of ways and also displayed his ability to look for other open players for easy scores, when defenders pressed up on him due to his ability to knock down shots. He also looks more athletic from the summer time, as his overall length from the length position caused some issues for offensive players to get into their groove.
2019 6’5 CG Josh Green is one of the more elite players on the West Coast and beyond for his class. Green continues to impress with his overall athletic ability. He does look most effective at this point in time attacking the rim, due to his ability to get by defenders with a quick first step/deceptive change of speed, but his jump-shot does look more refined and confident every time I see him compete. Green is also very active on defense, and is really able to place offensive players in tough situations when he zones in.
2019 5’10 Jaelen House of Shadow Mountain was one, if not the most impressive prospect on the day to me. House did an exceptional job making sure his teammates were always in the correct spots at all times on the court, as well as being that vocal floor general every coach wants. He was able to knock down shot after shot from 3 and mid-range, and used a very crafty handle and blow-by-speed to get by defenders and get to the basket; where he scored the ball/looked to dish off to open cutters/shooters on the perimeter. What really stood out at me about House is the overall pride that he took on the defensive end. He really was able to dig in and do whatever he wanted to do to offensive players, as he went some sequences getting multiple steals in a row. I came away extremely impressed with House, and can not wait to get a look at him, Javon Blacksher, and Marcus Shaver (UCSB Commit) in the same backcourt this upcoming year.
2017 6’2 PG Virshon Cotton should have a great year running the point for Hillcrest Prep. A very shifty, smooth guard originally from Milwaukee, Cotton was able to knock down perimeter shots when left open and get to the basket with ease. He also hit some high-level shots around the basket while attacking off of the dribble.
6’7 PF Nick Jackson of Sunnyside HS in Tucson looks to be one of the most athletic players in the state this year. Jackson, who recently moved from Detroit, has a great twitch off of the floor, and finished a few dunks in traffic. His length and how active he is defensively around the rim causes issues for offensive players to score around him, and is also a solid rebounder of the basketball on both ends of the floor. He can also drag out and hit some shots from the mid-range as well if left open.
2018 6’7 SG/F Tevian Jones is an athletic specimen who can score the ball in a variety of ways. Jones can knock down open 3’s on the perimeter at a good clip, regardless if a hand is in his face. He is also a big-time leaper who looks fabulous when he is able to push the ball out in transition, and make something happen. He put down a few big-time highlight reel finishes on the day. He also is capable of attacking the rim - using his long strides to get past defenders and into areas around the basket that will benefit him the most.
2017 6’2 PG Marcus Shaver (UCSB commit) of Shadow Mountain really has improved his frame from the last time I saw him, and looks to have a college-ready PG body right now. He looked very good in the Top 20 Game, and hit numerous 3’s from the perimeter and attacked the basketball effectively per usual. He will be headed to UC-Santa Barbara next season.
2018 6’3 PG Ian Burke of Brophy College Prep really displayed a very improved shooting stroke from the 3-point line - hanging 24 points alone in the 1st half of one of his games. He also is more vocal on the court and looks to be developing into a great floor general.
2019 6’8 PF Lucas Elliott of Pusch Ridge HS in Tucson was very impressive to me. A very raw big man, he ran the floor very well for someone his size and age, and was able to block numerous shots on the day as well. He also has very good hands for a big, and can legit step out and guard the perimeter on certain occasions. Elliott is a big-time prospect to keep an eye on, due to how much upside he has. His best basketball is well ahead of him.
2017 6’1 PG Colton Kresl is one of the most fun to watch players I have seen in a long time. He has a great handle of the basketball and frankly, toys with defenders due to how elite his ability to control the basketball is. Kresl is also very capable of knocking down open 3’s/shots off of the dribble/catch and shoot situations. He possesses a high basketball IQ, and is a great passer of the basketball and looks for his teammates first before he looks to score. He will be the engine of a very well-oiled Chaparral team this upcoming season.
2019 6’7 PF Andre Harris of Red Mountain is a load to handle in the paint. He has soft hands and thrives off of contact on the block, powering through defenders in order to score the ball, or fighting for second/third chance put-backs. He can also drag out a little bit and hit some shots if left open, and has a soft touch from the free-throw line.
2019 5’11 PG Jovan Blacksher is one of the best leaders/generals in Arizona from the point position - regardless of class. He looks to make the right play every time down the court - setting up his teammates for a favorable outcome. His jumper was working from around the court per usual, and defenders always have a very hard time staying in front of him.
2019 6’2 PG Vean Simon IV could be one of the best on-the-ball defenders in the state, regardless of class. His length, always moving hands, as well as the passion he brings on the defensive end really makes it very hard for offensive players to do anything when he is guarding them. He attacked the basket off the dribble pretty effectively, and pushed the ball out to set up teammates when the opportunity presented itself. He knocked down some open 3’s as well.
The biggest sleeper of the event was 2017 6’0 PG Elijah Mead from Camelback HS. Mead is a blur with the ball in his hands and no one was able to stay in-front of him in every game he competed in. He also knocked down 3’s in the Top 40 game, and capped it off with a huge dunk in traffic. This was the coming-out-party that Mead needed and look for him to be a household name in Arizona very soon.