June 5, 2008

Top surprises at Pangos

MORE: Pangos top 2009 performers | Pangos top 2010 performers | Rivals.com Hoops Tour

There were plenty of surprises from the Pangos All-American camp last weekend in Los Angeles.

Rivals.com was on hand for the entire event and Justin Young offers up his top surprises from the event.

Pangos Top Surprises
Marcus Ruppel, SF
The long and wiry wing was an eye-catcher from start to finish in Los Angeles. The 6-foot-7 wing from Arizona's Deer Valley High School did enough over the three-day event to play himself onto the high-major radar. He was the biggest surprise of any player in the event.

Ruppel shot the ball very well and looked quite comfortable and familiar with his position on the wing. He shot the ball well off the bounce and well as a catch-and-shoot player. His strength is shooting on the perimeter. Mixing in more creation with the dribble and more attention on the defensive end and on the glass could determine the level of high-major school that this high-level student goes to.

Carlos Lopez, PF
In two days of action, the future UNLV big man was one of the top overall post players in the camp. The thin, 6-foot-10 big man plays with a high level of hustle and energy that compensates for a thin frame.

Lopez isn't a stereotypical international big-man prospect that likes to float on the wing and hoist up jump shots. Instead, he's much more comfortable mixing it up in the paint and is a physical player. He has good hands and is a good passer. While he isn't an overly skilled offensive player, he showed enough to know that his career at UNLV should be a good one.

Guy Landry, SF
The Frenchman picked up a number of new fans over the weekend after his athletic display of dunks. The strong-bodied 6-foot-4 wing from France was in attack mode all weekend and made big play after big play at the rim. He was great in the all-star game, too.

Landry is off to prep school next year, but which one exactly is still up in the air. Wherever he lands, expect him to be a name that gets tossed around quite a bit if he is still uncommitted past the summer months because of his aggressive and athletic brand of basketball.

Derrick Williams, PF/SF
As the weekend wore on, the 6-foot-7 forward seemed to get better and better and a tougher player to match up with. The class of 2009 prospect was tougher to defend inside because of his strength, athleticism and simplicity around the cup. Williams also showed some skill away from the basket as a face-up player.

Williams could still be considered a 'tweener, but he is a good one. He's just athletic enough and good enough as a perimeter shooter to play minutes on the wing. Ideally, the mid-level programs would be best served to get involved with the La Mirada High School product.

Chris Cunningham, PF
Simplicity, high grades, high character and no problems are the selling points for the 6-foot-7 forward from Diamond Ranch High School in Pomona, California. Cunningham stuck to his strengths and earned admirers because of it.

While not the greatest of athletes, his smarts shine through in his play. It's all about positioning and making the right decisions on the hardwood at his position. While his recruitment will teeter-totter between the mid and high levels, Cunningham is a low-risk, high-reward prospect both on and off the court.

Tony Freeland, SF/PF
The high-flyer started the camp strong with his aggressive athleticism and was one of the top eye-openers over the weekend. The 6-foot-5 high-flyer shined in the transition game and was always flying to the rim. While he didn't necessarily display a wide variety of skills as a three man, Freeland played well enough to make it onto the 'must see again' radar.

Freeland is a raw prospect and probably best served as a power forward at the high school and AAU level. In college, he'll have to play the wing because of his size. Even as a raw prospect, Freeland was good enough to catch our eye quite often.

Jeremy Olsen, PF
The future Utah big man had his best individual showing all season long at the Pangos event. He finished around the cup, sank shots in the midrange (his best strength) and played with the most confidence he's ever shown on the big stage.

Olsen was one of the top post players in a camp relatively short on big men and seemed to play much better at the end of the camp than at the start of the camp. Continued strength and improved rebounding are on the checklist for the upcoming July period. Overall, it was a strong weekend for the future Ute.

MORE: Pangos top 2009 performers | Pangos top 2010 performers | Rivals.com Hoops Tour


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