Magic Memorial Day: Bossi's takeaways from SoCal
ORANGE, Calif. -- As usual, the Magic Memorial Day Classic offered the chance to see some of the best talent the West Coast, primarily SoCal, has to offer. 2020's No. 1 prospect Evan Mobley didn't disappoint and headlines Eric Bossi's takeaways from three days in California.
A MOTIVATED MOBLEY IS A SPECIAL PROSPECT
On Saturday, 2020's top ranked player Evan Mobley and his Compton Magic squad played a highly anticipated game with Dream Vision and their seven-foot five-star Makur Maker. No, the two didn't match up head to head as much as I would have liked to see but what I did like was the level of motivation that I saw Mobley playing with.
When it comes to guys competing with him for the top spot in the rankings, Mobley is much more reserved. But, he looks to be coming out of his shell a bit and I loved seeing him play with some 'tude. He's gotten stronger to compliment his fluid athleticism, rebounding and elite rim protection and I have to say I liked seeing some edge from him as he stared down guys after dunks, talked some trash after blocking shots and whatnot.
There is a serious push coming from some others near the top of the rankings and seeing him show emotion -- that continued when I watched him again on Sunday and he stepped up on both ends when his team needed him -- is a great sign. He hasn't committed anywhere yet, but an eventual pick of USC where his father is an assistant and older brother Isaiah Mobley will be a freshman still looks inevitable.
FRANKIE COLLINS IS ONE TO WATCH IN 2021
I've heard all spring how much 2021 floor general Frankie Collins has improved. I last saw him during the winter and thought he was good, but I wanted to see what all the talk was about for myself and I have to say, I was impressed.
Collins is athletic, tough and gives it to you on both ends of the floor. He has no fear as a driver who seeks contact and makes toughness plays for himself and others at the rim. Defensively, he will sit down and make life difficult. When we update 2021's rankings, he's a pretty good bet to move into the rankings as a four-star prospect.
THE MIKEY WILLIAMS EXPERIENCE IS GOING TO BE SOMETHING ELSE
I've never really liked writing about, or even watching for that matter, players who haven't begun high school yet. But, when I come across heavily touted youngsters like Mikey Williams playing up an age group or two, I'm certainly curious to see what the hype is all about. And let's be clear, there is a lot of advance hype when it comes to the freshman to be at San Diego (Calif.) San Ysidro.
There's already a huge social media following for Williams and he's a regular on mixtapes because of already freakish athleticism. But, what I was most impressed with was his wiggle off the dribble, ability to find teammates with slick passes and that he looks like he wants to be a big time defender.
San Diego State has already offered him a scholarship and the hype train that has gotten rolling will be impossible to stop. As we get ready to see what happens for him over the next few years, I'm hopeful that he can live up to the hype. I'm even more hopeful that if he doesn't become the world's greatest, people will remember that he has been put on the scene previous to high school and it's created what could be unfair expectations for a player so young. But buckle up, it's going to be interesting to see unfold.
MAKER IS AHEAD OF HIS COUSINS AT SAME AGE
The latest of the seven-foot hooping Makers, Makur Maker is better at this stage in his development than either of his cousins Thon Maker or Matur Maker. Considering Thon was once the No. 1 player in the Rivals150 and plays in the NBA, I don't say this lightly.
Watching Maker in a grassroots setting with Dream Vision confirmed everything that I thought about him during the high school season. He's a potentially special talent whose size, skill and athleticism are hard to believe at times. No, he's not a crazy high flyer, but athleticism is just as much being able to operate in tight spaces, be under control at full speed and switch things up quickly, all of which he does.
I don't think it's out of line to say he's one of the top three prospects in the class of 2020 but he at least has to get a serious look for the top five. It's just not every day you see a seven-footer coming down the court with a speed dribble and freezing defenders with hesitation moves before popping threes and he does things like that regularly.
Exactly who has or hasn't offered has been a bit unclear and he's not really publicizing things but Kentucky and Kansas are among those getting more involved. UCLA wants in, USC has sniffed around and many more will surely be jumping in.
ADDITIONAL NOTES FROM MAGIC MEMORIAL DAY
.... I love the physical toughness of top 60 wing Jaylen Clark, a major Pac 12 and West Coast target. He can score in transition and has leadership qualities but what I like most about him is that he can put the clamps on opponents defensively. If he buys into being a defensive guy, I can see him as an All-Conference level defender.
.... The California Stars 16U team had several nice looking prospects but from what I saw I'm most intrigued by 2021 Denim Dawson of Ontario (Calif.) Colony. He recently picked up an offer from Pepperdine and I could eventually see high majors messing with him. He has good size, can put the ball on the floor and is a playmaker with upside.
.... Talk about under the radar, 6-foot-6 wing Maxwell Lewis has a surprisingly quiet recruitment. It probably didn't help that he had to play JV as a junior in Las Vegas due to transfer rules but he'll get his chance soon. Bouncy with quickness and some skill, Lewis is quite young for 2020 and has decided to reclass to 2021 and move to Phoenix (Ariz.) Compass Prep. UNLV and Ole Miss are the first two big programs to show attention.
.... Continuing on the theme of potential sleepers, I'm very interested to get another look at Kobe Sanders in the month of July. A 6-foot-5 guard from El Cajon (Calif.) Christian who is smooth with the ball, Sanders made reads and passes for Gamepoint Elite's 17U team that lead me to believe he could be a big point guard on the college level. His body will fill out and he has the tools to be a scorer too, but that feel with his size usually translates.
.... Finally, I wrote about 2020 combo guard Ian Martinez over the weekend but i made sure to get one last look at him before heading to the airport on Sunday night. I'm glad I did because I'm pretty convinced he's one of the most underrated players in America. We'll change that on our end when we update our national rankings for 2020 and with appearances at the Pangos All-American Camp and NBPA Top 100 coming up for Martinez, he won't be underrated much longer if he does what I think he's capable of. Explosive, skilled and coming on strong. Arizona, Ole Miss, USC and Utah are already heavily involved.