LONG BEACH, Calif. - After spending the first two days of the first of three
open periods on the East Coast at the Reebok Breakout Challenge, Rivals.com
moved on to the opposite side of the country to check in on West Coast talent.
The first stop on the agenda was the Pangos Sweet 16 at Cabrillo High in Long
Beach. 2014 big man Andre Adams made a splash as did the West's top prospect in
that class, Malik Pope.
Arizona big man
During his sophomore year at Avondale (Ariz.) High, 6-foot-8 big man
Andre Adams wasn't a huge factor. But, young post players often take a little
more time to develop. Given his play with the Arizona Magic Elite's 16 and under
team at the sweet 16, Adams looks to be kicking that development into overdrive.
A skinny kid who only weighs 190 pounds, Adams is a southpaw with impressive
natural instincts on the glass and as a shot blocker. He's got length, good
timing and he changes directions very well. On top of that, he plays with a high
Offensively, Adams is relatively raw. However, he shows good touch out to around
15 feet, made an impressive baseline drive for a dunk while also whipping some
sharp one handed passes out of the high post.
On Friday night, Adams was watched primarily by mid to upper end mid major
programs but his coaches report that most of the Pac-12 has indicated that they
will watch him. Judging by what Adams did, he looks to be a no brainer for high
major programs to be monitoring as he matures. Especially since Adams told
Rivals.com that he's grown five inches in the last year.
"On defense I'm a lot better," said Adams of his improvement. "I have to get
more strength and be more comfortable on offense.
A five-star prospect that currently ranks No. 14 in the class of 2014,
Malik Pope played up to his lofty reputation on Friday night. Hitting the floor
with Team Superstar, the 6-foot-8 small forward displayed a high level of skill,
athleticism and potential in front of a big crowd of coaches.
Among the mostly West Coast based programs on hand to watch Pope were
Colorado (head coach
They could often be seen shaking their heads after Pope made plays.
With the height of a power forward prospect, Pope is a long and lean wing with
legitimate perimeter skill. He's a dangerous shooter out to the three point line
and gets anywhere he needs to be on the floor within one or two dribbles. He's
quick, he can pass, he can finish in transition and he plays hard on both ends
of the floor.
Given that he won't turn 16 until the end of the month, he sometimes forces
things and makes silly mistakes. But, there's a good chance that he's still got
even more growing left to do. There are some good young wings on the West Coast,
but Pope is firmly establishing himself as the best prospect in his neck of the
woods from the class of 2014.
the Elite 100 in June, 6-foot-4 wing Dorian Pickens impressed with his
balanced game and perimeter marksmanship. Playing with the Arizona Stars,
Pickens was knocking down shots again and looks to be a pure jump shooter. He
has a frame that will fill out and the athleticism to finish in traffic.
Also impressing for the Arizona stars was rising senior wing
Richaud Gittens from Tempe (Ariz.) Marcos De Niza. A 6-foot-4 wing, Gittens is a
big time athlete with major rise and a good first step. His jump shot doesn't
look to bad either and his coaches reported that he's being tracked by mid
majors and that Weber State has been particularly active with him.
The Las Vegas Prospects 17 and under squad put on an exhibition of running and
gunning late Friday night at Cabrillo. A team with athleticism at positions one
through five, the Prospects played high octane basketball
Julian Jacobs is a combo guard with explosive
finishing ability at the rim and he's capable of forcing some tempo. On the
wing, UNLV commitment
Christian Wood continued a big summer.
He's been canning deep jumpers at stops all over but was using his length to get
on the glass and finishing at the rim with authority more than usual.
On the Prospects 16 and under squad, Shaquile Carr is a pure point
guard. The six-footer looks to break down defenders off the dribble, plays fast
and is all about finding his teammates for open shots.
Pope isn't the only prospect on Team Superstar. They actually have several
good looking young players. One that was particularly intriguing on Friday was
class of 2015 point guard
Austin Armstead. Armstead is big, physical,
athletic and seems to have good command of an offense.
A nice find on Friday night was 6-foot-5 wing
Nick Hornsby. Playing
for Team Mercadel, the product of Tustin (Calif.) High impressed in several
ways. A skinny athlete, Hornsby has a good skill level, shoots with good range
and has some athleticism around the rim. At a minimum, he's a good mid-major
prospect but with added strength and a little more game off the dribble, he
could have more upside than that.
Click Here to view this Link.