What I liked: Eric Bossi from West Coast Elite Memorial Day in Vegas
LAS VEGAS – The West Coast Elite Memorial Day Classic at Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas featured some of the top players from the West. Here is what I liked most from what I witnessed ...
... the two-way potential of five-star Josh Green
Saying I like the 2019 five-star wing's potential as a two-way player isn’t strong enough. Because as good as the West Coast Elite star is as an athletic finisher in the open court and rapidly improving playmaker off the dribble, I love what he could be on the defensive end. I don’t know of many players in the country with better potential on the defensive end than the native of Australia.
Defense isn’t just about hounding the guy who is right in front of you and don’t get me wrong, Green is strong when his man is in front of him with the ball. But, what really stands out is watching the way he stays attached to his man away from the ball while also maintaining great help position. Match those defensive wits with above average athleticism, good quickness and a high running motor, and you have all the ingredients for a potentially big-time defender.
UNLV, Kansas, Pitt, Villanova, Maryland, Virginia, Cal, Arizona, Arizona State, Washington, Marquette, TCU, UCLA, USC, Texas Tech, Wake Forest and many others have offered but Green isn't planning to cut things down until after the summer.
... the long-term ability of Dylan Anderson
Watching somebody such as this 6-foot-9 power forward, who hasn’t even stepped foot in a high school, is a tricky proposition. On one hand, you don’t want to go overboard about their potential, but on the other it’s hard not to watch a kid with Anderson’s size, agility and overall skill, and wonder just how good he could be a few years down the road?
Anderson is expected to attend Gilbert (Ariz.) Perry and said that he compares himself to a baby Kristaps Porzingis. Building off of that, some locals in Arizona are already calling him the Baby Unicorn. I don’t want to get too carried away, but I will say that it’s hard not to be impressed by Anderson at this stage and it’s clear that the standout from the Powerhouse Hoops 15U squad is as much of a high major prospect as a soon to be freshman in high school can be. In fact, Anderson already has a pair of Pac-12 offers from Arizona State and Cal to go along with offers from Northern Arizona and Grand Canyon. He’ll be taking an unofficial visit to Arizona in June.
... the scoring of Robby Beasley
I’ve always been of the thought that I don’t mind a guy who shoots a lot as long as he makes a lot. Enter 2020 shooting guard Robby Beasley of West Coast Elite Norcal’s 16U squad.
The combo guard from Dublin (Calif.) High is as good a shooter as I saw in the gym all day and nobody had more confidence. Whether he is creating off the dribble or curling off of screens, Beasley appears to be a deadly shooter from deep and he’s sneaky athletic when he takes aggressive drives to the hoop.
Saturday was my first chance to see him live so I’ll need more viewings to assess his all-around game, but if the tools are there to make others better as well then his recruitment will get interesting. As it is, Beasley holds offers from Nevada, San Francisco and Montana to name a few.
... the young but talented duo of Zaon and Pop Pop
The most entertaining backcourt that I saw during my trip to Las Vegas was the Las Vegas Elite 16U duo of 2021 Zaon Collins and eighth grader Richard Isaacs. They play with contrasting styles and together they were very effective.
One of the quickest guards I’ve seen in the class of 2021, Collins is a burner who gets into the lane and makes plays for himself and others at the rim. Defensively his quickness allows him to pester opponents into silly turnovers and he’s another in a long line of impressive prospects coming out of the always loaded Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman program. Collins said that he already holds offers from hometown UNLV, TCU, Southern Miss and Washington – where assistant coach Dave Rice is the brother of Collins’ high school coach Grant Rice.
Better known by his nickname of Pop Pop, Isaacs is an aggressive, skilled and tough-scoring point guard. He didn’t take any bad shots on Saturday and was deadly with the pull-up jumper all the way out to the three-point line. He’s got some juice off the dribble and is also a creative playmaker for others. UNLV has already offered the local guard.
... the upside of Deon Stroud
When Rodney Terry left Fresno State for UTEP, he had to scramble to put together a recruiting class. I really like what he's found in 6-foot-4 shooting guard prospect Stroud, who hails from Fresno but finished up his high school career at Las Vegas (Nev.) Trinity International.
Stroud is a true skywalker of an athlete who plays way above the rim. He’s the kind of guy who is destined to make some SportsCenter top 10 lists someday. But it’s more than his athleticism that should have the Miners excited. Initially expected to take a prep year, Stroud is coming in during the summer as a slasher in transition with what looks to be a respectable jumper. Plus, he’s a tough kid who can take a chewing from a coach and unleash any anger from that on his opponents.
Yes, he’s a bit rough around the edges and will have to iron out some things, but to find a guy with Stroud’s upside this late in the game was a pretty nice pull by Terry and his staff at UTEP.