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Posted On: 12/29/17 12:17 PM
The Classic at Damien: Francisco’s Finest (Part 1)
LA VERNE, CA.— After a couple of days wondering from one gym to another, it was time to bust out another addition of Francisco’s Finest. Damien Head Coach Mike LeDuc and basketball guru Frank Burlison did a marvelous job of corralling most of Southern California’s elite squads. Without further ado here are the “best of the best” from Damien after 3 days.
Jaishon Forte (Rancho Verde)
2018, WF, 6-foot-4, 175 pounds
Joel’s Take: Forte is a definite sleeper in the 2018 class. He has that prototypical wing-type frame with good length and he plays hard at both ends. He has the ability to knock in the deep 3-point shot, rebound in traffic, and finish with authority in transition. A number of JUCOs are on him and it wouldn’t surprise me if he was playing D1 down the road.
Devonaire Doutrive (Birmingham)
2018, PG, 6-foot-5, 165 pounds
Joel’s Take: Doutrive may have the best combination of quickness, length, and innate ball skills in the So-Cal class of 2018. His ball handling is slick and every move he makes is with a purpose in mind. He can slither his way to the rim with the best of them and his passing acumen is high-level. However, his jump shot needs polishing to keep defenses honest and his assertiveness has a tendency to fluctuate from play to play.
Jaylen Clark (Centennial)
2020, PG, 6-foot-5, 185 pounds
Joel’s Take: Clark is one of the Top Five Sophomores in So-Cal along with Ziaire Williams, Chinese Agbo, Evan Mobley, Amound Anderson, and Josh Christopher. He is a gifted ball handler with excellent vision and he’s an excellent finisher on the break. He needs to improve his half court point guard skill set (high screen and roll) , mid-range scoring skills, and intensity on the defensive end.
Cameron Shelton (Damien)
2018, PG, 6-foot-2, 185 pounds
Joel’s Take: As one scout pointed out, Shelton reminds him of a high school version of Russell Westbrook. The chiseled lefty is a relentless finisher with either hand and he can take the contact on due to his immense strength. Defensively, he has long arms and quick hands to cause deflections and turnovers. His jump shot needs to get more consistent, but he’s a winner.
On the rise
Justin Rene (Long Beach Poly)
2019, SG, 6-foot-3, 175 pounds
Joel’s Take: Rene has been filling it up from deep at this event. He gets excellent lift on his shot and his release is smooth. He has a frame that possesses good length and he’s a solid athlete. He needs to improve his triple threat game in the half court set (creating his own shot), but at this stage there is nothing wrong with being a 3 and D player at this stage.
Max Agbonkpolo (Santa Margarita)
2019, WF/PF, 6-foot-9, 200 pounds
Joel’s Take: Agbonkpolo has always been one of the more intriguing prospects in Southern California since his freshman season. So it comes with no surprise that Pac-12s are beginning to become interested in the rangy wing-type prospect. The length and explosiveness is there and the balls skills and jump shot are on the come. However, at this event that “dog” that we have been waiting on is starting to emerge, as he made some big time plays off the dribble (through contact) to seal the victory for his team.
Jared Williams (Roosevelt)
2018, PF, 6-foot-6, 195 pounds
Joel’s Take: There are a plethora of Jucos that are lining up to see this intriguing thoroughbred. Williams has exceptional length, soft hands, an impressive motor, and a shall we say—a clutch gene. Williams has long arms, soft hands, and he competes at both ends of the floor. He shows good instincts and timing in the paint area and he definitely has a nose for the ball. Not too mention he can knock down the occasional 3-pointer. A Division 1 prospect with seasoning.