Posted On: 05/22/18 12:06 PM
Every year, Lady EBO Director Marlon Wells brings many of the top San Diego clubs – and a few out of state ones – together for the EBO Big Showdown, a tournament with regional bragging rights on the line.
A number top prospects dotted the field spread out across the tournament’s multiple sites. Prep Hoops So-Cal was there at several of the main sites – Canyon Crest Academy, Sweetwater High School and Southwestern College – for games throughout the weekend.
The “17u East” championship game turned out to be a surprise, as the San Diego All-Stars and Gamepoint Select met to decide the field that included a very strong Powerhouse Hoops Dynasty team and a loaded Dream Vision 16u squad. San Diego All-Stars won the championship in convincing fashion, 59-34, fueled by the offense of unsigned prep prospect Malik Parsons and a stifling halfcourt defense that stymied teams the entire weekend.
San Diego All-Stars also captured the “16u East” championship with a 44-38 victory over Dream Vision’s 15u team.
And in the top “15u East” bracket, a well-coached And1 Academy defeated a very strong Las Vegas Prospects 2022 44-29.
Our coverage begins with the top 2019 prospects in the field.
EBO Big Showdown – Top 2019 Prospects
Graham Cook, 6-4 G La Costa Canyon/ Team Powell
The 6-4 combo guard had a solid outing in a losing effort against Gamepoint Select. Cook scored it efficiently from all three levels, knocking down threes off the catch and mid-range pull-ups. He also got to the foul line a lot attacking the basket and drawing contact off the drive. Additionally, he made solid post-entry passes to his teammate, Robby Robinson, a lost art with today’s guards. Graham is still more of a scorer than a true point guard, and sometimes struggles against pressure, especially when handling with his off hand. Overall, Cook showed why he’s one of the better combo guards in the class.
Makiah Morris, 6-1 G Vista/ Gamepoint Select
Morris is an up-and-coming combo guard with a rangy frame and incredible length. He shoots sort of a knuckleball, but he consistently knocks down shots from beyond the arc off the catch. The area where Morris is making big strides is his ability to finish through contact. In both viewings, Morris drove into the chest of the defense and was able to draw “and-1” fouls due to his impressive hang time. Defensively, he has good – but not great – lateral quickness, but uses his length to get into the passing lanes. The younger brother of CSU Dominguez Hills-bound Isaiah Morris, Makiah is looking more and more like a solid college prospect in his own right.
Noah Tumblin, 6-1 G, Mira Mesa/ Gamepoint Select
Tumblin, a lefty combo guard, was one of the more advanced scoring point guards on hand this weekend. He has an effortless jump shot from three and can attack the rim and finish through contact (underrated strength). What separates him from many guards in the class is his polished mid-range scoring. He can finish with an array of runners, floaters and pull-ups in the paint, especially in transition, where he stops on a dime and finishes over shot blockers. While he shows flashes of solid court vision when dropping off the nifty assist, Tumblin can improve making the correct read in pick and roll or off the drive.
Jay Norton, 6-0 G, Mission Bay/ San Diego All-Stars
One the more chiseled combo guards you will see, Norton is a beast on the defensive end. He has quick feet, active hands and plays with an edge on that end. The result – a lot of turnovers for opposing guards. Offensively, Norton is a strong straight-line driver who puts pressure on the defense with his downhill momentum, and gets to the foul line at a solid clip. This year in high school, Norton transformed himself into one of the better catch-and-shoot guards in the class, and continues to knockdown the corner three with regularity. He needs to improve his balance on his drives and improve his point-guard feel (forces things at times), but his play was crucial in SDA’s championship run.
Ronnie Latting, 6-7 C, Mission Bay/ San Diego All-Stars
Latting is a physically imposing force on the floor, and is one of the better rebounders in the state in his class. He pursues missed shots on both ends with a ferocity that few can match. Latting is also a very underrated defender, who is versatile enough to hedge on screens and stay in front of guards long enough for his teammates to get back into the play. Offensively, Latting is still a work in progress, doing most of his damage on offensive put-backs and layups in transition, where he runs the floor hard. An area where Latting must improve his controlling his emotions, as he has the tendency to pick up unnecessary fouls as a result. But there are very few interior defenders and rebounders like Latting out West in the class.
Matt Bender, 6-8 C, Francis Parker/ West Coast Elite San Diego
Bender is picking up where he left off during Parker’s CIF run, scoring at a prolific rate in the paint. He has soft hands, improved footwork and can finish around the basket with either hand, though he prefers to finish over his left shoulder. Bender can also step out in pick-and-pop situations and knock down jump shots out to 18 feet with good consistency. A solid rebounder on the defensive glass, Bender needs to improve his offensive rebounding. And although imposing in size and having solid length, Bender can improve his stock by becoming a better position defender and rim protector.
Frank Staine, 6-5 W, St. Anthony’s/ Gamepoint OC
Staine was one of the catalysts in Gamepoint’s one-point win over Dream Vision’s 16u squad. The 6-5 wing has solid ball skills and is a threat to score off the drive with either hand. He scores it efficiently from all three levels, and is a willing passer off the bounce. Staine needs to continue to improve his handle against pressure, and his motor at times can be inconsistent. If he can consistently play hard on the defensive end and continue to improve his handle, he is a definite Division 1 sleeper (with very good grades to boot).