Francisco’s Finest: Top Prospects (Class of 2020)

Southern California

Posted On: 05/21/18 7:34 PM

Francisco’s Finest: Top Prospects (Class of 2020)

LONG BEACH,CA—With the newly revised 2020 rankings going live for the Southern California region the So-Cal Prep Hoops staff will be breaking different aspects of the class. This installment we’ll look into—what we feel—are the best prospects in this class, beginning with one of the more promising “bigs” we’ve seen in quite sometime—that being Evan Mobley. 

Evan Mobley (Rancho Christian)

PF, 6-foot-11, 200 pounds

Compton Magic F/C Evan Mobley has his versatile skill set front and center this spring

Strengths: Mobley is as gifted a “big” as I’ve seen in many years. His quickness and timing are exceptional. He gets up twice where most “bigs” are just recovering from their 1st jump. He has soft hands, an impeccable touch that extends out to 20-feet, and he can slither his way through traffic for the finish. If he is not scoring, his passing prowess is on display. Not saying he is the next Kevin Garnett or Kevin Durant, but his skill set, feel, and athleticism compares favorably to both of them at the same stage. 

Improvements needed: Mobley is quite willowy and will need to improve his strength, especially in his base. Being able to post up physical defenders will be an area to focus on. Playing wide on the block, keeping the ball high, and continuing to polish his post skills (drop-step, up-and-under, etc.) will take his game to a new level. In terms of the perimeter, improving his triple threat game and ball handling versus pressure will also enhance his stock. 

Ziaire Williams (Sherman Oaks Notre Dame)

WF, 6-foot-8, 190 pounds

Strengths:If Mobley is 1A in terms of best prospect then Williams is 1B. This fast rising wing-type has been a relative unknown nationally until this spring. Those of us in So-Cal region caught his act in December where he was showing off his smooth shooting touch and explosiveness to the rim. He has great range on his shot, never forces the action, and his passing is underrated. 

Improvements: Although it’s early in the process, Williams has been prone to injury. Getting stronger will help his development as well as maturity. Continuing to hone his half court scoring skills off the dribble as well as paint finishes through contact will elevate his game. 

Joshua Christopher (Mayfair)

SG, 6-foot-5, 200 pounds

The physical tools are evident, but the approach aspect needs refining

Strengths: It could be argued that Christopher is the most explosive scorer in all of So-Cal, regardless of class. He shoots deep 3s effortless and is equally effective off the catch as he is off the bounce. His pull-up game is strong and paint scoring skills are high-level, but his shot selection can be questionable. The degree of difficulty of his shots is mind boggling, but he converts as well. In transition he can dunk over the opposition with relative ease due to his strength and moxie.  

Improvements needed: With Christoper the physical tools are present—however, the mental aspect needs improvement. He seeks attention with his flair for the spectacular and it doesn’t bode well for team basketball. Playing the game with purpose in mind and giving an honest effort at both ends will transform his game. 


Amound Anderson (Leuzinger)

CG, 6-foot-2, 165 pounds

Strengths: Anderson is as slick as it gets when he has the ball in his hands. He sports a feathery shooting touch out to 21-feet and his release is smooth. The lefty slithers through defenders in the half court set as he finishes with dexterity at the rim. He has excellent body control and he will deliver the nifty assist when the opportunity presents itself. 

Improvements needed: Like most young prospects, strength will be an area that needs attention. He is quite prolific attacking with his strong hand, but being equally effective with his off hand will help his stock. Continuing to hone his mid-range skills and high screen and roll game will elevate his status as well. 

Ian Martinez (Cantwell Sacred Heart)

PG, 6-foot-3, 170 pounds

Martinez’ upside is immense due to his physical tools and budding skills

Strengths: Martinez oozes potential due to his prototypical D1 frame with long arms and he is as explosive as it gets in So-Cal. He can knock in the 3-point shot and gets good lift and he can set up teammates with the pass. He excels in transition due to his explosiveness and knack for getting to the rim in transition.

Improvements needed: Martinez is still quite raw—in terms of transitioning to the point guard position. He is more of a combo-guard right now due to his scoring ability. However, I saw enough of him in a playoff game where the point guard position may be his calling to reach his potential. Running a half court offense, polishing his high screen and roll game, and handling pressure are areas that need attention.