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Posted On: 06/25/18 9:42 AM
First off let me say this, the 2018 Bobby Hurley Arizona State Team Camp was about as good as could ever be expected out of one of these June events. Everything was top quality and the coaching staff had a presence during the entire event. It was a pleasure to cover and be apart of.
I also think that is a true testament to where Arizona basketball is right now and where it is heading in the future. There was so much Division-I caliber talent in the three different gyms this past weekend. I watched how personal the Sun Devils coaching staff was with all the high school coaches and the kids. That was a refreshing thing to see.
Over the weekend, two players were offered scholarships that were taken part of the camp. New Hillcrest Prep transfer, 6-foot-6 2020 guard Dalen Terry and Millennium’s 6-foot-8 2021 forward DaRon Holmes. Both are expected to be prime in-state targets for the ASU coaching staff.
The Buckeye Union Hawks would steal the show in the tournament portion of the camp. They saved their best performances when they played the best competition. Their best performance as a team came in the championship against the Eagles, who is filled with next-level talent including three guys who are all mid to high major prospects. On their way to getting there, they defeated national powerhouse Hillcrest Prep and Perry High, albeit one missing a lot of their top guys.
Nevertheless, Buckeye got the job done! I have covered the team and program extensively and have been able to come away with the conclusion that this team plays their best when playing the best. They may not wake up against the teams that will end up going 10-15, they will undoubtedly be wide awake against the teams with Division-I caliber players.
Head Coach Randy Bland has built an entertaining brand of basketball that highlights his top guys well. Too many programs in the state are willing to allow their star players camouflage into a system. Buckeye’s system is to ride the shoulders of their hogs.
Speaking of the hogs from Buckeye, 6-foot-5 2019 wing Otis Frazier III had to be considered the Most Outstanding Player in the event as he led his Hawks to the chip. He was clicking on all cylinders on both ends of the floor. On the defensive end he used his length to deflect passes and create turnovers that got them out in the open floor, where they flourish. On the offensive end, he was knocking it down from the outside and finishing just about everything around the rim, including some above-the-rim dunks that had some heads turning. On Sunday, he was notified that Drexel had extended an offer his way.
Tay Boothman was unreal for them as well. He had 4 or 5 stretches over the weekend where he looked unconscious on the offensive end. He hit enough three’s to get multiple defenders yelled at from their coaches for sagging off of him. And when they stepped out to close out on him, he made things happen off the pull-up and penetration. He finished well amongst the trees. He dropped 26 points in their win against Hillcrest. He was a problem all weekend long.
New Buckeye transfer, 6-foot-4 2019 point guard Isaiah Marin was great for them as well. Providing a nice finishing touch to their trio of D-1 guard prospects. He played the best role of distributor and not only got Frazier and Boothman a lot of their shots, but got the role players involved as well with some beautiful dimes while also getting his own buckets. He is becoming a very intriguing prospect because of his ability to play at his own pace, even amongst chaos and his length from the point guard spot.
6-foot-8 2019 forward Adam Hamilton and 6-foot-3 2019 wing Xavier Hall were big for them as well. Providing some extra buckets and effort plays. Both were huge on the boards for them as they got the championship in a loaded playing field.
The team they played was the new-look and start-up program we are calling the Eagles right now. They were led by three next level prospects including 6-foot-10 2020 forward Shon Robinson, 6-foot-3 2020 point guard Jalin Anderson and 6-foot-11 2020 center Fallou Diagne. While they came up short in the championship game, they dominated much of the playing field on their way to that game.
Robinson was amazing on the offensive end, knocking down three pointers and finishing with some dunks that reminded you why he has so many high major programs salivating over the prospect of having them in their program. During their match-up with Mountain Pointe he brought a little extra effort on the defensive end, which was refreshing to see out of the talented forward.
Anderson was a serious problem for defenses all weekend long. His ability to shift directions while dribbling at close to full speed is amazing and makes ankles nervous. His pull-up jumper is big time and his ability to knock it down from the outside caused a couple headaches for opposing coaches. When you add in the fact that he is a very good passer and has a high basketball IQ, you have yourself a real player at the point guard spot.
Diagne was outstanding on the defensive end and on the glass. He has a ton of upside and really makes a difference in those two areas. He does not play outside himself and came up big for the Eagles.
The team the Eagles beat in the final four has been as active as any team in the state in June. Head Coach Duane Eason has Mountain Pointe looking like one of the top teams in the state. Armed with what probably is the most talented and effective front court in the state, they are so hard to guard on the inside.
That front court includes 6-foot-9 2019 super athletic Jalen Graham and one of the most physical power forwards in the state in 6-foot-7 2020 DeAndre Henry. While Graham looks like his footwork inside is reaching another level, Henry is becoming a freight train in the open court. Graham finished with multiple dunks in every game and effected nearly every shot that came his way around the basket on the defensive end of the floor. Meanwhile, Henry bullied just about anyone that was brave enough to get in front of him and finished with some impressive and explosive dunks that had the backboards looking a little shaky.
As talented as those two big men are, this team goes as 5-foot-10 2019 point guard Khalid Price goes. He is so important in a system like theirs from the point guard spot. He pressures the ball for 94-feet on 3/4 of all possessions. He makes things happen from the perimeter and knocks it down at a good clip that makes defenses have to stay honest outside and keeps them from sucking in on the big men too much.
Head Coach Sam Duane Jr. and Perry High made it to the final four despite playing the weekend without their 6-foot-4 2019 star guard Jalen Williams, who has a scratched cornea that will need a little time to heal. To add insult to injury, they lost Dylan Anderson on Saturday as he had to get 4 staples put into his head after a head-to-head collision in their first game of the day.
6-foot-5 two-sport standout wing Kyle Patterson was in takeover mode all weekend long. While football will probably be his calling card, he is one of the most effective players in the state. He is just so physical, so strong and so imposing with the ball in his hands. He plays hard on both ends of the floor and adds a nice reliable outside shot to his game. The strong lefty puts it on the deck and gets to a full head of steam so fast that its almost impossible for defenses to put themselves into a position to stop him from getting to his spot. However, the Pumas also lost him in the first half against Buckeye in the semi-final game.
6-foot-9 center Carter Van Hammond looked great all weekend long, but had his best game in the semi-final match-up with Buckeye where his size and physicality stood out. After they lost Patterson, he stepped up big and had them in it in the second half. He is really started to figure out his athleticism and making his mark on the defensive end and on the glass. He has a nice chip on his shoulder on the low block.
Mesa ended up defeating Paradise Honors in a tightly played contest for the Silver Bracket Championship. I came away from that game learning one thing that no one can question. The Mesa Jackrabbits do not miss many free-throws. And they have a serious stock-riser in 6-foot-4 2019 shooting guard Zach Hobbs. Mesa does such a good job with ball movements and swinging it that it allows Hobbs to get his shot off. And even when a defense recovers well and gets a hand in his face, it does not effect his stroke all that much. Their are not many better outside threats than Hobbs in the state, if any at all.
Paradise Honors was another team that played understaffed. 6-foot-5 2020 wing Jerry Iliya tweaked his back on Friday night that had him sidelined for the rest of the weekend and 6-foot-10 2021 center Matur Dahl was absent until their two games on Sunday while playing at the Deng Camp. However, when he returned he was a shot-swatting machine around the rim and finished with a nice lob-dunk that showed off that length and developing athleticism.
6-foot-2 2021 point guard Jalen Scott was amazing once again for Head Coach Zach Hettel. He quarterbacks that offense so maturely and advanced for his age. He is so unselfish and sets always plays with his head up. He knocked down some open shots from the outside which was refreshing since that is the part of his game that needs the most work.
6-foot-3 2019 wing Josh Hawkins was effective for them on both ends of the floor and finished with a casket-catching dunk that had a Mesa defender stuck on a poster in their silver bracket championship loss. He provides this team with some toughness and athleticism.
Cesar Chavez’s 2021 point guard duo of 6-foot-2 TyTy Washington and 5-foot-11 Ricardo Sarmiento carries so much of the success for this team. The two compliment each other so well when on the floor together. While both are dogs at the guard position, Washington is the high volume scorer that gives buckets like its a donation and Sarmiento is a good combination of the guy that always seems to make the right pass while also being able to get his own shot. The two of them led Chavez to some big wins over the weekend including one of the better games of the event against Apollo High. Chavez plays so hard as a team and that tone is set by these two guards.
Apollo came up short in the first round match-up with Chavez. Nevertheless, their nationally ranked 6-foot-7 2019 wing Emmanuel Taban was a stud all weekend long. His length and high release makes that shot of his almost impossible to disrupt, especially when firing off that fade-away of his. He showed off a little athleticism as well with some dunks out in the open court. He had some spurts where he was in take-over mode. The emergence of 6-foot-3 2021 shooting guard Paris Woods should benefit him greatly this year so teams can not try to boggle him up with multiple defenders like they did to him last season.
Hillcrest Prep was probably the most talented team in this field, even though they played without any post-grad kids and without their 6-foot-3 2020 guard Jeron Artest. They took every teams best shot that they played as would be expected when you are considered a national level program. It was great seeing top 5 ranked recruit Kyree Walker play in the Arena that he will be playing in after he is done with his high school career. His dog mentality and athleticism make him a serious problem when he has his mind made up on getting a bucket.
Friday night would mark the first showing for one of the top prospects in the state suiting up for Hillcrest, as 6-foot-6 2020 guard Dalen Terry put on his new jersey and provided a very athletic, talented and big team with the high basketball IQ and unselfish play that Terry brings. Though he got hurt in the first half of their loss to Buckeye Union, he had a great showing his first weekend with the team.
Devan Cambridge was the most athletic player in this event. He had some dunks that would have some NBA wings jealous. His athleticism and ability to go get it up top is elite level. He also knocked down the game winning 3-pointer against McClintock.
Millennium will probably go into the season as the favorite in the 5A conference. That is because of a multitude of reasons. One will be the coaching of Ty Amundsen and the culture he has set in the West Valley for this team and program. The other will be the duo of DaRon Holmes and 5-foot-10 2021 point guard Justus Jackson. Jackson runs Amundsen’s system so well and plays the quarterback on the floor for him, while Holmes is their swiss army knife. They run their offense through a kid that can do so many things with it in his hands. He can knock it down from the perimeter, put it on the deck and penetrate and has good court vision to find their open shooters. Jackson has a nice stroke from the outside and plays so in control with the ball in his hands. Those two are going to earn themselves some state championships down the road in my opinion. Millennium could not keep pace with the high powered Hillcrest team but they went out swinging. Holmes was hobbled all weekend with a turned ankle suffered on Friday night, but played through it.
The X-factor on that team is 6-foot-2 2021 guard Coleman Fields. He is smooth and is a great compliment to Jackson and Holmes. Don’t sleep on that kid.
Some other top performers that had some great showings:
McClintock’s 6-foot-2 2019 guard Josh Baker was one of the more impressive players in the camp while playing in his backyard in Tempe. He is almost impossible to speed up and protects the ball so well with it in his hand. While his shooting on the perimeter is his calling card he is starting to show an ability to penetrate off the dribble and finish. The spin move he has in his arsenal is impressive.
Desert Vista’s 6-foot-8 2020 wing Osasere Ighodaro was one of the more intriguing prospects on the ASU campus. The leaps and bounds he is making as a player is starting to get scary. He does a little bit of everything pretty well on the floor and his length is making him look like an elite-level defender as of late.
6-foot-2 2019 guard Isaiah Wilson played very well for Desert Vista as well. I have know he had that scoring ability and high energy on defensive end for a while now, but it was nice to see again out of him over the weekend.
Morenci’s 6-foot-10 2019 Big Man John Olmsted is not working with a whole lot of help on that roster and it has him exhausted the last 10 minutes of almost every game because he can not come off the floor for them. However, if you catch him in the first half, he looks like a legit mid-major big man to me. At 6-10, he can shoot it, rebounds well, makes the right pass and can handle it a little bit on the perimeter. I have a feeling he is one of the next Arizona prospects to blow up.
Mesquite’s 6-foot-4 2019 guard Kingdom Artis played very well. Though they do not have a whole lot of talent around him, he did all he could to carry the team into some games, including a big performance against Hillcrest Prep. He really can put the ball in the basket.
Thanks again to the Arizona State coaching staff for putting on a quality Team Camp event filled with some of the state’s top talent and teams.