Posted On: 06/19/18 3:00 PM
It wasn’t the prettiest weekend in San Diego, with “June Gloom” dominating the weather. But it didn’t dampen the energy at the University of San Diego campus, where teams from across the West Coast – and one from Australia – converged for the Toreros Team Camp.
Coach Sam Scholl and crew were on hand evaluating some of their top recruiting targets in the 2019 and 2020 classes, while also stealing a glimpse of the future crop of players in 2021, 2022 and beyond.
As far as teams go, no team sent a stronger message than Torrey Pines, which defeated a strong Lewis Palmer team from Colorado, Palmdale Highland, La Jolla Country Day, Rancho Cucamonga and Foothills Christian en route to a 7-1 weekend.
Here were some of the key takeaways from this weekend’s action:
Torrey Pines is ahead of schedule
The Falcons graduated the program’s best player, Finn Sullivan, but it appears the 2018-19 Falcons aren’t going to skip a beat. Torrey went 7-1 on the weekend, its only loss coming on the final game with most of its starters resting. 2019 guard Bryce and Michael Pope scored the ball at will all weekend, with Bryce spearheading an impressive comeback against Highland. But it is the improvement of the team’s role players – specifically 2020 W Brandon Angel and 2019 post Noah Viera – that give the Falcons improved scoring depth.
Another big addition is 2019 F Travis Snider, who comes over from San Dieguito Academy. He provides a solid post threat who can score with either hand in the paint, something the Falcons lacked last year. With Mission Bay the presumptive #1 team in San Diego, the Falcons look like a safe call for #2.
Foothills Christian’s backcourt is one of SoCal’s best
Once again, the Knights will be a contender in San Diego’s open division, and its backcourt will be the reason why. 2020 PG Yassine Gharram and 2019 PG Jaren Nafarette are as potent of a guard duo you’ll find in Southern California. Nafarette was especially impressive this weekend, scoring at will from all three levels despite often being the smallest player on the floor. Gharram is a pass-first point guard who can make all of the passes out of the pick-and-roll and drive and kick. The Knights also have do-it-all forward Derrick Carter-Hollinger, who has expanded the range on his jump shot, and 2021 Derrien Carter-Hollinger, who has one of the best motors in the class. Watch out for 2020 West Hills transfer Cade Raley, who is a crafty combo guard in his own right.
Rising sophs to play a big role for Santa Margarita
For a second consecutive weekend, the Eagles rolled into town very shorthanded, as star wings Max Agbonkpolo and Jake Kyman were participating in the NBAPA Top 100 Camp. While Santa Margarita’s offense revolved around 2019 Shenghze Li, the play of its 2021 duo caught our eye. 6-7 F Nick Davidson continues to improve, and scored it well both facing the basket and in the post, where he as a reliable jump hook. He was a nice complement to Li in the post because of his ability to stretch the floor.
The Eagles also looked to have found a point guard in 2021 Mission Viejo transfer Selah Robbins. The chiseled lead guard prospect does a good job initiating the offense and is always in motion on the floor- on both ends. He will need to continue to improve his perimeter shooting and his handle against pressure (especially with his left), but there’s a lot to like there.
Watch out for Highland in the Southern Section
If I am a Southern Section team in next year’s playoffs, I would hate to be paired against Highland. The Bulldogs excel at outworking their opponents on both ends. They play a disciplined brand of offense that yields optimal scoring opportunities for its go-to guys, Damain Guest Jr. and Justin Hill. Hill owns one of the smoothest jump shots in Southern California, with repeatable mechanics and a silky, quick release. Senior guard Josh Nero is a tough customer who doesn’t look to score very often, but makes life miserable for opposing ball handlers.
The wild card is 2019 G Julian Williams. When he is dialed in and takes quality shots within the offense, the Bulldogs can score with anyone. But he needs to improve his decision making and shot selection.
“The Basketball Factory” would be a pretty good high school team
One of a handful of club teams mixed in the elite camp, The Basketball Factory notched wins over Santa Margarita and Torrey Pines. The reason: its 2019 trio of Alex Mishaw, Kevyn Scott Jr. and Cameron Dashiell. Mishaw, of West Torrance, is a long, crafty combo guard who at 6-3 can score off the bounce and from three both off the catch and off the dribble. Dashiell (6-0 PG Buena Park) is a bulldog at the point guard who puts relentless pressure on ball handlers and gets downhill in a hurry on offense, where he can score himself or set up wide open shooters.
Scott (6-4 W Compton Centennial) is as intriguing a prospect on hand this weekend. Possessing a good build and solid length, Scott scored at will from all three levels all weekend, and has the athleticism to finish above the rim. I think Mishaw and Scott have chances to play at the lower Division 1 level, while Dashiell will be a great get for a Division 2 school.