UC Irvine Team Camp: Best Bigs

High School
Southern California

Posted On: 07/3/18 10:47 AM

Irvine, Ca. — The UC Irvine team camp featured 41 teams from San Diego to Orange County, Los Angeles, the Inland Empire and even up to Bakersfield. The games were split between the Bren Events Center and the Anteater Rec Center with the tournament beginning with pool play on Friday and entering bracket play Saturday and Sunday. Huntington Beach Marina took home the camp championship.

Here are the best big men from the event.

Christian Bento, Great Oak

The more reps Bento gets in, the more fluid and mobile he becomes. The 6-foot-10 rising sophomore is still raw in every sense of the game, but he has some things you cant teach: Size, length and motor. Bento plays hard on both sides of the ball, is getting better at changing ends of the floor and is showing improved coordination and timing as a rim protector and rebounder.

Fallou Cisse, Balboa Prep

Cisse is beginning to trend toward being a wing prospect with his desire to operate on the perimeter. The 6-foot-7 rising sophomore has the skill set to do so, using the dribble to attack and finish straight-line drive opportunities either through contact or above the rim. Where Cisse makes his biggest impact is in transition, capitalizing on his good end-to-end speed to beat opposing bigs down the floor resulting in easy buckets.

Solomon Davis, Pacifica Christian

Davis initially made his name as a pick-and-pop four man with good size and fluid athleticism, and while he still possesses those attributes, the 6-foot-7 rising senior showed he used last season’s sit-out period and this spring and summer to add some layers of bounce-game to his arsenal. Davis puts the ball on the deck with efficiency, catching defenders by surprise with his improved ball skills and finishing ability around the cup.

Dean Keeler, Marina

Keeler is one of those late bloomer prospects who gets better every time he takes the floor. The 6-foot-9 senior-to-be has all the big man tools that can’t be taught: Soft hands, good touch and fundamental footwork around the basket. Keeler is a workhorse on both ends of the floor and doesn’t venture too far away from his strengths and his role. He needs to add some bulk to his wiry frame in order to compete with the bigs on the next level.

Shengzhe Li, Santa Margarita

Li has worked his way into being one of the better low block scorers in SoCal. At 6-feet-10 and a strong 240-pounds, there are few players who can deal with his ability to seal in the post with a wide base and quick baseline drop-step or sweeping hook across the lane. There’s still plenty of room for polish for Li on offense, and he is a bit foul prone on defense.