Fullcourt Press Southern California
Pre-Summer Class of 2011 Rankings: Wing Forwards/Off-Guards

by Dinos Trigonis
(May 21, 2010)

This is the third of a five part series of 2011 rankings that will be released over the next week or so.  Unlike some other media sources that don’t fully understand that the college and pro game positions are inherently different for many reasons too detailed to discuss here, the Fullcourt Press has always broken down its rankings into 5 different position areas: (a) Centers/Post-Forwards, (b) Combo-Forwards, (c) Wing Forwards/Off-Guards, (d) Combo-Guards and (e) Point Guards.  These position categories reflect how multi-dimensional the college game has become and how much the concept of “versatility” is valued by college coaches.  These rankings reflect both current player talent level/skills as well as their “upside” or potential.  The Fullcourt Press also tends to value “intangibles” (e.g. work-ethic, attitude, character, leadership, basketball IQ, etc.) more than several of our fellow West Coast scouts.  We also feel that projecting a player’s potential involves not just looking forward but also reflecting on a player’s past body of work.  We believe that this overall and comprehensive perspective gives us a better read of a player’s present and future capabilities.  We have ranked the top players in each of our five position categories from 1-10 with others deserving consideration listed further below.  For purposes of these rankings: “Southern California” is the area bordering the Fresno area to the north and the Mexican Border to the south.

We will update these 2011 rankings again in late August/early September – after we get a chance to digest how much all of these players either improve or digress between now and the July recruiting period.  Additional players will be added to the list below in future reports as we get a chance to see and discover other prospects at future events like the Fullcourt Press All-West Camp this summer.

Listed below are the top Wing-Forwards/Off-Guards in Southern California’s Class of 2011.  Sitting firmly at the top spot is Texas-bound DeAndre Daniels while future USC Trojan Byron Wesley is a strong second.  Saunders, Dunning (a New Mexico commit) and Bailey are all high-major prospects while Jackson has great value as a pure shooter.  Carmon, Larinan, Oliver and Cheek are all potential mid-major players. 

2011 Wing-Forwards/Off-Guards

1.         DeAndre Daniels                      6’8”      Taft (Woodland Hills CA)
Daniels has emerged during the past year not only as the top player at this position category but as a legitimate contender for the #1 California prospect in the 2011 class.  While Daniels can be (like everybody else) inconsistent at times, very few others can match his combination of size, athleticism and skill level for the SF position.  DeAndre is an outstanding rebounder for a wing forward (had 17 boards at the recent Fullcourt Press Spring Showcase) and has real “big shot” ability - his heavily contested deep 3-point shot at the buzzer in a Fullcourt Press Easter Classic quarter-final saved his Belmont Shore squad from elimination and forced OT (where they escaped with the “W”) and his made free-throw (after being fouled) with 1 second remaining helped Belmont Shore edge Branch West by a point in the semi-finals and propelled them to the title game where the beat a strong Stoneridge Prep squad by a solid 10 point margin (Daniels was named MVP of the event).  Daniels also had a stellar junior campaign at Taft – averaging double figures in both points and rebounds with memorable performances against two eventual state champions Westchester (29 points/16 boards) and Gardena Serra (26 points including 4 “threes” to go with 15 rebounds).  Daniels committed to Texas shortly after attending their elite camp in June 2009.  With continued hard-work and focused play, Daniels has great potential to move much higher than his already lofty Rivals (#35) and Scout (#42) rankings.

2.         Byron Wesley               6’5”      Etiwanda (Etiwanda CA)
Very productive wing forward led his Etiwanda squad to the CIF-SS Division I final this past season – losing a very narrow (and controversial) decision to Mater Dei.  Byron averaged 18.8 points per game during his junior year with season-high twin 33 point performances versus Reseda Cleveland and Pasadena Muir.  Wesley has worked hard developing into a legitimate outside shooter and can now score from beyond the stripe as well as in the paint.  Wesley’s game is more substance than flash which is why we believe he will be a major college contributor.   Good student committed to Kevin O’Neil and USC last year.

3.         Wesley Saunders                     6’5”      Windward (Los Angeles CA)
Athletic swingman has a great physique and has really improved his accuracy and range on his perimeter shot.  Saunders has an excellent motor and the strength and quickness necessary to be an excellent college defender.  Good student is hearing from Arizona, USC, Stanford and SMU.

4.         Dominique Dunning     6’4”      Centennial (Corona CA)
Super “glue” guy is a flat-out winner and does all the small things that result in helping his team win – led his Compton Magic squad to the 2010 Pangos Sweet 16 crown in April.  Very improved shooter is also an underrated athlete and ballhandler.   Great teammate and good student is headed to New Mexico in the Fall of 2011.

5.         Kevin Bailey                             6’5”      Clovis East (Clovis CA)
Extremely athletic wing can get to the basket with ease.  As he continues to extend the range on his perimeter shot, opponents will find it more difficult to contain him.  Very good student is hearing from most of the Pac-10 as well as Harvard and Boston College.

6.         Lonnie Jackson                        6’4”      Valencia (Santa Clarita CA)
Dependable and consistently accurate shooter can definitely scorch the nets and has improved his agility and intensity as well.  Stanford, Arizona State and a herd of Ivies are monitoring Jackson closely.  Great kid is a teacher’s dream in the classroom.

7.             Alex Carmon                       6’3”        Poly (Long Beach CA)
Active off-guard attacks the rim with authority and has improved his outside shooting.   Carmon also rebounds well for his size and is an excellent defender.  Alex is hearing from WCC and Big West schools.  Father (Troy Carmon) played college hoops at UC-Irvine.

8.         Jay Larinan                              6’5”      Dos Pueblos (Goleta CA)
Strong wing with nice athleticism and a dangerous 3-point shot is a real sleeper in this 2011 class as well as a standout in the classroom.

9.         Ryan Oliver                              6’4”      Loyola (Los Angeles CA)
Silky shooter has improved his all-around game.   Portland, San Francisco, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and UC-Davis are among schools showing interest.  Older brother Vince Oliver played at UC-Davis.

10.        Daniel Cheek                6’3”      Corona del Mar (Newport Beach CA)
Sleek wing with real upside has all the physical tools to make noise this summer.  Active defender runs floor well on the break and can finish above the rim. 

Other 2011 Wing Forwards/Off-Guards To Track

*           Gerry Blakes                6’2”      Leuzinger (Lawndale CA)
Crafty off-guard can score in a variety of ways.

*           David Brown                6’2”      Mater Dei (Santa Ana CA)
Hardnosed SG has three-point shooting ability.

*           Davontay Dyson-Hennix           6’4”      Huntington Beach (Huntington Beach CA)
Long wing is a solid defender.

*           Kenny Greene              6’4”      Price (Los Angeles CA)
Physical swingman is also a good student.

*           Tyler Harvey                 6’3”      Bishop Montgomery (Torrance CA)
Late-blooming wing guard is a fantastic student.  Father Frank Harvey is a Pac-10 official.

*           Blair Holliday               6’3”      Oaks Christian (Westlake Village CA)
Athletic off-guard has 3-point range, but needs to improve the consistency in his shot.

*           Brandon Jawato                       6’4”      El Segundo (El Segundo CA)
Big wing with a strong physique is attracting interest from the likes of Hawaii, San Francisco, SMU and UC-Riverside.  Good student.

*           Nick Kerr                                  6’4”      Torrey Pines (San Diego CA)
Son of Phoenix Suns exec and former NBA guard Steve Kerr has a long frame and a soft perimeter touch. “A” student has improved his mobility.  San Diego has offered while most of the Ivy League is also in pursuit.

*           Drew Kitchens              6’4”      La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad CA)
Skilled wing has nice ability to “catch and shoot” and is also a fine student.

*           Bernard Ireland                        6’3”      Eisenhower (Rialto CA)
Hawking defender is a very good student.

*           Dominique Lanier                    6’2”      Lakewood (Lakewood CA) 
Very improved off-guard is a lefty that is quick off the dribble and has an outside shot that must be respected.  Good student has Top 10 potential at this position.

*           Brelon Leverette                       6’4”      Westchester (Los Angeles CA)
Active and athletic swingman can finish in transition.

*           Cameron Lewis                        6’4”      Summit (Fontana CA)
Tremendous athlete is dangerous in the open court.

*           Todd Lewis                              6’3”      Pasadena (Pasadena CA)
Tenacious defender plays with energy.

*           Mervyn Lindsey                        6’5”      Canyon Springs (Moreno Valley CA)
Emerging West Coast sleeper can knock down 3-point shots on a consistent basis.  A real threat to crack the Top 10 here with continued strong performances.    Very good student is hearing from Stanford, Washington, Portland, Santa Clara and UC-Santa Barbara.

*           Quinton Lilley              6’3”      Summit (Fontana CA)
Two-guard moves well without the ball on the court and in class.

*           Erick Martinez              6’4”      St. John Bosco (Bellflower CA)
Heady wing guard with a perimeter stroke is an excellent student.

*           Royal Mathews             6’2”      Rancho Cucamonga (Rancho Cucamonga CA)
Scrappy wing is an effective slashing scorer.

*           Reece Morgan              6’3”      Peninsula (Rolling Hills CA)
Crafty wing scorer has excellent basketball instincts and a hefty 3.95 GPA.

*           Andre Newman             6’2”      Ontario Christian (Ontario CA)
Cerebral two-guard makes sound decisions and is a good student.

*           Kevin Payne                             6’2”      La Verne Lutheran (La Verne CA)
Burly wing is a lefty shooter with a deep 3-point stroke.

*           Zach Pulig                               6’3”      Lakewood (Lakewood CA)
Tough off-guard makes plays at both ends and has a potent mid-range pull-up jump shot.  Very good student.

*           Rasean Simpson                      6’4”      Lincoln (San Diego CA)
Strong wing is an excellent slasher and aggressive defender.  Underrated ballhandler is a good student too.

*           Darren Skinner             6’3”      JW North (Riverside CA)
Annoying defender can finish in traffic.

*           Alec Terry                                6’5”      La Verne Lutheran (La Verne CA)
Hardworking wing forward sports an impressive academic resume.

*           Henry Vinson               6’3”      Eisenhower (Rialto CA)
Skilled wing is an excellent on-ball defender.

*           Kyle Wilson                              6’3”      Trabuco Hills (Mission Viejo CA)
Good shooter with decent size is a solid student.

*           Daniel Wohl                             6’5”      Poly (Pasadena CA)
Great student has range on jump shot and plenty of basketball savvy.

*           Jordan Young              6’4”      Mark Keppel (Alhambra CA)
Slashing wing can get to the cup and finish.  Very good student.

*           Justin Young               6’4”      Mark Keppel (Alhambra CA)
Twin brother of Jordan Young is a versatile swingman and an excellent student.

Photos of DeAndre Daniels, Byron Wesley, Dominique Dunning and Alex Carmon by Nick Koza (www.SportsAmp.com).

** Copyright 2010 by Fullcourt Press

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