Fullcourt Press 2016 “Best of SoCal” Rankings
by Dinos Trigonis
(March 23, 2016)

Following a strong class like 2015 is not always an easy thing to do but despite SoCal’s Class of 2016’s  extreme lack of overall quality individual and team talent, Chino Hills grabbed the local and national spotlight by its magical mythical national championship run this season led by our Fullcourt Press SoCal Player of the Year Lonzo Ball.  The Huskies go for their 35th  win without a loss this Saturday versus De La Salle (Concord CA) in the California State Open Division title game in Sacramento.  The crown jewels of the senior class are clearly Ball and TJ Leaf while the cream of the crop of the junior class includes Brandon McCoy, Cody Riley, Jaylen Hands, Ethan Thompson and Jalen Hill and would have been even stronger had SoCal natives Billy Preston and Ira Lee not left the area. The soph class includes America’s #1 2018 prospect Marvin Bagley III and as well as a talented bunch at the top of that group that includes David Singleton, Miles Norris, Jules Bernard, Spencer Freedman and Taeshon Cherry.  The promising freshman class at the moment includes a talented quartet of Cassius Stanley, Oneyka Okongwu, Isaiah Mobley and LaMelo Ball.

With that prelude out of the way, here is our Fullcourt Press Best of SoCal 2016.


Top 20 Southern California High School Seniors (2016)

1.         Lonzo Ball                            6’6”     PG      Chino Hills (Chino Hills CA)
Lonzo has proven to be one of the most versatile and skilled players in recent Southern California history.  The UCLA signee passes the rock like Picasso paints on a canvas with a precision and full-court range that makes you wonder if he could as easily be a future NFL QB.  Ball has led Chino Hills to the #1 ranking in the nation after capturing the City of Palms Classic in Ft. Myers FL last December.  According to BallisLife.com’s Ronnie Flores, Lonzo is averaging 24.4 points, 11.5 rebounds, 12.9 assists, 4.5 blocks & 4.1 steals per game this season and just passed Jason Kidd as California’s all-time assist leader with 1204 career assists.  With those kind of “triple-double” numbers as well as great team success (Chino Hills is now 34-0 and plays for the CA State Open Title next Saturday), it’s no surprise that Lonzo was named Morgan Wootten Player of the Year, Naismith HS Player of the Year and Gatorade California Player of the Year.  One area that Lonzo needs to improve on for the next level is his field goal and 3-point field goal shooting percentage accuracy versus top defensive competition as his 8/37 FG (21.6%) in 2 games against Bishop Montgomery and his 29.2% from the 3-point arc (12/41) at the City of Palms tourney illustrate. With UCLA missing the NCAA tourney this year, Ball will be counted on to get the Bruins back on track next season and with hard work and help from UCLA assistant Ed Schilling, I expect Lonzo to improve the efficiency of his perimeter stroke.  Lonzo is currently ranked #4 nationally by 247Sports.com’sJerry Meyer and #8 by Rivals.com’sEric Bossi and was invited to the McDonald’s All-American Game (March 30th) as well as Ball is Life All-American Game (April 30th).  Terrific student, well-spoken and fine young man too!

 
2.         TJ Leaf                                  6’10”  PF       Foothills Christian (El Cajon CA)
Very skilled, versatile and bouncy forward averaged 28.4 points, 12.4 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game this year for the San Diego CIF Section Open champions (25-5).  Three of those losses came to #1 Chino Hills, of which one was a very narrow 85-83 loss on January 9th which Leaf poured in a game-high 43 points.  Leaf is currently ranked #13 nationally by 247Sports.com’sJerry Meyer and #15 by Rivals.com’sEric Bossi and was invited to the McDonald’s All-American Game (March 30th) as well as Ball is Life All-American (April 30th).  Leaf (selected as a Top 25 selection at the 2015 Pangos All-American Camp) chose UCLA over Oregon, Kansas, Cal, North Carolina and San Diego State. 

3.         Ike Anigbogu                       6’9”     C         Centennial (Corona CA)
Very improved interior player is a ferocious rim-protector and rebounder with improved scoring touch around cup.  Anigbogu averaged 17.1 points, 9.6 boards and 2.3 blocks per game as a senior.  Will arrive at UCLA with less fan-fare than Ball and Leaf but could be as valuable to the Bruins’ fortunes who had real defensive issues last season.  Very good student too.

4.         Devearl Ramsey                 5’10”  PG      Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth CA)
Speedy Nevada-bound guard is a blur with the ball and his ability to penetrate defenses causes real problems for opposing teams.  Averaged 14.0 points and 4.5 assists for a 26-5 HS squad currently ranked #10 in nation by BallisLife.com’s Fab 50 HS Rankingsand reached this year’s CIF-SS Open Division title game.  Ramsey is also a great on-ball defender that was an integral member of USA Basketball 2013 FIBA Americas U16 and 2014 World Gold Medal U17 squads.

5.         Bryce Peters                        6’3”     CG      Damien (La Verne CA)
Colorado-bound scoring guard is a burst of speed with the rock in his hands and can score with the best of his SoCal peers in 2016.  Picked Buffaloes over Arizona State, Utah, Tulsa, UNLV, UTEP, Nevada and Fresno State.

 

6.         Eyassu Worku                    6’2”     WG     Los Alamitos (Los Alamitos CA)
Worku averaged an impressive 24.4 points, 7.1 rebs and 4.6 assists per game this past season, including a 51 point outburst versus Highland (Gilbert AZ) – earning Orange County Player of the Year honors by the Orange County Register.  UC-Irvine bound player is an excellent student who garnered interest from several schools including Stanford. With increased strength, Worku will be a legit scoring threat in Big West.

7.         MJ Cage                                6’10”  C         Mater Dei (Santa Ana CA)
Oregon-bound post is the son of former San Diego State and NBA star Michael Cage.  Bouncy in the paint, MJ is a solid interior scorer and very good rebounder.  Cage (a 2015 Pangos All-American Camp Top 30 Game selection) picked the Ducks over San Diego State.  Must now focus on being consistent game-by-game to be a factor for Ducks as a freshman.

8.         Jonah Matthews                 6’2”     CG      Santa Monica (Santa Monica CA)
Savvy lead guard can really stroke rock and has terrific basketball instincts. USC-signee is the son of former San Francisco head coach and UCLA assistant coach Phil Matthews.

9.         Leland Green                       6’1”     CG      Redondo Union (Redondo Beach CA)
Athletic combo-guard can really defend and is an underrated scorer.  Green was terrific (scoring 32 points) in Redondo’ 83-57 upset win over Bentonville (AR) and 2016 McDonald’s All-American Malik Monk at the Max Preps Holiday Classic in Palm Desert CA last December.  Arguably the region’s top unsigned senior, Leland averaged 14.4 points and 4.9 boards per game for a 27-7 Redondo squad that reached the CA State Regional Division I Final last Saturday at the Long Beach State Pyramid – losing to Crespi 66-63 in OT.

10.       Deanthony Melton             6’5”     WF      Crespi (Encino CA)
Strong WF finishes well through contact and is a factor on the glass.  USC signee averaged 19.9 points, 9.1 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game this season for a squad that has reached the California State Division I title game in Sacramento CA next weekend.

11.       Milan Acquah                      6’0”     PG      Cathedral (Los Angeles CA)
Strong point can score in bunches.  Underrated defender signed with Washington State but was plagued by injuries this season.

12.       Javonntie Jackson                        6’6”     WF      Compton (Compton CA)
Very athletic swingman is difficult to contain in transition and is an underrated shooter.  Long Beach State signee made Top 50 Game at 2015 Pangos All-American Camp.

13.       Keith Fisher                         6’7”     PF       Westchester (Los Angeles CA)
Athletic and active forward is a beast on the glass.  San Jose State signee.

14.       Trevor Stanback                6’10”  C         Maranatha (Pasadena CA)
Agile center is an active shotblocker and very good student.  Stanford signee must get stronger and more physical to be a factor in Pac-12.

15.       Daron Henson                    6’7”     WF      Cathedral (Los Angeles CA)
Big wing is a Utah State signee with nice perimeter range on jump shot.

16.       Tim Harrison                       6’8”     PF       Parker (San Diego CA)
Long forward is oozing with long-term potential.  Rice signee has excellent academic marks.

17.       Lucas Siewert                     6’10”  C         Cathedral (Los Angeles CA) 
Skilled center with nice face-up skills will choose between Colorado, Creighton and Washington State.

18.       Raysean Scott                    6’6”     WF      Compton (Compton CA)
Springy wing with very improved outside shot is a Florida Gulf Coast signee

19.       Johnny McWilliams           6’5”     WG     San Marcos (San Marcos CA)
Fresno State signee is an effective slashing scorer and very good defender. 

20.       Morgan Means                    6’3”     CG      Redondo Union (Redondo Beach CA)
Very improved combo-guard is another late-blooming prospect under the tutelage of Redondo coach Reggie Morris.  One of the region’s top unsigned seniors.

21.       Jordan Griffin                      6’3”     WG     Corona Centennial (CA)
Sharp-shooting off-guard has deep perimeter range.  Long Beach State signee.

22.       Christian Juzang                6’3”     CG      Viewpoint (Malibu CA)
Cerebral lead guard is smooth with the rock.  CIF Division 4A Player of the Year is a very good student (3.8 GPA) headed to Harvard.

23.       Dikymbe Martin                   6’0”     PG      JW North (Riverside CA)
Heady point guard led HS team to 61-58 win over Long Beach Poly in CIF-SS 1AA title game.  UC-Riverside signee is a very good student.

24.       Henry Welsh                        6’10”  C         Loyola (Los Angeles CA)
Physical rebounder with a high motor is headed to Harvard.

25.       Vittorio Reynoso-Avila      6’5”     WF      La Mirada (La Mirada CA)
Play-making swingman has a high basketball IQ and underrated skill level.  Amazing student (4.7 GPA) is Princeton-bound.

26.       Wolfgang Novogratz         6’2”     PG      Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood CA)
Hard-working point runs a team with authority and can knock down shots.  Very good student.

27.       Drew Buggs                                    6’1”     CG      Poly (Long Beach CA)
Steady combo-guard never gets rattled and has the propensity to make timely shots.  Hawaii signee.

28.       Ian Carter                              6’6”     WF      La Mirada (La Mirada CA)
Lefty wing can slash and score and is a very good student that’s headed to Dartmouth.

29.       Jacob Davison                    6’3”     SG      Cantwell (Montebello CA)
Bouncy guard with legit 3-point range signed with Eastern Washington.  Good student (3.4 GPA).

30.       Shacquille Dawkins           5’8”     PG      Alemany (Mission Hills CA)
Ultra-quick point is very difficult to contain off bounce and can be a dangerous scorer.


Next Twelve (in alphabetical order):

*           Austen Awosika                 6’2”     SG      Ayala (Chino Hills CA)
Cal State Fullerton signee led Ayala to the CIF-SS 2AA title this year and will play in CA State Division III title game this Thursday versus Manteca.

*           Donald Gibson                    6’5”     WF      Fairfax (Los Angeles CA)
Strong wing is an athletic scorer in transition that rebounded after suffering knee injury during junior season.  Gibson signed with Loyola Marymount in the early signing period.

*           Max Heidegger                    6’2”     CG      Oaks Christian (Westlake Village CA)
High scoring combo-guard averaged 28.0 points per game this season.  Will play next year at UC-Santa Barbara.

*           Alec Hickman                      6’3”     WG     JSerra (San Juan Capistrano CA)
Scoring wing with upside will spend a year in prep school next school year before attending Cal in 2017-18.

*           Eric Monroe                         6’1”     PG      St. Augustine (San Diego CA)
Smart floor-general with accurate 3-point stroke.  Very good student is headed to Yale.

*           Justin Moore                       6’3”     CG      Mission Bay (San Diego CA)
Talented ball-handler can create for teammates.  Tulane-bound.

*           Ryan Murphy                       6’2”     CG      Calabasas (Calabasas CA)
Tough as nails lead guard gets buckets!   Good student scored 30 points or more six times this season.

*           Dwight Ramos                    6’5”     WF      Walnut (Walnut CA)
Skilled swingman is a dual inside-out offensive threat.

*           Kavaughn Scott                 6’7”     PF       Orange Lutheran (Orange CA)
Strong post player has impressive explosion to the cup.

*           Roman Silva                        7’0”     C         Diamond Ranch (Diamond Bar CA)
Very improved center with size had 22 points and 12 boards in winning effort in CIF 3AA title game.

*           Cartrell Thompson              6’8”     PF       Price (Los Angeles CA)
Very improved senior is an extremely athletic forward that averaged 18.3 points and 10.9 points this past season for a Price squad that won the CIF Division 6 title . Huge upside!

*           Isaiah White                         6’6”     WF      Damien (La Verne CA)
Athletic forward can play above the rim and is an underrated shooter and improved ball-handler.  White averaged 18 points and 8 boards in 2015-16.  Considering attending prep school next season.


 Seniors Honorable Mention List

Top 10 Southern California High School Juniors (2017)

                    

 1.         Brandon McCoy                 6’11”  C         Cathedral Catholic (San Diego CA)
Dramatically improved prospect is knocking on the door of Top 10 national status.  Big, long, strong and athletic, McCoy averaged 21.2 points, 10.8 rebounds and 3.6 blocks for a HS squad that went 21-7, won the Western league title and reached the San Diego CIF Open Finals (lost to Foothills Christian and TJ Leaf).  McCoy’s signature performance came in an 83-80 OT state play-off win over nationally-ranked Sierra Canyon – scoring 23 points and grabbing 16 boards.  McCoy was also the MVP of last December’s Tarkanian Classic Select Division – leading his HS squad to 55-43 win over Rock Canyon (CO) in the title game.  Brandon was also a Top 30 pick at last July’s Pangos All-American Camp.  Arizona, UCLA, USC and plenty of others nation-wide will be in a dog-fight over his future services.

2.         Cody Riley                           6’7”     PF       Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth CA)
Big time athlete with a better than advertised jump shot is a Larry Johnson-typePF that averaged 12.5 points and 7.9 boards for a balanced, nationally ranked 26-5 Sierra Canyon squad that reached the CIF-SS Open Division championship game.  Riley had an impressive 18 points/15 boards vs. Oak Hill in the  title game of the Bass Pro Shops TOC @ Springfield MO.  UCLA is the reported leader for Riley, a Top 20 national prospect.

3.         Jaylen Hands                      6’3”     PG      Balboa Prep (San Diego CA)
Thin but bouncy point with an excellent 3-point stroke has committed to UCLA.  Hands (a Top 25 national prospect) averaged 20 points, 5 rebounds and 9 assists per game this past season and was named all-tourney at last December’s Tarkanian Classic in Las Vegas.  High-scoring game this year was a 34 outburst vs Orangeville (Canada).  Very good student played well at last summer’s NBPA Camp in Charlottesville VA too.

4.         Ethan Thompson               6’5”     CG      Bishop Montgomery (Torrance CA)
Smooth and skilled lead guard took big steps forward with respect to his development this season. Thompson averaged 17.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 2.2 steals and 1.8 blocks per game this year for a nationally-ranked 28-3 Bishop Montgomery squad that lost in the CA State Southern Regional Final to #1 Chino Hills.  Ethan also did the best job defensively this season on the West Coast’s top senior (and Top 5 2016 prospect) Lonzo Ball – limiting his shooting efficiency to 8/37 FG (21.6%) in the 2 games that they matched up.  Terrific student (4.0 GPA) was a Top 30 choice at last July’s Pangos All-American Camp.  Top 30 national prospect is receiving serious interest from Oregon State (brother Stevie Thompson Jr. is a standout freshman for the Beavers this year), Arizona, Cal and Stanford.  Father Stevie Thompson Sr. was a HS All-American at Crenshaw (Los Angeles CA) and starred for Syracuse (where he appeared in the 1987 NCAA title game vs. Indiana and Steve Alford).

5.         Jalen Hill                               6’8”     PF       Centennial (Corona CA)
Bouncy forward with improving skills was a member of 2015 USA U16 championship team.  Hill (who has already committed to UCLA) must continue to get stronger and play more physical to reach his huge upside.  Excellent kid and student is IMO a Top 50 national prospect.

6.         Jemerl Baker                       6’3”     WG     Roosevelt (Corona CA)
Smooth WG with very dangerous three-point shot has committed to Cal.  Baker averaged 16 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists for a 23–9 squad while shooting 44% from the 3-point arc and 83% from the FT line.  Good student is a Top 100 national caliber prospect. 

7.         LiAngelo Ball                       6’5”     WF      Chino Hills (Chino Hills CA)
Strong wing with extremely confident stroke too often gets too little of the credit for Chino Hills magical run this season.  Averaged 28 points per game at the City of Palms Classic including 42 points versus High Point Christian (NC) and 32 points against Montverde Academy (FL).  Gelo has great, soft hands and knows how to use his strong body to position himself to receive passes and score.  Could have a future as a NFL TE.  Deserves to be considered for Top 100 national status.

8.         Elijzah Scott                         6’5”     WF      Chino Hills (Chino Hills CA)
Jack-of-all-trades wing is very underrated and is highly productive every time he steps foot on court.  Top 150-caliber national prospect is active and physical on the defensive end and is relentless on the glass (averaged 9.8 boards per game at the City of Palms Classic).  Huge part of Chino Hills success this season!

9.         Remy Martin                        6’0”     PG      Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth CA)
Lightning quick playmaker can score in bunches and his recruiting value will increase as his decision-making improves.  Martin averaged 14.4 points, 4.5 rebs and 4.2 assists on a balanced SC squad.

10.       Jordan Schakel                  6’5”     WF      Bishop Montgomery (Torrance CA)
Agile WF with potent 3-point shot also has excellent grades (4.17 GPA).

 Next Ten (in alphabetical order):

*           Evan Battey                         6’7”     PF       Villa Park (Villa Park CA)
Undersized but very physical post plays hard and is drawing attention from the likes of Arizona State.

*           Devante Doutrive               6’5”     WF      Birmingham (Lake Balboa CA)

Alaskan native made a nice splash in SoCal this season averaging 23.6 points per game this season.

*           Kezie Okpala                       6’5”     WG     Esperanza (Yorba Linda CA)
Fast-rising 2017 wing sleeper averaged 23.1 points and 7.5 rebounds this season.  Terrific student (4.4 GPA).

*           Jacob Hughes                    6’11” C         El Dorado (Placentia CA)
Agile center has nice face-up shooting ability but must improve strength and physicality. Just transferred to El Dorado from Servite (Anaheim CA).

*           Myles Johnson                   6’8”     PF       Poly (Long Beach CA)
Big body with improved skill level missed entire season due to injury.  Excellent student (4.3 GPA) will get long looks from college coaches this spring and summer.

*           Michael Mensah                  6’4”     CG      Ribet Academy (Los Angeles CA)
Super-sleeper is a high-scoring lead guard (24.6 points per game) with improved ball-handling and passing skills.  Good student too.

*           Matt Mitchell                         6’6”     WF      Roosevelt (Corona CA) 
Jack-of-all trades forward plays hard on both ends and can finish through contact.

*           Sebastian Much                  6’7”     PF       JSerra (San Juan Capistrano CA)
Sturdy forward has the strength to battle inside as well as the shooting skills and range to extend opposing defenses.  Good student will be a prime WCC and Big West target.

*           Ryse Williams                      6’4”     SG      Redondo Union (Redondo Beach CA)
Strong wing with very nice shooting touch that extends to the 3-point arc.

*           Zafir Williams                       6’5”     PF       Poly (Long Beach CA)
Undersized but very productive forward is a key cog for a Poly squad headed to Sacramento to compete for CIF-State Division II title next weekend. Zafir averaged 19.3 points and 10.2 boards this season.

Juniors Honorable Mention List

Top 10 Southern California High School Sophomores (2018)

       

1.         Marvin Bagley                     6’10”  PF       Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth CA)
The most complete HS player as far as skill and feel that resides not only in California but also in the entire country!  Bagley’s amazing combination of size and skill package for a player that young is something I have not seen in years!  Top-notch student did not play in California this year – was ruled ineligible by CIF after transferring to Sierra Canyon from Hillcrest Academy (AZ).  Prior to leaving Hillcrest, Bagley had 51 points and 17 rebounds in a game earlier in the season.  Played as a freshman at Corona del Sol (Tempe AZ) where he led his team to an Arizona state title – averaging 19.6 points, 10.3 boards, 2.4 blocks and 2.3 assists per game.  Younger brother Marcus (now in 8thgrade) is a 6’6” wing that is an outstanding perimeter shooter and great prospect in his own right!

2.         David Singleton                  6’4”     CG      Bishop Montgomery (Torrance CA)
Tough-hardnosed lead guard proved his worth his sophomore season – averaging 18.9 points per game which included 33 point (10/16 FG; 5/8 3FG) and 22 point efforts versus the nation’s #1 team Chino Hills.  Singleton has the strength and athleticism to finish at the rim, shoots a high percentage from both the field and 3-point arc and was a 92% FT shooter this season.  Singleton competes on every possession and defends the way you would expect a winner would (HS team was 28-3 this season).  Dependable under pressure, Singleton scored 27 points including the game-winning 3 at the buzzer in OT to knock off Damien/La Verne CA in a CIF Open Division play-off game.  Co-MVP of last September’s Pangos All-West Frosh/Soph Camp at Cerritos College (CA).  Excellent student (3.9 GPA) is getting interest from Oregon (offer), Arizona, UCLA, Stanford, Cal, Washington, Arizona State, Colorado, UConn, Georgetown, Vanderbilt and Marquette.

3.         Miles Norris                          6’8”     PF       Mater Dei (Chula Vista CA)
Long and bouncy forward has great upside but needs to improve strength and production (averaged 14 ppg as a soph) to reach the lofty status some have pegged him with (currently ranked #12 by Rivals.com).  Norris has nice range on his jump shot and is quick in transition.  Good student (3.0 GPA) has been offered by Arizona, Cal, USC, Washington, Washington State, Auburn and New Mexico and is hearing from UCLA, Duke and North Carolina.

4.         Jules Bernard                     6’6”     WF      Windward (Los Angeles CA)
Aggressive wing attacks the basket with confidence and has the balance necessary to pull-up for mid-range jump shots as well.  Bernard averaged 23 points and 5.0 boards a game this season and has already been offered by UCLA, Utah, USC, Arizona State and SMU.  “A” student was co-MVP of last September’s Pangos All-West Frosh/Soph Camp at Cerritos College (CA).

5.         Spencer Freedman            6’1”     PG      Mater Dei (Santa Ana CA)
Heady point guard is arguably the best passer and 3-point shooter in this SoCal class of 2018.   Led Mater Dei in scoring, assists and 3-pointers and shot 46% from the 3-point arc this year (also won the 3-point shooting competition at last December’s Beach Ball Classic).  Freedman was selected co-MVP of the Trinity League, 1stTeam All-CIF Open Division and was a Top 30 pick at last July’s Pangos All-American Camp.  Freedman had 17 points (including 5 “threes”) vs. Oak Hill (Mouth of Wilson VA) in a losing effort at last January’s Hoop Hall Classic @ Springfield MA.  Off the charts student (4.45 GPA) has been offered by USC, Rice and UC-Santa Barbara and is getting interest from Stanford, Cal, Utah, Harvard, Virginia, Vanderbilt, Gonzaga, UC-Irvine, St. Mary’s and Loyola Marymount.

6.         Taeshon Cherry                 6’8”     PF       St. Augustine (San Diego CA)
Active forward plays with a high motor on both ends and his willingness to compete on every possession will be valued by college coaches.  Solid student (3.0 GPA) is an excellent rebounder that can finish through contact on his drives to the hoop. Cherry averaged 12.5 points, 8 rebs and 4 assists per game this season for a 24-8 squad.  Top 30 selection at last September’s Pangos All-West Frosh/Soph Camp at Cerritos College (CA) has heard from San Diego State, Arizona, UCLA, USC, Kansas, Texas A&M and Nevada.

7.         Brandon Williams               6’2”     CG      Crespi (Encino CA)
Crafty combo is deceptively athletic and has the skills to play either guard spot.  Williams averaged 15.7 points, 5.0 boards and 2.9 assists this year for a 32-4 Crespi squad that has reached the CA State Division I title game this Thursday.  Top 30 pick at last September’s Pangos All-West Frosh/Soph Camp at Cerritos College (CA) is receiving Pac-12 interest.

8.         Riley Battin                          6’8”     PF       Oak Park (Oak Park CA)
Burly PF is an excellent scorer and has nifty foot-work on the block.  Battin will not wow you with great  athleticism but there is no denying that he can score in the paint with the best in his class.
2016 CIF Division 3AA Play of Year is a phenomenal student (4.2 GPA).  Top 30 selection at last September’s Pangos All-West Frosh/Soph Camp at Cerritos College (CA).

9.         Shareef O’Neal                    6’9”     PF       Windward (Los Angeles CA)
Son of former NBA great Shaquille O’Neal has great potential and nice shooting skills but needs to add a motor and work ethic to his game to maximize his immense upside.  UCLA, LSU and USC are among the early schools involved.

10.       Bryce Hamilton                   6’3”     CG      Pasadena (Pasadena CA)
Slithering lefty scoring guard has a dangerous 1st step and the long-arms necessary to be a harassing defender.  Good student (3.4 GPA) has high-major potential.

Next Ten (in alphabetical order):

 *           Wayne Arnold                     6’3”     WG     Dominguez (Compton CA)
Thin off-guard with smooth perimeter stroke.  Top 30 selection at last September’s Pangos All-West Frosh/Soph Camp at Cerritos College (CA).

*           Harrison Butler                   6’5”     WF      Mater Dei (Santa Ana CA)
Strong wing finishes in transition.  Son of former Kansas/UC-Irvine forward Ricky Butler.  Top 30 selection at last September’s Pangos All-West Frosh/Soph Camp at Cerritos College (CA).

*           Rip Economou                    6’6”     SG      Santa Monica (Santa Monica CA)
Skilled shooter with length is the son of former UConn player Greg Economou and a terrific student (4.1 GPA).

*           Jamal Hartwell                    5’11”  PG      Fairfax (Los Angeles CA)
Crafty floor-general sets table well for teammates and can knock down jump shots.

*           Majur Majak                          7’1”     C         Village Christian (Sun Valley CA)
African import is a promising rim-protector and rebounder.

*           Toby Okwuokei                  6’0”   PG        Rancho Cucamonga (Rancho Cucamonga CA)
Speedy point has nice ability to evade defensive pressure and makes sound decisions.

*           Wes Slajchert                      6’4”     CG      Oak Park (Oak Park CA)
Savvy combo-guard with real scoring ability.  Great student (4.0 GPA) was a Top 30 selection at last September’s Pangos All-West Frosh/Soph Camp at Cerritos College (CA).

*           Silas Slaughter                   5’9”     PG      Elite Prep Academy (Inglewood CA)
Quick point guard with rock-solid ball-handling skills.

*           Fletcher Tynen                   6’5”     WF      Bishop Montgomery (Torrance CA)
Sleek swingman has nice ability to slash and score.

*           Michael Wang                      6’9”    PF       Mater Dei (Santa Ana CA)
Chinese native has the size and skill to be a factor on the offensive end. Consistency is the key.  Top 30 selection at last September’s Pangos All-West Frosh/Soph Camp at Cerritos College (CA).

Sophomores Honorable Mention List

Top 10 Southern California High School Freshmen (2019)

1.         Cassius Stanley                 6’5”     WG     Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood CA)
High-flying wing with emerging ball skills is the best freshman athlete in SoCal since DeMar DeRozan (USC/Toronto Raptors).  MVP of last year’s Top 50 Game at the Pangos All-American Camp.  Cassius has helped spark H-W to the CIF State Division IV title game Saturday in Sacramento.  Top 30 selection at last September’s Pangos All-West Frosh/Soph Camp at Cerritos College (CA) too.

2.         Oneyka Okongwu              6’9”     C         Chino Hills (Chino Hills CA)
Extremely improved big man is a formidable rim-protector/defender as well as big-time pick-and roll option on the offensive end.  Huge reason why Chino Hills is 34-0 and #1 in the nation.  Terrific student (4.0 GPA) will attract coast to coast recruiting attention.

3.         Isaiah Mobley                      6’8”     PF       Rancho Christian (Temecula CA)
Skilled hybrid-forward is a very versatile player that can score in a variety of ways.  Terrific student (4.0 GPA) is an outstanding young man.  Top 30 selection at last September’s Pangos All-West Frosh/Soph Camp at Cerritos College (CA).

4.         LaMelo Ball                          5’10”  PG      Chino Hills (Chino Hills CA)
Exciting young playmaker has dangerous range on perimeter jump shot as well as a terrific floater when he drives to hoop.  Fearless competitor has the heart of a lion.

5.         Jake Kyman                         6’7”     WF      Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita CA)
Smart and hard-working forward can score both inside and out.  Both parents were D-I volleyball athletes (mom at UCLA; dad at Cal State Northridge).  Good student (3.3 GPA) has a great work ethic.

6.         Elias Bell                               6’7”     PF       Paraclete (Lancaster CA)
Sleeper forward with excellent athleticism and underrated face-up ability that extends to 18 feet.  Good student (3.4 GPA).

7.         Robert McRae                     6’3”     WG     Fairfax (Los Angeles CA)
Rapidly emerging wing with scoring touch and great feel for game.  Excellent student too (3.8 GPA)

8.         Ethan Anderson                 5’10” PG        Fairfax (Los Angeles CA)
Reliable floor-general impressed me with his decision-making and shot-making ability this season.  “A” student too.

9.         Makani Whiteside               6’2”   CG       St. John Bosco (Bellflower CA)
Strong, scoring lead guard had productive freshman season.  Excellent student (3.7 GPA).

10.       Gianni Hunt                          5’9”     PG      Bishop Montgomery (Torrance CA)
Quick lefty PG is an excellent defender and a savvy floor general.  Starter for a 28-3 Bishop Montgomery squad that reached the SoCal Regional Open Final.  Good student too (3.2 GPA).

Next Five (in alphabetical order):

*           Jaime Jaquez Jr.                6’5”     WF      Camarillo (Camarillo CA)
Skilled swingman can put up big numbers on the court and in classroom.

*           Oscar Lopez                        6’3”     WG     Lynwood (Lynwood CA)
Tough wing can score at a high clip and led Lynwood to the CIF-SS 2A title game (losing to eventual champ Santa Barbara).  Very good student (3.5 GPA).

*           Jarod Lucas                                    6’2”     WG     Los Altos (Hacienda Heights CA)
High scoring guard had a great freshman season – averaging 26 points per game including a 45 point game versus Covina.  Great student (4.2 GPA) plays for his dad Jeff Lucas at Los Altos HS.

*           Makur Maker                        6’11”  C         Chaminade (West Hills CA)
Young African big with huge upside had 19 points/9 boards in a losing effort in CIF-SS 3AA title game versus Diamond Ranch.

*           Elijah Scranton                   6’4”    WF      Village Christian (Sun Valley CA)
Scrappy wing is athletic and plays very hard at both ends.

Freshmen Honorable Mention List

*A note about the author of these rankings: Dinos Trigonis has been the Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of the Fullcourt Press web site and scouting service as well as an event operator, basketball coach and skills instructor since 1993.  Dinos played varsity basketball at Long Beach Wilson High School and is a graduate of Long Beach State (BA - Political Science) and Temple Law School (Juris Doctorate).  While at Temple Law School in Philadelphia, Trigonis founded and was the editor-in-chief of the Temple Political & Civil Rights Law ReviewAs head coach & director of the Belmont Shore Basketball Club (based in Long Beach CA), Dinos has coached 150-plus players that have received NCAA Division I scholarships as well as 19 players that have reached the NBA. Some of the major events that Trigonis has created and organized include the Pangos Dream Classic, Pangos All-American Camp, Las Vegas Fab 48 (directs with Gary Charles & Grant Rice), Pangos All-Frosh/Soph Camps and Tarkanian Classic (directs with Grant Rice). In addition, Dinos has worked as the West Coast editor for Clark Francis’ Hoop Scoop and has served as a voting member of Ronnie Flores’ Mr. Basketball USA Tracker, Press-Telegram “Best in the West” and SLAM Magazine All-American team balloting and was a coach at the Nike All-American Camp (1996 & 1997).  In 2012, Dinos launched a new national high school basketball magazine - Nothing But Net Magazine.

 

*** Photos courtesy of Nick Koza (SportsAmp.com)

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