West Coast Stock Risers:
Hamilton, Doutrive & Scott Make Noise by Dinos Trigonis (January 18, 2017)
The 2016-17 high school season is in full swing and several nationally unranked West Coast players (to start season) have served notice that they have really improved and are making major impacts for their teams this season and thus, deserving of more regional and national recognition.
This report will highlight several of those players whose play this season has caught my attention.
Bryce Hamilton 6’4” 2018 Pasadena (Pasadena CA)|
Bryce is rapidly becoming one of the hottest 2018 names on the West Coast and his talent and vast upside is beginning to be recognized by national scouts. Lefty lead guard has the length, athleticism, scoring instincts, ballhandling skills and defensive prowess to be a high-major recruit. Bryce (who appears to be not done growing) was very impressive at this past December’s Tarkanian Classic in Las Vegas, averaging 28.8 points per game including a 35 point effort in a win over Sierra Vista/Las Vegas NV. This past week, Hamilton (who just turned 16 this past November) made his debut on a major national 2018 list when Rivals’Eric Bossi pegged him as the nation’s #102 junior in the 2018 Rivals 150. Dad Kevin played at UTEP for the legendary Bear Haskins and is the brother of Greg Hamilton (father of Gary, Jordan, Isaac and Daniel Hamilton). Schools showing
interest include UCLA, Georgetown, Utah, Butler, Nevada, Cal, Boise State, UTEP, Hawaii, Santa Clara and Buffalo (where his older brother Blake is a 6-6 wing starter and leading scorer). I expect that list to grow before it shrinks, especially if Bryce’s strong play and continued development continues. Forms a Belmont Shore backcourt with 247Sports.com 2018 Top 50 David Singleton that is arguably as talented and versatile as any club backcourt in the West for the upcoming spring and summer season.
Devante Doutrive 6’4” 2017 Birmingham (Lake Balboa CA)
Strong and active wing has had a fantastic senior season so far and there are few signs that it will discontinue. Excellent perimeter shooter is also athletic off the bounce and in transition. Birmingham is currently 15-3 and the emerging favorite in the LA City CIF Section. Arizona State has recently offered him and I would not be surprised if he ends up somewhere in the Pac-12. Scored 38 points versus Compton Dominguez last Saturday at the Fairfax Classic.
Eli Scott 6’5” 2017 Chino Hills (Chino Hills CA)
Loyola Marymount signee is for the second straight season a huge and important cog for Chino Hills and a major reason for the Huskies’ current 54 game winning streak. Scott is athletic and has a very high motor which translates into double-figure rebound games and authoritative dunks in transition. Unranked nationally, Eli is a Top 100 caliber prospect and proven winner that is capable of making future contributions to most teams in the Pac-12. McDonald’s All-American Game voter Van Coleman on Scott: “He is the ultimate glue guy, he defends, he takes what you give him offensively and is an efficient scorer.”
Spencer Freedman 6’1” 2018 Mater Dei (Santa Ana CA)
While it is true that Freedman lacks the physical and athletic stature many scouts these days crave in top nationally ranked PGs, there is not a more cerebral and polished floor general, passer and accurate perimeter shooter in that position in the West. Spencer (a fantastic student) is a proven winner that has competed with impressive results against top high school players coast to coast. While Jerry Meyer has slotted Freedman in the #143 spot in 247Sports.com’s2018 rankings, most non-veteran scouts have really undervalued his talents and abilities. Freedman led Mater Dei to the Platinum title game of the recent Tarkanian Classic, scoring 26 twice versus Desert Pines and Bishop Gorman as well as displaying his pinpoint passing skills in the title game vs. Chino Hills (10 assists).
A week later Spencer directed Mater Dei to the championship of The Classic at Damien – defeating Birmingham, Corona Centennial and Damien en route to the crown and earning Tourney MVP honors in the process. Harvard, Stanford, Gonzaga and a host of other Ivy League schools are among schools showing interest.
Gelo Ball 6’5” 2017 Chino Hills (Chino Hills CA)
Gelo is not always an efficient scorer but there is no doubt that he is more than capable of putting up big numbers as well as possessing a deep 3-point strokethat is very often a problem for opposing defenses. Ball is averaging 34 points per game this season with 72, 65 and 56 point explosions this year. This UCLA-bound flame-thrower is also a dangerous post-up scorer where his great hands, strength and soft touch are prime assets. These types of big numbers make him worthy of Top 100 national status although, surprisingly, no major national outlet has him on their Top 100 list. I would not be surprised if he ended up in the NFL as a TE.
BJ Shaw 6’5” 2017 Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland CA)
Son of former NBA guard and current Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Brian Shaw is a real West Coast senior sleeper! Shaw has a smooth jump shot and has excellent poise and court instincts. BJ was terrific (26 points) versus undefeated Chino Hills at the Tarkanian Classic. If Shaw keeps shooting the rock like he did in Las Vegas at the Tark, he will have plenty of D-1 offers come April.
Maka Ellis 6’5” 2018 Sierra Vista (Las Vegas NV)
Big-time perimeter shooter with underrated all-around skills. Ellis made all-tourney at the recent Tarkanian Classic which included an offensive duel with Pasadena’s Bryce Hamilton, matching Hamilton’s 35 points with 35 points of his own, many in spectacular 3-point fashion (9/15 3FG). Checks in at #149 in the most recent Rivals 150 2018 rankings. Excellent student has Stanford, Virginia, Tulane, St. Mary’s, Rice, Nevada and UNLV showing interest. Father Ed (6’8”) is a California native that played at Hawaii-Hilo.
Matt Mitchell 6’6” 2017 Roosevelt (Eastvale CA)
Strong and versatile hybrid-forward has made a major statement during his high school senior season. Mitchell has real scoring ability with ability to finish through contact at the rim as well as legitimate range on his confident jump shot. Cal State Fullerton got a steal in this tough kid who would have been a Mountain West or higher caliber recruit if he was available in the spring. Played very well at the Tarkanian Classic – earning all-tourney honors.
Justice Sueing 6’6” 2017 Mater Dei (Santa Ana CA)
Very improved lefty swingman has been impressive this year – selected as an all-tourney at this past December’s Tarkanian Classic. Utah, Cal and Oregon State are among the schools very interested in this Hawaiian native’s future services.
Riley Battin 6’9” 2018 Oak Park (Oak Park CA)
Crafty PF is a very potent scorer on the block as well as possessing legitimate face-up ability. Northwestern, Utah, Notre Dame, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Davidson, Harvard and Princeton are now showing interest. Very good student is worthy of 2018 Rivals 150 status. Are you listening Eric Bossi?
Mike Wang 6’9” 2018 Mater Dei (Santa Ana CA)
Skilled stretch “4” has shooting range that extends far beyond the 3-point arc. Improved rebounder and defender. Good student is hearing from Texas A&M (offer), Clemson, USC, UCLA, Butler, Hawaii, San Jose State, Penn and Princeton.
Matt Bradley 6’4” 2018 San Bernardino (CA)
Bradley reminds Ball is Lifescout Ronnie Flores of a young James Cotton (Long Beach State/NBA). Very strong lefty with ample bounce makes plays at both ends. Oregon State, USC, Cal, Nebraska, Nevada, Utah State, UTEP, Hawaii, UC-Irvine, Pepperdine and UC-Santa Barbara are among the increasing number of schools showing interest. Matched Gelo Ball for California season-high point honors with a 72 point outburst versus Rubidoux. Bradley currently sits in the #81 spot in the 2018 Rivals 150 and if his fine play continues, I would expect him to keep climbing higher on that list.
Justin Hemsley 6’6” 2017 Damien (La Verne CA)
Rapidly improving athletic forward is making lots of noise this season. Hemsley is active on the glass and an above-average shotblocker for his size. Late-bloomer is the younger brother of San Diego State guard Jeremy Hemsley. Nevada is among the schools recognizing this West Coast super-sleeper’s talents.
Kihei Clark 5’10” 2018 Taft (Woodland Hills CA)
Quick and elusive PG has a very confident outside stroke. Clark was offered by Xavier this past Fall.
Cameron Shelton 6’3” 2018 Damien (La Verne CA)
Shifty combo-guard has very nice ability to stop and pop off the dribble.
Trey Woodbury 6’3” 2018 Clark (Las Vegas NV)
Hardnosed wing guard showed his worth versus Chino Hills at this past December’s Tarkanian Classic. Just unofficially visited UNLV.
Andre Ball 6’7” 2018 Chino Hills (Chino Hills CA)
Although he doesn’t start or play lots of minutes for undefeated Chino Hills, Andre has still showed flashes of his immense potential this season. Very athletic and agile forward is quick in transition and a very underrated shooter and shotblocker. Won the dunk contest at the recent Rancho Mirage tourney, beating out Arizona-bound Ira Lee. Reminds me a lot of a young Trevor Ariza.
Silas Slaughter 5’10” 2019 Elite Prep Academy (Los Angeles CA)
Quick point guard sets the table for teammates well. Silas impressed versus prep power Prolific Prep recently (10 points/8 assists/2 steals). Older brother Marcus Slaughter was a star forward at San Diego State and currently one of the highest paid pros in Turkey. Very good student too.
Jake Kyman 6’7” 2019 Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita)
Skilled and versatile small forward has plenty of basketball IQ. Excellent student is productive from mid-range and from beyond the 3-point arc. Parents were Division I volleyball players at UCLA and Cal State Northridge respectively.
Johnny Juzang 6’6” 2020 Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood CA)
One of the most versatile and skilled players in 2020 has done nothing this season so far to make me doubt that he is among the best of the best in the national freshman class.
Luis Rodriguez 6’5” 2017 Westchester (Los Angeles CA)
Sleek swingman is athletic with really nice slash and score ability. Luis’ best basketball is ahead of him.
Kyle Owens 6’5” 2019 Crespi (Encino CA)
Intriguing wing is definitely a 2018 sleeper that is long and crafty off the bounce. Being coached by respected Crespi head coach Russell White won’t hurt either.
Ethan Anderson 6’0” 2019 Fairfax (Los Angeles CA)
Strong PG can penetrate and finish through contact and has ability to hit clutch shots. Very good student too.
Miles Oliver 6’1” 2017 Etiwanda (Etiwanda CA)
Savvy lead guard with an accurate 3-point stroke.
Joshua Phillips 6’8” 2018 Edison (Huntington Beach CA)
Hard-working and athletic PF is just scratching the surface of his vast potential. Phillips recorded an impressive 7 blocks versus Santa Monica.
Gianni Hunt 6’2” 2019 Bishop Montgomery (Torrance CA)
Quick and crafty PG with range on his jump shot to the 3-point line. Has been a starter for Doug Mitchell’s program ever since he first stepped foot on Bishop Montgomery’s campus.
Hunter Woods 6’6” 2018 Muir (Pasadena CA)
Big wing with a nice package of skills will be the object of MM+ attention come April. Nevada is among the increasing number of schools recognizing his talent and potential.
Ezekiel Richards 6’10” 2018 Oak Park (Oak Park CA)
Size is at a premium in the West for 2018 and Ezekiel helps fills that void. Very improved center prospect has the bulk and bounce in his step to potentially be a factor at the next level.
Jalen Clark 6’4” 2020 Centennial (Corona CA)
Very promising young WG is a terrific student.
Harold Moore 6’6” 2018 Westchester (Los Angeles CA)
Big wing has excellent 3-point shooting touch.
Evan Mobley 6’9” 2020 Rancho Christian (Temecula CA)
Rapidly improving forward with underrated shooting skills is a player to track in the 2020 class. Brother is 6-8 Isaiah Mobley – one of the nation’s top sophs. Like brother, Evan is an excellent student.