Grant Verhoeven, 6-8 PF/C Visalia (Calif.) Central Valley Christian. The best prospect in the west not currently listed in the 2012 Top 100, Verhoeven is an absolute stud that could play for any school in the country. A terrific defender and rebounder, Verhoeven plays with an energy level that is unmatched by any other prospect in the west. He relishes physical contact, but he is far from a dirty player. He's physical the way Mark Madsen was physical. He bumps and bodies his opponent (legally) at every opportunity. He's got a decent touch out to 15-17 feet, but he prefers to spend his time inside (smart choice) and use his size advantage for scoring opportunities. The only reason to recruit him is if you want to win.
Ben Carter, 6-7 PF Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman. Carter is another post prospect that loves contact. He's constantly putting a forearm into the back of an opposing offensive player and he plays the game with an edge (in a good way). He's a unique four man in that he has a very skilled, finesse game away from the basket (terrific passer, great feel), but he's also very comfortable playing a physical game in the paint. He's got terrific ball skills for a power forward and he's a deceptive athlete. He and Verhoeven are the two most underrated players in the west for 2012.
Zena Edosomwan, 6-7 SR PF/C North Hollywood (Calif.) Harvard-Westlake. Edosomwan has made remarkable strides in the past three years and he had a very good showing when he came back to SoCal after spending the first few days in Indianapolis. An underrated athlete, Edosomwan is a good rebounder and defender with a developing face-up shot out to 15 feet or so. He's not yet consistent with that shot, but he makes enough of them now that you can see it being a weapon when he gets to college. He still needs to improve his footwork in the low-post, but it's getting better and there's little doubt that he will eventually being a low-post option. This is a kid that works on his game. He gets it. He plays hard even when he's not getting touches – which is something you don't always see with young post players. It won't be a surprise when he's outplaying some of his more highly rated contemporaries a few years from now.
Mike Bryson, 6-4 SG Sacramento (Calif.) Foothill. The surprise of the early period, Bryson was lighting it up nearly every time he stepped on the court. A good, not great, athlete, Bryson has a nice frame and an excellent stroke with deep range. But he's not just a shooter, as he scored in a variety of ways and did a fairly good job defensively at well. He's a high major prospect and a multitude of coaches were asking about him by the end of the first period.
Jordan Loveridge, 6-5 PF West Jordan (Utah) High. An undersized four man with a big booty, long arms and high skill level, Loveridge is a very intriguing prospect. He's another guy that has very good ball skills away from the basket, but the power game to play in the paint as well. He's got very good feet and hands. At the right level, Loveridge figures to be a very tough match-up for opposing four men.
Dakarai Allen, 6-4 SG/SF Sacramento (Calif.) Sheldon. The best athlete in the West Coast class of 2013, Allen is a rare prospect. You don't find many kids with his body (prototype wing) and athleticism, combined with a great feel, excellent passing ability and unselfishness. He's a terrific defender already and he has a chance to be a lockdown, multiple positional defender at the next level. His shot is playable out to the stripe and will get better over time. He's most effective right now when he's slashing to the basket. As he gains strength with maturity, he will be a very difficult matchup for opposing defenders. He's got a great, no-nonsense approach to the game and you rarely see him changing expressions on the court. He's one of the elite prospects in the country for 2013.
Christian Wood, 6-7 PF Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep. Wood reminds some observers of Austin Daye, but he's probably a little better athlete than Daye at the same stage. Of course, he may not grow to be as tall as Daye, but he's got the same ridiculously long arms and sweet stroke to three-point range. He's still very slender and it's difficult right now to see him defending at the four in college. But once he fills out, that's probably the spot he's going to have to defend. He's got very good ball skills for a power forward and he figures to be a match-up problem at the next level.
Parker Jackson-Cartwright, 5-8 PG Los Angeles (Calif.) Loyola. Jackson-Cartwright is as talented a young point guard as we've seen in the west for some time. He's got terrific skills – great handle and passing ability, very good shooter – but it's his feel that sets him apart from other point guards. His feel for the game is better, right now, than most guys playing in the Pac-12. The only question on him today is whether or not he will grow. He does have a brother that is 6-2 and his frame/length suggests that he may very well grow some more. But even if he doesn't, he's that rare small point guard that you can see playing at a high level even if he doesn't grow. He's a special talent.
Isaiah Bailey, 6-4 SG/SF Compton (Calif.) High. A prototype wing with above average athleticism, Bailey has a very high upside. Like a lot of young players, he's still got a ways to go defensively, but he's got the physical tools (long and very good laterally) to excel at that end of the court. He's a decent shooter from distance at this time, but he's very effective as a slasher and he finishes well against size. He's got solid ball skills overall for a young wing. With continued development, he's got a chance to be one of the elite prospects in 2014.
Tyler Dorsey, 6-4 SG Los Angeles (Calif.) Ribet. Dorsey is an extremely talented young prospect, with a terrific stroke out to three-point range and a very advanced offensive game in general. Despite being young and slender, Dorsey was fearless in going against older, strong players. He plays with very good energy at both ends of the court and he shows the potential to be a very good defender down the road. Many times a young player with Dorsey's offensive ability will only be concerned with putting up points. But Dorsey plays a complete game. He's got a chance to be one of the elite players in the country for 2015.
Aaron Holiday, 6-0 PG North Hollywood (Calif.) Campbell Hall. The younger brother of Jrue Holiday, Aaron looks and plays a lot like his older brother. He's extremely advanced in terms of his skill level and, like Jrue, he loves to attack his opponents at both ends of the court. He's only going to be a freshman this year, so it's quite possible that he's not done yet physically and it remains to be seen if he will be the same level athlete as Jrue. His decision-making is a bit shaky at times, but that's not exactly surprising for a kid that has yet to play a high school game. He's got a chance to be an outstanding player down the road.