Five To Watch

Which players from the west will see their rankings rise on the national lists this year? We offer our thoughts on five players who are probably undervalued nationally...

If history is any indication, you can expect at least a few West Coast players to dramatically improve their stock with national recruiting guys this July. This shouldn't come as a surprise, since none of those guys live in the west and they don't get a chance to see West Coast players all that often. And, no, we don't include Frank Burlison among the "national recruiting guys" – a distinction that is 1) accurate, and 2) one that we're sure Frank would appreciate.

Some of the players from the past who have been relatively unknown nationally and seen their stock rise in the summer include Andrew Gooden, Antoine Wright, Jordan Farmar, Matt Haryasz, Chuck Hayes, Ayinde Ubaka, Brandon Roy, Sean Mallon, Chris Hernandez, Mike Jensen and Andre Patterson, just to mention a few.

With that in mind, here's a look at some guys we believe should come out of this summer with a bump in their rankings among the national recruiting guys.

David Pendergraft, 6-6 JR SF Brewster (Wash.) High. We've had numerous conversations recently with coaches about how rare it is these days to find kids who know how to play the game. Pendergraft certainly falls into that select group of players. Great feel, very skilled with the ball – may end up spending some time at the two – and a terrific competitor. He plays on a low-profile summer team, Eastern Washington Elite, and he's already committed to Gonzaga, so it's possible the national guys won't make an effort to see him much. If they do, we're guessing Pendergraft makes a very good impression.

Chris Miles, 6-10 JR PF/C Provo (Utah) Timpview. Another guy who plays on a relatively low-profile summer team (Utah Heat), but he'll be hard to ignore. Great frame, moves very well and excellent hands and feet. We think some big-time programs will get involved, if they believe Miles will leave the state.

Lorenzo Mata, 6-8 JR PF South Gate (Calif.) High. We've heard that he'll likely stay close to home but, if he's open to leaving, he could get hit by numerous high majors. Excellent shot blocker and very good rebounder. Plays with great energy.

Lee Cummard, 6-5 JR SF Mesa (Ariz.) High. Cummard put on a show last month in Las Vegas and we expect he'll open some eyes in July. Another guy who understands how to play the game, he's in constant motion and flies around the court. Very good shooter. Needs to bulk up, but is without question a high major talent.

Antonio Kellogg, 6-1 JR PG/SG Oakland (Calif.) McClymonds. Last year, at about this time, we wrote that Jordan Farmar was the best player in the west that no one knew about. Kellogg isn't quite that unknown, but you won't see him on many national lists. That should change in early July when he shows up at the Nike camp. Kellogg is an explosive athlete with big-time skills. With some polishing, he could be as good as any guard in the west – at either point guard or shooting guard.


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