The recent Best of Summer tournament held at Loyola Marymount featured some of the top players in the west. We continue our series on that tournament with a look at some of the notable juniors.
Thomas Gardner, 6-4 SG Portland (Ore.) Jefferson. Very good athlete with terrific offensive skills. Excellent shooter who can hit from the stripe or pulling up off the dribble. We didn't actually get to see him at the Best of Summer, but he was very impressive at the Big Time. A high major prospect.
Khalif Ford, 6-0 PG Diamond Bar (Calif.) High. Quick and skilled, Ford is among the top points in his class on the west coast. Doesn't really have a pure jumpshot -- more of a step back, fallaway that he uses to create space. Still, he can shoot it. Needs to work on involving teammates and creating for others.
Aaron Brooks, 5-11 PG Seattle (Wash.) Franklin. Another one of the top point guards in the west. A blur with the ball, Brooks has high major skills. The only question might be a slight frame -- just not sure how much bigger he's going to get. But he's got all the other tools and he's a pure point who understands the position.
Yahosh Bonner, 5-11 Cedar City (UT) High. We didn't get to see Yahosh as much as we'd hoped to, but we liked what we saw in limited action. Studly body, good feel and plays unselfishly. Good, not great, quickness and a solid handle.
Lodrick Stewart, 6-2 SG Seattle (Wash.) Rainier Beach. Elite level athlete with the potential to be an impact player at the high major level. Not a real good shooter yet, but a good ballhandler and surprisingly good passer. He can finish at the rim against anyone. A little too much junk in his game, and has more to learn about how to play the game, but a terrific overall talent. Could turn into a lockdown defender too, if he puts his mind to it.
Rodrick Stewart, 6-2 SG Seattle (Wash.) Rainier Beach. Very similar to his twin brother, but perhaps not quite as athletic. Shot actually looks a little smoother, but he too is somewhat shaky from the outside. Very good slasher, and can handle and pass it as well. Like his brother, has a fair amount to learn about how to play the game.
Chad Burger, 6-6 PF Colorado Springs (Col) Doherty. Undersized four man who should be a high major player if he grows a little more. Nice frame, long arms and moves well. He can shoot it out to the three-point line, handles it a bit and plays with toughness.
Lance DenBoer, 6-5 SF Sunnyside (Wash.) Sunnyside Christian. Lance has a sweet stroke with deep range. He needs to get stronger, play with more aggressiveness, and show a little more energy at the defensive end, but he has a chance to be a high major player.
Eric Henkel, 6-3 PG Missoula (Mont.) Sentinal. A decent athlete with long arms, Henkel is a very intriguing big PG prospect. Good passer who can shoot it fairly well. Needs to work a bit on his handle (struggled a little against pressure), but he has a good feel and showed an ability to create at times.
Ryan Appleby, 6-2 PG Stanwood (Wash.) High. Slender and bouncy, with a nice, quick stroke and a little flair in his game. Good handle, terrific vision and passing ability. Needs to get stronger, but a high major prospect.
Tyler McGinn, 6-6 SF Gilbert (Ariz.) Mesquite. Tyler is a good athlete who competes well. His shot didn't go down as much as we'd seen in the past, but he's got a nice stroke and we think he'll be fine from the perimeter. Potential mid to high major player.
Ray Schafer, 6-9 C Wasilla (Alaska) High. Raw offensive skills, but has a decent frame and plays hard. Average athlete, but looks like he could still be growing.