SoCal Swing: Ball talks decision

LA VERNE, Calif. -- Bishop Mency had a big performance, Lonzo Ball discussed his early commitment and Jeremy Hemsley showed an ability to play both guard spots during the Damien/Chino Hills game.

The second day of my week road trip through Los Angeles and the surrounding area landed me in La Verne for Damien's match up with Chino Hills.

Lonzo Ball and Jeremy Hemsley were the headliners, but it was Bishop Mency and his 18 points that stood out in Chino Hills' 85-53 win.

Mency has big game

Bishop Mency, an unsigned senior, played like he was trying to earn some new scholarship offers on Wednesday against Damien.

A 6-foot-5 long, wiry combo forward, Mency was active inside and a man on the glass. An impressive athlete, Mency went after every board in and out of his area and had a number of putbacks.

While the majority of Mency's points came in the paint, he also stepped out of the paint and hit a pair of catch and shoot three-pointers.

Mency also proved to be effective on the defensive end. He drew Jeremy Hemsley on that end of the floor for much of the game and he made things difficult on him. His length and overall athleticism seemed to bother Damien.

The next step in Mency's development is his ball handling. Mency finished with 18 points in the win over Damien.

Ball wanted to stay home

Lonzo Ball's early college commitment caught many off guard.

But the 2016 prospect told on Wednesday following Chino Hills' win over Damien that he had intentions of playing his college basketball near home and he didn't see a reason to delay the process.

"I knew I wanted to stay home," Ball told "UCLA is right here. I went up there and talked to Coach. They wanted me to come. We went to a few games and saw the way they were playing and I just made my decision."

"They were just coming at me hard and I wanted to go," he added. "So I went. They gave me some free tickets to go to the game and I checked them out and their style of play is nice."

Ball said he's developed strong bonds with both Alford and one of UCLA's assistant coaches.

"Me and coach Alford are tight so are me and David Grace," Ball said.

Ball, who ranks among's top 25 players in the 2016 class, is an impressive guard prospect and is a significant early pick up for the Bruins.

On Wednesday, Ball didn't need to do much, as his team overwhelmed Damien. Still, Ball showed flashes of his talent. He took just four shots, hitting three of them, including one three-pointer from 28-feet.

Ball scored his other field goals at the rim. Ball also has impressive court vision and is a talented passer.

Hemsley struggles, but shows potential

When evaluating prospects, you have to keep in mind that bad games and bad shooting performances happen.

So while it was a tad disappointing to see Jeremy Hemsley, a 6-foot-3 guard at La Verne (Calif.) Damien, go 3-for-19 from the field, it was still easy to see why he's so highly regarded.

What stands out about Hemsley his ability to play both guard positions. He has a high skill level and handles the ball well. He has a good basketball IQ, vision and is also a good passer. Hemsley also changes speeds well.

"I think I see myself as a combo guard or any position I need to play to help my team win," he said. "It doesn't really matter to me what position I play."

Hemsley got into some trouble trying to do a little too much against Chino Hills. Now he didn't have much help, so he was in a predicament. While he only hit a pair of shots from mid-range on Wednesday, he appears quite comfortable pulling up from there.

After the game, Hemsley said he's brings versatility to the table.

"I think I bring a little bit of everything," Hemsley said when asked to describe his game. "I think I bring more of a leader type role but I didn't really show that tonight. Usually I bring a leader type role and I try to make my teammates better."

Hemsley, a four-star prospect, finished with 10 points in the loss.

Scout Hoops Top Stories