Phase1Hoops Top 40 Showcase Notebook

LAS VEGAS - Saturday's Phase1Hoops Top 40 Showcase featured several good prospects, some who are already highly recruited and others who will be.

Johnson emerges

The Phase1Hoops Top 40 Showcase hadn’t even started yet, when the biggest emergence of the event was scouted in layup lines.

At 6-foot-8, 190 pounds with extremely long legs, big hands and feet, a young face and a stature that screams he’s not done growing, Bryan Johnson passed the look test right way.

The 2018 prospect from Las Vegas Desert Pines has grown five inches over the last year, and ignoring any other clues about how much taller he’ll get, with a 7-foot father and 6-foot-4 mother, you can expect Johnson to keep growing.

Regardless, there are plenty of signs that Johnson is going to be a player as well.

He’s very mobile for a kid who is still getting taller and growing into his body, is a lefty with soft hands, has shown he can face up and hit the midrange jumper, while also isn’t completely raw around the basket, where he also scores on offensive boards, grabs defensive rebounds and contests shots.

Even better, he knows what he is.

“I try to play in the post,” Johnson said. “If I have an open jumper, I’ll take it, but I try to stick in the post. I take pride in my defense. I’d like to get my midrange jumper down and develop my post game.”

So far, Virginia, California and Colorado have been in to see the freshman, but that’s a list you can expect to significantly grow over the next year.

Brown and Howard dominate

Next summer, the Las Vegas Prospects AAU squad will feature two of the top point guards in the 2017 class in Troy Brown and Markus Howard.

Brown, a five-star prospect out of Las Vegas Centennial, and Howard, a four-star from Gilbert (Ariz.) Perry, gave an early preview of that backcourt on Saturday.'s 2nd ranked prospect in 2017, Brown has terrific size for the position at 6-foot-5 and in reality could play all three perimeter spots at the next level.

His three-point shooting has really improved, while he's always been a very good passer that is dangerous off the bounce due to his vision and athleticism.

Howard is one of 2017's top pull-up jump shooters, and it's a shot he can bury from midrange and three. He always hard and can score points in bunches.

Amongst the schools which have been by to watch Brown this fall are UCLA, North Carolina, USC, Arizona and Arizona State.

Howard is the West Coast's lone 2017 commitment, having pledged to Arizona State.

Other Standouts

* Fresno State's 2016 power forward commitment, Bryson Williams, had an impressive showing at this event a year ago and had a repeat performance on Saturday. He's a physical post that always plays hard, rebounds and finishes above the rim.

* It's hard to believe that 2016 Las Vegas power forward Tyler Bey has gotten even more athletic, but he has. He's undersized at 6-foot-6 but is a terrific athlete with long arms, plays hard, finishes inside and is a good passer from the high post.

* Bryce Peters, a 2016 wing from La Verne (Calif.) Damien, continues to make progress. He thrives in transition, where he loves to use his athleticism and ball skills to attack the basket.

* With his size and length, 2017 Las Vegas Bishop Gorman wing Charles O'Bannon, Jr. already looks the part, but his ability to create his own shot makes him a good young prospect.

* Alize Travis had a breakout July with Team Superstar and the 2016 point guard continued his strong play on Saturday. The Corona (Calif.) Roosevelt junior gets up and down the court in a hurry and is a sharp passer.

* Travis' high school and AAU teammate, Chris Seeley, is an athletic 2016 combo forward who specializes in transition, where he made plays on both sides of the court.

* Roseville (Calif.) Woodcreek should have a good team this season and 2017 forward Jordan Roberts will be one of the reasons for that. The 6-foot-6 forward used his size to score around the basket.

* Roman Silva, a 6-foot-11 2016 center from Pomona (Calif.) Diamond Ranch, has gotten stronger and in turn improved his mobility and production. He's heading in the right direction.

* Las Vegas Clark 2017 small forward Greg Floyd has good size for his position, competes on both ends and had success with his jumper.

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