Scout On The Road

Quinton Watkins, Brandon Jennings, James Keefe and Austin Daye are among the players we saw in the last week...

Here's our take on some of the top prospects we've seen over the last week.

Brandon Jennings, 5-10 FR PG Compton (Calif.) Dominguez. Jennings didn't have a great game in the Dons' win over Westchester, but he showed flashes of the skills that make him the early leader for top point guard in the West Coast class of 2008. Jennings is very quick and he was able to break down the Westchester defense on several occasions. He has excellent vision and found open teammates for easy baskets multiple times. At this point, he's a fairly good shooter to about 17-19 feet. As he gets stronger, we expect him to become a solid shooter beyond the stripe. The one concern on Jennings is a somewhat slight frame. If he gets a little bigger, and fills out well, he will almost certainly be among the top couple points guards in the west.

Patrick Christopher, 6-3 JR SG Lakewood (Calif.) Mayfair. Christopher is an intriguing prospect who is solid across the board, but not really exceptional in any one area. He's got good size, with long arms, and he's a fairly good athlete. He's somewhat herky-jerky though – not real fluid – and there's a question of how he'd fare against high level athletes. He's not a pure shooter, but he makes a good percentage of his shots and he's got a quick release. He has a good feel for the game and generally makes solid decisions. The 2006 class of shooting guards is not real strong and Christopher will likely get plenty of interest at the high major level. We like him at the lower end of the high major spectrum.

Quinton Watkins, 6-2 SO SG Compton (Calif.) Dominguez. Watkins had a relatively quiet game against Westchester, but we continue to believe he's only a consistent jump shot away from being an elite prospect. He's an exceptional athlete who is just now starting to learn how to play. Russell Otis demands defensive intensity from his players and Watkins figures to thrive in the Dominguez up-tempo, pressure defense style of play. A likely high major prospect.

Andreas Schreiber, 6-8 JR PF Los Angeles (Calif.) Brentwood. We watched Schreiber last night in a game against Millikan and it was an extremely frustrating experience. Schreiber didn't play in the first quarter after missing a practice (he had been up all night working on a paper) and then sat much of the second quarter with foul trouble. More foul trouble in the second half limited his minutes. Schreiber had very few opportunities to do anything with the ball, as his teammates either shot it or committed numerous turnovers. With a great frame, maybe twenty pounds of added muscle since coming to the U.S. from Sweden last summer, and a nice skill set, Schreiber is a great-looking prospect. However, he'll need to become more assertive and aggressive as he adjusts to the American style of basketball. At this point, Schreiber is way behind his peers in terms of experience and playing against a high level of competition. He has the tools to be a very good player, but the jury is still out on whether or not that potential will be realized.

Ken Bowman, 6-8 SR PF Los Angeles (Calif.) Washington Prep. Perhaps the best kept secret in the class of 2005, Bowman is oozing with talent and upside. He's got a very good body (although he could tone it up a bit), excellent hands and feet. He's very skilled with the ball, with range to the stripe and the ability to score inside. He doesn't yet know how to defend, but he's an instinctual shot blocker. Bowman needs coaching, and he needs to play with a more consistent effort, but he's got a huge upside. A high major talent, but questionable academics make send him to a junior college first.

James Keefe, 6-9 JR F, Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) Santa Margarita. On one hand, Keefe, the UCLA commit, is in a good system at Santa Margarita if he wants to learn how to play team basketball. On the other hand, if you're a UCLA fan and you're looking for stat-sheet stuffing, it's not the place. Keefe on Tuesday played against Rancho Buena Vista, who ran a zone defense most of the game, which limited Keefe's offensive touches. His body has continued to improve, gaining muscle, and his skills looked improved, at least in warm-ups when you could see them. He had 16 points and 12 boards for the game against a team without anyone over 6-5. He struggled a bit against the zone, missing his first several shots. It's difficult to know if it's the system or if he just doesn't look for his own shot enough. He is a good positional rebounder, and has a good instinct for the ball, but he's still limited athletically to a degree. He did, though, have a beautiful put-back dunk.

Austin Daye, 6-4 1/2, SO SG, Irvine (Calif.) Woodbridge. There might not be a sophomore in California who has a better feel for the game than Daye. He really knows how to play, is not only a great shooter, but an excellent passer. He faced a zone defense Tuesday against Corona Del Mar, and cut them to shreds with his passes. He must have had double digit assists and probably about 20 points. The question on Daye is his body. He's extremely thin, especially in his upper body. His arms look like they could break like a twig. He also looks like a baby, and looks to still have quite a bit of growing to do, having already grown a couple of inches in the last year. He has great length, but his body is still like that of a colt, all flying limbs, elbows and knees. You can see he still doesn't have complete control yet, which also hinders his quickness. It's a question of whether he'll be such a late bloomer that he doesn't physically mature by the time he's a senior in high school. With his body, his big feet and still looking like he's 12 years old, it's not inconceivable that Daye ends up 6-8ish. It's just a matter of when - by his high school senior year or his redshirt sophomore year in college. But he has the skills and feel for the game of a high major college player.

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