Scout On The Road

Marcus Lawrence, Kenton Walker and Josh Miller are among the players we've seen in the last couple weeks...

Here's a look at some of the players we've seen recently.

Kenny Lawson, 6-8 JR PF/C, Vista (Calif.) High. There aren't many times when a high schooler in SoCal that is 6-8 and has any talent goes completely unnoticed by his junior season, but this is the case with Lawson. He, reportedly, has grown three inches in the last year, and last season, as a sophomore, sat out with a broken arm, and then didn't play AAU ball last summer (If you want to go unnoticed, that's how you do it). Lawson is easily one of the best post players in the junior class in Southern California. He's a legit 6-8, with a good body. His shoulders are a bit narrow, but he looks young, like he could still grow considerably. He's averaging about 23 points a game, and in the game we saw he had 21 points, 11 rebounds and 7 blocked shots. He scores with a very nice feel around the basket and a soft touch. He's still learning the game, but has a very good natural scoring feel, able to post up on either block, with a natural pivot. What's so attractive about Lawson is, even though it's obvious he's just learning, he doesn't have any bad habits. He doesn't put the ball on the floor in the post, and he keeps the ball high naturally. He's a good athlete, not jumping out of the gym, but he'll throw down a dunk when he has a step. He supposedly has a 2.5 GPA but his coach said he'd be fine academically. Lawson is probably on the lower end of the high majors.

Justin Sobczyk, 6-0 SR PG Palm Desert (Calif.) High. Sobczyk put on a show yesterday against Inglewood, dropping three early three-point shots and consistently beating Inglewood defenders on backdoor plays. His size and frame are a concern at the D1 level, but Sobczyk knows how to play. Very nice shot and terrific instincts for the game. He'll end up playing at some level next year, that's for sure.

Josh Miller, 6-8 JR C Chino Hills (Calif.) Ayala. Miller has steadily improved in the last year or so that we've been watching him. He's just an average athlete – not very explosive off the floor – but he has good feet and hands. He's very skilled, with advanced footwork, and he's able to score in a variety of ways. He can knock down shots out to about 17 feet or so, but also plays well with his back to the basket. He's pretty strong already, but should be able to bulk up some more as he gets to college. A very good competitor, he plays hard all the time and it's obvious he's been well-coached. Look for Miller to draw looks at the high major level.

Marcus Lawrence, 5-11 JR PG Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman. We saw Lawrence play two games over the weekend. In the first, against Etiwanda, he seemed to be pressing a bit and making some uncharacteristically poor decisions. Perhaps that was because he was matched up against elite senior guard Darren Collison. In any event, Lawrence was more like himself yesterday in a game against Rancho Verde. He is a true point guard, who looks to get his teammates involved, and generally sees the court very well. He hit a couple huge shots when his team needed them and nearly made a game-tying three at the end after hitting one just a few seconds earlier. Lawrence is hearing from numerous high major programs and that's the level we expect him to end up at in a couple years.

Kenton Walker, 6-7 SO PF, Scripps Ranch (Calif.) High. Walker moved from Indiana to California this year and isn't too well known. The fact that he's improved considerably in just a couple of months, also, explains why he hasn't gotten a lot of hype just yet. Walker has a very good body for a soph, with long arms and good muscle tone on a solid frame. He, like Lawson, also looks like he's still growing. A lefty, Lawson also has a very nice touch. With his length he's a very good rebounder, getting 14 rebounds in the game we saw, along with 18 points and 8 blocks. He has a great knack for knowing where the ball will bounce and gets off the floor quickly. All of this also makes him a very good natural shot blocker. He's easily one of the best sophomore post players in California, and probably among the few best in the west. He reportedly is a good student, too.

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