Fullcourt Press Spring Showcase: Sophomores

The fullcourt Press Spring Showcase held last Sunday at Los Alamitos High featured some of the best sophomores in Southern California. David Burgess, Gabe Pruitt, Josh Shipp and Aaron Afflalo were some of the players on hand...

Here are our impressions on some of the top sophomores at the Fullcourt Press Spring Showcase.

David Burgess, 6-9 C Irvine (Calif.) Woodbridge. Burgess is quickly becoming one of our favorite players in this class. He's going to kick the crap out of people in the next couple years. A big space-eater, with soft hands, very good fundamentals and terrific footwork in the low-post. Competes well every time we see him and plays a no-nonsense game. Never going to be a high-flying, highlight show kind of guy, but he knows how to use his body and it's tough to get around him. An elite, high-major prospect.

Jamie Diefenbach, 6-8 C Newport Beach (Calif.) Newport Harbor. Big, strong body, moves pretty well and shows some aggressiveness. Not as skilled as Burgess, but a good upside and we like the way he gets after it.

Gabriel Pruitt, 6-2 PG Compton (Calif.) Centennial. It seems like we've been watching Gabe forever and he'll only be a junior next year. He's added a little weight and gotten more explosive in the last couple months. Attacked the basket a couple times trying to dunk on people, which is good to see -- he has a tendency to play with a bit too much finesse. Very good stroke with great range. He's played off the ball a lot at Centennial. As a result, both his handle and PG skills need sharpening.

Aaron Afflalo, 6-3 SG Compton (Calif.) Centennial. Pruitt's running-mate at Centennial, Afflalo has actually played more as a PG in high school, but we see him at SG in college. Outstanding shooter who has taken his game to a new level in the last four months. Doesn't have great quicks, but a solid body and he should be a big, strong two-guard who can score inside and outside when he gets to college.

Marcel Jones, 6-5 SF Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei. Gifted, versatile wing who can shoot, handle and pass. Extremely good instincts and feel for the game. Also prone to a bit too much finesse and tends to fall back on his talent. With a little more toughness and aggressiveness, though, he has a chance to be a national-level recruit.

Josh Shipp, 6-4 SG Los Angeles (Calif.) Fairfax. Big-time scorer who can stroke the three or get it done with a solid mid-range game. Good, not great, athlete. Probably has a better upside than his brother Joe at this point, due mainly to a better bball body. Like Pruitt and Jones, Shipp is another talented player who has a tendency to rely too much on his scoring skills. A little less finesse, and more grit/toughness, will be required at the next level.

Thomas Woods, 6-2 SG Los Angeles (Calif.) Fairfax. Athletic and active, Woods makes plays all over the court. Pretty good shot from 15-18 feet, decent handle. A high energy guy, though, and an excellent defender. Reminds some of Jeff Trepagnier. Not at the same freakish-level athletically, but his offensive skills are farther along at the same point.

Joseph Martinez, 6-6 PF, Placentia (Calif.) El Dorado. Rangy and aggressive, with good intensity and a nose for rebounds. Didn't get a chance to show much with the ball, but did make one very good pass and we were impressed with his approach to the game.


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