Arizona Cactus Classic, Part Two

The Arizona Cactus Classic was one of the best events we've attended in some time. Here are more evaluations on some of the top players in the tournament...

The Arizona Cactus Classic had some of the top West Coast prospects in attendance this past weekend. Here are some more evaluations of the guys who caught our attention.

Steven Gray, 6-4 JR SG Bainbridge Island (Wash.) Bainbridge. Gray played very well in the games we saw, showing off his sweet stroke and doing a good job of creating his own shot. Gray is an outstanding shooter with very good range. He puts it on the floor a little better than we realized. He's not a great athlete, but he's got good size and he's pretty strong when he gets in the paint. He committed early to Gonzaga and it looks like the Zags got another good one.

Zane Johnson, 6-6 JR SF Glendale (Ariz.) Thunderbird. Johnson has one of the best strokes in the west and he was knocking down shots all weekend. He's improved his ability to put the ball on the floor and he's now able to create shots for himself off the dribble. Johnson has a good feel for the game and he consistently makes good decisions. He's big enough to score inside against size and he's an adequate rebounder at this time. Johnson is a high major prospect and one of the best wings in the west for 2007.

Gerald McLemore, 6-2 JR SG Scripps Ranch (Calif.) High. McLemore had a very good tournament at the Classic. He consistently made good decisions and knocked down shots in the 17-18 foot range all weekend. McLemore has good size and lateral quickness, which he puts to good use at the defensive end of the court. He's better as a spot-up shooter than he is at creating off the dribble. McLemore makes very good decisions and he rarely forces the action. We like him as an upper mid major prospect with a chance to go higher.

Kenton Walker, 6-8 JR C/PF Scripps Ranch (Calif.) High. Walker has a great frame, with pretty good feet and athleticism. He's got a nice touch out to about 15-17 feet and he's improving as a rebounder. He moves pretty well, although he's not super quick. He's got a nice touch around the basket. Consistency in his focus and effort is the big key with Walker. He'll show you flashes of his ability and then get lost at times. He's been improving in this area, however, over the last couple months. He's a likely high major prospect.

Venoy Overton, 5-11 JR PG Seattle (Wash.) Franklin. Lefty with a somewhat narrow frame, but good quickness and ball skills. Shoots it well to the stripe – off the dribble or catch – and a surprisingly good finisher inside. He gets up very well and he's a much better athlete than you'd think. He's got a good feel for the game and sees the court well. He will likely get some high major looks.

Maurice Jackson, 6-2 JR SG Gilbert (Ariz.) High. Jackson has a great bball body and he's a good, not exceptional, athlete. He's a streaky shooter with range to beyond the three-point line. He's a fair ball-handler and a decent defender. He has the physical tools to be a very good defender if he puts his mind to it. We think he's worth a look at the mid-major level.

Billy White, 6-7 JR SF Las Vegas (Nev.) Green Valley. White has all the physical attributes to be a big-time player. He's got a very good body, long arms and explosive athleticism. The problem is we're not sure how committed he is to being a player. His skill level has not improved much in the last couple years. We loved him when we first saw him at the West Coast All-Star Camp two summers ago. However, his shot isn't any better now than it was then – just adequate – and his approach to the game is haphazard. He plays for dunks and spectacular plays, as opposed to competing to win. We don't want to be overly critical, but it is a shame to see this kind of potential talent go to waste. And White has considerable talent. If he decides he wants to be a player, White can play anywhere in the country. But it will take a bigger commitment to the game than he has shown so far. On potential, he's a high major prospect.

Tim Shelton, 6-5 JR PF Fresno (Calif.) Clovis West. An undersized four man, Shelton has a big body and pretty good feet. He handles the ball well on the perimeter and he's a decent shooter. He'll rebound in traffic and he's a good competitor. He's got some explosiveness and he moves well. A likely mid major prospect.

Bobby Howard, 6-6 JR PF/SF Great Falls (Mont.) High. A skilled forward with a nice lefty stroke to the stripe. He's better facing up on the perimeter than playing in the post, but he showed the ability to score inside as well. He's a fair athlete, but pretty strong and he competes well. A possible low to mid major prospect.

Davell Jackson, 6-0 JR PG Las Vegas (Nev.) Eldorado. Jackson has a strong body, fairly good quickness and a fairly good handle. His outside shot is just decent at this time. He's got a chance to be a good defender. Decision-making is fairly good – doesn't force a lot of bad shots. A possible low major prospect.

Reggie Moore, 6-1 SO PG/SG Seattle (Wash.) O'Dea. Good-looking young guard with a nice frame, good quickness and strength. Not the purest of point guards, but he's got a nice stroke and some upside.

David Wear and Travis Wear, 6-8 FR PFs Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei. Until these two get some separation as prospects, we're writing about them together. They're both outstanding young talents. They didn't dominate at this tournament, playing against much older players at times, but they will be dominating in another year or so. Both players have a very high skill level, both inside and on the perimeter. They shoot it to the stripe, but also will show you a jump hook inside. Their ball-handling and passing is exceptional for two young, big kids. What stands out more than anything, though, is their approach to the game. You just don't see young, talented, big kids like this who play the game the right way and compete exceptionally well. They share the ball and make very good decisions. Their father was a player and it's obvious they've had good coaching. We don't usually like to make these type of comparisons, but they could be similar to Kyle Singler by the time they reach their senior year. They have a long way to go to reach that level – Singler is one of the five best players in the country for 2007 – but it's possible they get that good. In any event, with continued development, we expect they'll be elite, high major prospects.

Justin Cobbs, 5-11 FR PG Torrance (Calif.) Bishop Montgomery. Good-looking young point guard with a nice feel and presence. Good quickness and ball skills, fairly good shot. One to watch in the future.

Jeremy Tyler, 6-8 C, 8th grade, San Diego (Calif.). We don't usually write about 8th graders, but we just wanted to mention Tyler as someone to watch in the future. He's got a good frame, with very long arms and soft hands, and he's very coordinated for a young, big kid. A name to watch when he gets to high school.

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