West Coasters at ABCD: Part 2

Aaron Brooks plays well enough to improve his stock drastically, and west coasters Robert Swift, David Burgess and Marvin Williams are among the best juniors at the camp...

Stefan Zimmerman, 6-10 SR C, Lindon (Utah) American Fork. Zimmerman, who has committed to Utah, had a relatively decent showing here. He looked pretty big, with a wide frame that could hold more weight, and move pretty well, especially in the context of the great athletes that he competed against. He generally didn't score with any moves consistently, but, in an up-and-down atmosphere, he was pretty involved, getting rebounds and scoring in garbage, averaging 8 points a game. Against this kind of competition he was limited physically, but his performance generally had to be encouraging for Utah.

Alex Bausley, 6-6 SR PF, Los Angeles (Calif.) Fairfax. Bausley was the odd man out on his team, with other frontcourt players that tended to hang onto the ball too much. He didn't get many touches, and he wasn't shooting well, not able to get in a rhythm at all. He looked a bit intimidated in the paint, and tended to float outside, where the game passed him by. The camp didn't help him much recruiting-wise you would have to suspect, but he's probably still in the low major category.

Nick Stiggers, 6-7 SR PF, Van Nuys (Calif.) Montclair Prep. Looking even heavier than he was a couple of months ago, Stiggers had a so-so camp. His extra weight has slowed him down and kept him grounded, which really impacted his effectiveness here against guys who aren't slow and aren't grounded. He still has all of those skills, but he got his shot swatted inside pretty often. He kept trying to score too much, and shot pretty poorly. It will be interesting to see if Stiggers' commitment to USC holds up.

Mohamed Abukar, 6-8 SR PF, Escondido (Calif.) Rancho Bernardo. You would think that a player like Abukar, who is a finesse/skill guy, wouldn't do well at the ABCD camp where the action is dominated by athleticism and ballhogism. And Abukar definitely didn't light the world on fire, but he sort of resigned himself to being a role player here, and it actually worked for him to a degree. He let others take it to the hoop, while he spotted up from about 15 and shot pretty it pretty well. That was, though, when he touched the ball, which wasn't often. This might be a sign for Abukar; He'll have to get bigger and stronger and be able to play inside or he'll be relegated to waiting for kick-outs Georgia.

Aaron Brooks, 5-11 SR PG, Seattle (Wash.) Franklin. Brooks had an overall excellent camp, and was probably the second-best point guard here behind Mustafa Shakur. Brooks has always been quick and a good passer, but his jumper – both long-range and pull-up – were excellent here. In fact, in a camp where shooting percentages are ugly, he shot 67% from the field, and a fantastic 70% from three. He didn't take many threes, but took them when he needed to to keep defenses honest. His floater game has also really come along, getting deadly with those in-the-paint floaters. And he's the best point guard on the west coast, by far, for breaking down a defender and dishing to a teammate. He was pretty fearless, too, taking it inside to finish, but didn't do too badly against this level of frontcourt athletes. His size – not really his height but his skinniness – was really his only limitation here, keeping him from being able to really be physical. In the all-star game, he struggled a bit defending Shakur, just outmatched physically. But many national scouts were telling me that they were sorry they had been discounting Brooks for so long, so that probably means we;ll be seeing him in many national top 50 rankings soon. His recruitment will probably be the most hotly contested one in the west.

Richard Cobbs, 6-5 SR SF, Moreno Valley (Calif.) Canyon Springs. Cobbs has always been about potential – with a great body and some developing skills. The problem now is he hasn't developed since really his sophomore year. He is very reliant on his outside shot,which just plainly isn't very good (he shot 20% from three here). When he takes it inside he gets in trouble, without the handle to be able to get his pretty thick body through a crowd. Cobbs is a good kid and it's hard to talk down a kid like this, but this camp probably put a pretty strong stamp on Cobbs that he's not the high major that some have been labeling him as for two years – more like a low to mid.

Curtis Allen, 6-4 JR SG, Palos Verdes (Calif.) Rolling Hills Prep. Allen, as he has in other situations where the competition is at a high level, looked a bit intimidated. He didn't use his athleticism really much at all, but settled for looking for his outside shot. When I was watching him, he didn't shoot it well. But others told me that, every time I wasn't looking, Allen hit a jump shot. He shot 45% overall and 22% from three, so I didn't miss too much. While other juniors are stepping up in big-time situations like this, Allen, if he's going to keep pace, is going to have to assert himself and get out of his passivity.

John Winston, 6-2 SR PG, Richmond (Calif.) Salesian. Winston generally was poised to have a big camp here, but didn't realize it. He's the kind of guy that you would think would look good here – a point guard (so he handles the ball a lot – a must), and big and physical. But Winston was played off the ball quite a bit, which hurt him. Occasionally he ran the show, and when he did generally looked pretty good – as you would suspect, too big for smaller point guards to handle defensively. But that really wasn't often enough. Once he had been branded a two guard here it didn't seem like his teammates recognized him as a playmaker. Winston, though, should rebound for the rest of July playing with his summer team.

John Shumate, 6-3 SR PG, Tempe (Ariz.) Brophy Prep. While Shumate didn't do too much that would lead you to believe he had a good showing here, if you watched close there were signs of promise. Shumate, for one thing, has gotten big – about a year ago he was probably 6-0. He still needs to get some muscles now on that frame, but the newfound size makes him intriguing as a point guard. He isn't flashy, and isn't really quick, but he's solid, with good ballhandling and a good court sense. You still get a sense that he could still be growing into his body and hasn't gotten control of it completely yet. He's definitely one to watch this summer and in his senior year.

Jermaine Johnson, 6-6 JR PF, Anaheim (Calif.). Johnson was listed in the ABCD program as now attending Trinity Pawling High School in New York, so he might not be a west coaster anymore. Johnson was more effective than you might have thought here, with no fear to mix it up with guys 5 inches taller and quite a bit more athletic. Just through garbage, he averaged 6 points a game. He didn't display any real developed post moves, but just was flying around, going after the ball and bumping guys for rebounds. It's hard to really get anything from his performance about what level he projects. We'll have to see him more.

Marvin Williams, 6-8 JR PF, Bremerton (Wash.) High. Among the talented west coast juniors at the camp, Williams led the way with a sterling performance. Even though it's not really certain how Adidas figures its player ratings, Williams was rated the best player in the camp for a couple of days, before falling a bit in the last day. But Williams showed here that he's not only one of the best on the west coast but one of the best in the country. He's just about 6-8, with long arms and a great body that could put on more muscle. He moves extremely well, up and down the court, and laterally in the halfcourt. He has legit small forward skills, able to break down defenders with nice moves and a very impressive cross-over. He then also goes inside and flies over people with his excellent hops. His quickness, vertical and great instincts made him look like a blur around slower post players here. He ended up averaging 14 points and nearly nine rebounds a game, which got him into the top ten for the camp in both categories. While we knew previously that Williams was very good, now the rest of the country knows, so Williams definitely had his coming out nationally here, and you can now classify him as one of the big names in the west in the junior class and, more than likely, a top 20 national prospect.

David Burgess, 6-10 JR C, Irvine (Calif.) Woodbridge. Another west coast junior big man who had a big camp, and he played on the same team as Williams, making for a great inside combination. While Williams was flying all over the court, Burgess was holding down the paint, where he averaged a fantastic 11.5 rebounds a game, the best of anyone at ABCD, and better than the #2 rebounder by more than 2 rebounds. Really a fantastic stat.  As a result of those boards and some solid inside moves, he also average 8.5 points a game. He played hard, and if his athleticism continues to improve, he could be among the best centers in the country. A good, healthy rivalry with fellow elite west coast junior center Robert Swift seems to have developed, so the next two years will prove to be very interesting as these two talented and nice kids battle it out for supremacy. Burgess actually ended up with a higher player ranking that Swift here, for what it's worth.

Tron Smith, 6-1 SR PG, Moreno Valley (Calif.) Canyon Springs. Smith didn't have as good a camp as you might have expected, mostly again, like with John Winston, he was labeled a two-guard, which means he didn't get his hands on the ball enough. Hurried in his shot in this atmosphere, he didn't shoot the ball well either. He found a little niche in driving and pulling up but didn't get enough opportunities to exploit it. We're sure, though, that he'll dominate with his summer team for the rest of July.

Khalif Ford, 6-0 SR PG, Diamond Bar High. Ford, I was told, didn't look good for the first few days of the camp when we weren't there. In the last two, he actually looked pretty good, seemingly getting more under control and not trying to force the action. He seemed to learn that he should play the role of getting the ball into the hands of people who can score, and once he did that, he performed well. It also helped that he had his summer teammate on his squad, Robert Swift. You have to give Ford some slack, too, since he just came off knee surgery and it was one of his first times back since. If he continues to play smart and under control, he's a solid mid major.

Robert Swift, 6-11 JR C, Bakersfield Garces. Still the best all-around prospect on the west coast regardless of class, Swift looked good here, even though he's one of the few that was completely out of place because he plays team basketball. Swift knows how to play so well within a team concept even ABCD couldn't get him selfish. He actually was trying to get into a set offense, silly boy, while everyone else was running up and down the court. He'd actually pass from the high post to the low post, and almost surprise the recipient of the pass. Didn't he know that he was supposed to take that 15-footer? He set screens and blocked out for rebounds. What was he thinking? And he even has the athleticism and skills to be able to keep up with all the guys who weren't doing these things. Over the next two years it's going to be extremely fun to see just how good Swift will become. Right now it's just a question of how badly he wants it -- if he'll get really aggressive.

Dwain Williams, 5-11 SO PG, Fresno San Joaquin Memorial. Williams, known for launching threes from 25 feet or greater, thrived at ABCD. In a place where you didn't have to take the ball much further pass the midcourt line to shoot, he was in his element. Williams, though, showed moments of having other talents also, with a good handle and a good passing ability, when he wanted to use it. The question will be that, at his size, and with his funky, from-the-hip shot, will he do what he has to do to become a real prospect – and that is, look for his teammates and pass the ball?

David Gale, 6-0 SR PG, Brewster Academy. We have a pretty steadfast rule here at PWH that we don't write about west coast kids once they either 1) enroll at a school out of our region or 2) list themselves as attending a school out of our region. Mostly we do this because we consider kids who leave the west coast as unforgiveable traitors (j./k). Gale is now listed at the east coast prep school, Brewster Academy, but we're pulling out our one-time exception for him. He returned to ABCD after participating last year, and he fared much better this year. Bigger and stronger, he was better at handling the athletes here than he was last year. He also kept to the theory of trying to pass the ball, which also put him among the unique few. He was one of the assists leaders of the camp because of it. Gale will take his game now to the east coast in hopes of getting a scholarship and his chances could improve with so many more low major schools on the east coast than in the west.

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