SoCal Camps, Part Three

More from the two Southern California All-Star camps, as well as a look at some new faces who showed up at the adidas Three Stripe tournament last night. A look at Reeves Nelson, Jerime Anderson, Omondi Amoke and others...

The West Coast All-Star Camp and Fullcourt Press All-West Camp concluded yesterday with a series of all-star games. We watched most of those games, as well as a couple of the opening games in the adidas Three Stripe tournament. Here's the latest look at some of the players who caught our attention.

Reeves Nelson, 6-6 SO SF Modesto (Calif.) Modesto Christian. Nelson is one of the more impressive incoming sophomores that we've seen in awhile. He's a big kid with an extremely high bball IQ and serious skills. He can shoot it, pass and handle like a guard, but he'll probably end up a three in college. One of the most impressive aspects of Nelson's game is his ability to rebound. He gets up very well and he loves to rebound. He's not a typical skinny 14 year-old, though, and he has no problem mixing it up in traffic. Nelson deferred to other players during the Best of the Best Game, but his talent during the rest of the camp was obvious. We're not sure why there wasn't more of a buzz on this kid coming back from the adidas camp in Atlanta, because it's obvious to us that Nelson is one of the elite 2009 prospects in the country. The only two better that we've seen in the west are David and Travis Wear.

Jerime Anderson, 6-1 JR PG Anaheim (Calif.) Canyon. Anderson isn't a flashy point guard and he's not going to wow you with great quickness or one-on-one moves off the dribble. But he consistently makes excellent decisions. That's an ability that is somewhat undervalued among some Internet "analysts." Yes, it's not as sexy as a killer crossover or "dropping 30" at ABCD, but some college coaches actually want their point guard to make good decisions. For some reason, they seem to think that if their point guard makes good decisions, they'll have a better chance of keeping their jobs. While Anderson's decision-making is outstanding, he is also an underrated athlete. He doesn't have blinding quickness, but he does get up very well and he's an excellent rebounder for a point guard. Anderson still has things to improve upon – a tighter handle, more consistent jumper, etc. – but he is clearly one of the elite point guard prospects in the class of 2008.

Omondi Amoke, 6-6 SR SF Oxnard (Calif.) High. We didn't see much of Amoke during the West Coast All-Star Camp, but he had a nice showing in the Best of the Best Game. His outside shot was dropping and that's a big key for his game. Omoke is best when he's slashing off the wing and getting to the basket. His outside shot sets up his ability to take people off the dribble. He's got the size, strength and leaping ability to take contact and finish at the rim. His jumper has been inconsistent in the last year, but it looked pretty good yesterday as he hit two threes in the all-star game. Amoke is pretty good with the ball in his hands, as he can handle and pass well for a small forward. He sometimes loses focus, though, and that's an area he'll need to improve upon at the next level. When he's into the game, playing hard and focused, Amoke can get a lot done. He sometimes drifts, though, and you won't notice him for long stretches. We're anxious to see him with the Pump N Run Elite team this month, as he'll have a chance to go against some very good talent.

Matt Simpkins, 6-9 SR C Sacramento (Calif.) Capital Christian. Simpkins reportedly wants to "reclassify," but he will almost certainly not be able to do that in California. So he'll be in the class of 2007. Simpkins has an excellent basketball body, with long arms and good shoulders. He also moves very well for a big man. He likes to shoots threes, but his release starts at his waist and that shot won't play in college. He'll need to learn to play with his back to the basket, as he doesn't have any kid of low-post game at the moment. He has the physical attributes to be a shot-blocker, but his feel for the game needs to improve in order for him to do that effectively. Rebounding is an area of concern, as he gets very few rebounds for a guy his size. Simpkins has the body and athleticism to be a player someday, but he has a lot of work to do before he plays in college.

Robert Smith, 5-10 SO PG Perris (Calif.) High. Smith is on the small side, but he's got a strong body and his arms are fairly long. But while he might be a tad little, he's got a lot of game. He's very quick and strong with the ball. He's a pure point, with the ability to break down a defense off the dribble. He's a good, not great, shooter. His feel for the game is quite advanced for a young point. He has a chance to be an elite point guard in the class of 2009.

Rodney Black, 6-1 SO SG Moreno Valley (Calif.) Canyon Springs. A good-looking young wing, Black has a very good stroke and deep range. He put on a show last night against a talented EBO team, as he nailed several threes, each one seemingly deeper than the previous shot. We didn't get a chance to see him put the ball on the floor much, but he's a nice-looking prospect. Young face, has some length, and that stroke is legit. One to watch in the future.

James Rahon, 6-3 JR SG San Diego (Calif.) Torrey Pines. Rahon had a very good showing in the Top 90 game at the Fullcourt Press camp. He's got a very nice stroke and he knocked down several jumpshots in that game. He's got decent size and he's one to watch as a possible emerging junior.

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