The talent on hand in Green Valley? David and Travis Wear, the twin 6-8 sophomore forwards from Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei. The brothers put on a show last night, as they knocked down three-point shots, played excellent defense and basically demonstrated that they might be two of the top prospects in the country.
We can't recall seeing players, at this age, with their combination of skill level, feel, approach to the game, and work ethic. They're like some kind of twin robo-players that seemingly get better by the minute. One of the things that really gets your attention is how well they move for young post players. They'll be retreating on defense, sliding their feet, and staying in front of a 6-4 athlete with quickness.
We brought up Kyle Singler's name the other day when talking to a high major coach. The coach said, "they're not as good as Singler." That's true, but we saw Sinlger as an incoming tenth grader. While Singler was very good, he was about 6-6 and a wing. The Wear brothers are 6-8 and more skilled than Singler was at the same age. Obviously, they have a long way to go to reach Singler's level. But with the way they approach the game, we believe there's an excellent chance they end up two of the top five to ten players in the country for 2009.
Speaking of elite, young prospects, we watched Elston Turner, Jr., 6-5 JR SG Roseville (Calif.) High last night and came away very impressed. Joining us in the gym were coaches from UCLA, Washington, Cal, Gonzaga and Arizona State, among other programs. Turner has a great body and frame, with long arms, and good quickness for his size. He has a very good stroke to the stripe and he can put the ball on the floor as well. He's a good, not great, athlete. In some respects, he reminds us a bit of UCLA's Arron Afflalo, although Turner is a better athlete and shoots it better at the same age. With continued development, look for Turner to end up one of the elite wings in the class of 2008.
Turner has a few interesting teammates on his NorCal Pharoahs team. One of them, Bo Henning, 6-2 SR PG Sacramento (Calif.) High, was very impressive in his game last night. Henning has a very good shot, with an exceptionally quick release. He's not super quick with the ball, but he's got a nice feel and his ability to score will get him a lot of looks at the mid major level.
With the 2007 West Coast crop of point guards being so bad, we're constantly looking for someone to step up and claim the top spot in the group. Kamyron Brown, 6-2 SR PG Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei, has been one of the candidates for some time now. But Brown's feel for the position is shaky, at best, and last night was more of the same from the athletic prospect. Brown can get by a lot of players with the dribble, but his decisions after he gets by them can be suspect. He often gets out of control and ends up shooting wild, off-balance shots. We love his size and athleticism -- there's no question he has a significant upside -- but at some point he has to show that he can handle the responsibilities of the position.
There's been a lot of buzz this spring and summer about Clint Chapman, 6-10 SR C Canby (Ore.) High. Many of the Pac-10 programs are intrigued by Chapman and we saw UCLA, Cal, USC and Arizona State at his game yesterday.
Chapman has come a long way in the last year. His skill level, both facing on the perimeter and playing in the post, is markedly better. He's got a shot to 18-19 feet that defenders have to honor and he can score when he gets the ball close to the basket. Chapman's body and athleticism have also come a long way since last year. He's moving very well and he's gotten much springier. He's one of the top post prospects in the west for 2007.