Best of Summer, Day One

The Best of Summer tournament is underway at Loyola Marymount and we have a report on the first day of action. Clint Chapman, Fred Ellis, Colin Borchert and a new junior shooting guard from Colorado were among the players we saw...

The Best of Summer Tournament began yesterday at Loyola Marymount. As is typical for these events, there weren't a lot of great opening day matchups and we sat through a few blowouts.

Fred Ellis, 6-6 SR SF Sacramento (Calif.) High, played well in the first game of the day for us. A long and pretty athletic forward – and he is more forward than wing – Ellis made good decisions and took quality shots. He's got a nice stroke to 17-18 feet and his handle looked fairly solid as he put it on the floor a few times. We've heard St. Mary's is interested and we can see why. We want to watch him some more, but he looks like a definite mid major prospect.

Next up for us was the God Squad, led by Clint Chapman, 6-10 SR C Canby (Ore.) High. Chapman has had a terrific month of July and multiple Pac-10 programs are now recruiting him. He showed flashes of his ability in the game yesterday, but it wasn't his best effort. Chapman moves well for a big man and his skill level has shown remarkable improvement in the last year. A year ago in the spring, Chapman barely got off the bench for the God Squad. But his outside shot has really gotten better and he's grown into his body. He'll likely be ranked right behind Kevin Love in our post-summer West Coast center rankings.

We caught part of the Arizona Top Ten game because we wanted to get another look at Colin Borchert, 6-8 SO PF Glendale (Ariz.) Mountain Ridge. Borchert is one of the top young posts in the west. He has excellent feet and hands, with an advanced feel in the post. His overall ball skills are very good for a young big man. He's not a real explosive athlete at this point, but he gets up pretty good and he's still a young kid. With continued development, he has a chance to be high major prospect.

The Double Pump Elite team and the Pump N Run Elite team were both playing the Washington Generals in the opening round. It's nice to be the home team. Nothing of consequence happened in either game.

The find of the day, for us, came on the Colorado Select 17's White team. Jorge Gutierrez, 6-2 JR SG Denver (Col.) Lincoln, is a player. Even though he is playing with a broken right hand, Gutierrez showed a very nice stroke with three-point range. He's got a live body, with good quickness, and he plays with very good energy. He handles and passes well, with an excellent feel for the game. We also liked the fact that he plays with a bit of an edge to him – tough kid. Colorado, Colorado State, UTEP and New Mexico, among others, are involved and we can see why. Gutierrez is a very intriguing prospect for 2008.

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