West Coast Tourneys, Part 1

The End of the Trail Classic and the Best of Summer are being played in Southern California. We have some thoughts on Greg Smith, Damian Lillard and Daymon Warren, along with recruiting tidbits on Edgar Garibay and Paul George...

The first couple days of the Best of Summer and End of the Trail tournaments got off to a somewhat slow start, as many of the players were still dragging a bit from Las Vegas. Here are my latest thoughts on some of the players I saw on Friday and Saturday.

Greg Smith, 6-8 JR C Fresno (Calif.) Edison. Smith plays for Pump N Run and he's had some extra minutes in the last couple days due to the absence of the Wear twins. Smith has all the physical tools to be a big-time player. He's got huge feet and hands, with long arms and great frame. He's nimble for his size and he's a solid athlete overall. His offensive skills are still a bit raw, but he does show signs of becoming a scorer inside. Smith can sometimes lose focus and intensity – those are areas where he'll need to improve if he's to become an elite player. But for a kid going into the 11th grade, Smith is a very promising prospect. With continued development, he has a chance to be one of the top centers in the class of 2009.

Damian Lillard, 6-0 SR PG Oakland (Calif.) High. Lillard is a terrific prospect with a very good shot, solid body and a nice upside. His handle is one area where he needs to improve. It's adequate at this time, but he ends up settling for jumpers when he might otherwise penetrate. But he shoots it well enough that you don't mind him taking the outside shots. He's strong for his size and he's got some toughness. He's a high major prospect and I'll have an update on his recruitment in the next couple days.

Daymon Warren, 6-8 SR C Richmond (Calif.) El Cerrito. Warren has good size and he runs well. He looks to be fairly inexperienced – not much of a scoring threat just yet – but he's got pretty good feet and hands. He told me he'll be attending prep school in New Hampshire and he'll eventually be in the class of 2009. He's an interesting guy at the mid major level. Warren said he's hearing from Utah State, Wyoming, Idaho and UTEP, among others.

Dario Hunt, 6-7 SR C Colorado Springs (Col.) Charis Prep. Hunt has an excellent frame and he moves pretty well. His offensive game is still coming, but he played with good energy in the game I saw and he's got some upside. I want to watch him some more, but he looks like a potential mid major prospect.

Terance Reaves, 6-1 SR SG Long Beach (Calif.) Poly. Reaves has a solid body and a very nice stroke to the stripe. The ball comes out real soft off of his hand. He needs to improve his handle, but his body, athleticism and shot are good enough to get him mid major looks. He said Portland, Cal State Fullerton, UC Santa Barbara, and Utah have contacted him.

Keith Thompson, 6-5 SR SF Downey (Calif.) High. Good-looking kid with a nice wing body. I only saw him play a bit, but he's an above average athlete and had some nice plays slashing off the wing. His shot looks to be just fair. He's an intriguing prospect at the low to possibly mid major level.

I also spoke with a few kids about their recruitments in the past couple days. Edgar Garibay, 6-10 SR C Compton (Calif.) High, told me he's been hearing from Marquette, Arizona State, UNLV, New Mexico State, Washington State and Washington, among others. He said he's particularly high on Arizona State and UNLV. Paul George, 6-7 SR SF Palmdale (Calif.) High, told me he's hearing from Santa Clara, Wyoming and SMU, among others.

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