Ben Vozzola, 6-5 JR SG, Las Vegas (Nev.) Centennial, could be one of the best all-around players in the west for 2010. Some elite high majors might get scared off by the skinny body, but he has a good frame, which indicates he could add weight. Even without projecting a big physical change, he's still an exceptional prospect, with excellent athleticism combined with a very advanced skill set and feel for the game. He moves very well, being able to guard much smaller players, and he has one of the prettiest, most-refined shots in the west, along with great vision and passing ability. While UCLA-committed Tyler Lamb is probably the best two-guard in the west for 2010, Vozzola could very well give Lamb a run for that title by the end of the summer.
James Johnson, 6-8 JR PF/C, San Diego (Calif.) Morse. You always have to be skeptical when you hear a player's history and it has various states and high schools on it. Johnson is originally from Oklahoma who then spent time in Canada, and is now at Morse but was ineligible this year due to transfer issues. Despite all of that, Johnson is a player. He has a very nice low-post scoring game, with instinctual footwork and smooth jump hooks, while he also has a good outside shooting stroke. His athleticism was impressive, being able to move well laterally for a prospect his size, and having some good hops. In the game we saw him in, he didn't look aggressive boarding the ball, and didn't tend to go out of his area to do it. But overall, given the shortage of bigs in the west, if Johnson is a legitimate recruit off the court (meaning: his off-the-court issues don't preclude him from being recruited), then he's a legitimate high-major prospect on the court.
Bryce Jones, 6-5 JR SF, Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft. Jones was ineligible for most of his junior year, and we really don't know why, and how it affects him as a recruit. On the court, he's definitely a prospect, with a great, long, athletic body. He plays with intensity on both sides of the court, seemingly enjoying defense. On offense, his shot is okay, and needs to be cleaned up a bit, but he handles the ball very well for his size and likes to pass. He's easily a high major.
Richard Solomon, 6-8 JR C, Torrance (Calif.) Bishop Montgomery. He's far more comfortable now than just a few months ago, which you can see is allowing him to play and not think. This has made him a very good post defensive prospect, able to move his feet well and having very good shot-blocking ability. He still looks like a baby, maybe weighing 190 pounds, but he has good bounce. His offense is very raw, but with a dearth of big men in the west you could see the Pac-10 getting involved seriously with Solomon.
Gelaun Wheelwright, 6-0 SO CG, Corona (Calif.) Centennial. Wheelwright is a great athlete, with a very nice skill set. The AAU team he's playing on, however, has a point guard, and Wheelwright needs to handle the point more. His future is at point guard, and he needs to develop those abilities – and showcase them on the AAU circuit. If he's a two guard, he's a very undersized one. If he's a point guard, and we think he is, he's an exceptional prospect.
Dominique Dunning, 6-3 SO SG, Corona (Calif.) Centennial. Dunning has some ability, with a fairly good shot and some athleticism, which allows him to get to the rim. He's still a bit raw in his skills, and plays out of control a bit, but there's the makings of a very solid mid-major prospect.
Jahii Carson, 5-9 SO PG, Phoenix (Ariz.) Mountain Pointe. We had heard that Carson could be one of the best point guards in the west for 2011, and despite his size, he has many tools. He can really get up, and has good quickness. His ball skills and shot are decent, but in the game we saw him he played mostly out of control, over-penetrating into nowhere. The basics are there, though, so we'll still believe he's a solid mid-major.
Robert Garrett, 6-10 SO C, Sacramento (Calif.) High. If you were going to design a young post prospect, you'd give him Garrett's body. Big, broad-shouldered, muscular but with enough room to add more. It looks like a body of a future pro. But Garrett, while he's a prospect almost because of that body alone, has a long ways to go in terms of actual basketball skills. He's very raw, with virtually no offensive game at this time. Also, he doesn't move very well – at least at this point in his physical development. When he runs up the court it appears he's in pain. Hopefully it's growing pains and Garrett's athleticism and skills catch up with his pro body. A body like this is a terrible thing to waste.
Xavier Johnson, 6-6 FR SF, Temecula (Calif.) Chaparral. If you're talking bodies, Johnson's is a great one for a young prospect – lanky, with a good frame and very great length. His feet are huge, and don't match the rest of his body just yet, which could indicate he could continue to grow. His dad looks to be about 6-8. But even if he doesn't grow another quarter inch, he's an elite prospect as he is. He has an unusually advanced feel for the game as a freshman, understanding offensive concepts, like passing the ball to open shooters first, penetrating and dishing, pulling up for mid-range jumpers, throwing outlet passes – things that kids this age don't generally know how to do. His lefty shot need some refinement, but it goes down more often than not as it is. Defensively, he has enough quickness now, as a freshman, to guard wings, but he also is a good post defender and excellent shot blocker. He rebounds very well, getting everything near him with excellent hands. If he continues to develop, he should be one of the elite prospects in the country for 2012.