West Coast Camps Showcase New Talent

It's the time of year when big-time prospects get discovered or blow up, and this year is no exception, with junior forward Artem Wallace, junior point guard Mario Chalmers and a talented 6-11 freshman center all getting big exposure this month...

Here’s a look at some of the most notable players who have participated in the West Coast All-Star Camps #1 and #2 and the Fullcourt Press All-West Camp.

Lorenzo Wade. This year, Artem Wallace stands out as a man among boys. Big and strong, Wallace has very good hands and nimble feet. Very agile for his size and explosive off the floor â€" he’s thrown down several vicious dunks. He’s got a great feel around the basket â€" good footwork -- and can score with either hand. He’ll step outside and knock down shots from 15-18 feet with regularity. He’s got a good feel for the game and he plays hard all the time. He will be a strong candidate for the top post prospect in the 2005 class on the West Coast.

Richard Philips, 6-6 JR SF Seattle (Wash.) Franklin. Another guy who should be at a shoe camp this week, Philips is an explosive forward who plays like a four but will likely end up at the three. He’s got a decent shot out to about fifteen feet, a pretty good handle and a huge upside. Not a finished product, but a terrific prospect. Don’t be surprised if multiple high majors are on him at the end of this month.

Jonathan Gibson, 5-11 JR PG West Covina (Calif.) High. Reminds us of Aaron Brooks at the same stage. Great frame â€" long arms and fairly muscular. Not quite as polished as Brooks was, but explosive quicks, very good handle and a nice stroke. Decision-making, shot selection still need to get better, but he’ll be a candidate for best 2005 point guard in the west. A high major prospect.

Mario Chalmers, 6-1 JR PG Anchorage (Alaska) Bartlett. Great body, very good athlete and very skilled. Right now, he gets the nod as the top West Coast point guard in 2005. More of a scorer than distributor, he could end up playing either guard spot down the road. An elite, high major prospect.

Lawrence Hill, 6-7 JR PF Phoenix (Ariz.) Deer Valley. Long and mobile forward with a versatile game. Live body, long arms. Steps out to shoot it from the stripe, but will also post up in the low block. Plays with great energy. Rebounds, defends â€" covers a lot of ground. Stroke needs to be quickened up a bit. A potential high major prospect with excellent academics.

Ryan Thornton, 6-0 JR PG Sacramento (Calif.) Capital Christian. Strong and quick, long arms, explosive athleticism. Nice stroke and can get his shot when he wants it. Fundamentals and decisions need work â€" leaves his feet too often â€" but a very nice upside. Potential high major prospect.

Alex Stepheson, 6-8 SO PF North Hollywood (Calif.) Harvard-Westlake. Great-looking young post who moves very well. Doesn’t show a lot of explosiveness off the floor, but that may come in the future. Long arms, good hands, very coordinated for a young big. Can handle and pass, shoots it decent to 12-15 feet. A potential elite, high major prospect.

Bennie Rhodes, 6-5 SO PG Alameda (Calif.) St. Joseph Notre Dame. Long, skinny young guard with upside. Good athlete, moves easy, nice hops. Skills are still rough around the edges, but handles it pretty well and can step outside to the stripe. Could end up a two down the road. Potential high major prospect.

Khelcy Barrs, 6-5 SO SF Lawndale (Calif.) Leuzinger. Very intriguing young wing with a great, live body and a good stroke. Very nice upside.

Charles Anderson, 6-5 SO SF Bakersfield (Calif.) High. Great body, big feet and a baby face. Still growing into his body, skills need refinement, but a decent looking shot and a big upside.

Alex Jacobson, 6-11 FR C Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco. A terrific young post that you’ll be hearing a lot about in the future. Great hands, good frame, outstanding feel for the game, excellent passer and a very good touch around the basket. With development, he’ll be able to play at any school in the country four years from now.

Pierce Brooks, 6-6 FR SF Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft. Good looking young kid with a slender frame and huge feet. Could grow into a four eventually, but shows good ball skills and a pretty nice shot out to the stripe. Nice feel for the game. A potential high major prospect who could end up very good in a few years. Keep in mind he goes to Jordan Farmar's high school and Farmar knows him well.

Tyrone Shelley, 6-6 FR SF La Mesa (Calif.) Christian. Long, lean, athletic and very skilled, Shelley is among the best players we’ve seen in the class of 2007.


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