Evals from Pump Spring Classic

With so many events going on across the country, the Pump Spring Classic didn't have a ton of big-time prospects. But there were some interesting guys to watch, including Jordan McLaughlin, London Perrantes and Casey Benson, among others...

London Perrantes, 6-0 PG Encino (Calif.) Crespi. Perrantes had a solid showing in Las Vegas, but he's definitely a player that will show better in real games. The rag-tag nature of club ball doesn't give him the opportunity to really highlight his strengths as a player. He's a true PG, with an exceptional feel for the game, and he's at his best when he can run a team. In club ball, far too often you see players trying to make plays for themselves. Perrantes has terrific vision, with great passing ability, and he's a capable three-point threat. He's just an average athlete, but his overall skill package makes him the top point guard prospect in the west for 2013.

Kendall Smith, 6-0 PG Antioch (Calif.) Deer Valley. Smith was a pleasant surprise in the tournament as he showed good athleticism, a nice feel, an ability to create his own shot and make plays for his teammates. He's got a bit of a low release on his shot, but he knocked down several in the course of the tournament. He consistently made good decisions when he got in the lane. He's one of the better point guards in the class out west.

Jelani Mitchell, 6-3 PG/SG Pasadena (Calif.) Muir. A good-looking lefty with a terrific frame and very good length, Mitchell was solid in the games I saw. He plays on a team with a couple guys that dominate the ball, so he didn't have the opportunity to make a lot of plays and showcase his play-making ability. But he's a good defender, he plays within a team concept, makes good decisions and there's a very nice upside with his tools. He will knock down enough jumpers to keep defenders honest, but he's not what you would call a shooter. He might not be in the best situation to showcase his ability, but he's one to watch in the future.

Sam Finley, 6-0 SG/PG Corona (Calif.) Centennial. Finley is another prospect that looks better in real basketball than club basketball. On his high school team this year, he made very good decisions, knocked down mid range shots and showed an above average feel. In this tournament, though, he forced the action and over-penetrated far too often. He's a nice athlete, with the ability to get his own shot, but he needs to understand that he doesn't have to get to the rim each time he penetrates. He's got a nice shot in the 15-17 foot range, but does need to improve from three-point range. He's a very solid prospect, though, and just needs to let the game come to him.

Michael Thomas, 6-6 PF Woodland Hills (Calif.) El Camino Real. A good-looking lefty with length and a nice stroke, Thomas doesn't yet realize how he good he can be. He had just a so-so showing in the first two days, but he's got a nice upside. He's a bit undersized at the four, but his athleticism, body and skill level project to a very nice prospect down the road.

Tanner Lancona, 6-8 PF Tesoro (Calif.) High. Lancona is a fairly skilled lefty with range to 17-19 feet and good ball skills overall. He's got a nice frame, with decent length, good hands and he moves well for his size. He's got the tools to be a good player, but needs to play with more physicality and toughness. He's got the size to do damage inside, but far too often he doesn't convert around the basket and he's just a fair rebounder. He's a very interesting prospect if he can become more of a presence inside at both ends of the court.

Jeremy Major, 5-10 PG Pasadena (Calif.) Maranatha. Committed to Pepperdine, Major is a very good athlete, with above average quickness and a good burst in the open court. He's got solid ball skills overall, but can get into trouble when he ventures into the lane against size. His decision-making was decent in the games I saw and that would appear to be an area where he needs to improve. He didn't shoot a lot of jumpers, as he appeared more comfortable trying to take his man off the dribble. At his size, he will need to become a more consistent shooter from the perimeter.

Everett Turner, 6-0 PG/SG Ontario (Calif.) Colony. A good athlete with a nice frame, Turner did a little bit of everything in the games I saw. A good, not great, athlete, Turner looks to be something of a combo guard. He's a good defender, with an adequate stroke to the stripe and he generally made good decisions.

Jordan McLaughlin, 5-11 PG Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) Etiwanda. McLaughlin had a terrific showing in the games I saw, demonstrating explosive athleticism and very good offensive skills. He's not real big, but he's got very impressive leaping ability and good quickness. He's very hard to guard, with the ability to get in the lane at will and deep range on his shot. He's got a very impressive step-back shot for a high school sophomore. He doesn't have a real big frame, but his arms are pretty long for his size. His shot selection was a bit dicey at times, but it's almost understandable given his ability to score in bunches from anywhere on the court. He's one of the two elite PGs in the west for 2014, along with Parker Jackson-Cartwright.

Casey Benson, 6-2 PG Tempe (Ariz.) Corona Del Sol. A lefty with a terrific feel and nice stroke to the stripe, Benson is a very good young prospect. He doesn't look the part, with an average body and fair athleticism, but he's got a lot of nice components to his game. He has excellent vision and passing ability, very good instincts at both ends of the court (made a number of impressive steals), and he competes very well. I only saw him play one game, but came away impressed with his potential.

Chase Jeter, 6-8 C/PF Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman. A baby-faced kid with length and decent ball skills, Jeter showed nice potential in the game I saw. He's still growing into his body, and lacks strength, but he moved pretty well. He's got the beginnings of a low-post game and showed a nice touch on a few shots out to 15 feet. He's just a young pup, and may not be done growing yet, but he's got a nice upside.


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