First Period Recap: 2015 & 2016

There were developments with younger UCLA prospects last weekend, including some offers and some elite players emerging...

For Greg Hicks' evaluation of the UCLA prospects he saw at Los Angeles event this last weekend, including those in the 2014, 2015 and 2016 classes, go here.

UCLA assistant coach Duane Broussard spent the entire first Eval Period at the Peach Jame in South Carolina, and in doing so watched quite a few 2015 prospects.

On the viewing agenda for 2015 in South Carolina were:

Ivan Rabb, the post from NorCal, ranked #3 in the nation, who UCLA has offered, was a top priority.

Aaron Holiday, the 6-0 combo guard from North Hollywood ranked #31, who UCLA has offered, played well in South Carolina, often times leading his Cal Supreme team.

Bennie Boatwright, the 6-7 power forward from Mission Hills UCLA has offered, ranked #51, was either hot or cold shooting from three. In one game he hit 6 of 9, and in another he went 2 for 10.

Chimezie Metu, the 6-8 power forward from Lawndale, had some moments, showing his athleticism getting off the floor and moving his feet, especially rebounding the ball and blocking shots.

Isaiah Briscoe, the 6-1 combo guard from New Jersey, the #27 player in the nation, is thought to be heavily leaning to Arizona.

UCLA assistant Ed Schilling attended the adidas Invitational, and after just one day at the event, UCLA offered Carlton Bragg, the 6-8 power forward from Ohio ranked #12 in the nation. Bragg had been on the west coast for the Pangos All-American Camp in early June and then unofficially visited UCLA.

Stephen Zimmerman, the nation's #1 prospect for 2015, was certainly Schilling's first priority in Indy, catching every one of Dream Vision's games.

UCLA also offered Jalen Coleman, the 6-4 shooting guard prospect from La Porte (Ind.), the #34-ranked player in the national class of 2015. Schilling knows Coleman from coaching high school in Indiana.

Tyler Dorsey, the 6-3 combo guard from Los Angeles, played with Belmont Shore in the Pangos Sweet 16, and had a very good weekend. His size and motor really bothered Jordan McLaughlin, the 5-11 2014 point guard and UCLA target, in their head-to-head match-up.

Jeremy Hemsley, the 6-3 guard from LaVerne, continued to emerge as one of the best in the west for 2013. UCLA assistant David Grace watched him Sunday, and Hemsley showed why he's considered such an elite prospect. He is a bit reminiscent of Jrue Holiday, with a similar body type, athleticism and motor. His quickness in his first step is lightning. You can probably expect UCLA to get on Hemsley pretty strongly. Hemsley has a connection with UNLV, and the Running Rebels have already offered. He also said that Connecticut, Boston College, New Mexico, and San Diego State had offered.

Michael Oguine, the 6-0 point guard from West Hills, also was impressive all weekend, and in front of Grace. Oguine is an exceptional athlete who can get around defenders easily and has one of the prettiest outside jumpers. He's also a great student with interest from the Ivies.

Ray Smith, the 6-6 small forward from Las Vegas, is one of the best-looking young prospects in the west. The athletic Smith is impressive in almost any setting and Saturday was no different. The rising junior always plays hard and in this game it led to a lot of blocked shots on defense and lay-ups in transition on the other end. Smith is still developing as a shooter, but he did step out and hit a three. He's a good player now but given that long body and athleticism it's exciting to think about what he could be in a year, with the potential to really take his game to another level.

Chance Comanche, the 6-10 center from Los Angeles, ranked #25 for 2015, C, continues to improve just about every time you see him. His footwork has gotten better, as well as his ability to finish with both hands. What was the most impressive was his improving toughness; when other players got into him, pushed him, even stepped on him, he didn't take anything from anyone, without losing his cool. The kid stepped up to the challenge and showed a lot of toughness he hadn't shown before. There have been noticeable strides in Comanche's game over the last two years and this weekend he continued that. Comanche said that USC, Arizona, Oregon and Colorado have offered.

Isaiah Thomas, 6-8 center, Oakland: Watching Thomas in April in one viewing, he was clearly an intriguing talent who required more viewings. Seeing him again, he cemented his standing as a good young prospect. Thomas has favorable size and length, nice hands, finished with his left and right hand in the paint, rebounded well, blocked shots, finished above the rim and dropped in a right-handed hook. He's already can play but just scratching the surface of what he's capable of.

Josh Palmer, 6-6 small forward, Woodland Hills: Palmer transferred to SoCal from Memphis and sat out last season following a health issue, but has since been cleared and played well this weekend. An athletic small forward at 6-foot-6, Palmer played hard, got out in transition and finished above the rim several times, hit a three off the catch, scored on the offensive glass and defended very well, coming up with multiple steals. He's definitely a prospect to watch for 2015.

Austin Armstead, 6-2, Fresno (Calif.) Bullard. Armstead is a big point guard, could be even 6-3, and he has a chance. He has solid handle for his size, and good quickness. His scoring ability is a bit undeveloped, but you have to like the way he looks for his teammates first. He is very good at slipping passes through traffic into a teammate's hands as well as the lost-art of the entry pass. He might not end up UCLA level, but he's someone to watch.

2016

Using its Indiana connections, UCLA is recruiting Eron Gordon, the 6-2 shooting guard from Indianapolis North Central and younger brother of Eric Gordon. Apparently, Steve Alford and Gordon's father are friends.

Lonzo Ball, 6-3 PG Chino Hills (Calif.) High. Ball put on a show in the one game I saw him play, knocking down shots from all over the court and also doing a terrific job of running his team. You don't see many point guards with his scoring ability that will also give up the ball so willingly. He does an excellent job of advancing the ball in transition with the pass. Assuming normal development, he should be one of the elite players in the country for 2016.

Trevor Stanback, 6-9 C West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade. Stanback had plenty of good moments in the last week, but he's another example of a post player that looks better with his high school team. He gets more touches with Chaminade and the pace of the game is different. That being said, Stanback was tough to handle in the paint as he's developed a very nice low post game at a young age. He's got a good jump hook and he can score going to either shoulder. He still has some maturing to do physically obviously, but he's on track to be one of the elite big men in the west, and possibly nationally, for 2016.

T.J. Leaf, the 6-7 power forward from El Cajon (Calif.) Foothills Christian, played in the adidas Invitational last week during the first July Evaluation Period, and this is what Scout.com's Brian Snow had to say about him:

T.J. Leaf, SF/PF, Compton Magic – Though his team lost in the finals, Leaf was the best player on the floor. Leaf is a good shooter from deep, but it is his ability to use his size as a big wing that is so impressive. He consistently took players off the dribble from the three point line and finished over them with size and a good touch. Also he rebounded fairly well, and overall was impossible to stop on the offensive end.

Tuesday Afternoon Update: UCLA has offered Leaf.

Isiah Brown, PG: This rising sophomore point guard was playing at the Fullcourt Press All-West Showcase and didn't disappoint. A talented passer who did a nice job driving and dishing, Brown also hit three-pointers off the bounce and catch and had a couple two-dribble pull-up jumpers. Brown had a good first step, which he used to get to the basket, where he made some acrobatic finishes. He's a young point guard to watch. Brown says UCLA has shown interest, while Washington has offered. Others showing interest: USC, Arizona, Oregon, Oregon State, Cal, Stanford, Rice and Gonzaga.

Donovan Mitchell, PF, Team Superstar 15U: It's just the first day of the July period, but Mitchell may be the most exciting 2016 West Coast prospect that emerges all month. First, some background: He's 6-foot-7, has grown four inches in the past year, his father is 6-foot-7 and mother is over 6-feet - both were professional athletes - and the kid is expected to keep getting taller. He's a volleyball player who will miss the next two Eval Period weekends due to Team USA obligations, a great accomplishment considering he's only played volleyball for two years.

The background all checks out whether he can play or not, but thankfully he has game as well. Mitchell plays hard, can guard the perimeter and post, moves his feet well for a kid his size who is still growing, has a nice frame with good length, was active on defense and used his quick hands and anticipation to come up with steals, rebounded outside his area, blocked shots and scored both in the post and facing the basket. The kid is a terrific prospect at this stage.

Cameron Scatterwhite, SG, Arizona Power 15U: A long wing with a good frame, Scatterwhite is a very good athlete with quick hands and feet. He has impressive lateral quickness and used his physical intangibles to defend very well on the ball, also coming away with several steals. Scatterwhite hit from outside and showed good body control cutting to the basket. He's a good young prospect.


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