Southern California Hoops Roundup

Scout analyst Evan Daniels spent this past week checking out 2015, 2016, and 2017 prospects throughout Southern California...

The first game of my Los Angeles area swing over the next seven days was Los Angeles Windward at Chatsworth (Calif.) Sierra Canyon, which consists of a number of high profile prospects spanning a couple of different classes.

Behind a 17-point, 12-rebound effort from 2017 power forward Cody Riley, Sierra Canyon knocked off Windward by a score of 69-54.

Riley dominates paint

Shortly after the tip, Riley, a 6-foot-7 freshman, began to dominate the painted area.

Riley was a menace on the glass, as he pursued rebounds in and out of his area with aggression. He's strong, tough, goes after the ball with two hands and is quick reacting to the ball off the rim.

On offense, Riley showed promise. Around the rim, Riley is efficient and scores it well through contact, especially with his dominant hand, which is his left. Of his seven field goals a pair were from put backs.

Riley is also a good shooter, especially from mid-range. He knocked in one 15-footer off the catch and another pull-up from 20-feet. He misfired on both of his two three-point attempts, but it's a shot he's capable of making off the catch.

Obviously it's early in Riley's high school career, but at this stage he's a productive power forward that will be recruited at the high major level.

Ramsey developing as a lead guard

Following the game Devearl Ramsey told that his main concern this season was adjusting to the point guard position.

After my third viewing of him this season, I think it's safe to say Ramsey is adjusting quite well. Ramsey has impressive leadership qualities, plays with toughness and is showing a nice blend of creating and scoring.

"My strengths are that I can score at will and I'm more of a penetrator that can get to the rack," Ramsey said. "I get my teammates open. I'm a good defensive player that can lock down the full length of the court and I'm becoming more of a leader too. It's all coming around."

Although Ramsey was somewhat quiet in the first half on Tuesday, he ramped up his effort in the second session. He created for teammates, was active on the defensive end recording a trio of steals and knocked down one deep three-pointer.

Ramsey, a 5-foot-11 lead guard, has very good speed. He's able to play fast and in transition, but also can function in the half court. He's constantly looking to attack the defense and is able to get paint touches when he needs to.

Ramsey's speed also helps him on the defensive end, where he has potential as an on the ball defender. He moves very well laterally and clearly takes pride in being a pest to the opposition.

Ramsey, who holds scholarship offers from USC and Washington, scored nine points and tossed out five assists to just one turnover in the win over Windward.

Lee is one to keep an eye on

Another prospect on Sierra Canyon that will have plenty of college options in a few years is 2017 power forward Ira Lee.

Where Lee, a 6-foot-6, 210-pounder, stood out on Tuesday was on the backboard and in the paint. Lee plays with terrific energy and is especially effective as a rebounder and shot contester.

Lee is always quick to the ball and is active. He jumps well and has a long set of arms that allow him to get to shot attempts.

Offensively, Lee showed good hands and touch around the basket. He missed his only mid-range jump shot attempt, but the form on his shot looked fine. Lee finished with nine points in the win.

Harris a bright spot for Windward

Although his team fell by double-digits, 6-foot-1 freshman Jaylen Harris appeared to be a bright spot for Windward.

Harris has an impressive frame with long arms. He has good speed, is a solid all around athlete and is a good finisher at the rim. Harris attempted to push the tempo and was able to score five field goals at the rim in transition.

A southpaw, Harris has a unique jump shot, and despite his low release, he connected on three three-pointers. He didn't attempt any mid-range pull-ups, but did toss in a floater on one of his drives.

I also liked that Harris competed on both ends. Harris took pride in playing defense, moved his feet well and showed toughness.

Harris led Windward with 25 points. 

Day Two

The second day of my week road trip through Los Angeles and the surrounding area landed me in La Verne for Damien's match up with Chino Hills.

Lonzo Ball and Jeremy Hemsley were the headliners, but it was Bishop Mency and his 18 points that stood out in Chino Hills' 85-53 win.

Ball wanted to stay home

Lonzo Ball's early college commitment caught many off guard.

But the 2016 prospect told on Wednesday following Chino Hills' win over Damien that he had intentions of playing his college basketball near home and he didn't see a reason to delay the process.

"I knew I wanted to stay home," Ball told "UCLA is right here. I went up there and talked to Coach. They wanted me to come. We went to a few games and saw the way they were playing and I just made my decision."

"They were just coming at me hard and I wanted to go," he added. "So I went. They gave me some free tickets to go to the game and I checked them out and their style of play is nice."

Ball said he's developed strong bonds with both Alford and one of UCLA's assistant coaches.

"Me and coach Alford are tight so are me and David Grace," Ball said.

Ball, who ranks among's top 25 players in the 2016 class, is an impressive guard prospect and is a significant early pick up for the Bruins.

On Wednesday, Ball didn't need to do much, as his team overwhelmed Damien. Still, Ball showed flashes of his talent. He took just four shots, hitting three of them, including one three-pointer from 28-feet.

Ball scored his other field goals at the rim. Ball also has impressive court vision and is a talented passer.

Hemsley struggles, but shows potential

When evaluating prospects, you have to keep in mind that bad games and bad shooting performances happen.

So while it was a tad disappointing to see Jeremy Hemsley, a 6-foot-3 guard at La Verne (Calif.) Damien, go 3-for-19 from the field, it was still easy to see why he's so highly regarded.

What stands out about Hemsley his ability to play both guard positions. He has a high skill level and handles the ball well. He has a good basketball IQ, vision and is also a good passer. Hemsley also changes speeds well.

"I think I see myself as a combo guard or any position I need to play to help my team win," he said. "It doesn't really matter to me what position I play."

Hemsley got into some trouble trying to do a little too much against Chino Hills. Now he didn't have much help, so he was in a predicament. While he only hit a pair of shots from mid-range on Wednesday, he appears quite comfortable pulling up from there.

After the game, Hemsley said he's brings versatility to the table.

"I think I bring a little bit of everything," Hemsley said when asked to describe his game. "I think I bring more of a leader type role but I didn't really show that tonight. Usually I bring a leader type role and I try to make my teammates better."

Hemsley, a four-star prospect, finished with 10 points in the loss. 

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