Scout on the Road in the West

We've been on the road evaluating talent in the west in the last week, including senior guard Deonte Burton, elite junior post Angelo Chol, and two potentially elite sophomores from Northern California...

Los Angeles, Calif.Our latest evaluations on some of the top West Coast prospects we've seen in recent weeks…

Richard Solomon, 6-8 PF/C Los Angeles (Calif.) Price. Solomon is an intriguing prospect with the physical attributes to be a solid player at the next level. Long and lanky, Solomon is agile for a big man and he's a good athlete overall. He's starting to develop a nice face up shot to 15 feet or so. His low-post game is still fairly rudimentary, but he's got good feet and he's quick for his size. Strength is still an issue, but his frame is fine and he should fill out well. His focus can waver at times – commits some silly fouls – but there is definitely an upside. He's committed to Cal.

Allen Crabbe, 6-6 SF Los Angeles (Calif.) Price. Crabbe has filled out in the last year and he now projects as more of a small forward than shooting guard. He's got a solid frame and he should get pretty strong after a year or two in a college weight room. He's a decent athlete, but not especially explosive or quick. For those reasons, he needs to improve his ball-handling on the perimeter. He sometimes has problems when faced with quickness and creating his own shot can become a struggle when facing a high level athlete. However, Crabbe does have a good stroke and he's an above-average shooter to the stripe. He has a good feel for the game, but does need to play with a little more physicality. He doesn't project as an immediate impact guy at the next level, but he should be a solid player over four years in college. He's committed to Cal.

Deonte Burton, 6-1 SG Compton (Calif.) Centennial. Burton has improved considerably since the summer, as he has become a much more consistent shooter and improved his ability to get to the rim. Burton has good quickness and strength, which should give him some defensive versatility at the next level. While you'd like to project him as a point guard at the next level, his approach and skill package is more that of a shooting guard. He has a scorer's mentality and he is capable of putting up points in a hurry when he gets hot. Shot selection can be a bit shaky at times, but it's not too bad overall. Burton is a good competitor and he plays with very good energy. He didn't sign with anyone in the fall and it looks like he could end up with possibly a few high major offers by spring. UCLA is looking at him very seriously and could offer.

Angelo Chol, 6-7 C/PF San Diego (Calif.) Hoover. Chol continues to develop and he's one of the elite big men in the West Coast class of 2011. A lefty with a great basketball body, and above average athleticism, Chol projects as a guy that will likely defend the four and five at the next level. He's a very good shot blocker (very quick off the floor), but he has the lateral quickness to defend on the perimeter as well. He's very comfortable playing in the paint and his offensive game is more that of a five man at this time. He's got a terrific little jump hook, as well as a good feel in the post. He's an above average passer too, which makes it frustrating to see his teammates struggle to get him the ball. He's a willing passer and he finds teammates consistently when they get him the ball. Chol does need to develop his right hand. If he does so, he will be extremely difficult to defend in the paint as opponents will no longer be able to overplay his left hand. He's showing signs of developing a nice face up shot out to about 17 feet. His stroke is still a bit long, but he's got a nice touch and the ball comes off his hand fine. Chol has shown consistent progress in the last three years and there's no reason to think he won't continue to develop into a very good player at the next level. Chol is one of the few 2011 prospects UCLA has offered.

Brandon Ashley, 6-8 PF Oakland (Calif.) Bishop O'Dowd. Ashley has taken a major leap forward as a prospect since the summer. A good athlete with a very good basketball body, Ashley has started to grow into that body and he's now making plays around the rim that he couldn't make a year ago. He has very good hands and feet, with very impressive body control/agility for a big kid. He still looks very young as well – it won't be surprising if he grows some more. He has an advanced feel for the game and a terrific approach. He's got a nice frame and he will be even more difficult to deal with as he adds weight and strength. With continued development, he projects as one of the elite players in the country for 2012.

Richard Longrus, 6-6 SF Oakland (Calif.) Bishop O'Dowd. In an era of where young players believe they need to shoot the ball a lot in order to get noticed, Longrus is a joy to watch. He's one of the best high school defenders I've seen in a while and he can change a game with his defense. He's not quite as big (yet) as Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, but he's got some similarities to the former Bruin. He's got a unique combination of size, strength and quickness, as well as possessing a terrific motor and the ability to defend multiple positions on the floor. His offensive game is still evolving, but he's got a decent stroke and his ball skills overall are solid. With continued development, Longrus will be one of the elite players in the west for 2012.

Skyler Spencer, 6-7 PF Los Angeles (Calif.) Price. Spencer is another very intriguing prospect in the class of 2012. He's got a terrific body and above average athleticism. His offensive skills are still coming, but he can impact the game right now with his defense and rebounding. He shows signs of becoming an above average shot-blocker. He moves very well for a young, big kid and he plays with good energy. He still has a ways to go, but he has a chance to be a very good player down the road.

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