Nike EYBL, with UCLA Perspective

Some of the most talented players in the country were on hand at the Nike EYBL this last weekend in Los Angeles. Here's our look at some of the west coast prospects, and the guys UCLA is recruiting, in or outside of the west, who participated in the event...

Hawthorne, Calif.The Nike EYBL event in Los Angeles featured several players of potential interest to UCLA…

Jahii Carson, 5-11 PG Mesa (Ariz.) High. Carson has emerged as the top point guard in the west for 2011 and he was impressive at this event. Although he's not real tall, Carson is well put together for his size, with above average quickness. He has the ability to create for his teammates, or get his own shot, and he does a good job of staying on the floor to make plays. With his quickness and strength, he has a chance to be a good defender at the next level. His shot is solid to the stripe and he's adept at getting his shot off in traffic as well. Carson and his parents visited UCLA after the event.

Josh Richardson, 6-5 SF Edmond (OK) Edmond Santa Fe. A big-time athlete with a prototype wing body, Richardson was extremely impressive. While he's not a point guard, he played a lot of point guard this weekend due to his team's regular PG being out with an injury. His ball skills and ability to create off the dribble are impressive, as is his ability to finish inside. He's just an adequate shooter at this time, but it doesn't look broke. He's good laterally and projects as a potential elite defender with the ability to defend multiple spots at the next level. Richardson's parents visited UCLA after the event and there's a good chance he will attend UCLA's Advanced Skills Camp at the end of June. I'd like to watch him some more but, off of a couple games, he looks like a potential elite prospect.

Branden Dawson, 6-5 PF Gary (Ind.) Lew Wallace. Dawson is an undersized power forward with a power game. A very good leaper, Dawson plays with strength and power – there's not much finesse to his game. While there was some thought that he might play the three at the next level, I don't see it. He doesn't have good perimeter ball skills and everything he gets done is around the basket. His best attribute as a player is his ability to rebound. He's a very good rebounder, particularly on the offensive glass. But if you're projecting him as a small forward, he's below average in terms of his shooting, passing and dribbling ability. Defensively, it's an open question as to whether or not he will defend on the perimeter at a high level. I'm not saying he can't – I just don't know based on what I saw this weekend.

Jabari Brown, 6-3 SG Oakland (Calif.) High. Brown has improved quite a bit in the last year. A big, strong kid, Brown has a sweet stroke to the stripe and a nice mid-range game. He's a good, not great, athlete. Like a lot of young kids, he could focus a bit more at the defensive end of the court. But he'll no doubt improve in that area over time and he projects as a very good scorer at the next level. He's definitely one of elite two-guards in the west for 2011.

Gary Bell, 6-1 PG/SG Kent (Wash.) Kentridge. Bell is definitely more of a combo than a point guard, but he's a very solid prospect regardless of position. He's a strong kid with deceptive athleticism and he's able to score inside against contact. When he gets his feet set he's a very accurate shooter from distance. Nice, compact stroke and good shot selection. He should be a very good player for Gonzaga.

Hikeem Stewart, 6-2 SG/PG Seattle (Wash.) Rainier Beach. Stewart is a good-looking prospect with a basketball body and above average athleticism. He's got a solid stroke to the three-point line and the ability to create his own shot. He's definitely more of a scoring lead guard than true point, but he has a chance to play both guard spots the next level. He's a likely high major prospect.

Austin Kuemper, 6-9 C Portland (Ore.) Westview. This was my first look at Kuemper and he was impressive. His body and athleticism are just average, but he's got good ball skills and a very good feel for the game. He'll likely be recruited at the high major level.

Nick Johnson, 6-1 SG Las Vegas (Nev.) Findlay Prep. Johnson has filled out quite a bit in the last year and he's quite a bit thicker than he was last summer. He's still very bouncy, though, and he gets good lift on his jump shot. At times he over-handled a bit at this event and decision-making was an issue at times. But he played with good energy in the games I saw and was generally solid. He's a likely high major prospect.

Josiah Turner, 6-1 PG Sacramento (Calif.) High. Turner is one of the better passers in the west, but his game and approach lack focus at this time. He shoots it decently to 16-18 feet, but his decision-making and shot-selection could be better. He also needs to make more of an effort at the defensive end of the court. He's a fairly good athlete, but not super explosive. Overall, Turner remains an intriguing prospect, but he does need to sharpen up his game in a number of areas.

Brandon Ashley, 6-8 PF/C Oakland (Calif.) Bishop O'Dowd. Ashley shows all the signs of becoming a big-time player down the road. He's got a terrific body, with long arms and a very good frame. For a young post player, he has exceptional agility and body control. He's adept at scoring around the basket and he's an above-average defender already. Ashley has a great approach to the game and plays with unusual poise and maturity for a sophomore. With continued development, he will be one of the elite prospects in the country for 2012.

Richard Longrus, 6-6 SF Oakland (Calif.) Bishop O'Dowd. Ashley has received a little more attention to date, but Longrus is a big-time prospect in his own right. He reminds some observers of Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. A great defender, Longrus has a the strength and quickness to guard multiple positions. He plays with great energy at the both ends of the court. He's also developed a jump shot in the last year and he knocked down a couple threes at this event. If he can do that consistently, Longrus has a chance to be one of the top forwards in the class for 2012.

Anrio Adams, 6-1 SG Seattle (Wash.) Franklin. Adams has a good body and he's a very good athlete with some intriguing skills. However, his approach to the game needs work. He loses his poise quite often and his game lacks focus. He's got some positive attributes to work with, but he needs to work on controlling his emotions and making better decisions on the court.


Bruin Report Online Top Stories