Las Vegas: Day Two, Part A

Darin Johnson

LAS VEGAS -- During the second day in Las Vegas I spent nearly 14 hours at Bishop Gorman taking in the action at the Fab 48. Darin Johnson, one of the breakout performers of July, stood out, as did Bryce Alford, Keith Frazier and Detrick Mostella.

Darin Johnson, SF, PHPS Elite – During The Opening evaluation period, Johnson, a 6-foot-5 wing, caught my eye. His athleticism and jump shot stood out then and this time around at the Fab 48 it was much of the same. He plays well in transition, but is also a confident enough shooter where he can make shots off the catch to 22-feet, or pursue off the dribble shot opportunities. He's one of the hotter names on the west coast and is starting to reel in PAC-12 scholarship offers.

Dwayne Benjamin, SF, PHPS Elite – Johnson and Dakarai Allen get most of the ink for PHPS, but the 6-foot-6 Benjamin is certainly starting to earn it. A high level athlete, Benjamin is capable of highlight reel slams and impressive plays in transition, but where he impacted the game against Team Loaded the most was with his jump shot. He pumped in a half dozen three-pointers with all but one coming off the catch.

Troy Caupain, PG, Team Loaded – In a loss to Play Hard Play Smart, Caupain, a 6-foot-2 strongly built guard, played well. He made plays in transition, finished well around the rim and defended well. He moves his feet well on the defensive end and blocked a pair of shot attempts off the backboard. He didn't show his jump shot, but was able to do some things going towards the rim.

Kentan Facey, PF, New Rens – Attention is picking up for Facey and I certainly saw the value on Thursday. At 6-foot-8, possibly 6-9, Facey runs the floor with ease and is a very good athlete. His activity level was high Thursday morning, as he rebounded in and out of his area and looked to contest shot attempts in the paint. Offensively, he's not real polished, but if defenders aren't careful he will take a drop off pass or an offensive board and flush it.

London Perrantes, PG, Double Pump Elite 2013 – Early on against Dallas Showtyme, Perrantes, a 6-foot-1 guard, controlled the game with his pace and ability to distribute the basketball. He has terrific vision and is a very good passer. While he showed his mid-range shot and made a couple of plays at the rim, the best parts about his game are his feel and ability to find teammates for open looks.

Bryce Alford, SG/PG, Danny Granger – The son of Steve Alford had quite a game in a loss to the Bay Area Hoosiers. Although he cooled a little late, Alford went for 29 points and managed to get baskets from all three levels. He has a strong handle, can pull-up on a dime and finds ways to finish around the basket. Alford is a combination guard that competes on both ends of the floor.

Detrick Mostella, SG, Southeast Elite – At the beginning of the month at RBK Breakout Camp, Mostella impressed with his ability to put up points in a hurry. In a battle with Team Breakdown he showed much of the same. At 6-foot-3, Mostella is a tremendous athlete that can make plays at the rim, but he's also a pretty good shooter that has range and can make difficult shots off the dribble.

Keith Frazier, SG, DJH5 – With Frazier, he's capable of turning up his energy level and scoring in an instant and that happened against the WI Playmakers Thursday evening. Frazier buried six three-pointers in the second half, but also worked in floaters and plus one finishes at the rim. His range is deep and he's comfortable creating shot opportunities for himself off the dribble. He finished with 33 points in a loss to the Playmakers.

Matt Thomas, SG, WI Playmakers – At the NY2LA Summer Jam, Thomas was tremendous from a shooting standpoint, but he also proved he could do some things with the ball in his hands. In a tight game against DJH5, Thomas not only pumped in five three-pointers, but also dropped in a 15-foot pull-up, a floater and a few buckets at the rim. A true competitor, Thomas, who is committed to Iowa State, plays hard on both ends and made an effort to hit the glass today. He went for 28 points and nine rebounds.

Emmanuel Mudiay, PG, Texas Select – His development as a point guard is coming along. Last week Mudiay dominated games in Milwaukee with his vision. On Thursday, up against Prodigy Elite, Mudiay showed great pace, made good decisions with the basketball and knocked down open shot opportunities. Mudiay has learned how to play under control and has cut down on silly turnovers. One of the true elite point guards in the country, Mudiay is improving and at 6-foot-3 with his athleticism and speed, that's scary for the competition.

Horace Spencer, PF, Gymrats – During an 8:00 a.m. game against Team Compton, Spencer, a 6-foot-8 forward, made plays in the paint. He aggressively looked to score when he got touches on the block and pursued rebounds harder than anyone on the floor. Blessed with a solid frame, a body that is getting stronger and very good athleticism, Spencer, who said he's yet to collect a scholarship offer, is a very good-looking long-term prospect.

*Austin Nichols struggled to finish plays, especially in the first half against Net Gain Sports. In the second half to get going a little, Nichols ran the floor and had back-to-back finishes in transition.

*Rashad Vaughn is one of the better scorers in the 2014 recruiting class. He has deep range on his jump shot. He hit a couple long balls against M33M Elite, but also worked in buckets at the rim.

* Cullen Neal, a St. Mary's commit, can do quite a bit on the floor, but what stuck out on Thursday was his passing ability. He sees the floor well and makes the appropriate pass. He

*In an evening game against Texas Select, Jordan McLaughlin struggled to get his shots to go down. Late in the game he did hit a three and managed a few floaters in the lane. The 2014 point guard has an extra burst of speed and is an impressive athlete.

*Darin Johnson said he has a scholarhip offer from the entire PAC-12, except for California, Arizona and UCLA. He also cited offers from UTEP, Gonzaga, San Diego State, plus interest from Virginia Tech.

*Dakarai Allen has strong interest from San Diego State, Colorado, UCLA, USC and Arizona. He said San Diego State is the school sticking out the most at this time.

*Detrick Mostella said Georgetown, Kansas and Texas A&M are his top three schools. He also cited interest from Auburn, Maryland and Alabama.

*Austin Nichols had Roy Williams, Billy Donovan, Cuonzo Martin and Josh Pastner watching him on Thursday. Duke assistant Nate James was also at Bishop Gorman to see him.

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