Los Angeles, Calif. Here are our most recent thoughts on some of the Southern California prospects we’ve seen in the first week of high school action…
Eric Swoope, 6-4 SF/PF North Hollywood (Calif.) Harvard-Westlake. Swoope is one of the top unsigned prospects in the West Coast class of 2010. A great athlete, Swoope is very strong and he has ridiculous leaping ability. He plays with outstanding energy, is an excellent rebounder and terrific defender. His offensive game is still a work in progress, but he has a knack for getting to the basket against anyone. And he tries to dunk everything as he just attacks the basket. He will likely defend multiple spots at the next level. He may have been somewhat overlooked in the summer, due to the fact that his offensive game is still evolving. But this kid is a stud and a winner. He can play at the highest level and he will make any team better.
Jordin Mayes, 6-2 PG/SG Los Angeles (Calif.) Westchester. Mayes is the prototype combo guard. He’s not a true one or two, but he’s got some qualities to play each position. He didn’t shoot it great in the game I saw, but he’s typically an accurate shooter to the stripe. He has an excellent feel for the game, which is one reason I think he can play some point guard at the next level. His handle is adequate and he’s a willing passer. He’s a fairly good athlete, with good speed and decent quickness. His frame is such that he should add weight and fill out well at the next level. He’s a hard-worker and one would expect that he would continue to get better in the coming years. He’s not an elite level talent, but he should end up at the high major level.
Tim Douglas, 5-8 PG Lakewood (Calif.) Mayfair. Douglas isn’t real big, but he’s got a terrific game. A true point, he’s an excellent passer and adept at getting into the teeth of a defense to create for teammates. He has good, not great, quickness. Although he’s not real tall, Douglas is strong for his size. He’s a good shooter to the 16-18 foot range. Douglas is the kind of player that high major programs might pass on, only to have him go to a mid major school and, a few years down the road, people are saying “how did the high majors miss on him?”
Shelton Boykin, 6-4 SF Long Beach (Calif.) Poly. Boykin is headed to Long Beach State and the 49ers got a steal. Boykin is a terrific athlete, with a great motor, and a developing skill set. He’s got a chance to be a multi-positional defender at the next level. His jump shot is good enough at this time and he figures to become a solid shooter at the next level. He’s a high major talent going to the Big West and it will be a shock if he’s not an all-conference player someday.
Damiene Cain, 6-6 C North Hollywood (Calif.) Harvard-Westlake. Cain is a bit undersized at the five, but he’s a strong kid and he plays hard. He’s a willing defender and fairly good rebounder. Offensive skills are still coming, but he’s an intriguing prospect.
Tyrone Wallace, 6-2 SG Bakersfield (Calif.) High. A big-time prospect, Wallace has very long legs and his body looks a bit disproportional. It would be quite a surprise if he doesn’t grow some more. A lefty with a point guard’s feel for the game, Wallace reminds me a bit of James Harden in that he plays on the wing but he has the instincts of a point guard. He loves to get in the lane and either finish himself or create for teammates. He has an outstanding approach to the game for a young kid. He never forces the action and rarely makes a bad decision. Typically with a young kid this talented, you will see him looking to score too much. But Wallace lets the game come to him. Assuming continued development, he will be one of the elite prospects in the class of 2012.
Kahlil Johnson, 6-5 PF Los Angeles (Calif.) Palisades. While he’s only about 6-5, Johnson has the frame of a big man and looks like he could get bigger. A lefty with a nice stroke to three-point range, Johnson is an intriguing young prospect. He moves pretty well for his size and showed a nice feel in the game I saw. One to watch in 2012.