By Christian Siagian
Cerritos, Calif. -- The Pangos Sophomore/Freshman Camp is one of the premiere underclassmen camps on the West Coast, and the talent on hand for the 2016 edition certainly held true to form, despite the absence of two elite players in Cassius Stanley (top 3 guard in the Class of 2019) and Onyeka Okongwu (top 2 in Class of 2019).
Although the players at the camp are young, and their parents are still very heavily involved, it is clear that some of the athletes here will be highly successful as they grow older.
The talent at this camp can be divided into two groups -- those players who are taller and dunking, and those younger players who are still trying to figure out the game.
Unlike the camps featuring more polished upperclassmen, the sophomores and freshmen often displayed errant jump shots and less commitment to defense. When these youngsters demonstrated their potential by making brilliant and athletic moves, many of those same plays often resulted in missed layups.
The truth is that these players are still in the process of putting together their foundational skill set. Therefore, predicting which player will take a leap forward and put it all together requires more than just one camp observation.
One factor that affects the play at these underclassmen camps is that a number of players are not as assertive as they normally would be because they are more accustomed to lower level competition, and thus, can be a bit shocked by the camp’s higher talent level.
Below are a number of players who are quite ahead of their class:
Jaime Jaquez, 6’6”, Class of 2019, Power Forward
Probably the most mature player with a basketball-ready game. He does what he is supposed to do on the routine plays, but can also emphatically dunk to finish the spectacular plays as well. His body is also strong, as he is able to dominate in the paint. At 6’6”, if does not grow any taller, he will need to expand his shooting range and be an inside-outside player at the small forward position.
Deon Stroud 6’5”, Class of 2019, Small Forward
One of the smoothest and most athletic players in the camp, Stroud glides through traffic and finishes well at the rim. His shooting range was not fully on display, but should develop with hard work over the next two years.
Isaiah Mobley, 6’8”, Class of 2019, Power Forward/Center
A skilled and experienced player on the interior, Mobley has a variety of moves to get his points without having to be overly physical against his defenders. He does stray out quite a bit to take jump shots from the three-point line. Mobley can definitely develop into a good leader with more assertiveness and communication skills.
Jayen Clark, 6’4”, Class of 2020, Shooting Guard/Small Forward
Clark is a versatile player who is tough around the basket, can start a fastbreak, and doesn't force shots. He can play both in transition and in a half-court, structured game. Clark has an intensity about him that should allow him to be a very good leader.
Jonathan Juzang, 6’6”, Class of 2020, Combo Guard
Juzang has good size for the guard position. He is skilled, but needs to work on getting stronger and more physical in order to enhance all the positive attributes that he already has. In addition, he has the potential to play at point guard if keeps developing his ballhandling and playmaking ability.
Shemar Morrow, 6’4”, Class of 2020, Shooting Guard
One of the many strong guards in the camp, Morrow can take it to the basket quickly and with force. He does well defending and rebounding, but will just need to continue improving his overall game to take that next step to the elite level.
Jamon Kemp, 6’6”, Class of 2019, Small Forward
Still a raw, but athletic small forward, Kemp will do well if he improves his ability to finish around the basket because he seems to possess elite level athleticism and can lock down his opponent. Because he rebounds well, he could even play on the interior if he adds more muscle to his body.
Walter Talley, 6’7”, Class of 2019, Shooting Guard/Small Forward
Talley has a physicality to his game with an enforcer's mentality. He probably can use a bit more finesse in his game to create a balance between scoring and doing the dirty work.
Samba Kane, 6’10”, Class of 2019. Power Forward/Center
One of the tallest players in the camp, Kane should develop into an effective center. He is strong, and has the proper defensive mentality. Kane has enough potential to develop a serviceable offensive skill set, especially because he gets out on the fast break and finishes well around the rim.
Christian Wilson, 6’5”, Class of 2019, Small Forward/Power Forward
Wilson is quite an intelligent player, with an excellent skillset to be a crafty forward. He needs to develop greater shooting range to play out on the perimeter, allowing him to showcase his offensive versatility.