Standouts abound at Inaugural 3P Creme of the County
With the beach in the foreground and the historical Army and Navy Academy as the backdrop, more than 200 of the top players in San Diego County and surrounding Southern California regions converged on the Duffield Sports Center for the Inaugural 3P Creme of the County Showcase.
The eight-hour showcases featured many of the top players from the classes of 2016 to 2020, who participated in a showcase game in addition to pre-game activities.
Full-Time Hoops will send out a full report of every prospect’s performance to colleges that subscribe to the service, but here are some of the top standouts from each of the games:
Obinna Anyanwu, F, SD Select - The 6-5 forward is a beast with excellent length and a high motor. He was one of the better rebounders on display all day and he shows continued improvement in his perimeter and mid-range skill set.
Dominick Harris, G, ELA Elite - The 5-10 combination guard has a feathery stroke from deep and a strong penetration ability to match. Defensively, his length and foot speed make him a formidable on-ball defender.
Thomas Notarainni, W, SD Select- Known for his high motor, Natarainni continues to evolve into a very potent offensive force on the perimeter. He has improved as a ball handler and shooter and plays with unmatched energy.
Austin Cook, F, Earl Watson Elite - Very skilled forward with point-forward skills, mid-range shooting and a nose for the ball on the boards. Cook had multiple second-chance opportunities around the rim as he beat his opponent to the ball.
Anthony Bland, F, San Diego All-Stars- High-motor forward is improving his ball skills and perimeter shooting, but his strength is his blue-collar toughness, rebounding, finishing ability and energy level.
Deven Dahlke, G, Gamepoint - The improved combination guard had some nice plays on the perimeter with slick handle, deft passing and improved shooting. He has a great frame that is laden with upside.
Grant Mahler, W, High Five America - Scrappy and skilled forward had some smooth drives to the rim and did a good job finishing plays. Mahler has great hands and soft touch around the basket.
Rejean Ellis, G, San Diego All-Stars - Big-time scorer can fill it up from the perimeter as good as any player on display Saturday. His shot selection at times is questionable, but the results were undeniable.
Raymond Lu, PG, San Diego All-Stars- Excellent passer played under control and delivered pinpoint passes off of his drives.
Yassine Gharram, PG, I-10 Celtics - Arguably the best passer in the 2019 SD Class, Gharram has uncanny vision and has made big strides as a scorer, finishing plays through contact and using a potent Euro Step to side-step defenders en route the basket.
Ryan Langborg, SG, Gamepoint - The 6-2 wing came out firing from deep and showed off some sneaky athleticism when he threw down his first in-game dunk. As polished as a three-level scorer as the class has in San Diego.
Jordan Hilstock, G, Gamepoint - The 6-1 combination guard is arguably the top perimeter defender in the class. He has excellent length, quickness and a willingness to check the other team’s top perimeter player.He also is one of the better rebounding guards on hand in any of the classes. He also showed some solid vision in transition, dropping off several nice passes for scores.
Christian Rose, W, Next Generation - Blessed with a prototypical wing frame, the lanky Rose has come a long way in terms of his overall skill set. He knocked down a couple of jumpers and made some nice scoring drives from mid-range.
Graham Cook, G, San Diego All-Stars - The smooth lead guard knocked down some nice pull-up jumpers and was a willing passer.
Derrick Carter-Hollinger, G, Royals/ SD Select - We might look back and see that Carter-Hollinger will emerge as the sleeper D1 prospect in the class. He has a great frame at 6-0 and prototypical length. His feel on the perimeter has improved, as has his playmaking ability. Still 13 years old, he’s got a ton of upside.
2018 Select Game
Timmy Crawford, PG, Montgomery- Undersized, but compactly built point guard uses changes of speed to elude defenders and get into the lane, where he makes really good decisions with the pass or score. His perimeter shooting has gotten much better. Very underrated prospect.
Matt Brady, SG, Top Gun- One of the best shooters in the class, Brady exhibited a nice game off the dribble to complement his shooting. Defensively, he’s not the quickest, but he competed on that end admirably.
Rayquan Everett, W, Cougars- Love the size and length of the 6-4 Everett, a transfer from Heritage High in Menifee. Beyond the physical gifts, he has budding skills both on the perimeter and in the post, but it’s his ability on the wing that makes him an intriguing prospect moving forward.
Makana Moreno, W, SD Chaos- Moreno has a motor that is nonstop, and he was one of the most active players on the boards all day. He, like Everett, had some good moments scoring and shooting it on the wing, all of which bode well for his prospects moving forward.
Jayden Holloway, G, Patrick Henry- Perhaps one of the biggest surprises of the event was the play of Holloway, the big-bodied guard who has nice burst off the dribble, surprisingly crafty handles and could score from multiple levels. His frame needs tightening, but he’s definitely got some upside as a bigger guard.
Gino Spirito, G, Gamepoint- Another big surprise was the play of Spirito, who at 5-8 was one of the smaller guards on hand, but put his stamp on the game with his heady play on the ball on offense, and his dogged defense and ball pressure. Known primarily as a shooter, Spirito’s game is evolving, and it was definitely noticed.
Amari Green, G, Gamepoint- It looks as if Green is starting to shed some of the baby fat, and the results are that he is an even bigger matchup problem at the point guard positions. He has crafty handles, surprising quickness and his change of speed and direction is a weapon. He also can shoot the ball from deep and rebounds well for a guard his size.
Houston Aguirre, PG, Supreme Court- Aguirre is a little bigger than I remember him during his freshman year at Scripps Ranch, but the methodical floor general does an excellent job lulling players to sleep with his smooth changes of speed. He is a deft passer, and had a couple of highlight-reel passes on the afternoon.
Miles Norris, F, Earl Watson Elite - The 6-8 Norris was a highlight reel all his own, hammering down several transition dunks on the day that wowed the crowd. His athleticism has steadily improved, and he has the type of versatile skill set that coaches at every level desire in today’s four men. While he wasn’t a factor on the boards today, he blocked several shots and played solid on-ball defense before leaking out in transition for scoring opportunities.
Krystian Wilson, PG, Prodigy/ Etiwanda- The strongly built point guard has a beastly frame, but more impressive is his motor. He was constantly on attack on both ends and on the boards, where his rebounding ability allowed him to trigger transition opportunities for teammates. He is one of the more advanced passers on hand, and possibly in Southern California, in his class.
Taeshon Cherry, F, College Bound- Rapidly improving athletically, Cherry had some nice moments on the perimeter knocking down threes and finishing plays around the rim with authority. Cherry does a solid job on the boards as well, where his competitive fire really shines through.
Jalen Flanagan, G, Coastal Elite- Flanagan continues to establish himself as one of the top shooting guard prospects in the class, knocking down shots from all three levels and looking smooth doing it. Defensively, there aren’t too many better on-ball defenders as the long, rangy wing type.
Alex Cho, G, San Diego All-Stars- Cho, a sharpshooting combination guard, got off to a torrid start, knocking down threes from deep, and then mixing it up with some scoring drives. What really was impressive was his improved effort level on the defensive end, really taking the individual matchup with Taurus to heart.
Taurus Samuels, PG, Gamepoint - While not his best showcase effort, some things continued to standout in Samuels’ play, including his willingness and efficiency as a passer, his ability to shoot it from three and off the pull-up and his unselfishness. Made several really good passing plays for his teammates.
Zach Reiter, G, Gamepoint- The slashing, big bodied guard continues to become a more complete player, especially with the improvement of his perimeter shooting. Combine that with his knack for crashing the boards and his ability to score in transition, Reiter continues to be a sleeper to watch.
Sage Crawford, G, San Diego All-Stars- Crawford, a 6-2 shooting guard, was lights out in the select game, scoring from deep, dropping off a couple of nifty passes, and displaying athleticism in transition with a two-handed flush. Outside of Jaylen Hands (who is now at Balboa Prep), South Bay doesn’t have a ton of D1 prospects in the 2017 class. Crawford with his performance definitely has at least put himself in the conversation of D1 sleeper.
Tim Mills, G, Poway- If Jayden Holloway was the biggest 2018 surprise, Mills, who has yet to play a varsity game for Poway, was the biggest surprise in 2017. The long, lanky combo guard has a nice feel off the dribble and can really score it. His frame and skill set make him an intriguing prospect to monitor over the last two years of his HS career.
Derek Sit, PG, Coastal Elite- Cat quick lead guard with a stocky frame and a lethal pull-up jumper from about 15-18 feet. Sit has excellent court vision and makes his teammates better with his passing.
Ethan Esposito, F, San Diego All-Stars- The big-bodied forward has excellent footwork on the block and is a solid slasher from the wing as well. He also has an excellent motor, and rebounds with authority.
Jaylin Richmond, G, SD Sol- The 6-3 combination guard has a lot of raw physical tools, and has improved a ton as a shooter, knocking down a couple of threes during the proceedings. His handle is still a little unpolished and he has some work to do getting to the rim off the dribble, but he has a lot of upside.
Xavier Allison, PG, Sage Creek- Allison is the consummate high school floor general. He plays with great pace and has solid court vision and feel. He has improved his conditioning considerably, and as a result has improved lateral quickness on both ends.
2017 Creme Game
Richard Polanco, F, San Diego All-Stars- Polanco, a 6-7 forward who played on the Dominican U-19 basketball team over the summer, is a powerful “point-forward” type who is an impossible cover when he gets a head of steam ahead of him. This is evident in transition, where he is able to power by his defender and either score or make plays for open teammates with his excellent court vision. Polanco has a tendency to play with the ball a bit too much in the halfcourt, and doesn’t have a particularly quick first step, which makes him less effective on the wing than you would expect, but he does a good job tracking his missing and powering up for second-chance points. Polanco, for stretches, was the most dominant player at the showcase.
JJ Overton, G, San Diego All-Stars- After his team fell behind by 22 points, Overton led a charge to cut the lead briefly to 3. The lanky lefty has great size for a lead guard (6-4) and length, and has enough quickness to blow by defenders on the wing and at the point. He has improved his ability to finish with his right hand, opening up more scoring opportunities for him. Overton’s jumper can best be described as streaky, but it is playable enough that defenders must honor it, which opens up driving lanes that he converts for both pull-up jumpers and driving layups. Defensively, his length and motor make him a solid on-ball defender, and his length allows him to shoot passing lanes for steals.
Reed Farley, G, Top Gun- Farley had two scoring outbursts during the game that gave a glimpse of his potential as a scorer. He knocked down a flurry of threes off the catch and scored on a couple of assertive drives. Later in the second half, he hit another three and threw down a two-handed jam on the break, showing off his vertical athleticism. Farley has a prototypical two-guard frame at 6-4 and is rapidly improving his ball skills. He’s a solid low- to mid-major prospect and one that high-academic D1s should monitor.
Nate Matthews, G, Gamepoint- The Orange County combo guard drilled several threes on the day and showed off some excellent change of speed moves to free himself for scoring drives. While not the quickest guard, he mixes up speed to keep defenders off balance. Defensively, he has adequate length and good lateral quickness, but now must get stronger to defend bigger guards.
Matt Mitchell, W, Earl Watson Elite- The 6-5 swingman has a strong, stocky frame, and is a load off the dribble. He’s also got a very good pull-up jump shot that he showed off a few times, getting good balance after knocking his defender back with an assertive drive. He also did a great job on the offensive boards, clearing out space and exploding to the ball. Mitchell, despite his stockiness, is an above-average athlete. Mitchell can be a bit of a ball stopper, over handling on the wing, but he’s got the physical tools to be a solid mid-major+ wing as his skill set continues to evolve.
Ben Okhotin, SG, Gamepoint- No 2017 San Diego prospect has improved as much as Okhotin, a long 6-5 shooting guard with a lethal stroke from deep. What was surprising today was his effort on the defensive end, doing an admirable job against a very good point guard, Ed Fenzi. Okhotin has a very good chance to have a Dalton Soffer-like emergence over the next two seasons, becoming a big shooter that programs will covet.
Ajani Kennedy, WF, Team Eleate- A smooth lefty four with a very good looking touch from three, Kennedy epitomizes the word “upside”: his length, athleticism and budding ball skills will make him a very coveted prospect on the West Coast, He will need to get physically stronger to become more effective off the drive and also on the defensive end.
2016 Select Game
Adonis Dillahunty, F, SD Chaos- Dillahunty at 6-6 has a ton of upside as a wing or a stretch four, due to his improving ball skills, smooth jump shot and rebounding effort. He still has to get a lot stronger, and get quicker laterally to defend wings, but his length and size are hard to ignore.
Johnny Mims, PG, LA Elite- The athletic 5-10 point guard is an elite on-ball defender and a very underrated floor general. He has very good burst off the dribble and great court vision in traffic. Mims is one of the most underrated lead guards in Southern California.
Will Johnson, PG, TWE Elite- The wiry 6-2 lefty guard is very good at changing speeds to get into the lane, where he makes plays for himself and others. While not the quickest, Johnson uses a crafty handle to keep defenders off balance. He needs to get stronger, which will allow him to finish plays at the rim.
JR Rivera, C, Gamepoint- The 6-8 Rivera has made major strides as a rebounder and interior defender, due to his improved conditioning. Rivera is a very good passer out of double teams in the post, setting up teammates on the perimeter for open shots. The ponderous post still needs to get quicker and a little stronger, but his improvement from spring until now is marked.
David Wheeler, SG, Mira Mesa- The chiseled two guard has a picturesque jump shot, both in catch and shoot situations and off the pull-up, where he gets great lift and stays on balance. He is improving as a ball handler and a penetrator, and also appears to be playing harder on defense, an area that will dictate his ceiling as a prospect.
2016 Creme Game
Justin Davis, W, Gamepoint - The CSUB commit came out the gate and showed why he is such a coveted commit, knocking down shots from all three levels, and getting after it on the boards. Not the most athletic prospect, Davis uses his strength and basketball feel to create scoring opportunities.
Bruce Edwards, F, Supreme Court - Edwards has made some big strides as a perimeter shooter and ball handler, which complement his rebounding and defensive prowess.
Eric Pierce, G, Gamepoint- He plays around with the ball a bit, but when he gets going down hill, Pierce is a very potent combination guard who can score and create with the pass as well. At 6-4 with good length, he’s a late-blooming lead guard with upside to spare.
Sean Birk, PG, Gamepoint- Birk was a nightmare on the defensive end on Saturday, nearly forcing three five-second calls against his opponents. Birk also did a good job setting up teammates with the pass, becoming more balanced as a scorer and a passer is a positive development for the point guard who is making a strong push late in his career.
Terrence Becvar, G, Coastal Elite- Becvar continues to get better at the lead guard position, with improved handle and quickness off the bounce, and made some crafty scoring plays off the dribble to boot. This complements his potent shooting ability, which he also displayed on Saturday. He’s also grown to about 5-10, which makes him a very viable prospect to monitor.
Keegan Cummins, C, Gamepoint- The Escondido center had a mixed effort Saturday, but there were some very positive things about his effort. He knocked down two deep jump shots, showing the ability to step out at 6-9 could bode well at the next level. In the post, he still forces a lot to his right and over his left shoulder, but he did a good job cleaning up his misses on second-chance opportunities.
Colin Ferrier, G, Gamepoint- The Santa Margarita combo guard is a smooth 6-3 scorer who can fill it up from all three levels and showed he can also handle the ball at the point as a secondary ball handler. He also showed some toughness on the defensive end.
Dylan Banks, PG, Next Generation- Lighting quick point guard caused trouble for ball handlers with his active hands and quick feet on defense. He’s exceptionally long for a 5-11 player, and has excellent athleticism. Playing with more control on the offensive end and improving his feel as a passer is the next step.
Jacob Tryon, C, IEBP- One of the most improved prospects on the West Coast, the 6-10 Great Oak post has a variety of scoring moves both with his back to the basket and facing his opponent. He has soft touch out to 18 feet, and is surprisingly mobile for a player his size. He must get stronger physically to withstand the beating post players take at the Division 1 level, but he is a young 2016 prospect who epitomizes the term “late bloomer.”