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Better late than never: San Diego spring look

So, don't you hate it when you think you published something and it's still in drafts?

Well, look no further, it happens to the pros too.

This was supposed to go out on the eve of the live period, but alas, it didn't. Rather than pitch it in the trash, what the heck, let's just hit send today.

What's LIVE: A San Diego evaluation period primer

At long last, the first - and only - high school evaluation period of the spring is here.

The NCAA significantly altered the 2024 grassroots calendar from year's past, reflecting a dramatically changed recruiting landscape that places the emphasis on the ubiquitous transfer portal and less on high-school recruiting.

As a result, gone are the so-called "live" period weekends of April, replaced with a single weekend in May for college coaches to watch high-school prospects at events across the country.

Prospects in San Diego's 2025 class will try to put their best foot forward this weekend to potentially generate more interest headed into the June scholastic period and the subsequent July evaluation periods.

Who are the top prospects? Where are San Diego teams playing? And who are the underclass prospects moving the needle?

I'll explore those in the evaluation period primer.

1 . What's at stake for the Class of 2025?

After an extended decade long run of San Diego classes with more than 5 Division 1 signees, the 2024 class - impacted by the transfer portal and the COVID-19 exceptions - saw only two prospects (Lolo Rudolph and Jael Martin) sign with D1 teams.

The 2025 class currently has only two prospects with a D1 offer - Carlsbad phenom Jake Hall and La Jolla Country Day PG Chris Carrillo.

Looking across the landscape, there aren't a ton of prospects in the 2025 group who are considered surefire guys at the D1 level, and many of the top players have at least one discernible flaw that will likely mean if they want to play at the D1 level, they will have to start their careers at a lower level, prove themselves and potentially use the portal to ascend.

Montgomery F JJ Sanchez is a matchup nightmare at the high school level, but his perceived lack of athleticism has long been a sticking point with coaches. His teammate, 6-5 W Devin Hamilton, has the prerequisite length and athleticism, but struggles to consistently hit shots from outside the paint. Carrillo, who netted a D1 offer from UC San Diego during the year, has struggled so far this season against longer, more athletic guards on the Adidas 3SSB circuit.

And even in the case of Hall, who has multiple D1 offers, questions about his positional fit and defensive limitations have limited his recruitment's ceiling, despite scoring over 2,000 points in his career in three seasons.

Each of these prospects will have opportunities over the next three months to allay these concerns with their play.

2. Who are the top 2025 prospects?

Jake Hall. 6-4 G, West Coast Elite 17UAA/ Carlsbad - Gifted shooter and scorer whose footwork and ball skills allow him to score against bigger, longer defenders. Underrated passer and playmaker.

JJ Sanchez, 6-5 F, South Bay Show/ Montgomery - Mismatch forward scores at every level using his size, footwork, IQ and shooting touch to dominate individual matchups, and his passing IQ and court vision to exploit double teams. If he were a couple of inches taller, he'd be a no brainer prospect.

Devin Hamilton, 6-5 W, South Bay Show/ Montgomery - Supremely athletic and long swingman scores best off the bounce as a slasher, and his defensive instincts and footwork allow him to guard multiple positions on the floor.

Chris Carrillo, 5-11 PG, Gamepoint 17u Elite/ La Jolla Country Day - A consummate point guard, Carrillo uses change of pace and speed to get paint touches and create scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates in pick and roll and drive and kick.

Xair Mendez, 6-2 G, South Bay Show/ Montgomery - Quick, athletic scoring guard is wired to score and does it efficiently from three levels. Advanced midrange scorer with a picturesque pull-up jumper.

Gavin Guinn, 6-2 PG, Multilevel/Vista - Methodical, physical lead guard balances scoring (solid from midrange and three off the dribble and catch) and creating out of pick and roll. Overcame injuries his first couple of seasons to re-emerge during his junior year.

Patrick O'Brien, 6-5 G/W, Gamepoint Elite/Cathedral Catholic - Bigger guard is very good at making passing reads when he gets downhill into the paint (though he needs space to get momentum), and can knock down shots off the bounce from midrange.

Elijah Stephens, 6-5 F, Dream Vision 16u/Sage Creek - Bruiser forward combines underrated athleticism and a nose for the basket, doing most of his damage in the paint. The lefty handles it well enough to create mismatches off the bounce against bigger defenders.

Alek Sanchez, 6-4 G, South Bay Show/ Montgomery - The lefty combo guard doesn't get sped up and controls the pace of the game, using his court vision to carve up defenses. As a scorer, he is a strong shooter off the catch.

Steven Evans Glynn, 6-5 W Sixth Man SD, Cathedral Catholic - High flying swingman has an active motor and rebounds the ball at a high level on both ends. Can defend every position at the high school level. Offensively raw, but improving as a catch-and-shoot threat.

3. Who are some 2025 sleepers?

Zay Solomon, 6-5 F, Sixth Man SD/ Oceanside - Voracious rebounder has an uncanny knack for pursuing rebounds out of this area, and scores most of his offense on the offensive glass. Big-time athlete with elite physical upside.

Jordyn Webster, 6-5 W, Eastlake - Coming off of a significant knee injury, Webster is looking to pick up where he left off last season, when he had emerged as one of the classes most explosive athletes and physical scorers.

Ayden Horn, 6-5 W, Our Way/ Rancho Buena Vista - A long, wiry prospect whose athleticism is rapidly catching up to his body, Horn can shoot off the catch and is a capable slasher who can finish above the rim in transition.

Dylan Griffin, 6-5 W, University City/Multilevel - While not a sleeper for folks south of the 8, Dylan Griffin's rise in the 2025 class has been steady over the past two years. He's a long, athletic prospect who can defend multiple positions and attacks the basket offensively with a purpose. Griffin improved his perimeter shooting last season to the point where he was a fairly consistent catch and shoot threat. If he can continue to improve his shooting and ball handling, he's a prospect coaches should have on their radar.

Joshua Thompson, 6-2 G, Gamepoint Inland/ Del Norte - Once considered one of the top prospects in the class, Thompson missed most of his sophomore season and transferred to Del Norte, where he sat out half of the year. He's playing catch up, but few guards in SD's class have his college-ready frame.

Isaiah Marte, 6-1 G, San Diego/Gamepoint Select - Marte burst onto the scene during his sophomore AAU campaign as a dynamic shooter and improving playmaker. Now, a couple inches taller and more athletic, Marte put together an All League-level season in the tough Western Legue for San Diego High, and has been building on it this season alongside guard Julius Brower on the Gamepoint Select team.

Lincoln Zetmeir, 6-1 G, Gamepoint Select/Valley Center - Arguably the most improved prospect in the 2025 class, Zetmeir's game has expanded from being exclusively a spot up shooter to being a rugged defender, rebounder and slasher that has the strength to absorb contact. He has come a long way in a span of over a season.

Angel Ochoa - 5-11 G, Coastal Elite/Victory Christian Academy - How is player who averages over 35 points per game over the course of two varsity seasons is still a sleeper in the eyes of coaches is beyond me, especially one that has done it against high-level teams as often as Ochoa. This season, he scored 41 points to lead the program to arguably it's biggest regular season win over San Diego High, and also scored 52 points against La Jolla. Last season, he did it on the 17u level with Coastal Elite and has been super productive this spring.

Elias Flaim - 6-0 G, Coastal Elite/ San Marcos - One of the more unheralded prospects in San Diego, the sharpshooter continues to show his offensive evolution and vastly improved ball skills with Coastal Elite 17u, where he has also shown a big improvement on the defensive side of the ball.

Joaquin Padilla, 6-3 G/W, West Coast Flight/Carlsbad - Padilla is an intriguing prospect due to the dramatic improvement in his ball skills to pair with his relentless motor and good positional size.

Maseyo Elliott, 6-4 G, Mission Bay/ San Diego All-Stars 17u - Elliott, who attended Mater Dei Catholic last season, has good size for a lead guard and is a streaky scorer. When he's locked in emotionally, he has

Jair Benjamin, 6-3 W, From the Jump/ Lincoln - Relentless wing is a physical specimen, and scores around the basket through contact off the drive or offensive glass. Vastly improved catch-and-shoot threat from the corner three. His strengths are his rebounding, on-ball defense and motors.

CJ Coleman, 6-5 F, Gamepoint Elite/ Vista - Versatile scoring wing is a solid catch-and-shoot threat off the wing and attacks closeouts to set-up his pull-up jump shot from midrange. Slowed by an ankle injury the second half of the high school season, Coleman has been building back to his optimal playing shape.

Cody Shen, 6-2 G, Gamepoint Elite/ Torrey Pines - Jack-of-all-trades guard is a solid shooter, game manager, on-ball and help side defender and scorer through contact. He doesn't do any one thing that will wow you, but impacts the game on both ends.

Amon Andrews, 5-11 G, Multilevel/Francis Parker - Prolific shooter has a lightning quick release and gets his shot off both off the catch and attacking ball screens. Swift slasher has a nice array of floaters and runners to finish over length.

4. Underclassmen to watch:


Jaden Bailes - The FTH Sophomore of the year is one of the top scorers and shooters in the 2026 West Coast class. He's playing with Jalen Green Elite 16u after starting the season with the Oakland Soldiers.

Caleb Newton - The electric 6-3 Mission Bay guard has been playing in LA (transferred from Birmingham HS) for Team Develop.

Brayden Kyman - The anchor of Players Play 17u team, the 6-8 Santa Margarita forward is an elite shooter and can score it off the bounce.

Ty Ingram - The 6-1 scoring guard is back to full health after an ankle injury sidelined him for the second half of his sophomore year. He's playing with Dream Vision's undefeated 16u team.

CJ Aldrich - The 6-0 scoring point guard is coming off of a banner year with RBV. Aldrich plays alongside Ingram on the Dream Vision 16u team.

Dax Hall - One of the fastest rising prospects in SoCal, the 6-1 Santa Fe Christian PG has led Multilevel 16u team to a strong start on the UA Rise circuit.

Clay Grebing - As far as upside is concerned, few in San Diego have that of Grebing (Mission Bay) a 6-7 stretch four who has come on strong for San Diego All-Stars 16u.

Jalen Williams - At 6-1 and silky smooth, the San Marcos guard has had an impressive spring playing up on 17u with Players Play.

Jayden Gray - The 6-0 combo guard from Victory Christian comprises the dynamic duo that has powered Multilevel 16u.

Juju Lebel - The 6-4 wing, coming off of a strong year at Christian HS, is a standout on the Gamepoint 16u 3SSB team.

Wyatt Tilson - One of the best pure "basketball players" in the class, Tilson has been a standout on the 16u 3SSB circuit with Gamepoint.

Diego Ortiz - Very few guards in the class have the scoring capability of the 5-9 Ortiz, who has torn up the Adidas Gold circuit with SDA 16u Elite.


Jeremiah Profit - The 6-5 slashing wing from Temecula Valley is one of the nation's top 2027 prospects; starts on the Gamepoint 17u 3SSB team, playing two grade levels up.

Tavid Lee Johnson - San Diego's freshman of the year (Francis Parker), the 6-2 combo guard has been on a tear with West Coast Elite UAA's 16u squad.

RIchie Ramirez - One of SoCal's top point guards in the class, the 6-1 Ramirez has spearheaded a Gamepoint 15u 3SSB team that has gone 8-4 on the top Adidas circuit.

Justin Johnson -The 6-5 pogo stick has played a prominent role on the Gamepoint 16u 3SSB team.

Anthony Etheridge - At 6-4, few prospects in the class possess the St. Augustine wing's natural gifts and athleticism. He's playing with Get Better Hoops' 17u team.

Tristan Anderson - The 5-7 lead guard (Olympian) has been the top player on Multilevel's 15u squad.

Jackson McCall - San Marcos' 6-5 wing forward possesses elite vision and a Swiss Army knife skillset. He's starred on the Gamepoint 15u 3SSB team.

Drew Parker - The half brother of NBA-er Terrence Ross has a burgeoning skillset on the wing. The 6-5 wing (St. Augustine) has been a strong performer for the Gamepoint 17u 3SSB team.

Lamar Smith - At 6-4 (and growing) with freakish length, the San Diego high wing has as much upside as any prospect in the class. He's played with Daygo Elite, Dog Hours and the San Diego Warriors.

Fabian Ruiz - You can count the players on the West with the shooting chops of Ruiz on your hand. The 6-2 Temecula Valley sharpshooter has been the leading scorer on Gamepoint 15u 3SSB team.

4. Where will they be?

Where will the top San Diego programs be for the live period?


3SSB Teams: Adidas Boys 3SSB Spring Series, Bryan, TX

Premier and Select Teams: The Stage, Spring Live, Orange County

Top prospects: 2027s Jeremiah Profit, Richie Ramirez, Jackson McCall, Fabian Ruiz, Drew Parker, Justin Johnson, Jaxon Allensworth; 2026s Juju Lebel, Lawrence Lam, Lincoln Grogan, Wyatt Tilson, Wyatt Cann; 2025s Chris Carrillo, Patrick O'Brien, Mason Hodges, CJ Coleman, Louis Bond, Jayden Smoot, Cody Shen, Isaiah Marte, Julius Brower, Ely Elegado


UA Rise: UA Next Circuit, Hamilton, OH

Top prospects: 2027s Kai Jones, Tristan Anderson; 2026s Dax Hall, Ezekiel Walker, Jayden Gray; 2025s Gavin Guinn, Dylan Griffin, Jasper Buck, Amon Andrews.

Elite: WCE Spring Classic, Claremont, CA

Top prospects: 2025s Elijah Bragg, Aaron Owens, Pablo Balderas, Jacques Godard, Colton Kelley, Blaine Raagus

San Diego All-Stars

The Stage, Spring Live, Orange County

Top prospects: 2028 Lucky Davis, 2027 Alijah Cheeks, 2026s Clay Grebing, Diego Ortiz, Amari Council, Jojo Bartlett, 2025s Zech Hollingsworth, Jamell Wiley, Maseyo Elliott, 2024s Ah-Zion Applewhaite, Derrion Manson

South Bay Show

EHA x Made Hoops Cali-Live Spring, Orange County, Cerritos CA

Top prospects: 2028 Troy Tominna, 2025s JJ Sanchez, Devin Hamilton, Xair Mendez, Alek Sanchez, Trey Degrate

Players Play

The Prelude 32 League, Speedway IN

Top prospects: 2027 Jaden Berry, Tyler Humphrey, 2026s Jalen Williams, Coen Sponsel, Trenton Mehl, Briggs Young, Tevaris Green, Mason Jones, Tariq Iscandari, Brayden Kyman, Semote Katonga; 2025s Drew

Coastal Elite

The Stage, Spring Live, Orange County'

Top prospects: 2028 Jaizahn Lewis, 2027s Tony Rutledge Jr., Nico Mott; 2026s Mike Brown, Chris Crowell, Jake Vandervorst, Mykah Simmons, 2025s Elias Flaim, Angel Ochoa, Angel Escarcega, Fabiano Osuna; 2024s Isaiah Pomare, Euan Davis, Matin Madadkar, Max Zylicz, Dylan Kail

West Coast Flight

The Stage, Spring Live, Orange County

Top prospects: 2027s Kannon Seals, Jerome Radcliff; 2026s Dash Ekeroth, Adrian Ownbey, Roman Wright, Caleb Gleason, Talan Blach; 2025s Cody Myers, Jacob Tsai, Owen Turner, Lucas Myer, Jabril Abdullah, Amir Sadeghi, Thomas Brezenzski

Sixth Man SD

The Stage, Spring Live, Orange County

Top prospects: 2027

4S Elite

The Stage, Spring Live, Orange County

And1 Aacademy

The Stage, Spring Live, Orange County

Dog Hours

EHA x Made Hoops Cali-Live Spring, Orange County, Cerritos CA

2027 Lamar Smith, 2026 Terry Gant, 2025 Pierre Anderson

Daygo Elite

The Stage, Spring Live, Orange County

Adapt Academy

The Stage, Spring Live, Orange County

From The Jump

Game Time Events California Classic, Corona CA

Our Way

Game Time Events California Classic, Corona CA


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