2018 Pangos All-American Camp LOADED with Underclassmen!
Ronnie FloresRonnie has evaluated basketball talent for 20 years and has over 15 years of experience in publishing, editing and managing high school sports websites for companies such as Student Sports, ESPN and Ballislife. Ronnie compiles the FAB 50 National Team Rankings while serving as an account manager and consultant for grassroots event run by Ballislife and other companies, in addition to serving as a color commentator on high school broadcasts.
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The 2018 Pangos All-American Camp had its deepest crop of underclass players in the camps’s 16-year history, highlighted by explosive wing Anthony Edwards of Holy Spirit Prep (GA) and big man Evan Mobley of Rancho Christian (CA). Center Charles Bassey becomes the first two-time Pangos Camp Most Outstanding Player.
Norwalk, Calif. — This year’s Pangos All-American Camp was a coming out party for many of the nation’s talented underclassmen. There were talented seniors-to-be among the 115 campers who descended on Cerritos College for the three-day instructional and showcase camp with a new twist, but the juniors-to-be (2020 prospects) stole the show and, collectively, created the most buzz at the event.
For the first time in the event’s history, NBA scouts were cleared to evaluate and having a plethora of talented underclassmen was a positive for them.
“It was good to evaluate new players and not just the same top 30 players that we’ve seen many times,” said one NBA scout who attended and who shall remain anonymous.
Joining representatives from 22 NBA franchises was a throng of national media outlets and when it was all said and done, the underclass player who put his imprint on every camp game he played, along with being arguably the most consistent performer throughout, is our choice for best event performer. His name is Anthony Edwards, and the 6-foot-5 2020 wing forward from Holy Spirit Prep in Atlanta put his stamp on the nation’s top independent showcase camp with his scoring ability, power around the rim and explosive first step in the half court game. The muscular Edwards tied with 6-foot-2 2019 point guard Tyson Etienne of Long Island Lutheran (Brookville, N.Y.) for the camp’s scoring title (17.3 ppg over four games) and was one of the most efficient players in terms of getting his points within the flow of the game and not forcing too many shots or overhanding (the latter which is problematic in a majority of grassroots camp settings). Edwards shot 56.3 percent from the field on 48 attempts.
With his explosiveness and strength, Edwards’ dominance reminded us of Mustapha Heron’s MOP worthy performance at the 2015 Pangos All-American Camp. Although Edwards wasn’t named Most Outstanding Player as Heron (Auburn/St. John’s) was, he was the one player who turned the most heads among those who came into camp without a huge national rep and was universally respected by his peers for his dominant performance. Edwards had been offered by Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, and Mississippi State and you can bet the “Blue Bloods” will be offering before long.
While Edwards has a long way before he’s seriously on the NBA Draft radar, that is not the case for 6-foot-11 Evan Mobley of Rancho Christian (Temecula, Calif.). The 2020 prospect was likely the most intriguing player for NBA scouts because of his incredible size, length, coordination and upside. Mobley has long been considered one of the best prospects in his class nationally, but he’s finally coming into his own as a player because of the increased strength in his lower body, which has led to better balance, timing and agility, not to mention increased confidence. It has also helped Mobley that growing pains he endured during his freshman season have decreased, which has led to him becoming arguably the most intriguing prospect in the 2020 national class.
“It’s becoming very easy to maintain my stamina because my body is getting stronger,” Mobley said. “I used to pace myself, but I can now do what I want to do out on the court. It makes the game easier to see. On fast breaks, I can see the rotations better.”
Mobley had two of the most eye-popping plays of the camp, where he threw down a follow-up dunk and another where he finished an “AND1” follow up during the Top 30 Cream of the Crop Game at the Camp’s conclusion. Now that he’s healthy and getting his legs under him, the rim truly does seem like a nerf hoop on Mobley’s finishes.
The next aspect of the game for Mobley to work on is consistency on the glass and using that quick leaping ability to rebound out of his area. Mobley averaged 5.75 rpg to rank fifth overall in camp. The rebounding leader at 10 per game was Charles Bassey, the 2019 post prospect from Aspire Academy (Louisville, Ky.). Bassey was eighth in scoring (14 ppg) and was easily one of the most productive players throughout the three-day event. Bassey has bulked up considerably and perhaps even lost some of the perimeter ability that made him such an intriguing prospect when he was named Ballislife.com National Freshman of the Year in 2015-16.
After his freshman campaign, the hype surrounding Bassey was incredible and it would be hard for him, or any other prospect, to live up to such lofty expectations. Still, the combination of size, power, production and motor made Bassey one of the best players at this event and a top three prospect in the national 2019 class. It remains to be seen if the other top big men in the 2019 class (Vernon Carey, James Wiseman) can clearly wrestle the mantle of No. 1 prospect from him based on on-court production.
Pangos Camp founder and director Dinos Trigonis named Bassey Most Outstanding Player. With the selection, Bassey becomes the first-ever two-time event MOP. It’s quite an accomplishment considering the standouts who’ve attended the camp multiple times over the years.
Pangos Stat Stuffers
Jaden Springer, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Rocky River (Mint Hill, N.C.), was third in the camp in scoring at 17 ppg and just edged Mobley for highest field goal percentage at 74.4 percent to 74.2 percent. Springer is another one of the 2020 prospects that helped his national profile over the three-day event.
Another 2020 prospect who played well at the camp, 6-foot-4 shooting guard Josh Christopher from Mayfair (Lakewood, Calif.), led the camp in assists at 7 per game. A couple of true lead guards from the 2019 class, 6-foot-3 Gianni Hunt of Bishop Montgomery (Torrance, Calif.) and 6-foot Pierre Crockwell from Garfield (Seattle, Wash.), were tied for second in assists at 6.5 per game. Hunt has successfully bounced back from an injury-plagued high school junior season and Crockwell had a 13-assist game and was pointed out by some of his peers as a guard they had trouble staying in front of.
Coming in second in the rebounding department behind Bassey was 6-foot-10 2019 power forward Drew Timme of Pearce (Richardson, Texas) at 8.75 per game. Mobley’s older brother Isaiah Mobley, a 6-foot-9 2019 power forward already committed to USC, was third at 8 rebounds per.
There were 14 outings where an individual scored 20 plus points in a single game, led by the 27-point effort of 5-foot-11 point guard Sharife Cooper from McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.). Shooting guard Jarod Lucas, a 6-foot-3 2019 prospect out of Los Altos (Hacienda Heights, Calif.), got red hot from the outside and had a 25-point game. Cade Cunningham, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard of out Bowie (Arlington, Texas), had a 24-point game.
Besides Edwards, Evan Mobley, Springer, Christopher, and Cunningham, other 2020 prospects that did nothing by help their reputations and national standing at this camp include 6-foot-7 small forward Scottie Barnes of University School (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), 6-foot-11 center N’Faly Dante from Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Air, Kan.), 6-foot-10 power forward Xavier Foster from Oskaloosa Community (Oskaloosa, Iowa) and 6-foot-6 small forward Brandon Boston from Norcross (Norcross, Ga.).
Cream of the Crop Top 30 Highlights
Isaiah Mobley led Team Harden (White) to a 108-102 victory over Team Westbrook (White) in the Cream of the Crop Top 30 all-star game, which is usually reserved for the camp’s best performers as selected by veteran media in attendance and rubber-stamped by Trigonis. The USC commit led five teammates in double figures with 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field. He also had some key plays and baskets during the line shift in which the White team opened up a double-digit lead.
After trailing 62-46 at halftime, the Blue team made a spirited comeback led by the all-around gamesmanship of Barnes and enthusiastic bench support. Barnes only scored two points (on a vicious crossover dribble drive finish), but played hellacious defense and dished out a game-high seven assists, grabbed four rebounds and had two steals. Barnes is an intense and versatile defender with an ideal NBA-type body to defend the three-point line and the ultra-athletic wings in today’s game. The Blue Team got within a couple of possessions late, but couldn’t get over the hump.
Tre Mann, a 6-foot-3 2019 point guard out of The Villages School (The Villages, FL), led the Blue Team with 16 points, including 4-of-6 3-pointers. Jake Kyman, a 6-foot-6 small forward from Santa Margarita (Rancho SM, Calif.) and a UCLA commit, nailed 3-of-3 3-pointers from the White Team, including a couple late to fend off the Blue Team rally.
Mobley and Barnes were name team MVPs in the top all-star game.
Pangos Camp All-Time MOPs
2018: Charles Bassey, Aspire Academy (Louisville, Ky.) 6-10 C
2017 (co): Cole Anthony, Archbishop Malloy (Queens, N.Y.) 6-2 PG
2017 (co): Charles Bassey, St. Anthony (San Antonio, Texas) 6-10 C
2016 (co): Trevon Duval, API (Dallas) 6-2 PG
2016 (co): Michael Porter Jr., Father Tolten (Columbia, Mo.) 6-9 SF
2015 (co): Rawle Alkins, Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.) 6-5 SG
2015 (co): Mustapha Heron, Sacred Heart (Waterbury, Conn.) 6-5 SG
2014 (tri): Isaiah Briscoe, Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.) 6-3 PG
2014 (tri): Tyler Dorsey, St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) 6-5 SG
2014 (tri): Stephen Zimmermann, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) 7-0 PF
2013: Stanley Johnson, Mater Dei (Santa Ana) 6-7 SF
2012: Cliff Alexander, Currie (Chicago) 6-9 PF
2011: Shabazz Muhammad, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) 6-6 WF
2010: Myck Kabongo, Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) 6-2 PG
2009: Harrison Barnes, Ames (Ames, Iowa) 6-7 WF
2008: John Wall, Word of God Academy (Raleigh, N.C.) 6-3 PG
2007: Brandon Jennings, Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) 6-1 PG
2006: James Harden, Artesia (Lakewood) 6-5 SG
2005: Jerry-Davon Jefferson, Lynwood 6-8 WF
2004: C.J. Miles, Skyline (Dallas) 6-6 WF
2003: Robert Swift, Bakersfield 7-0 C